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Students from Kazakhstan on how they received grants to Universities in the US and Abu Dhabi
1248

06.06.2019

Students from Kazakhstan on how they received grants to Universities in the US and Abu Dhabi

Selimzhan Chalyshkan, 18 years old, hometown — Almaty, 12th-grade student of Nazarbayev Intellectual School of physics and mathematics of Almaty city

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I was admitted to two universities: New York University in Abu Dhabi and Harvard University. I chose Harvard because it has a long history. My parents, relatives and friends were all for this University.

Harvard University gave me a full grant with a scholarship. The University covers tuition, accommodation, meals, health insurance and personal expenses. Harvard University has a wide range of specialities. They have more than 2000 subjects to choose and about 50 specializations. The University has a strong community of graduates, especially among those who graduated from an undergraduate.

I have wanted to enroll Harvard since seventh grade.


About exams


All American universities have similar requirements for the candidate. Harvard University requirements described in detail on the University website. Firstly, you have to pass the SAT the analogue of the UNT in America. There are two types of SAT: general and specialized subjects. The general in English and mathematics and the profile is the subjects of interest. In core subjects, the maximum score is 800. I got math 800, biology 800 chemistry 770 points. International students also take IELTS or TOEFL.

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You also need to write an essay. The questions and topics for the essay depend on the University. Someone asks to write about yourself or the reasons why you chose this University.

Next, you will need letters of recommendation from teachers. I asked for recommendations from an English teacher and a biology and physics teacher. In addition, in the questionnaire, you write personal data and tell about yourself and what you do after hours.

For consideration of the application, you need to pay a fee $75. If the financial condition of the family does not allow to pay, the University can consider the application for free. To do this, the school head teacher or a specialist in career guidance must vouch that the family of the candidate is experiencing financial difficulties. That's how I applied to five universities and did not pay to any of them.


About preparation for exams


I understood from the 9th grade that I need to prepare for admission. I started to take exams and fill out questionnaires in 11-12 grades. I prepared myself without tutors because I'm more comfortable on my own. In addition, the school itself gives a good base.

At Harvard, as in many American universities, you choose a speciality at the beginning of the second year. However, when I prepared a package of documents, I noted I would like to study biological sciences in the future.


About what helped to enroll


I think participation in Olympiads helped me to enroll in Harvard. I have participated in the Republican Olympiad in biology from the 9th grade. In the 11th grade, I won gold at the Republican Olympiad and got into the national team of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At the International Olympiad Games, I awarded a bronze medal.

Since the 11th grade, I have been engaged in robotics. My partner and I are doing a project — a device that recognizes the text and translates it into Braille. Thus, we are working on the availability of resources for blind people.


Recommendations for applicants


Many people think it is impossible to enroll a University like Harvard without money. In fact, Harvard University is a generous University. The website of the University says that if the family earns less than $65,000 a year, the University might provide you with a full grant and a scholarship.

The advice is given by the admissions committee, and the students are to be yourself from beginning to end, not to lie and not to attribute to yourself achievements that are not yours

The advice from the admissions committee and the students are to be yourself from beginning to end, not to lie and not to attribute to yourself achievements that are not yours.

Carefully study the websites of universities, and all the necessary information is there. You can also write them a letter, ask something unclear. And most importantly — do not be afraid.

After graduation, I plan to return to Kazakhstan and hope that the knowledge and skills that I will gain will be useful here.


Asem Sagynova, 19 years old, hometown — Uralsk, 12th-grade student of Nazarbayev Intellectual School of physics and mathematics of Uralsk city

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In March 2019, I received a letter that the University of Arizona gave me the grant to study at the faculty of architecture. Since childhood, I have been a creative person, created unusual crafts and paintings. Therefore, for me was important to choose a profession that combines precision, creativity and art. My choice fell on the speciality of an architect.

In high school, I thought about University where I will be able to get a qualified education in this speciality. I talked a lot with experts in the field of architecture, design and engineering, studied information about universities around the world. Eventually, I chose the University of Arizona

According to Forbes magazine, the University of Arizona is one of the best in terms of price and quality. In the Universities ranking of The Times, it occupies the 159th place more than 90% of graduates of the faculty of architecture got a job in their speciality.

An important factor for me was that the University gave a lot of opportunities to get discounts on education.


About exams


For admission to the University of Arizona, you need to have an IELTS certificate with a score not less than 6, SAT with a score not less than 580 and a minimum average score of 4. For students applying to the faculty of architecture, it is required to have a portfolio with examples of creative works.

For admission to the University of Arizona, you need to have an IELTS certificate with a score not less than 6, SAT with a score not less than 580 and a minimum average score of 4.

You need to register for the exams online to get the IELTS and SAT certificate. Registration on IELTS takes place on the British Council website and registration on SAT on the collegeboard website. Next, you must select the city in which you would like to take the exam and the date. The average cost is from 50 to 70 thousand tenge for each of the exams, but our school provides students with the opportunity to pass IELTS free of charge.


About preparation for exams


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We were trained for IELTS in high school. The most important thing is to know the structure of the exam and calculate the time correctly. During preparation, it is useful to pass trial tests that can be found on the Internet.

I was familiar with the structure of IELTS and its features, so it took me about three months of preparation to get a good result. At the exam, I was helped by the fact that I watch videos of foreign bloggers and movies in English. It develops skills such as speaking and listening well.

I consider the SAT to be a more difficult exam and think preparation for it should begin in six months or more beforehand. This exam includes the solution of mathematical tasks and text analysis. All materials for preparation for SAT are present on the official website.


About what helped to enroll


I think I was helped by the knowledge I received from my teachers, diligence, dedication, as well as the support of close people and professionals who shared their experiences and opinions with me.


Recommendations for applications


The main thing is to take the first steps in advance, look for information and not be afraid to ask for help or advice from knowledgeable people. Many will be happy to share their knowledge, and then be proud of your achievements. Foreign universities have departments for working with foreign students, where you will be answered all the questions.

I would like to contribute to the development of my country. Therefore, after graduation from the University, I plan to apply all the knowledge in Kazakhstan and direct them to the development of our architecture.


Adi Bauyzhanuly, 17 years old, hometown — Almaty, 12th-grade student of Nazarbayev Intellectual School of physics and mathematics of Almaty city

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I was admitted to two universities: New York University in Abu Dhabi and Bocconi University. I plan to study at New York University in Abu Dhabi. This is a new University founded thanks to the diplomatic relations of New York University and the UAE. It is considered one of the most generous universities in the world. I was given a full grant, which covers not only the cost of training but also accommodation, flights and everything else.


About exams


I took the American SAT exam. It consists of two parts: mathematics at the basic level and verbal part — English: reading and spelling. At the same time, you can take other types of SAT in specific subjects: physics, chemistry, biology and a more complicated version of mathematics. It depends on what the student is interested in, and different faculties require different subjects. The test shows how academically savvy people are.

In English and mathematics, I scored 1520 points out of 1600, in physics 730 and in mathematics in a complicated version 750 out of 800 points. Many American universities do not have the concept of a threshold score. American universities have a situational approach. A person can do with less result, for example, in Harvard. But you also need to understand this student must have developed other aspects of the personality.

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About preparation for exams


Time for preparation depends on how well a person knows English, mathematics. I advise you to prepare at least a year beforehand. This is important because the formats of exams are not familiar to Kazakhstani students.

I started preparing for the SAT in the 11th grade, for IELTS at the end of 10th and went to special courses. To be honest, if a person wants to go to a foreign University, you can prepare for IELTS yourself. It is more difficult to prepare for the SAT. If you do not have perseverance, patience, I would advise going to the courses.

For Americans, the SAT is much easier. In the mathematical part, everything is fair, we go through all the same as they do, maybe even in some moments, we are stronger. The English part is much more complicated. It's not even the English that IELTS has, there's a much more in-depth language — fiction books level.

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About what helped to enroll


The knowledge I received at school all these years helped me. Also, a big role was played the fact that I began to prepare in advance.

On the Internet many forums that discuss the nuances of the SAT

On the Internet many forums that discuss the nuances of the SAT. There you can find a lot of useful tips. For example, in the reading section, six texts divided by types: artistic, scientific, historical and so on. For me was easier to read the scientific text about DNA and more difficult artistic. So I started with a scientific text, although it was the third in a row.


Recommendations for applicants


You need to understand this is a really hard process, which might be not effective, even if you have put a lot of effort, so do not be disappointed.

I consider myself a patriot and after finishing education I plan to return to Kazakhstan, to try my hand and help people here any way I can.