Cultural Program

During their stay in Kazakhstan, students will be able to participate in weekly excursions in and around the city of Astana, including Burabay National Park, KARLAG (Karaganda Corrective Labor Camp) – one of the largest labor camps in the GULAG system, and a trip to the Korgalzhyn nature reserve – the northernmost habitat of pink flamingos.


Astana Modern City Tour - the three-hour tour of the left bank includes trips to Independence Square, Khazret Sultan Mosque, Water-Green boulevard complex, Astana-Bayterek monument, the Round Square, and the shopping and entertainment center, “The Khan’s Tent” (Khan Shatyr).

students - Copy (2) Kazakh Culture Day – a day dedicated to Kazakh traditions related to language, interactions with nature, and life-cycle celebrations (besyk toi, tusau kesu, bet ashar, shashu, til, ashar, etc.)
IMG_3306 Traditional Nomadic Hunting with Eagles - Students will learn the history of the Berkutchi eagle hunters, as well as some basic hunting techniques.
Karlag 8 KARLAG Tour A guided tour of Dolinka village includes a visit to the Memorial Museum of the Victims of Political Repressions. The exhibit includes prisoners’ everyday items, including a diary that describes the events of the 1930s - 1960s, photos and documents, and personal effects of the prisoners.
Old city tour - Copy The “Old” City Tour and Kazakh Markets - The tour of the right bank of the city reflects the rapid changes and growth of the city since Astana became the nation’s capital. Students will stroll in Central Park and along the Ishym river embankment. After a boat tour of the city and visits to churches, mosques and synagogues, the students will go to the large central market and have lunch in the old city.
horseriding - Copy Balkaragay Country Club and Stables - An experienced instructor will give horse riding lessons at the track where training and competitions are held and race horses are boarded. Afterwards, students will be treated to a delicious Kazakh meal with aromatic tea from a Russian samovar.
IMG_3153 Astana Day Festivities - Astana celebrates its anniversary as Kazakhstan’s capital on July 6. Astana Day is a national holiday in Kazakhstan. Every year this popular event draws large crowds of visitors and residents. Weeklong festivities include performances and cultural events to celebrate Kazakh traditions and the cultures of Kazakhstan’s multi-ethnic society.


DSC09316 Weekend Trip to Burabay National Park - Students will enjoy a break from city life at Burabay National Park and Nature Preserve, an oasis of lakes, mountains, and wildlife in Northern Kazakhstan. During nature excursions, they will have the opportunity to hike and boat, as well as to breathe the fresh mountain air. The trip includes meals and a one night hotel stay.


Explore Kazakhstan: optional trip to Almaty

IMG_4011 For a long weekend in the middle of the program, students can take an optional trip to Almaty, the former capital of Kazakhstan and the country’s biggest city. Students will travel with Nazarbayev University students. The trip will include a tour of Almaty’s historical sites, as well as an introduction to the city’s dining, shopping, and cultural life.