Kazakh Wedding Traditions

Weddings are one of Kazakhstan’s many customs. Traditionally, there were several stages of the wedding ceremony, but today most couples do not go through all of them. Depending on where the members of the couple are from, they may be encouraged by relatives to follow the tradition as it has been done all along. People …

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Aikosh’s First Step

“Tusau Keser ” (in Kazakh), or “cutting the rope,” is the celebration of a child’s first steps, a nomadic tradition originating from tengriism. The ceremony is performed when the child first learns how to walk. Kazakhs believed that an invisible rope was tied around the child’s legs preventing the child from walking. A rope had …

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People, Places, Things

Almaty is a pleasant surprise.  Whenever I dreamed about my time abroad, I mostly thought about the academic personality I should expect here.  The whole people, places, things aspect I never completely thought out.  While every new place has its unpleasant surprises, so also it has its own remedies. Being in the city every second …

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Academic Culture- KZ to USA

This fall, I began to teach a class of students on how to write essays in English for college applications. It has easily been one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had since my arrival. The students here have such a thirst for knowledge, regardless of how boring the subject material may be. …

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Why I’m studying Russian in Kazakhstan

My choice to studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan was an unusual pick considering I was a Russian major. But when I went to Moscow for a 6 week study abroad program at Moscow State University I was exposed to Central Asian culture. I took a liking to their cuisine and became interested in this region, …

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Visually Impaired and a Year in Kazakhstan

Individuals with disabilities are often hesitant to study abroad because of the lack of infrastructure in less developed countries along with the fear of not getting support. As a person who is visually impaired and understands these challenges, I would like to share my experience studying abroad in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Along with linguistic and cultural …

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Study Abroad in Kazakhstan!

Kazakhstan is the biggest of the "Stan" countries and boasts a rich cultural history and geographic diversity. The two official languages in Kazakhstan are Kazakh and Russian, and luckily American Councils offers programs for both languages! Our programs are based in the former capital, Almaty. It is the most populous city in Kazakhstan and known as …

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Life Beyond the City

We recently went on a three-day excursion that was filled with both beautiful views and new experiences. We left Almaty on a Friday and traveled by bus to our first destination: Charyn Canyon. Despite the occasional falling of rain and sounds of thunder, we walked through the canyon and even had some time to relax …

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