In 2005 I graduated from S.Toraighyrov Pavlodar State University with a specialty in Philology. After graduation, I worked for four years at the university as the main specialist in the Department of Registration and Organization of Educational Process. In 2009 I won a ‘Bolashak’ international scholarship to study for a postgraduate degree in the UK.
The University of Bristol is one of the leading universities in the UK. Studying at Bristol was my biggest wish and it was an honour considering the excellent reputation of its world class curriculum. Also my decision in choosing Bristol was based on my interest; the University of Bristol seemed to be the only institute in the UK to offer the ‘MEd in Education Leadership, Policy and Development’ degree programme. Its combination of course modules directly suited my interests. The Graduate School of Education’s (GSoE) drive to impart quality is connected to its unique focus on training for work in world-class modern work environments. Also, the University of Bristol has so much to offer international students. All this made me wish to become a part of its learning system and to acquire skills which I could put to work immediately after completing my degree.
On the MEd I particularly remember working on a group project as part of the ‘Introduction to Educational Inquiry’ course. This was my first experience of working with people from different countries on the same topic. We created an excellent presentation not only for our group but also for students from other pathways and we received very positive feedback from the tutors. This was our first achievement and the project work enabled me to integrate with a group of friends and classmates who were working in areas similar to my own.
I fell in love with Bristol. It is a multicultural city with something for everyone. What I like most about Bristol is the Clifton Suspension Bridge, where you can view the city, the harbour side and the Bristol International Balloon Fiesta with its beautiful hot air balloons. I would tell current students to just study hard and enjoy your memorable days surrounded by interesting and amazing people.
The MEd helped me to master not only the theoretical bases of the management of education as a science, but also enabled me to see how administrative and other approaches are applied in practice and how these can be adapted for the conditions in Kazakhstan. Also, I can state that my study at Bristol influenced not only my carrier but my whole life, it developed my sense of independence and strength of character and has certainly contributed to my personal development. My proudest and unexpected achievement was holding my Master of Education with a distinction.
I can highlight the influence of Bridgette Blackmore, a Postgraduate Senior Admissions Administrator at the GSoE. She took part in my study from the beginning, starting with my enrolment and finishing with my graduation. She was kind to all the students and was especially very supportive to international students. Another person, who supported me during my study, was my personal tutor Elizabeth Lazarus. She made me believe in my personal abilities and strength. She was the person with whom I could talk to about my problems and Elizabeth gave me a lot of useful advice concerning my study. So, I am very grateful to Bridgette and Elizabeth.
At the end of my story I can say that it was a challenge to study at one of the UK`s leading universities, however, studying at the University of Bristol has opened me up to new ideas and options and I am very proud to say that I graduated from the University of Bristol. I am currently head of the Centre of Academic Mobility at S.Toraighyrov Pavlodar State University and wish to continue working in education towards a PhD. I believe that my experience at the University of Bristol will be useful for me in developing the system of education in Kazakhstan.