Spotlight On Kazakhstan

When was the last time you considered working in a –stan? I’m always intrigued when I see job ads for Kazakhstan. This is a surprisingly large country (well, it’s surprising to me) with what I presume to be a bustling capital city – yet I know next to nothing about it. I envision an awesome combination of Russian and Eastern/Islamic style of architecture and general design, which definitely appeals to me.

There is, of course, Borat, which I haven’t seen and probably won’t; not specifically for any “protest” reason, but just because it doesn’t seem like a movie which will float my boat. However, I did ask a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Kazakhstan, Bob of Bootsnall’s The Offsides Fame, his opinion on Borat and a variety of other Kazakhstan topics, so in the absence of my opinion you can read his. While you’re at it why not have a look at an interview with Andy, a former PCV in another –stan (that would be Kyrgyzstan).

It strikes me that there is unlikely to be a large TEFL crowd in Kazakhstan, even in the capital, compared to, say, Turkey or the Czech Republic, but this can of course mean a more authentic experience of the country, if perhaps a more challenging one.

Please do take my above comments with a grain of salt as they are based on my very informal and brief impressions. Investigate Kazakhstan yourself, starting with some of these links.

Check out Train Travel in Kazakhstan as well as Travel By Gypsy Cab In Kazakhstan, both courtesy of Bootsnall travel stories, and one writer’s take on a certain Kazakh food. It wouldn’t be right to leave out an article about Borat and Kazakhstan’s True Identity via Vagablogging, nor Santa’s Camels.

I usually link to the relevant Dave’s ESL Cafe forum in my Spotlight On posts, but I found surprisingly little on Kazakhstan in the Russia & C.I.S. forum – which just goes to show that you are paving the way if you end up there.