City University of International Partnership / State license АБ 0137478
International accreditation ACBSP (USA) / Institutional and specialized accreditation IQAA (Kazakhstan)

Programs for International Students



 The Kazakh-American Free University (KAFU) offers a variety of programs for visiting international students, ranging from short-term internships to semester abroad programs to 2-year graduate degree programs.

For undergraduate students (students currently studying in a Bachelor’s degree program), KAFU offers programs for one semester (semester study abroad programs) that are taught in English.  These programs include:

  1. International Business Semester Abroad
  2. Education and Teaching English Semester Abroad
  3. Language and Culture Semester Abroad (with a focus on Russian or Kazakh language)

For graduate students (students with a Bachelor’s degree), KAFU offers the following full degree programs that are taught in English:

  1. 1-Year Master’s in Business
  2. 1-Year Master’s in Information Systems
  3. 1-Year Masters of Education in Teaching English
  4. 1-Year Master of Arts in Translation

 The Kazakh-American Free University (KAFU) also offers short-term opportunities for international students to be involved in internships or volunteer service opportunities for up to 1 month.

All of these programs are described in more detail in the sections below.

 Studying as an International Student at KAFU

 KAFU’s International Department is responsible for caring for all international students.  KAFU’s International Department, with four full-time staff, has over 20 years of experience hosting international students and professors, and they gladly assist international students with their application process, their student visa process, their housing and living arrangements in Kazakhstan, and their class/program schedule while at KAFU.

In addition to the assistance from the International Department, all international students are assigned a “mentor” during their time at KAFU, which is usually an older KAFU student or a KAFU teacher.  Mentors are available to answer questions or to provide assistance, as needed, by the students.  Mentors will also meet regularly with the students to make sure their programs are going well.

International students have full access to the facilities and on-going programs of the university.  KAFU has an active Student Development Center with over 14 student clubs and international students are encouraged to join a club or start a new one!  All KAFU facilities also have cafeteria offering a large variety of local Russian and Kazakh dishes during each day for very reasonable prices (an average meal costs about US$2).  And, KAFU has a gymnasium and active sports intramural teams that can be joined in a variety of sports.

One of KAFU’s most prestigious programs is its “International Servant Leadership Program,” which trains students to develop as leaders.  This program includes a 3-week intensive course in the Fall semester and a 5-month on-line discussion course from December to April.  International students at KAFU during these times are welcome to join this extra program for a small additional fee.  Certificates are awarded to those who successfully complete the program.

KAFU is located in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk in the region of East Kazakhstan.  This is a beautiful region which offers numerous opportunities for hiking, water sports and winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, etc.)

 Applying to study as an International Student at KAFU

 All international students interested in studying at KAFU, should, as a first step, contact Mr. Serik Abilov, Director of International Programs, at e-mail:  Mr. Abilov will respond promptly with more information.  In most cases, students must submit an application by e-mail and undergo an on-line interview, via Skype, in addition to any further requirements related to their program of study.  Prospective students should complete their application process at least 2 months prior to the start of their program, to make sure they have enough time to receive their visas and arrange their travel to Kazakhstan.

 Housing and Living Arrangements for International Students

KAFU’s International Department will assist international students in finding an appropriate living/housing situation for the time of their stay in Kazakhstan.  There are currently two options:

Single-occupancy furnished apartment:  This is an apartment that has one room, a small kitchen and a bathroom.  The apartment includes basic kitchen appliances (stove, refrigerator), basic kitchen utensils, and simple furniture, including a couch/bed, chairs and a table.  The rent for a single-occupancy furnished apartment is currently $200/month, including all utilities.

Double-occupancy furnished apartment shared with another student:  This is an apartment that has two rooms, a small kitchen and a bathroom.  The apartment includes basic kitchen appliances (stove, refrigerator), basic kitchen utensils, and simple furniture, including two couches or beds, chairs and a table.  The rent for a double-occupancy furnished apartment is currently $150/month (per student), including all utilities.

The cost of living for food, transportation, cell-phone and Internet in Ust-Kamenogorsk, costs about $300-$400 per month.

 Travel to KAFU

It is quite easy to arrange travel to Ust-Kamenogorsk.  One of Kazakhstan’s airlines, Air-Astana, serves the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk and daily flights are available from Almaty and Astana.  Air Astana also provides international flights from many cities in Europe and Asia.  Students coming from North or South America should find an international flight into the city of Almaty and then transfer to a local flight on Air-Astana to Ust-Kamenogorsk.  It is currently possible to find round-trip tickets from Asia or Europe to Ust-Kamenogorsk on Air Astana for less than $1,000.

Visa Information



If you are going to arrive in Kazakhstan you may need to apply for a relevant visa at Kazakhstan embassy or consulate in your country. The application procedure to the embassy or consulate varies, so it is advised to check it beforehand. Before applying for your visa you should be admitted (if applying as a student) and get an invitation with a reference number from KAFU Visa Coordinator. You can also receive a consultation from a representative of the university.

 Visa-free regime for short visits. Citizens of some countries are able to come to Kazakhstan without a visa, visit the historic, tourist and natural attractions, get acquainted with the culture of Kazakhstan and establish business contacts. Citizens of the United States, the Netherlands, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, UAE, South Korea and Japan and several other countries holding valid diplomatic, official and national passports can repeatedly enter, leave and transit through RK without a visa for up to 30 days from the moment of crossing the state border.

 U.S. citizens can refer to the Kazakhstan Embassy website

for Visa Information and

 for the Step by Step Visa Application Guide

 Information about invitation letter/visa support (depending on a type of visa)

If you are planning on staying in Kazakhstan for more than 30 days you need to apply for a relevant visa and submit your application and a Letter of Request to the Kazakhstan embassy or consulate in your country. For certain types of long-term visas such as a Student Visa and Work Visa you should also have an invitation letter and official visa support from the inviting organization. To receive your letter of invitation and visa support you should contact the Visa Coordinator at KAFU and email your filled out Visa Application Form along with the scanned copy of your passport, ticket and insurance.


•   Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months longer than the validity of the requested visa and should have at least one blank page for a visa

•   Request for an invitation letter from KAFU should be submitted in writing by e-mail at least 2 months prior to the intended travel date to the RK.

•   The valid invitation with reference number does not constitute a guarantee that a visa will be issued as the matter is under the Kazakhstan Consulate discretion.

•   Visas for entering Kazakhstan are NOT issued in the airport in Kazakhstan

•   WORK VISA requires obtaining a work permit, which can be applied for through the potential employer/inviting organization.

•   Traveling without a visa: If a foreign citizen overstays the period of his/her visa he/she will be fined about KZT45000, and needs to apply and pay for the issuing of an exit visa.

 Travelling around and outside of Kazakhstan:

International Students are allowed to travel outside Kazakhstan during breaks, summer and winter vacations. You can easily go in and outside Kazakhstan if you have the multiple entry Kazakhstan visa. Please do not forget to bring your passport no later than 7 days before a trip to check your visa and local registration. If you want to travel to other cities in Kazakhstan, you should inform Visa Coordinator about your trip and dates.

Other visitors may travel according to the type of obtained visa.

 Please note:

Upon arrival in Kazakhstan (crossing the border of the Republic of Kazakhstan), within 5 days foreigners are required to register their stay in the office of the Migration Police. Late registration entails administrative liability.


International students and visitors must obtain medical insurance for the whole period of their stay and send a copy of his/her insurance certificate to the university to get the Invitation letter.

Detailed information by visa types


Business Visa

Student Visa

Work Visa

Catalog of the EP


FileКатегорияFile sizeDownloads
Download this file (Management.pdf)Management 359 kB998
Download this file (Foreign Language Two Foreign Languages (English).pdf)Foreign Language Two Foreign Languages (English) 308 kB1038
Download this file (Translation Studies.pdf)Translation Studies 295 kB905



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