MAPSIR is an exciting adventure full of fascinating moments, challenges and life lessons, victories and failures, a unique experience with outstanding people. This is how I would describe my two years at Nazarbayev University. I discovered a new world and started to think about so many interesting questions that had never crossed my mind before. Most of all, I am deeply grateful to our Professors, who generously shared their knowledge and experience, and encouraged us to look behind the curtain of science. This program was never easy, but every single day was worth of the new knowledge and personal growth that I received.
I’ve had a great time while attending Nazarbayev University’s MAPSIR Program. The university itself creates a wonderful academic environment – with interesting conferences, presentations, seminars, and meetings, a great library filled with many new and interesting books; and its students, always willing to discuss academic matters and what is happening in the world at the moment. The MAPSIR Program on its own is a very challenging one, yet you could learn a lot here. Professors within this program have different approaches to how a political science research should look like as well as they have diverse research interests. As a result, you are able to broaden your horizons by learning from different perspectives o and taking courses on completely different subjects within political science – from theory of just war to experimental politics. In this way, the program gives you an academic freedom to select the research topics of your interest for your master’s thesis, and to select methods which are more appealing to you. There are many other things which I love about this program: willingness of professors to help in any matter, interesting discussions in seminars, opportunity to spend a semester abroad. For example, I was selected to study abroad in Germany through the Erasmus Mundus program. In sum, I am happy for choosing this program and I will miss my time at Nazarbayev University.
Above all, the MAPSIR program enabled me to grow personally. Since I was the first graduate of the NU in 2010, I was already endowed with such a great opportunity to meet various Professors and staff of SHSS. However, the Master program is absolutely different from the undergraduate studies and this was crucial for my further growth. MAPSIR had deeper and more cohesive information about the real politics. It also allowed students to choose their own specialization within the program. My direction was the post-Sovietregion where I studied the “Eurasianism” process as well as Kazakhstan’s internal system. Therefore, for my thesis studies I have chosen to investigate the effects of the Kazakhization on the ethnic minorities’ and their opportunities. This program is a great choice for talented people!
If I have not been accepted to the MAPSIR program at Nazarbayev University, I would never know, how professional the SHSS Faculty is and how smart and thought-provoking are students in Kazakhstan. If you would you like to improve your critical thinking and touch upon the Western education system and culture, but doing so while staying in Kazakhstan? This is the right place. If you ask me what this program gave me, I would say, it exposed me to people, people in their profile fields that I respect, admire and can learn a lot from.