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 of Arts in Management
  2. 2-Year Master of Science in Management 
  3. 1-Year Master’s in Information Systems
  4. 1-Year Master’s in Finance
  5. 2-Year Master’s of Education in Teaching English

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$3). 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 ZOOM, 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.

KAFU Master’s programs offer a flexible combination of online and full-time study. Some of the course load and research work can be carried out using distance education tools.

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.

The following options are available:

KAFU student dormitory – cost per person/per night in a 6-person room – 1500 tenge per night (about $3.5 USD) – includes private shower/bathroom (breakfast is optional at the hotel next door – 1000 tenge/$2.5 for one breakfast)

KAFU student dormitory – cost per person/per night in a 2-person room – 2500 tenge per night (about $6 USD) – includes private shower/bathroom (breakfast is optional at the hotel next door – 1000 tenge/$2.5 for one breakfast)

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-$250/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.