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The student perspectives project describes personal perspectives of student life.  Some topics which students may be asked to talk about are:




Name: Bermet

Age: 18 years old

Location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

School: State University of Bishkek for Business and Economy

Can you describe for us your education in Kyrgyzstan? Standard education lasts about 11 years. After grade 9, Bermet changed schools to a lyceum, where she combined years 10&11 to earn her school leaving certificate. After you complete your standard edcuation, you can attend college or university which lasts about 5 years, depending on what you study.

What is the average cost of university in Kyrgyzstan? The cost can range from 13,000 - 50,000 com/year (about US$425 to US$1,700 per year).Grade school cost about 200 com/year (US$6.50)

What is a typical day at university? It is common for students to commute from home. Usually students have 3-4 classes a day, lasting about 3-5 hours in total. Many students work either mornings or evenings and take classes during their free time from work. Classes are offered multiple times per day. Bermet works at a hotel when she is not in school.

What is a typical school year? School begins around September 1st and there is a two week vacation at the end of December (right after exams). Second semester lasts until May for Bermet, then she has one month of practical work (Bermet works in a hotel; She is studying travel and tourism.) Final exams are in July.

What facilities does your university offer? Besides classrooms, Bermet's university has a cafeteria and library. There are no housing facilities at the school.




Name: Marina Kerinkhanova

Age: 24 years old

Location: Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

Home city: Mahachkala, Russia (Republic Dagestan)

Primary Education: age 7-18 years old at one school, school hours 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, 6 days a week in Russia

Univeristy Education: Kyrgyz Technical University

Course: Management

Length: 5 years

Number of students in class: 20

Required courses: 1 year of Mathematics, 2 years of English, 1 year of Kyrgyz history

Language of instruction: Russian

Schedule: 1st semester: September-December (10-15 day winter holiday), 2nd semester January to mid June, summer vacation 1/2 of June, July and August

Daily Schedule: Marina has class five days a week, 3-4 classes in one day, each class is 1 hour and 40 minutes long. Marina takes 6-8 classes a semester.

Homework: 2-3 hours every night

Exams: Usually essay format or question and answer

Facilities of University: Marina's university has a hostel/dorm where some students live, but Marina rents a room in a house off campus. The university also has a small cafeteria (which is very bad according to Marina). The university also has student run clubs and social events like a New Year's party. There is also a Reading Hall, Library, 6-8 Computer labs, free internet, and an exercise room.

Do you like studying at your university? Marina would prefer to study in Russia, but the cost of education there is too high. Five years of university in Russia costs about US$3,000-US$5,000. In Kyrgyzstan the cost is about US$300 per year.

Do you go home for vacation? Some summers Marina travels back home to Russia. She travels by either train or plane. The journey takes 3-4 days by train.

What are your other expenses besides school? US$100-400/month, room cost-US$50/month, food-US$50-150 month, eating in cafe, restaurant and cooking at home.

What do you like to do with your free time? Marina has a summer job as an office manager. She also likes to go to the swimming pool, disco club, cafe, her friends' houses, shopping, visit the mountains, internet chat and go running.

Note: According to Marina it is typical for students to pay professor to pass a class. Technically, it is illegal, but most teachers accept the offer. The average cost is about 300-500 com per exam (US$10-17). But according to Marina, "those who want knowledge and good job, don't pay."


Name: Elvira

Age: 15 years old

Location: Lahgar Village, Kyrgyzstan

School: Kychan Lacypor School in Karasul town

What subjects do you study? Geography, Science, Math, Russian, English, Kyrgyz with a different teacher for every subject.

How many students are in your class? 28 students

How long have you been a student at this school? From age 7 through 18 years old.

What are the hours of your school? Elvira goes to a boarding school. Her small village of Laghar did not have good quality education in her family's opinion, so she travels to boarding school. Classes are held from 8 am to 2 pm. Extra help hours are from 3pm-4pm. From 5pm onward students are expected to work on homework.

When is your summer vacation? Elvira has vacation in June, July and August each year where she travels home to visit her family. She has 2 brothers and her family owns a market in her village.