Student experiences - Kazakhstan

Dulat Omar - MSc Public Policy

Dulat OmarFrom an early age I had a keen interest in current affairs and how the influence of politics controls the world, and I was interested in studying abroad in a course of public policy. As a broad career sector, public policy encompasses a number of widely divergent career paths, from economist and sociologist roles to government executive, elected official, and government appointee positions. Public policymakers can establish careers in international governmental organizations, state and local government, and global businesses, nongovernmental and non-profit sectors.

Since I started to research for a suitable university in the UK through websites of universities, I had opportunity to learn a lot of information about Bristol University. I was interested in the advancement of the university, its history, traditions and future prospects. Of course, accommodation prices, weather conditions, and the transport system in Bristol were also crucial in my choice. Furthermore, I visited a few cities in England from north and to south including London. Consequently, I chose Bristol because the University of Bristol has had a very good academic reputation over the years and it is also well-known for its quality of students’ life. Bristol has so much to offer for international students.

I came to Bristol to study and live in England, to experience British atmospheres. Sometimes I like to walk around the city, and run into amazing historical spots and sites I never even knew existed. There are so many fascinating things to see and experience here that it would take several lifetimes to even begin to grasp a small portion of it.

The University and the city of Bristol itself are both steeped in tradition and history. The most encouraging part of my experience here though, has been the people. The friendly nature of the locals combined with a healthy amount of curiosity on my part has led to some interesting conversations and friendships. From the Christmas pantomimes to the explosive celebration of Bonfire Night, if you allow yourself to really become a part of the culture – you will come away with a top- notch education and stories that can never be rivaled.

I am eager to pursue academic life in England and I excited to begin a new Era of my life at the University of Bristol as I think it is an important step forwards in my life. I look forward to the challenge of an academic course.

Aiman Yedigeyeva - MSc Economics, Finance and Management

Aiman YedigeyevaWhy did I choose Bristol? In the 2009 rankings, it was in the top 10 among UK universities, and in the top 35 universities in the world. I desired a degree related to both economics and finance, and for some reason other unis offered nothing of that kind. What totally sold Bristol to me was that alumni are recognized in the City, and Sir Winston Churchill was the University's third Chancellor. Well, that was reason enough for me.

Please do not be fooled by different types of rankings, though: you will not find the University of Bristol in business school rankings, but that is only because no MBA program is offered. Everything, starting from the outstanding libraries to the office hours of awesome professors and encouraging tutors to supportive staff has helped me learn the subject and develop my analytic potential. Plus, I knew that in London I would be distracted by various leisure temptations. In Bristol, however, I am able to concentrate on my studies and not sacrifice the fun part, either.

What I like most about Bristol is that it is a truly British city, with “hands-on” opportunities to learn about history and culture, located close to major sights in UK.

I live in the heart of the city in Dean’s Court, one of the postgraduate accommodation halls, which is close to almost everything a postgraduate student needs: your studies, nature, shopping or attractions exploration. It takes me 5 minutes to be on the riverside to see the “SS Great Britain” steamship that used to cross oceans in 1843, 3 min to get to Brandon Hill Nature Park with wildlife you will hardly find in heart of any other city, which also has a tower named after John Cabot, who sailed to the USA 500 years ago, and a 1 min to a fountain/floral area at the bottom of the Park Street.

It is challenging to study at one of the best universities, however, the British system enables me to graduate within 1 year, an opportunity I am grateful to have.  To get away from the stress of studies, I have joined the University of Bristol Hot Air Ballooning Society!

If you are planning to study in Bristol which is a superb place you may find the advice from the President of British Alumni Club Kazakhstan (BACK), Alibek Umirzhanov, useful:
1. Study hard but also take care of your health - make use of the Sports Centre and the great pool.
2. Use your free time wisely: improve your skills, learn new foreign language(s), travel around, because once you start your job you won't have time to do these things. The International Office and also BISC organize cheap day-trips to other places in the UK.
3. Stick to your deadlines: never leave your work until the night before, and give yourself time to prepare for essays. Try to read the supporting documents, articles and books in advance.

I hope you enjoy your studies like I do!

Zhanat Tutesheva - MEd Educational Leadership, Policy and Development

Zhanat TuteshevaHello, I'm Zhanat and I’m from the beautiful city of Taraz in Kazakhstan.  I’m currently studying a postgraduate degree in Educational Leadership, Policy and Development at Bristol University.

As it is known, competitiveness of a nation is firstly defined by the educational level of the country, so in this competitive world it is crucial to learn from successful experiences of developed countries. Britain, in particular, is prominent by its powerful knowledge economy in the world arena and having the opportunity to study here gives me a great chance to gain knowledge and develop world views.

Having this personal opportunity, through winning a ‘Bolashak Presidential Scholarship ’, I chose the University of Bristol for its Master course in Educational Leadership, which involves very important aspects such as Policy and Development in Education, Comparative and International Research in Education.

The course itself is designed to develop our skills as managers and leaders in this sphere and to teach us about the policy making in education in a global context. Teaching methodology is directed to developing the critical and analytical thinking of students, and helps us to participate in discourses by sharing our personal and professional views and I find it very interesting to have discussions and debates with people from around the world. Although it is challenging, I take pleasure in discovering totally new things for me and the warm atmosphere in the university makes learning enjoyable.

The teachers are very open and kind; they take care of the students’ needs and find students' comments valuable contributions to the study at this university. They arrange tutorials, meetings and parties where students can discuss everything relating to their study or personal lives. I feel really happy being a student of my teachers at Bristol University who always support me and give right directions in learning.

I enjoy the life in this city as well, as it has very interesting places to go and activities to do. There are many social clubs in the Students' Union which are convenient to attend. I attend ballroom dances and Bristol has a Latin American and Ballroom Dancing Society, which arranges competitions around the country.

Bristol is also well located for visiting other areas around the UK and Europe, to visit historical places, such as ancient palaces and museums. The nature is very beautiful in Bristol, with swans in the harbourside and green areas around the city. I also enjoy the warm weather in Bristol as it is situated in the South of England. I love the city, my teachers and group mates and will miss them very much after returning back to my country…

Dinara Saliyeva - MSc Public Policy

Dinara SaliyevaHello, I am Dinara Saliyeva from Kazakhstan. I am doing a Masters degree in Public Policy at the School for Policy Studies. Before I came to Bristol, I was worried about things like finding my accommodation because it was my first stay in the UK, but everything had been arranged before my arrival by the Meet and Greet Service offered by the University. When I arrived, I was met by Student Ambassadors who helped me to get started here and who are now my good friends.

I am really enjoying my studies and my stay in Bristol. It is a friendly and multinational city that combines the historical and high-tech. For example the SS Great Britain ship and the Clifton Suspension Bridge are among the many historical attractions. It is very inspiring when you are standing on the top of the Suspension Bridge looking at the gorgeous landscape - you feel a bit like this is the realisation of your dream! As for the newer city attractions, there is Millennium Square, where I like to go with my friends - it is a lovely place to relax after working hard in class.

I am interested in housing and urban development as these are among the current issues being tackled in Kazakhstan and in Astana, its rapidly developing capital city. So I was pleased to find that the School offers a unit on Cities, Housing and Public Policy. I chose this as an elective unit and I would like to conduct further research in this particular area. The unit explores social, economic and political aspects of urban growth on a global scale. It also dwells on new forms of urban governance and has given me an opportunity to study the experience of developed countries. The course also offers a unit on the Economics of Public Policy where I have learned about economics-based policy analysis and using economics as a basis for the policy making process. Apart from my studies I have a social life as well! There is a myriad of student societies and I am a member of the Public Speaking Society which really helps me to enhance my public speaking skills. From time to time, we have very interesting meetings with politicians and professional trainers in public speaking who share their experiences of being a public figure and delivering speeches. I also belong to the Bristol Kazakh Society. We are a group of enthusiastic young people who are all living a long way from our home country. The society gives us the chance to celebrate our national holidays and explore the UK with other students from Kazakhstan.

In Bristol I have met people from almost every continent and I am learning something new from my international friends every day, be it their language, culture or socio-political system. I have had such a positive experience here in the UK and with the multinational environment here at Bristol, the whole experience has certainly contributed to my personal development. I have found my soul-city – it is definitely Bristol!

Ulzhan Akhmetova - MSc Environmental Policy and Management Ulzhan Akhmetova

I am Ulzhan Akhmetova from Astana in Kazakhstan - one of the youngest capitals in the world. Before choosing a university I thoroughly gathered information about universities that I was interested in. I heard about the University of Bristol from some friends who have done their undergraduate degrees here. They shared their impressions about this University saying that it is amazing place to live and study as well. The city has been described as a place which is full of life, joy with lots of sightseeing.

Currently I am doing a Master degree in Environmental Policy and Management at the School of Geographical Sciences. This department has a high rank amongst UK Universities and a very good reputation. Moreover, my course is a new programme at the University of Bristol and it is something special to be the first graduates of the MSc in Environmental Policy and Management course. I chose this subject since it is connected to my undergraduate degree and my current job since I work as a civil servant in the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

I found the course challenging but interesting. It requires a lot of efforts, hard work and strong willingness to achieve good results from your study. Critical thinking, constant evaluation and analyses were very demanding.

Life in England is not only about studying. It is also about interaction with different people from diverse nationalities such as classmates, flatmates and teachers. You can learn from each of them something new which enables you to reflect your life from different angles.  In addition, life in England enables you to be responsible for all your activities and thoughts, allows you to be independent, to take risks and not be afraid of changes in your life.

I live in one of the university accommodations Chantry Court, which is located in the center of Bristol and accordingly can be characterised as a very vivid place.

I have a lot of favourite places in Bristol. One of them is the Clifton Suspension Bridge. The bridge is a symbol of the city. When you take a walk over the bridge you can experience a spectacular view of the landscape and the surrounding area. At night, illuminated bridge looks amazing against the evening sky.

I enjoy my life in Bristol. I like my classmates and teachers and I hope we will stay in touch after our graduation as well. I have had so many positive experiences which definitely fostered personal and hopefully professional growth as well. I believe that all knowledge and skills I acquired from my master contribute in a career advance and improve the adverse ecological situation in Kazakhstan.

For those who are interested in studying in Bristol I can only recommend the University of Bristol. The University is really good, academic staff is very strong and the University has all facilities that students require for successful studies.

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