Kazakhstan

Ronin Aitu – BA Drama

Why did you choose to study your particular subject at the University of Exeter?
My brother used to study here and he recommended this peaceful and friendly city. He’d also often tell me about his teachers and their creative methods that made lessons engaging and that they are understanding of one’s struggles.

What are the best aspects of studying at the University?
1. One of my lectures shaved half of his beard just to deliver the main idea that we needed to take from the lecture. And that’s just one example of many funny moments during the lectures and seminars that made me feel very enthusiastic about my course, since they were so passionate. 

2. Also I have many hobbies and I was glad to find out that there were facilities and societies that would allow me enjoy my free time doing what I like, like playing on piano or video editing.

Describe your typical day at the University (specific work tasks, modules, your timetable etc).
My weekly timetable consists of group meeting during each we brainstorm ideas, devise plays or short performances that we need to show to fellow Drama-students in order to receive feedbacks. And in the end of the module, we’d put on a show, where our friends and teachers watch us.

How would you describe the vibe on campus? What is your favourite place on campus and why?
I especially liked the place between Forum and INTO building during spring or autumn time, where people sit outside to have a lunch and chat. It always reminded me of the scenes from movies and I’d smile, cause that’s how university should feel like.

What is your favourite thing to do in Exeter and the local region and where do you like to go?
One of my hobbies is parkour/freerunning and I found many many friends with whom I could train together. It didn’t matter that my English wasn’t good and I found it hard to explain myself in the beginning; my newfound friends would always welcome me to join on top of the Quay Car Park.

What is the best thing about studying with students from all around the world?
When you’re at home country, it is harder to find yourself because of the standards and cultural expectations, but witnessing so many people with different views, styles and preferences allowed me to experiment with who I can be and who I prefer to be. Because of our differences, I realised everyone became quite welcoming and if something felt strange in the home country, here it didn’t at all.

What is your favourite memory of the University of Exeter so far?
My favourite memory would be a performance for the assessment that we showed to students and teachers after 9 weeks of hard work. I had to repeat my lines, rehearse my movements and ask my groupmates for their opinion over and over again, because I was very worried. In the end, I was able to perform well and feel for the first time not as an international student, but as just a student and an actor like my friends.

Is there any advice you would give to students back home who might be thinking about studying at the University?
It might seem scary and stressful to study abroad, but after some time you will look back and chuckle to yourself for worrying in vain.

Has anything about your experiences to date at the University / in the UK surprised you?
I guess, when I realised that people around me are students just like the ones that are at home, who can be lazy, come late, laugh at the same jokes, listen to the same music, worry about exams and sigh with relief when they’re done.

 

Ronin Aitu – BA Drama

Zarina Konkasheva - Business and Management

Why did you choose to study your particular subject at the University of Exeter?
Studying at the University of Exeter was a privilege for someone who was born in the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic to a family of modest financial means. Despite the lack of wealth, my family was never short on imagination or ambition. My parents envisioned a great future for me and started realizing their vision by relocating to the new capital of our country, Astana, and sponsoring my education in the city's only international school Miras International School. In the 9th grade I embarked upon a summer school trip to Bournemouth, U.K. a city to which I returned after graduation to study at the Foundations program. This program was my ticket to the University of Exeter. I chose to study at Exeter for two reasons. Firstly, it was on the list of universities that offered students at my college in Bournemouth an opportunity to study 2 instead of 3 years at certain bachelor programs. Secondly, Exeter according to numerous rankings in 2007 was the best on that list. Exeter accepted me into its 2nd year of a 3year Bachelor of Arts in Business and Management program. I am grateful to Exeter not only because it helped saved my parents one year of tuition, but also because it helped me join the workforce a year earlier than my school mates. At 21 years old I was the youngest in a project management division at the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange, a company I joined postgraduation. 4 years later I was responsible for the management of the division, becoming the youngest middle manager in the history of the company.

What are the best aspects of studying at the University?
The University of Exeter exceeded my wildest dreams about education in the United Kingdom. Exeter offered more than excellent teaching and helpful staff. It offered great atmosphere for collaboration among students by providing an allinclusive campus rich in various facilities from book shops and libraries to clubs and cafes. Also Exeter offered an opportunity to explore contemporary culture from an academic point of view by providing a subject such as The Code of the Da Vinci a course on marketing based on a bestselling book. I enjoyed most of my subjects at Exeter. However, there was one that I enjoyed the most so much so that it became my path to a future career Event Management, also known as BEM3018. I learned the subject from both theoretical and practical points of view. Before graduation Professor Barton offered a handful of my classmates, myself included, an opportunity to help him organizing and running Exeter Respect in the Park, a 2day event in summer of 2009. But most of all I am grateful to Exeter for my friendships that I built during my studies. Istanbul, Moscow, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, New York these famous cities are not only my business travel destinations, but also places where my friends from Exeter live and work.

Do you have any advice for current students wishing to pursue your career?
Ask questions and listen to answers. A good manager, in my opinion, is foremost a good communicator. It is important for a manager to make sure that good decisions are being made. I started my career in project management an area that was in nascent state of its development in Kazakhstan. My then boss urged me to obtain a professional certification in the area of project management in order to stay at the forefront of my career. I followed her advise and obtained a certificate in 2015. But most importantly I joined a network of professionals that to this day help me improve my knowledge and skills in project management.

 

Zarina Konkasheva - Business and Management

Dinara Kozhabekova - MPA

Why did you choose to study your particular subject at the University of Exeter?
As a Head of one of Departments in local government in Astana (Kazakhstan), I always aim to prove myself as a literate, competent manager, having organizational skills, able to consistently introduce new reforms and methods in my work. My work experience have enabled me to see great prospects for development and the capacity to build a political, economic and financial market, and I understand the importance of having highly qualified personnel in this field. Therefore, I wished to study MPA in the UK, analysing the experience of developed countries, and deepening my knowledge in order to develop and sharpen my skills and ideas. 

What are the best aspects of studying at the University? 
MPA course is very strong and intensive, the modules specified in the curriculum are crucial to this area of study, and I consider them very essential, especially the module in Risk, responsibility, Regulation; Policy Analysis and Evaluation; and Regulation and Reform, which are essential for the implementation of reforms in government.
At the first time, for me, the format of relations between lecturers and students was unaccustomed - equal and partner, informal and friendly. 

Describe your typical day at the University.
A typical day at the University: The course was not similar to other programs, it was specific. Usually, we received a list of recommended literature, which we had to study in a week! Then we had a week of lectures and seminars, where we received a more concise and generalized material and could ask questions of interest to us on the covered topic. The day began and ended in the library.The main thing that I understand - if you do everything on time and do not leave for tomorrow, you can do everything perfectly and without haste!

How would you describe the vibe on campus? What is your favourite place on campus and why?
University of Exeter is famous for its friendly and inspiring atmosphere, and the Streatham campus is very comfortable and well organized. The campus has a good location, all buildings are within walking distance of each other (convenient to the student library, Forum offering different Student Services and shops).
My favourite place was the Forum because you can contact the Forum staff on any issue - they will definitely help!

What is your favourite thing to do in Exeter and the local region and where do you like to go?
I really enjoyed traveling around Exeter. Beautiful picturesque places, nature, hills ... where you can relax from city fuss and study. These beautiful places I will always remember.

What do you want to do when you finish your current course? 
I have already returned to Kazakhstan and continue to work in public service. I had a contract before going to study in the UK - to back and work on my specialty. What did the studies give me? Promotion of the career and most importantly it is the experience, knowledge gained in the UK. It's priceless!

What is your favourite memory of the University of Exeter so far?
Graduation date! The graduation ceremony is the most solemn moment in the life of the student, the culmination of the entire period of study. The ceremony was full of traditions, which is typical for England. For students and for me in particular, it was the most exciting moment in my life. When you rise to the applause of the audience on scene ... and proud of your next achievement ... It is worth studying!

Is there any advice you would give to students back home who might be thinking about studying at the University?
If you have a dream and a strong desire to study - do it and do not be shy and afraid!

Dinara Kozhabekova - MPA

Almas Issakov - MPA

Why did you choose to study your particular subject at the University of Exeter?
There are 3 main reasons why I have chosen Master`s on Public Administration at Exeter University:
Firstly, Exeter University gives an opportunity to write research works instead of taking traditional exams. Thanks to this, I can choose the topic of research works that is relevant to my country or the field that I work in. In the future, these research works could serve as a good theoretical basis for the implementation of practical actions.
Secondly, Exeter University provides an extensive list of additional modules to study, while the differentiation of credits allows to select more than three additional modules, which provides an excellent opportunity for a comprehensive study of the theoretical basis.
Thirdly, according to National Student Survey 93% of MPA students in 2016 satisfied with teaching quality. This demonstrates the high qualification of Exeter University teaching team, which is very important to obtain qualitative knowledge.

What are the best aspects of studying at the University? 
Friendly and qualified teachers and supporting administrative team positively predispose me to study, and a wide base of teaching materials, as well as modern campuses and technologically equipped library greatly facilitate my learning process.

How would you describe the vibe on campus? What is your favourite place on campus and why?
The vibe on the campus is very friendly, many students from different countries study here, we are all work together that allows us not only to improve teamwork skills, but also allows us to exchange with our experience, knowledge, and culture. I spend a lot of time in Forum library, reading a lot of literature on Public Administration and completely immersed in student life.

What is your favourite thing to do in Exeter and the local region and where do you like to go?
Exeter is very beautiful city with a lot of place to visit and walk, such as Exeter Cathedral, Princesshay Shopping Centre or Exeter Riverside. But my favourite place is Exeter University`s Park, there are a lot of different trees, bushes and flowers. You can see jumping and playing squirrels and rabbits. It is so quiet there that this atmosphere can help to relax and enjoy such amazing view. 

What is the best thing about studying with students from all around the world?
Different countries, different people, different cultures and traditions are all concentrated at Exeter University. That is excellent opportunity to study with students from different parts of the world because you can learn new things about their life, culture, country and their experience on certain things such as political or economic experience of their country, if you are studying Public Administration.

What do you want to do when you finish your current course? How is your experience at the University helping you towards this goal?
Upon returning to Kazakhstan, I am planning to continue my work at the Ministry of National Economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and, based on my knowledge gained at the University of Exeter, I will try to make a greater contribution to the development of my country.

Is there any advice you would give to students back home who might be thinking about studying at the University?
The only thing I can advise all those who want to study at one of the best UK universities is to believe in yourself, strive for a dream and you, just like me, will get your ticket for the dream and, undoubtedly, you will study here. Set your goals and strive to them.

Almas Issakov - MPA

Regional Manager

Andy Rowe

International Students Handbook

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