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Why education in Harvard is prestigious and what for members of private clubs pay $500 a year
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Why education in Harvard is prestigious and what for members of private clubs pay $500 a year

Gulya Roswell, hometown — Novosibirsk, project manager

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About admission to Harvard

I am studying for a master's degree at Harvard University. I entered in 2017, now on the 2nd course. I found this program on the Internet. First, I passed the tests in two subjects, received high scores for them, then there was an understanding test. After, it was necessary to bring the bachelor's degree diploma from Russia to America. Also, I filled out a resume. I was accepted to Harvard after all the conditions were done.

I plan to graduate in may 2020. I hope my plan succeeds. I take a rather slow course because I study at another University in parallel. Combining two master's courses is a complicated procedure.

About features of education in Harvard

A lot of subjects here are created in case that you can attend seminars at Harvard or choose live webinars. I'm on the fifth semester, the two semesters I lived on campus at Harvard yard, and three were in the format of live webinars.

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Harvard has 13 schools. Our school is about 110 years old, and it is young.

At first, I felt as if I was spoken Chinese, not English. It was difficult. I was lucky to have my professor, and he helped me because he liked mine willing.

There are all kinds of types and formats of lessons. All lessons are built differently. We had inverted lessons: this is when a student first performs homework and independent work on a given topic, and then in the classroom makes test tasks for understanding the topic.

About student life and clubs

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Every Harvard school has its own club. There are also many international clubs and interest clubs. Profile subjects have about 70 clubs which are approved by Harvard. My school has about 30. Students can unite by nationality, by specialization, by race.

Harvard has a special app available to all students. You download it and see the schedule of events that take place every day. You can choose where you want to go and register.

Harvard students can cheaply attend a variety of events. For example, go to the Museum, where the entrance is $25, or for $5 to visit a baseball game, where the cost of tickets starts from $90. You are sitting in a Harvard box, and the seats next to you can cost $900.

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There are off-site events. For example, you want to visit the Islands. The trip without food will cost $100-150 if you go by yourself. But if you have time to register for the trip, you can go along with other students and pay only $10 for everything, including food. That is how I've been on two trips.

We also have some sort of bulletin board, announcements of events, for example, a meeting with the candidate for President John Kerry. Barack Obama and other famous people came. You can't just register for such an event, but you can participate in the lottery and come to the meeting in case of winning.

I was a member of the Outdoor activities club. The task of the club was to find and organize interesting events. Participation in all clubs is voluntary.

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I was getting information about Harvard's private clubs. Graduates of Harvard University can join it, membership fees there starts from $500. Membership offers certain advantages. Every big city, such as New York, Boston, and other countries has its own club, which owns a large guest house, so you can stay and live there. Any person who came from the street has no right to get there, for this you have to be a member of the club or the guest. But it's not free either. The members of these clubs — representatives of the elite society.

People came to Harvard not only for education but also for networking. Through participation in clubs and events, there is an opportunity to communicate and get acquainted with a large number of people, useful contacts.

It's nice to know yourself as a student at Harvard University. You look differently on some things. You understand this is not a closed University for the elite or wealthy people. Everything is available. I have enough salaries to pay for my education. I am grateful to my employer for letting me go to Boston for semesters.

Shyngys Mukan, 34 years old, hometown – Shardara, journalism, public service


About admission to Harvard

I grew up in the countryside, graduated from a rural school. I came to Almaty in 2000 and entered the Kazakh Academic University with a degree in translation studies: English and Spanish.

At the age of 32, in 2016, I moved to Boston due to the Bolashak program. I applied to several different universities and got into all of them. I chose Harvard University.

All foreign universities, especially Harvard, pay attention to personal qualities, personal achievements of the candidate. In my essay during collecting the documents, I could write I was deputy akim, that during my work schools and clinics were built. But they are looking for people's personal initiative, something that would be unrealized without the candidate.


The second important thing for the selection committee is why the candidate chose Harvard. It is necessary to show commitment to the ideals and values of the University and even before entering to get acquainted with the professors.

Those who graduated a bachelor's degree, not in the English language must pass the TOEFL or IELTS language exams and earn at least 7 points. I passed IELTS and got eight points.

About features of education in Harvard

In such rating universities as Harvard, more than half of the students are foreigners. Representatives of 81 countries study at our school. This gives us a diversity. After all, it is proved that with a variety of opinions, truth and creativity are born.


Such universities do not stop working with you after graduation. They send an e-mail about discoveries, report news from the School. I have been in Kazakhstan for six months, and they wrote several times, asking how I adapt, what I do, how they can help. In our universities, such work is uncarried out.

About student life and clubs

I was the head of Central Asia Club. Our club was organized by students from Central Asia. Harvard funded some of our projects. If students take the initiative and want to hold a seminar or conference, the University can allocate money for it. Moreover, most of Harvard seminars and conferences are held by students themselves.

The purpose of the club is to raise the themes of Central Asia in academic circles, among students. Our tasks were to organize meetings with politicians or public figures from Central Asia and to hold such events as Nauryz and Eurasian talks — Eurasian discussions.

Karlygash Zhunusova, hometown — Kachir district, student

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About admission to Harvard

I graduated from high school in the Pavlodar region. Then I went to study in Astana, Eurasian National University named after L. N. Gumilyov. And now I am a first-year student at Harvard Kennedy School, it is a Kennedy school of public administration, on the speciality of «master degree of public administration in international development.» Our program is for young professionals from around the world who mainly work in data analysis in international development.

I learned about the program, on which I am studying, last year in November when the director of the selection committee of Kennedy School came to Astana. He talked about different programs and when I heard the description of this program, I liked it, and I decided to apply.

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The application process at Harvard is the same as in all the universities in America. A deadline of the documents admits usually in early December during the year before admission. Required documents — four essays, video interviews, English language tests — IELTS or TOEFL.

About student life and clubs

All clubs and organizations can be divided into several directions. These are either club by the region or country, maybe Latin America, Japan, Africa, or international development — they can be energy, health, education, women, gender development, or they can be clubs of a more scientific nature.

The main task of the clubs is to gather students from different countries with different experience and just share knowledge, solve problems and issues together.

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In order to attend the club's events, you do not need to be a member. Usually, clubs announce their events, and if the topic is interesting, you can just come and listen, discuss. I am engaged in student government and supervise academic issues of our group.

There are many different possibilities. Not only dozens of events taking place on the campus but also lecture and interesting discussions. The peculiarity of our group is we have a lot of students from different parts of the world, and if you are curious, even just from conversations with friends you can learn a lot. In general, there are many opportunities for students to learn, share knowledge and help each other. Each school and program has its own research centres that hold interesting events, lectures, meetings with economists, politicians, and at the same time you can stay on campus for more than 12 hours and do not notice it.

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