November 20, 2018
When Aliaskar was still a child, he often and gladly visited his grandfather Yegizbay at work and simply watched him. Yegizbay was a civil engineer, his profession fascinated him, he awakened his interest in engineering. Even where he would study the subject one day was clear to him early on: in Germany. "Already as a young boy, I dreamed of being able to study in Germany. It is one of the most highly developed countries in the world, it offers many opportunities. Whether at school or in the family, everyone here speaks well about Germany."
On August 26, Aliaskar Satyldy landed in Bremen to study Industrial Engineering and Management at the English-medium Jacobs University. Never before had the 17-year-old Kazakh been to a country in Western Europe. He owes the fact that he was able to begin his studies partially to his predecessors, the graduates of Jacobs University Bremen. He received a scholarship financed by the Jacobs Alumni Association, the association of all graduates of the international university.
Aliaskar, the second oldest of five brothers, grew up in Shymkent, the third largest city in his home country Kazakhstan with around one million inhabitants. Kazakhstan borders to Russia and China among other countries and is the ninth largest country in the world by area. "Shymkent is the most beautiful city with many old, historic districts," Aliaskar says. There he attended a boarding school, the No. 2 Specialized Boarding School for particularly gifted students, where he also learned English.
He came to Bremen via a good friend: Alexandr, who is studying "Electrical and Computer Engineering" at Jacobs University in his third year. "He told me a lot about the university and recommended that I apply. He did - and was accepted. His father is a businessman, his mother is a doctor, and yet studying at a private university would hardly have been possible without the alumni's scholarship. "I am very grateful for the support," says Aliaskar. "It motivates me and helps me to be successful.
The first few months passed quickly, so much is new: the climate ("At home it's warmer"), the food ("We eat a lot of mutton. But I like the German food, especially chicken") and of course the people ("They made it very easy for me, everybody was very helpful. I quickly found friends").
And then there are his studies: "Industrial Engineering and Management" is a study course that combines management knowledge as well as technical and intercultural skills. Students are familiarized with topics such as procurement and distribution of goods, supply chain management, project management or personnel management.
Aliaskar chose "General Economics" and "General Management" as additional modules in his first year of study. "It's about building bridges between industry and the business world," he explains. One day he himself could become a bridge builder between Germany and Kazakhstan. In any case, he has a clear goal in mind: "I will work in a leading company, either here or in my home country".
There is still a long way to go. Successfully completing his studies clearly is his main priority. There's not much time left for other activities such as football, volleyball or swimming. Aliaskar likes to tinker with the magic cube, makes music on the computer, plays Dombra, the two-sided plucked instrument of his home country, and would like to learn to play the piano. And although he already feels at home at Jacobs University, he of course misses his family, especially his grandparents. At home they all live under one roof. But there is Skype, WhatsApp - and airplanes. A trip home is already being planned.
This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University is featuring students, alumni, professors and employees. For more stories, please have a look at www.jacobs-university.de/faces