Kyrgyzstan is a Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions. Joyously unspoilt mountains capes, stark craggy ridges, and rolling summer pastures (jailoos) are brought to life by semi-nomadic, yurt-dwelling shepherd cultures. It has the most liberal tourist visa policy in Central Asia and one of the most progressive post-Soviet governments in the region. This semester Gulzar Muratalyeva, Ernest Salizhanov and Aidai Kanatbekova from International Atatürk-Ala-too University (Kyrgyzstan) studies at Kazimieras Simonavičius University (KSU). How does it look to live in Lithuania and study at KSU from their point of view? Let‘s ask them!
How do you feel in Lithuania?
Gulzar: Studying and experiencing the new culture in Lithuania feels like “being out of a comfort zone” absolutely in a positive way to which majority of people are not used. Living here for almost 2 months broadened my horizons in all spheres of life firstly concerning about getting more matured. Moreover, Vilnius is the city of bright and fresh ideas in street art, which we can find out in each street and that gives a unique and original atmosphere of the city.
Ernest: I feel very good here because it is my first travel and everything is good.
Aidai: I feel good in Lithuania and I like Vilnius. Except very cold days before. There are a lot of beautiful places here, interesting street art.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourselves? What are your interests and hobbies? What would you like to become in the future?
Ernest: I‘m interested in technology engineering. My hobby is playing basketball and kickboxing.
Gulzar: I am in love with art to be specific it is modern and street art especially with the works of “Aykut Aydoğdu” “Wenqing Yan” “Chiara Bautista” “Miho Hirano” and an illustrator “James Zapata”. One of the reasons why I like these unique and talented artists is that I am practicing in drawing and calligraphy. Furthermore, I give a lot of attention to painting, which I have been doing from my early ages. Like majority of youngsters, I give a great preference for listening to the music (“jazz” “country music” “pop” and “RnB”) and I am into playing volleyball, table tennis and swimming. Of course, the major part of my life is considered to the reading of many books of all genres.
If we try to look into the future after finishing my bachelor, I would like to continue studying my Master degree in Germany or in Australia. As long with it, I would like to become a professional simultaneous interpreter and a teacher at the universities.
Aidai: I am interested in psychology and I want to be a psychologist. I love to read psychological books. My favourite one is “When Nietzsche Wept” by Irvin D. Yalom. My hobby is tennis. I like everything about this sport, especially girls’ uniforms. I think tennis is a graceful game.
What do you study at your university in Kyrgyzstan?
Gulzar: I am studying at the 2nd grade of the International Atatürk-Ala-too University in the department of Humanitarian Sciences and my faculty is Simultaneous Interpretation. This branch of studying to be concrete “simultaneous interpreting” is being taught only in our university so it can be said that it is a great opportunity for the future willing translators.
Ernest: In my country, I’m studying simultaneous interpretation.
Aidai: I study Psychology in my country at my International Atatürk-Ala-too University.
What is your impression about your studies at KSU? What do you like the most in KSU studies?
Gulzar: While studying in KSU the most important part, which I liked a lot, was about the “Education system”. To be concrete is a well-qualified professors who are always ready to pay a great attention to the any kind of ideas coming from all students. Also taking into account the interesting lectures in which the teachers are trying not only to cover their duty but also giving a useful information on how to be creative, innovative and fresh minded. What’s more, I really do like my new met intercultural friends with whom we are exchanging all our experiences, knowledge and creating unforgettably funny memories.
Ernest: First of all, attitude of the teachers and their method of teaching. I love atmosphere at KSU. The most I like here is the organization.
Aidai: My impressions about KSU is very good. I like polite people, especially International coordinator Vaiva. The University is very comfortable inside and its location is good. The most in KSU studies I like the teachers. They are simple, their attitude to students is simple, they understand and respect our traveling, and it means they understand when we ask to postpone some exams. Even better thing is our schedule, which lets us travel.
Does studies here and in Kyrgyzstan differ? How?
Ernest: Yes, the method of study.
Gulzar: Studies in Lithuania and Kyrgyzstan differs in some ways. We can illustrate for example the system of taking the exams. In our country, it is stricter but it helps students to study harder. In Lithuania I really like the system of having right to choose the subjects you are interested in and in which you want to major your bachelor degree. It is prevailed to provide the democracy for all the students which is not that much improved in our country. But day after day our education system is developing to catch up with the newest systems of studying which is of course really good for all the youngsters willing to study at the universities in the near future.
Aidai: The studies here is mostly the same as in my University, except the opportunity to choose the lectures. Here we can choose that lectures which we want and need. In our University we have fixed credits which we have to have.
What do you do on your free time here? Do you find any interesting activity?Aidai: Actually, we have a lot of free time here but it passes so fast. We do a lot of activities like jogging together, visiting many new places in the city, ice skating, bowling, clubbing, doing home works together etc.
Gulzar: Each time I have a free time I love to spend it with my friends. It is one of the most interesting parts of my life nowadays because I have great friends from all over the world as France, Germany, Bosnia, Turkey, Spain, and Italy. Each time we are together, we are jogging around, going to ice-skating and at the same time exploring Vilnius and a huge amount of new information, which is extremely amazing. Also I really love reading and drawing.
Ernest: Most of free time I am walking around city.
Do you travel from Lithuania to other EU countries? How do you choose the countries where to travel?
Gulzar: Apart from Vilnius, I have already been to Poland to be specific to Krakow, Auschwitz and Warsaw. We are also planning to go travelling with all my friends to other possible European countries. We don’t choose countries by some specific criteria’s because all of them are original, have some unique charm and we just go there to enjoy and explore it.
Ernest: No, but I’m going to travel in April.
Aidai: Thanks for this opportunity coming here and travel. Traveling was one of my big purposes coming here. It is my first time being here in Europe and I have been in Germany (Berlin), Poland (Warsaw, Gdansk) and Latvia (Riga) and soon in free week studying I’m going to France (Paris). I choose cities to travel by the popular and interesting places to visit, for example in Paris of course I want to see Eiffel Tower and Disneyland!
Is there anything from Kyrgyzstan, which you miss the most while being here?
Gulzar: I really miss my own motherland. I miss the fresh air, which is so fresh every morning, the warm weather, the crystal like pure and blue sky. Furthermore, I miss my language, my cuisine that is so diverse with all its odors and spices. Mountains! Oh yes I miss it so badly because unfortunately in Vilnius I am not able to observe it. However, Lithuania has nature charms in its own unique way, which I really love too.
Ernest: I think my parents. And food.
Aidai: I miss a lot our cuisine and my mom’s meal. However, we cook here in dorm. Thanks to my mom, she taught me cooking so it is ok. Once I wanted to cook “Lagman” and looked for the vegetable green point. I searched whole day in every super market. Finally, I found it on the next day in bazaar.
Is it worth to come here to KSU and Vilnius? Would you recommend studies at KSU for your friends?
Ernest: Of course, I will recommend to my friends to study at KSU.
Gulzar: I will highly recommend for all the future university students to try their best to apply to the KSU and study in Lithuania. This is one of those universities, which are providing for all of us the useful and new facilities of knowledge as long as with giving opportunity to bring our ideas, aims to the reality.
I would also like to recommend Lithuania in general because it is one of those countries, which differs in culture, in art, in sightseeing, in travelling so much that there is only on step to fall in love with it for the whole of the life.
Aidai: I will definitely recommend my friends and students from my University to study at KSU!