INTERNATIONAL COLLABORATION BETWEEN UNIVERSITIES
Kazakhstan American Free University helps any student to develop as a leader and think free of stereotypes. Stereotypes are ideas firmly rooted in conscious of society. Most of them do not reflect any true characteristics of an object. It is not easy to be free of these stereotypes if the field of the education is reduced by the boundaries and limits of the same country. It is considered to be even more important if you study foreign languages, because acquisition of a foreign language means to be acquainted with the culture of a given language.
Unique nature of our university is based on the co-operation between countries and cultures; it connects worlds and ideas, concepts and nations. The most significant links exist between the Kazakhstan American Free University and A.C.E. Language Institute at Seattle Pacific University. Students from Kazakhstan can go to the USA to study language and culture.
The preliminary stage with its preparing of documents and getting of visas is simplified due to well-organized work of managers from both sides. After arrival of students to the USA they work with the office of A.C.E. Language Institute. Everything is explained, beginning from bus routs and up to the stores where you can buy a telephone card to call parents and friends.
The course begins from getting through the test determined to recognize the level of language achieved by the student. According to the system of this school there are 6 levels starting from the second. The 6th level program aimed at university admission. The duration of course is five weeks. One can return to the same level if the previous course was not enough to complete the level.
This year four student of our university went to the USA to study culture across language. Our students had results that let them attend classes at 3d, 4th, and 5th levels. The program of their education included classes of reading, writing, Grammar and conversation. Besides, they attended two more elective classes, they are pronunciation and conversation. Students spent 20 hours per week in intensive English classes and 8 hours per week in optional elective classes. The course can be varied according to the wish of a student. The programs are so different and can be designed for the special needs of students, for example course of business or academic English are available.
Students lived with host families and it was great cultural and linguistic experience for them. Students were encouraged to take part in activities of Language Institute.
It was a huge opportunity to practice English and improve speaking skills with simultaneous discovery of new and almost unknown culture. Student from different countries met in Seattle at Seattle Pacific University to tell about government and religion of their nations, to build theories that can give more opportunities for decision of problems in the future.
Learning new culture, students from Kazakhstan American Free University opened their own culture for American teachers and students and for students arrived from other countries, too. The presentation on Kazakhstan given by the students was extremely interesting for everybody who came to participate in it. It was real conference with questions and looks of interest and exclamatory marks in intonation.
The value of this experience is realized only after coming back and entering the learning course here again. The principles of mental judging and outlook were changed or at least shifted under the influence of new experience. Now the students of KAFU are free of stereotypes and can see the variety in the world.
The importance of collaboration between universities of Kazakhstan and the USA can not be overestimated. In the terms of contemporary policy and diplomatic relations the competence in the sphere of international communication and multi-cultural dialogue gives an incredible opportunity for building of strong and clear relations.
The collaboration of universities is crucial for the moment of educational shifts in our country. The history of western and American educational system can be taken into account while implementing of credit system begins its way through Kazakhstan system of higher education.