Visiting an Aul in Western Kazakhstan

After months of living in the modern metropolis of Almaty, my fellow Americans and I decided to embark on one last adventure before the end of our semester together in Kazakhstan. Lucky enough, we had befriended a local student at our university who invited us to visit his аул (aul/the Kazakh word for village) in …

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Unforgettable Moments and Friends: A Photo Blog

This is me and my host sister, Aidana. We are standing in front of Кок Тебе which is an amusement park in the mountains in which you take a Gondola ride to get to the top. It is a well-known sight in Almaty, Kazakhstan. There is a car filled with apples in the picture. The …

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Glenn Camilo’s Adventures in Kazakhstan: A Photo Blog

This picture was taken at a former women’s gulag outside of the capital. It is now a museum which displays the conditions and the stories of the women who were forced to labor here in the early Soviet times. The front structure is a monument dedicated to those who suffered during that regime. Visitors are …

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Weekend Excursion in Kazakhstan

My time in Kazakhstan is going way too fast. I have already been here for about two months, but it doesn’t really feel like it. The good days have definitely outweighed the bad days, and I am so grateful for having an outstanding host family and amazing friends. A memorable experience. Three weeks ago, we …

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Душевное спокойствие – Peace of Mind

Towards the end of September, just as the weather started to cool down, we had our first Regional Field Study. We ventured out of Almaty after our history lectures on Friday, led by our fearless resident director, insightful tour guides, and our somewhat maniacal bus driver – I will never get used to the apparently …

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Exploring Kazakhstan Steppe by Steppe

It has been around five weeks since my last blog and I have felt so much progress in my language and regional studies since then that even my peers have noticed. As I write this, I am currently on my second regional field study. My first one was in Sakpek, a village in southeast Kazakhstan …

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Duality of Kazakhstan

Since my previous blog post about my initial impressions of Almaty, my life has drastically changed. I’ve forged friendships with some of the language partners, mastered public transportation and developed a daily academic routine (although the 6:30am alarm clock has certainly not gotten any easier). Perhaps most notably, I have made the remarkably easy decision …

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Тофжан’s (Tofzhan’s) 40 day Celebration

In America, baby showers are the most popular way of celebrating the soon-to-be parents and child. A few weeks before the child’s birth, friends and family gather together and bring gifts to the mother for the future baby. Most gatherings are small, but some can be pretty extravagant. However, in Kazakhstan, people do things a …

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Добро пожаловать в Казахстан

I had very few expectations in mind when my plane touched down in Almaty. I was both mentally and physically exhausted from traveling for almost 48 hours straight, and as soon as I approached customs, I knew that my language skills were lacking, to say the least. I figured that this semester would be challenging …

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