Yuan Gao, Shanghai, China (2016 Graduate)
During my two-year study here, I was asked once what is the boldest decision I have made in my life. My answer was: “Studying in Kazakhstan.” Before coming here, Kazakhstan was a completely unknown land for me. I have never been to Central Asia before, and I have never had a single friend from Kazakhstan. Not knowing what was waiting for me, I came with great curiosity and a little bit nervousness. Now, after I have lived in Astana for two years and travelled in different regions of Kazakhstan, I can confidently say that studying in NU is the best decision I have ever made. Studying here with the professional faculty and marvellous Kazakhstani friends will always be a wonderful experience in my life.
In these two years, I was continually amazed by the speed and scope of Kazakhstan’s development. Astana is growing every day, and living here is like being a witness of the history that is being rapidly created. NU is the best example of this progress. I studied as one of the first students in the MA program of Eurasian studies. The professional faculty has taught me much more than I have expected from a new program. They not only shared with us their knowledge about this region, but also their passion, patience and devotion in teaching and research. With them, I am sure that this program will keep developing and become one of the top programs in the study of the Eurasian region. More importantly, I’ve found in this young university and its students the potential and capacity to communicate with the world. Students here are trained as specialists who are ready to participate in international scholarly discussions. As an international student, I’ve clearly seen that Kazakhstani people are creating history, and their voices are being heard in this world. This is something that I really admire, and I’m proud of having worked together with them. Overall, I have had the most wonderful time in this program; I wish my research and experience will bring me back to Kazakhstan one day.
See Yuan’s speech at the 2016 Graduation ceremony.