You could be forgiven for knowing very little about the country of Kazakhstan, despite being the largest country in Central Asia, and the ninth largest country in the world, Kazakhstan has little when compared to its mighty neighbours of China and Russia, and its culture, people, sights, and attractions typically get very little coverage in the western world. However, speak to someone who has travelled or lived in this region of the world and they are likely to tell you a story of a warm and kindhearted population, and a vast and mysterious land.
Native Kazakhs are decedents of the nomadic Turkic and Mongol tribes, both of which migrated to this land around the 13th century and finally united together as a single nation in the 1700’s. During the 18th Century the Russians fought and conquered the land making Kazakhstan a Soviet Republic state in 1936. Sadly most people’s knowledge of Kazakhstan is from the hit comedy movie ‘Borat’ in which the country and people are portrayed as being poor and simple, if not backwards, which is a wild and outrageous stereotyping which couldn’t be further from the actual truth. The people of Kazakhstan tend to be well-read and politically conscious, while the country itself has large oil and gas reserves which make it the richest country in Central Asia.
What captivates most visitors to Kazakhstan is it’s topography, with a land covered in so many diverse, breath-taking landscapes. From Siberia down to the deserts of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, from China along to the Caspian Sea, you’ll find vast flatlands, deep canyons, immense desserts and snow-capped mountains, deep valleys and wide deltas, with the country covering two different time zones and five climatic zones.
TEFL Teaching English in Kazakhstan
A developing nation, today there is a high demand for TEFL teachers in Kazakhstan. Teaching English in Kazakhstan is currently an exciting option for TEFL teachers as the government invests heavily in language schools and courses, in an effort to change the local business language from Russia to the more internationally accepted English, better integrate the country into the global economy. The majority of teaching jobs in Kazakhstan can be found in Karaganda, the country’s main industrial city, known also as the capital of culture, science and technology.
Teaching English in Kazakhstan you can find wages from $400 to $1500 per month, depending on your qualifications and experience, so those earning on the lower end of the pay scale will need some savings as a safety net. However, most schools will offer to cover your airfare and give you free shared accommodation as part of your teaching contract, and all contracts of 6 months or more should including the necessary help with visas and work permits. If you have a degree certificate to your name you can expect to be on a comfortable wage, and those with a Master’s degree can usually find teaching jobs related to their field of expertise. One further benefit of teaching English in Kazakhstan is that most schools will offer foreign teachers the chance to take free or low cost Russian language classes.
Did you know..
Kazakhstan is the largest country with a predominantly Moslem population..
The Nur-Astana Mosque has room for 5000 worshipers inside with space for a further 2000 on the outside square..
The Beit-Rahel-Habbad Lyubavich Synagogue is the largest synagogue in Central Asia covering an area of 5600 SQM..
The stunning Palace of Peace and Concord was designed and built for the meetings of the world’s religious leaders..