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British people in Kazakhstan. Why Astana is more comfortable than London


British people in Kazakhstan. Why Astana is more comfortable than London

Joe Scott, 30, hometown — Manchester, musician, teacher, founder of Scott's Music Room


I came to Kazakhstan in 2011 as a teacher at Haileybury school. By that time I had just graduated from Cambridge University and Cardiff.

I was impressed with Astana and fell in love with the city. Here I met my wife, her name is Gauhar, and we have a beautiful daughter, Amelie.

Recently, in 2018, we opened a music school for children Scott's Music Room. We teach interactive music lessons on European methods. Our students are children from 4 to 11 years old.

Usually, in the morning, I am preparing for classes at school. We go to school with the whole family and spend almost the whole day there because the first lesson starts at 10:30 and the last one ends at 18:00.

I like Astana because it is not a very busy city. When I'm in London, I feel uncomfortable, especially in the London underground, where there are a lot of people. It is pleasant to work in Astana, especially in the left part of the city.

People here are friendly and kind. I like spending time with the locals. My Eastern family is a Kazakh family and I often come across culture and traditions.

My Eastern family is a Kazakh family and I often come across culture and traditions

Our family often meets with expats and their families, they are our friends. We have meetings on Monday evenings. Many of them work in embassies and international schools. I also have friends who are fond of jazz music. I play the piano and the trombone.

In Astana, I like to walk around the city in parks, on the waterfront. I don't really like active places in the city. However, recently in Astana opened Zhetysu park, and it's cool, as well as the Arai park. The state takes care of it, and it's great.


I cannot say that there are many similarities between the Kazakhs and the British. Kazakhs are hospitable. Even if you just ran to someone's home, you will be met with a huge number of treats, a rich table. There is no such thing in the UK. If you go to someone's house, the most you can count on is tea.

If you are a foreigner in Astana, you have a lot of opportunities, and you can count on respect and a warm welcome from the locals.

I plan to stay in Astana and develop a music school. We will add lessons in songwriting, drumming, and other instruments. In time, it would be great to start an orchestra. I want to teach children music and develop a variety of areas in new and interesting ways.

Deborah Cole, 42, hometown — London, teacher


I arrived in Kazakhstan in August, I'm working as a teacher in the school QSI Astana in classes for children five years of age.

I live in a residential complex Family Village, where mostly live local people. I meet expats mostly at school. There are also many local colleagues. We get along well, but it's too early to say we're friends, it takes time.

I have not yet had time to travel, walk. But I managed to catch the fancy of "Astana Opera". I have been to local shopping malls, Nazarbayev University campus. I was also in the Museum, where was an exhibition with a variety of photos of Astana of the Soviet time.

My weekdays are at work. In the morning I take my daughters to school, and then I go to work, where I am until four in the evening. The rest of the time is occupied by household Affairs.

I like to go out to restaurants and cafes. I noticed that it is not cheap compared to other Central Asian countries, I lived in Turkmenistan for eight years. I see a big difference in people's lives, and everything is much more expensive here.

Life in Astana is different from life in Ashgabat and London

Life in Astana is different from life in Ashgabat and London. To describe, it is enough to say that there is only one shopping center in Ashgabat.

London is a cultural city. There are many places for walks, parks, alleys. Astana for me does not look like a city for walking. Although I think it takes time for my opinion to change.

I plan to travel around the country. I want to visit various fairs, craft workshops in the open air. I also want to get acquainted with the Kazakhs, the elders, who adhere to the traditions to learn more about the culture.

In General, people here are friendly and always ready to help.

I'm thinking of going to Almaty to see the mountains. I love snow, I can ski and snowboard. So I want to try to ski there.

Stefan Ros, hometown — Manchester, teacher


I work in China at an international British school.

I didn't live in Kazakhstan, I was just passing through. But, the country made a great impression on me.

I was in Almaty and did not expect to see such a nice city and nice people. I managed to walk around the city, I had lunch in a Russian restaurant and even took a taxi. To be honest, I did not quite understand what I was eating, because, for me, this soup was a novelty. I was walking through the green streets and was impressed by the huge squirrel.

The people I met hardly spoke English, but everyone was willing to help. There was one moment when I needed help, I was trying to deal with the bus system, and I asked a woman to explain to me how it works, but she didn't speak English, so she called a friend to help me on the phone.

In the near future I would like to come to Kazakhstan as a tourist and spend more time, but not in winter. They say that winters in Kazakhstan are tough.

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