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Experiential Learning and Internships in Almaty, Kazakhstan

This program has been developed in partnership with the Gabriel Al-Salem Foundation. We are grateful for the collaboration of Viktoria Olskaia (GASF President) and Gulsum Akhtamberdieva (CMC Kazakhstan & GASF Executive Board).

Gabriel Al-Salem FoundationTo donate to the Gabriel Al-Salem Student Opportunity Fund at KU, which will (when sufficient funds are collected) provide merit-based scholarship assistance for this program, please go to this site and choose "I want my donation to be designated toward: the Gabriel Al-Salem Student Opportunity Fund at KU." Your donation will be processed securely by credit card or PayPal.

Program Overview

This 8-week summer internship will place students in the fastest growing economy in Central Asia and the financial center of Kazakhstan. With strong bilateral ties to the United States, a growing and healthy middle class, and a vibrant and burgeoning business community, Kazakhstan is an ideal location to place students of Russian in an immersive program to extend their language skills into the field of either business, marketing, financial services, second language education, or journalism. Providing students with the essential cultural expertise, language ability, and competitive edge to supplement their education at the University of Kansas, students completing this program will possess enough valuable experience to flourish in a globalized economy and excel in their professional career.  

Internships and Academics 

During this summer-long program, students are enrolled in intensive Russian language courses at KIMEP University, an ACA accredited American-style business college and one the oldest and most prestigious in Kazakhstan. Language courses range from beginner to advanced, professional proficiency to accommodate all language levels. Classes will be 10-15 academic hours per week and will be conducted in English and Russian. Additionally, students will be housed in the on-campus dormitories located in the heart of downtown Almaty. Students will benefit from the lively and diverse student body, wide array of extra-curricular activities, and world-class academics.

Visit their website here and participate in an online 3D tour of the campus.

Before departure, students will choose an internship at one of these participating organizations:

  • KIMEP University: Students will actively participate in mentoring and evaluating their peers by working as a teaching assistant in English language courses at their host university.
  • National Chamber of Entrepreneurs: A non-profit, self-regulated association of Kazakh entrepreneurs created by the Kazakh government in 2013, this organization will place student interns in positions where they will actively collaborate with member commercial organizations registered in Kazakhstan. Students will aid in the support and development of local entrepreneurship, assist with training and the development of technical and vocational education, promote Kazakh businesses to foreign markets, and translate promotional and informational materials from Russian to English.
  • Kazakhstan Press Club: One of the largest PR and media organizations in Kazakhstan, students choosing this internship will aid in organizing and monitoring various press conferences and media events in Almaty, aid with social networking and website design, conduct promotion and marketing in the Almaty area, and translate and edit English language press-releases.
  • Paragraph Company: One of the most successful information systems companies in Kazakhstan, Paragraph Company has over 15 years of experience in an ever expanding market in Central Asia​. With the development of their new business school, Paragraph Company can offer students courses and internships in accounting, management consulting, marketing, logistics, and management. Students may also participate in translation services, local marketing, client consultations, and the development of English language training programs.

About Almaty, Kazakhstan 

Almaty is the most populous city in Kazakhstan with almost 1.5 million residents. Once the capital, Almaty is now the commercial and financial center of Kazakhstan and boasts the largest stock exchange in Central Asia. Known as the “city of apple trees”, Almaty is located in the foothills of the Trans-Ili Alatau in the extreme southeast of Kazakhstan. 

Map of Kazakhstan with Almaty

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country on the planet and was a member of the Soviet Union until its dissolution in 1991. Since independence, it now boasts the fastest growing economy in Central Asia, a strong and healthy middle class, and a vibrant business community. According to the US Department of State, “In the years since its independence, Kazakhstan and the United States have developed a strong and wide-ranging bilateral relationship” and “combined with a growing middle class... trade and investment prospects for U.S. firms seeking new opportunities in one of the most dynamic of the ‘emerging’ markets” establishes Kazakhstan as a unique, American-friendly trade leader in the region.

Academic Credit and Eligibility 

Credit is granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program. Additional credit will be given after a thorough consultation with the student’s advisor and completion of a course credit approval form, available through the Office of Study Abroad.

Students will enroll in the online LA&S 490: Internship Exploration Course through the University Career Center. This course requires permission from the instructor to enroll; additional coursework outside of the internship will be conducted via the Internet.

Students of all majors are welcome to apply for this internship program. Preference will be given to juniors, seniors, and graduate students in good academic standing. There are currently no language requirements for this program. All applicants must posses a GPA of 2.75 or higher and submit the required application materials to the Office of Study Abroad. 

Financial Aid and Scholarships 

KU students, who qualify for summer or academic-year financial aid in the form of Stafford and/or other loans, Pell or SEOG Grants and scholarships, may apply the aid to the cost of an internship abroad programs. 

KU Study Abroad supplemental scholarships are available to KU degree-seeking students.The scholarship application deadline is March 1 for summer programs.

To begin your application or view a complete list of program costs, visit KU Study Abroad's page on Kazakhstan.

*Gabriel Al-Salem was one of the most accomplished alumni of the KU Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures. Before his tragic death in 2010, Gabriel strived to continuously innovate and bring an unparalleled degree of professionalism to the field of management consulting in Central Asia. We hope to honor his memory by encouraging students to follow his extraordinary example.

Gabriel Al-Salem on the summit of Amageldi Peak in the Tian Shan mountain range overlooking Almaty. 

Application Procedures 

All applicants will be required to complete several documents and questionnaires for the study abroad internship application. The list of documents that will need to be completed is as follows:

  1. Statement of Purpose Essay
  2. GPA Requirement Questionnaire
  3. Un-official Transcript or Advising Report
  4. Two Recommendations - academic   and/or  professional
  5. Authorization to Release Student Information
  6. Internship Plan and Approval Form
  7. Student Conduct Verification
  8. Financial Aid Questionnaire

Additionally, all students applying to this program must possess a valid US passport and Kazakh visa. To find more information on how to apply, visit the US Department of State’s website. www.state.gov 

Download our brochures here:


For more information please contact:

Rebecca Stakun (rstakun@ku.edu)
Program Coordinator
Dept. of Slavic Languages and Literatures
University of Kansas
1445 Jayhawk Blvd., Rm. 2133
Lawrence, KS 66045-7594


In Memoriam

Reed Rankin ✝ 12/29/2019

The faculty and students in the Department Slavic Languages and Literatures are deeply saddened that one our undergraduate majors, Reed Rankin, passed away last week (12/29) in Fredonia, Kansas. Reed was a beloved student in the department and is fondly remembered by his peers and professors. He began studying Russian as a Freshman and stayed with a challenging but rewarding language for three and a half years, tackling introductory, intermediate, advanced levels, and even continuing his studies into his senior year with Russian for the Professions. We know that he was planning further study in Moscow in the next academic year, prior to matriculation at KU School of Law.

A thoughtful student, Reed often contributed insight and posed challenging questions in class. ​​ Reed’s dedication to the study of Russian language, culture, and history was tremendous and fueled by infectious curiosity. He showed great acumen in translating from Russian into English, always finding English-language equivalents for Russian cultural concepts through skillful use of one-liners from American films. We also treasured his ability to speak in fluid Russian about rural, farm life in Kansas, and the effects that natural phenomena, like floods, on a farming community. He was a pleasure to know and teach, and will be remembered for his kind and polite demeanor. Our thoughts are with Reed’s family at this time


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