Karlygash Kussainova: My Six Years Old Dream Came True
Four University of Central Asia undergraduate students from Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan attended an International Summer Programme at the Institute of Continuing Education of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. UCA students enrolled in two-week undergraduate level Interdisciplinary, Business and Entrepreneurship summer programmes, which was funded by UCA, and shared their experiences in a series of reflections. This piece was written by Karlygash Kussainova, UCA sophomore student from Kazakhstan, studying Computer Science at UCA's Naryn campus.
I remember the first day I entered high school at age 14, I met representatives from the University of Cambridge, and was so excited to find out more. Old castles, ancient colleges and modern studies amazed me and opened my eyes. Six years later, I had an amazing opportunity to participate in the International Summer Programme at the University of Cambridge in Interdisciplinary studies, thanks to the University of Central Asia (UCA). This opportunity provided me with much experience and amusement, and I enjoyed both the academic programme and leisure time.
The Interdisciplinary Summer Programme encouraged its students to choose three main disciplines and attend plenary lectures. I took courses on “Medieval Science: The Not So Dark Ages”, “Sustainability: Creating a More Sustainable World”, and “International Development: Competing Discourses and Current Challenges.” The main reason that I chose these courses is due to the Liberal Arts year that University of Central Asia (UCA) offers, as courses at UCA cover history, policy and sciences in general. Although disciplines and subjects that I studied are not directly related to my major, they made me think about my behavior, career path, and I learnt about the importance of technological progress in international development and resolving current challenges. I also broadened my knowledge of history and found a lot of correlations between Central Asian and European history. Last, but not least, I had a great experience studying with a diverse group of people from completely different backgrounds and age groups.
This experience has influenced me in many ways, as I am now more strongly considering building a career path in data science. I also saw how people fight climate change every day, and this has inspired me to start doing some of the same things in my hometown.
My leisure time and non-academic activities were also full of fun and entertainment. I had a chance to visit some of the main tourist sites in London, as well as old colleges, Shakespeare plays, gardens, and restaurants in Cambridge. Throughout the 2-week course, I was able to make friends from the USA, Finland, Poland, China and Japan. Overall, this experience was long awaited, unexpected, spontaneous, well-organised, academically engaging, full of joy and fun. My 6 year-old dream came true, and made me understand that all I need is to truly believe and work hard.