“My name is Abzal Assembekov.I am 19 year old, 1st year student and young entrepreneur from Kazakhstan.” The teenager introduces himself proudly.
Abzal talks about his experience in a foreign country and university as a student and entrepreneur. The culture, studies and scope for work is discussed over a cup of exquisite cup of Moroccan mint tea in the hostel room.
Oblivious of what was waiting for him in Dubai, he came to pursue the degree of Computer Engineering at Manipal University. Surprisingly this remote city felt like home as the place and people have been very welcoming to him from the very first day.
When asked about his history of work he says,"I started working first as a freelancer when I was in the 9th grade as a web programmer and web designer. Then I was hired by this company called My System Group, I was working for them for about two years and while working with them, I was also working with another company in a different city. I used to deliver the desired projects to them online itself. The company was called ‘Island’.
So having learnt about his work experience we asked how he found the curriculum of engineering at the college. And he replied with a smile that he found the course to be not too difficult for him as he already knows a good amount of stuff. However, he appreciates the Indian curriculum as he feels that the amount of learning is more in a shorter period of time.
He doesn’t find the cultures of his home country and UAE to be significantly different. Yet, he marks,”People here welcome anyone, even strangers in a very polite and good way.”
Abzal is enthusiastic about his work and sincere about his studies but tells me that the events and activities having more of Indian touch to them, keeps him from being a part of it.
“Oh, yeah, I don’t like the university’s security...” He laughs,”Haha… they look at you as if you are carrying a bomb inside the building. They don’t allow you to stand in the hall,carry food inside university etc.” he answers jokingly when asked about he would like to change in the college.
(It is fascinating to see the young boy gel so well with everyone a foreigner to him while a lot of us would still be missing our country!)
Turning serious he says that he wished that the attendance policy had been liberal at the university so that he could participate in more events outside.
To end the interview we asked about his future plans to which he answered happily saying, “Well as of now the life is going as planned. And I have something in my mind but I am not so sure of it yet so I wouldn’t want to reveal it as of now.”
The young man had so much energy and enthusiasm to share in one conversation that it was really hard to end the talk. In the end, Abzal wishes everyone the best with their studies and encourages everyone to focus more on the practical side of learning.
By Mahavirsinh Rathod
The writer is a first year postgraduate student in the School of Media & Communication