Still a new destination for international students, Kazakhstan is already garnering an impressive reputation for higher education. Kazakhstan is a Central Asian powerhouse, and is one of the wealthier countries in that area. The country is a mixing pot of ethnicities, which diversifies the culture and education system.
More than 50,000 international students enrol in Kazakhstan’s world ranked universities each year. The country is welcoming to international citizens, both students and civilians. Only around 66% of residents are native Kazakhs, making the country ethnically diverse.
There are 5 of Kazakhstan’s universities in the 2023 QS World University Rankings top 500. The highest ranked of these is Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, which is placed at 150th. Higher education in Kazakhstan is divided into three levels. You can study at a Basic College, which provides fundamental education and allows you to gain a bachelor’s degree. You can also gain specialist diplomas in specific areas of education. To gain a masters degree, you will need to join a scientific programme, which takes 3 to 6 years to complete. This developing system produces graduates who are prepared for their next step in life, which a suitable and quality award.
Officially the Republic of Kazakhstan and located in Central Asia, Kazakhstan is home to over 17.9 million people. Bordered by 5 countries, Kazakhstan is the largest landlocked country in the world. The country generates 60% of the region’s GDP, mainly through its oil and gas industry. As well as bordering with other countries, it also shares a large border with the Caspian Sea.
The terrain of Kazakhstan is varied, from deserts and flatlands to rock canyons and snow-capped mountains. It has a large land area, which means that its population density is one of the lowest in the world. Kazakhstan has around 131 ethnicities, including Kazakhs, Russians, Uzbeks, Ukrainians and Germans. About 70% of the country’s population practice Islam as their religion, with 26% of people practicing Christianity. However, Kazakhstan officially allows freedom of religion. The culture in Kazakhstan is very different to that of Western countries, but studying there would be a great way to have a truly different experience.
Kazakhstan uses the Tenge (KZT) at its currency.
Your tuition fees will depend on where you choose to study and at what level, as well as whether the institution is public or private. On average, you should expect to pay between $200/€175 and $4,000/€3,500. There are a wide variety of scholarships offered by institutions, assessed by academic excellence or financial situation.
Your living costs will depend on where you choose to stay for the duration of your course. If you live in a bigger city then you will pay more than in a smaller city. On average, you should budget for between $1,000/€900 and $1,500/€1,400 per month. This accounts for your accommodation, groceries and travel.
If you wish to study in Kazakhstan as an international student, you will need to first obtain a student visa. This can only be done once you have received an offer from an institution. To do this, you should go to the Kazakh embassy or consulate in your home country. There are several documents you will need to provide to go with your application. Within 5 days of your arrival in the country, you will need to register with the local authorities.
There are two different official languages of Kazakhstan; Kazakh and Russian.
Whilst it would be useful to have knowledge of the Kazakh or Russian language to study in Kazakhstan, there are an increasing amount of courses offered in English. If you choose to study in a non-native language, you will likely have to prove your proficiency. If you do not meet the required standards, it is common for universities in Kazakhstan to offer language courses to help you improve.
Even if you are able to study in English, you should make an effort to learn as much Kazakh and Russian as possible. Communicating with the locals and other students is a perfect way to practice. This is a skill that will look great on your CV/resume!
The capital city of Kazakhstan, Astana is home to over 1 million people. The city has been Kazakhstan’s capital since 1997, and has developed into one of the most modernised cities in Central Asia. In the city there are lots of futuristic buildings designed by famous architects.
Located in Astana you will find many universities. These include the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, which is the biggest university in the city. Also in Astana is the Nazarbayev University, which is an autonomous research institution.
The largest city in Kazakhstan, Almaty is home to almost 1.8 million people. Between 1929 and 1997, it served as the capital of the country. Almaty is the major commercial and cultural centre of Kazakhstan, and is located in the mountainous area in the south of the country.
There are several higher education institutions in Almaty. These include Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, which is the highest ranked Kazakh university. There are also field-specific institutions, for example, the Kazakh Academy of Sciences and the Kazakh-British Technical University.
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