What is it like to be a foreign student in Kyrgyzstan? Story of Anns Mustafa

Anns Mustafa came to Kyrgyzstan from Pakistan four years ago to become a doctor. He is studying at the Eurasian International Medical University and believes that being a medical student in such a country is a unique and rewarding experience.

— Please tell about yourself. Where were you born and raised before coming to Kyrgyzstan?

— I was born in Multan city. It’s the seventh largest city in Pakistan with a huge population of more than 2.5 million people. Multan is famous for its rich agricultural soil, fertile land and hot weather. Most of the farmers in Multan plant mango. Mangoes from Multan are famous all over the world, and are exported across the globe. Multan is called the «City of Saints». Hundreds of years ago, in the era of Persian Empire, Multan was the capital city of a province. There lived a lot of Sufis, Islamic scholars, and poets as well.

— Life in Multan and Bishkek is completely different. The air temperature in Multan is 25°C-50°C all year round, while in Bishkek it is cold in winter.

After spending four years here, in Kyrgyzstan, it feels like a second home to me. It’s a quite unique experience for me. I am living and studying at the medical university with my elder sister Rida Nisar. She has always been supportive and encourages me to explore new areas and meet new people in Bishkek city.

My life in Kyrgyzstan is really exciting and joyful because of my sister. She is very energetic and ambitious in exploring and trying new things. We have attended a lot of conferences, seminars, medical and non-medical workshops in almost all the universities of Kyrgyzstan. We have been at the theaters, particularly the Opera and Ballet Theater, and the Philharmonic Hall.

Studying in a country like Kyrgyzstan gives us an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a different culture. We had a chance to interact with local students, experience the lifestyle of local people and explore the country. This exploration broadens your respective and enhances intercultural competence. We have celebrated Nowruz in university with local friends, it was a mesmerizing memory for me. I celebrated Victory Day on May 9. I read the history and learned about great sacrifice of Kyrgyz people for their country as well.

— Some students may face some challenges such as adjusting to a new culture and educational environment, language barrier and being far away from their family. However, with an open mind and willingness to adopt these changes, it is possible to overcome it and you can make the most of your medical education in Kyrgyzstan.

It will help to establish better connection and gain a deeper understanding of local cultures. There is some lack of understanding between students and local people because of the language that sometimes causes conflicts.

We faced a language barrier because we were not fluent in the language. But now we communicate with the locals and we have learned Kyrgyz and Russian, so now it is more easy and interesting for us to live in Kyrgyzstan.

Moving to a different country brought significant changes to our lives, especially as we were unfamiliar with the local culture and customs of Kyrgyzstan. But we get adapted, because we share the same Islamic norms and festivals. It was so easy for us to get used to new environment, climate, food and social norms.

— Kyrgyzstan generally has a lower cost of living compared to many other countries, which helped us as international students.

In the last four years I have seen that the population of Kyrgyzstan is developing and becoming more financially stable, the economy has greatly improved.

Kyrgyzstan has several medical universities that offer programs in English for international students. The quality of education varies, so it’s very critical to choose a reputable institution with a recognized medical program. The curriculum covers theoretical knowledge, practical training and clinical rotations in hospitals.

Universities in Kyrgyzstan often provide support for international students through their International Departments: assistance in visa process, accommodation arrangement, orientation programs, and access to healthcare facilities. So research for the available options before choosing a good university must be the first step for future students.

Source: 24.kg News Agency