Global UGRAD Alumni Meet Up in Almaty, Kazakhstan by Will O’Roark

I had the opportunity to travel to Almaty, Kazakhstan and Dushanbe, Tajikistan at the end of September. Prior to joining World Learning, I spent several years living and working in Central Asia and Eurasia. I had worked as a university administrator at a number of institutions in Kazakhstan, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching English in central Kazakhstan, and recruited participants for the FLEX program in Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

Returning to Central Asia was almost like a ‘homecoming’ for me. I had the chance to meet up with old friends, colleagues, and Peace Corps counterparts. I visited Tajikistan for the first time and it was an incredible experience. I had an amazing time exploring Rudaki Prospect in Dushanbe and trekking the Fan Mountains near Lake Iskanderkul.

While in Almaty, I met with five Global UGRAD alumni. It was great to see familiar faces from past program years and get reacquainted face to face with our incredible alumni. I had the chance to see Aidos Atagullayev (Kazakhstan 15-16); Dinara Shadyrova (Kazakhstan 15-16); Safiya Sadyr (Kazakhstan 15-17); Yuliana Bakulina (Turkmenistan 16-17); and Aiida Bagtyzhanova (Kazakhstan 15-16). I was glad to hear about their future plans and to hear about their successes after returning home from the program. The World Learning team wishes all our alumni the best in the future academic, professional, and personal pursuits, and always likes to hear more about how the Global UGRAD Program has impacted their lives. Stay in touch, Global UGRADs!

Written by Will O’Roark, the program Officer for Global UGRAD Eurasia & Central Asia

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