Almas Suiunbekov is a sophomore at AUCA majoring in Business Administration. When graduating from NGA in 2013, he received an award “The Best Student of the Year”. He is one of the most active NGA alumni and a very successful AUCA student. Last year, Almas was placed on AUCA Dean’s List for excellent academic performance. To be awarded a place on this list, a student must have earned a minimum of 36 credits, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.67, and have no “F” or “X” grades on his/her transcript. Among his latest achievements is an exchange program at Hannam University in South Korea, to which he was accepted. Among many bright AUCA students who applied to this University, Almas won the competition and is ready to undertake the rigorous curriculum that the Program offers. Almas shared with us that it was not that difficult for him to get the scholarship:
“As AUCA provides various opportunities for its students, I decided that I must not miss such great chances and should benefit from them. One of such privileges is “Study Abroad” exchange program. To tell the truth, it was not too difficult for me to apply and be accepted to a semester long program at Hannam University. As part of the application process, I submitted my statement of purpose, resume, and recommendation letters and that was it. Of course, this does not mean that I did not work hard and spend a lot of time to come up with the best ideas for my statement of purpose, for example. This simply means that to win such kind of competitions I have been preparing myself from the very first days of my studies at AUCA, which started from NGA in 2013. I have been preparing myself for this for more than two years.
I am very happy and excited to study abroad, because I believe that it is the most effective accelerator of personal progress. It will enrich me not only culturally, but also will give me tons of useful academic information and business ideas, since it is going to be my major field of occupation. I am sure there will be plenty of business ideas in South Korea that are “blue oceans” in Kyrgyzstan and which are adoptable or, at least, I will learn innovative approaches to existing businesses in my country”.
A: Well, it is a good question because every time when I am asked this question, people expect from me that I will say “my parents are lawyers”. Of course my father’s secondary education was as a lawyer, but he worked in the military. But it has nothing to do with my parents! You know I chose law because I really want to work in the social sphere and help people. I think being a lawyer can combine this opportunity to help others and solve problems. I feel useful when I can do something for my society. Lawyers can be helpful to others, and this is exactly what I want to do. Now as a sophomore I am studying International Public Law, and I think that in the future I will do my Master’s and also maybe pursue a career in international law.
Q: You say you are interested in the social sphere; do you do any volunteer work currently?
A: From my first year at AUCA, I started my volunteering at AIESEC. AIESEC is a great opportunity for me because it is a combination of social work and personal development. AIESEC is fun of course, but it also helps me to get engaged with international students. I completed a project called Jash (Kyrgyz=youth). But can also be an abbreviation, Jump above the Skyline Heart. The main purpose of this project was to raise awareness among youth of human rights, which also became my second interest.
I was in the organizing committee, for the international volunteers doing presentations on their home cultures and countries to students. According to our statistics, we raised awareness among more than 1024 young students in Kyrgyzstan. Also, I dealt in negotiations with universities and searched for host families for the international students. It was interesting because in such kind of work, you realize that our Kyrgyz people are really hospitable. I knew that before, but for the international volunteers it was really interesting. Despite the fact that this project lasted for 6 weeks, we observed huge results which are very emotional. I’m very proud of AIESEC in Kyrgyzstan, because as we worked for them it was just working to do something positive.
Currently, I'm interning in UNDP. There I'm developing my experience exactly in law. As I'm majoring in law, I've decided to become an intern in UNDP trial monitoring program. Thus my main function is to monitor trials in districts and second instance courts. As I've mentioned before, I'm passionate to deal with criminal cases, that's why I prefer to monitor them. However, still I find interesting some civil and administrative court procedures as well.
Q: Back to NGA, had you been to AUCA before you started as an NGA student?
A: Well, no actually! NGA was totally my choice. It was really hard for my parents to imagine that NGA was a huge opportunity and can give you a chance to study at AUCA for your bachelor’s degree! They suggested me to go to the Law Academy of the Kyrgyz Republic or the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University. But I made my own choice - to apply to NGA.
My main goal was to become independent not only from my parents, but also from society. I remember my first year of study, during FYS. We had a really great professor, Lance Tillman. He always repeated, “No matter what I am telling you as a professor, you should make your own choice.” I remember this very well, for my whole life. I have decided that every time when I am in between choices, I will listen to my own heart. And this choice of NGA is a proof of my words!
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who is trying to learn English, because you speak it very well?
A: Well, a lot of Kyrgyz girls and boys are a little bit shy. They should overcome this barrier and practice their speaking more. And TOEFL, if they study for a maximum of 1 year, I think it will be perfect!
Q: Is there anything else you want to say?
A: Well everything I have today really started from NGA. That is why I want to say a big thanks to the NGA program, to its staff and professors, and to our president, Andrew Wachtel of course. I think that everyone who has studied at NGA feels certain responsibility over him. Not just for the 4 years they study at AUCA, but for their future as well.
Muratbek Alimbek uulu and Myktybek Sabirov graduated NGA in 2014 but as their scores were not enough to study at AUCA, both students entered International Ataturk-Alatoo University in Bishkek. After studying one year at the University, they took AUCA entrance exam in July 2015 and were successful. In September they will start a freshmen year at AUCA. Muratbek entered one of the most prestigious departments of AUCA, the International and Comparative Politics (ICP). Myktybek Sabirov entered Liberal Arts and Sciences program, minoring in ICP as well. Muratbek Alimbek uulu is a full orphan; therefore he is receiving an 80% financial aid from AUCA. We are very happy to have our students back in AUCA community.
Muratbek, while telling us the reasons he reapplied to AUCA, also thanked New Generation Academy and, especially the donor, for all that he learnt at NGA: “Both of us are from villages, where we did not study any English. When we came to NGA we learnt so many new things, we greatly improved our English, but one year was not enough for me to be able to enter AUCA. So we decided to study at Alatoo University, but while being there we knew that we needed to go back to AUCA, because we could not forget a very special spirit of this University, qualified teachers and the way of teaching, of course. I always thought that it is never too late to start things again, so while being in Alatoo we continued improving our English. I spent extra hours to prepare for AUCA’s admission exam. Eventually, I got enough scores and now I am freshman at AUCA”.
Shirin Zamirbekova, NGA graduate of 2012, currently is studying International Trade in Guilin, China.
“In the beginning of my studies and life in China it was so difficult, because I did not speak any Chinese. My classes were taught in English. Then I felt so thankful to NGA, where I improved my English. Thanks to my one year experience at NGA, I was able to adapt to a new environment faster and my English that I greatly improved at NGA really eased my studies”.
Nazim Ibraimov, NGA graduate of 2012, Business Department junior, in spring semester went for a semester long exchange program at Collegium Civitas University in Warsaw, Poland. Nazim was selected among other AUCA’s strong candidates for this exchange program.
Nazim shares his experience of being a student abroad: “Poland is the first foreign country I have ever visited. I am glad that the original shock quickly let place to enjoyment and greater exposure to cultural diversity that I have ever experienced before. All this happened thanks to NGA after which I entered AUCA and was selected to travel to Poland. I am very thankful to NGA for helping me to improve my English, my study skills and my knowledge, and to stimulate in me a desire to learn.”
Sezim Altynbek kyzy, sophomore student of Journalism and Mass Communications department, NGA alumnus 2014, journalist and reporter of AUCA TV:
“I discovered a desire to be a journalist when I studied at New Generation Academy. After a successful completion of NGA program, I enrolled in JMC department at AUCA. In the first semester of studying at AUCA, I took TV presenter course as an elective. When I was doing a video report for TV presenter course, I figured out that I have a fear of camera. To overcome my fear, I joined AUCA TV club. Having started to work at AUCA TV, I was surprised that all video reports were in Russian language. I wanted to make my first video report in English language and the head and producer of the channel supported me. The head, Samat Durusbekov, and producer, Bakhrom Tursunov of AUCA TV are also NGA alumni. Therefore, whenever I do mistakes or start to panic in front of camera, they give their advice and teach how not to panic just like older brothers”.