Next Sunday I will graduate from Hofstra University with a bachelor degree in Sustainability studies. Right after that I will be going home to Kazakhstan for the summer. I will spend the summer with my family in the beautiful city of Almaty. There I will post more frequently, about the situation in Kazakhstan and the life of the city. There is also a chance, that I will visit the World Expo 2017, in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. The theme of the Expo will be renewable Energy, and green technologies. It would be a global showcase of latest developments in the Wind Power Generation, Solar Power Generation, Energy storage, and Energy efficiency. For Kazakhstan it would be the main event of the year, as the country hopes to attract the attention of Global media, and present itself as a progressive nature friendly country.
The theme of the Expo is directly related to what I have been studying at Hofstra for the last 4 years. It will only be fitting to go see the newest achievements in Wind, and Solar generation technology, after learning about Wind and Solar energy in class.
I will also be teaching, right after I get my University Degree. I will work in the summer camp for part of the summer, teaching English to school children. The camp is in the mountains near Almaty. Besides teaching English I will go hiking, and may be even have an overnight trip to the wild.
The Summer camp decided to turn into an English teaching institution due to the fact , that Kazakhstan is transferring to the trilingual education.
Let’s go back to America where I am finishing my last semester as an Undergraduate student. Here is a slide show of images related to my Graduation. Those are pictures I made in the last two days.
I am going to leave Hofstra forever, since I will not be coming here for the Masters program. Instead I will go Clark University, where I will study Environmental Science and Policy. That is a kind of degree no college offers in Kazakhstan. It will be very hard to explain my relatives what my Master’s program is all about. I will tell them that it has to do with study of the natural environment and human interactions with it, as well as the laws regarding nature protection.
Honestly, my major at Hofstra was even harder to explain. Sustainability, no one in Kazakhstan has really heard of such concept, at least no one even took courses in that. In Kazakhstan universities majors are tailored to specific occupations, such as “Geologist” or “Electrical Engineer”, there is no room for vague majors such as “Sustainability Studies” or “Environmental Science”.My first major was Environmental Resources, the idea behind it, was to learn what resources are available and how to effectively Manage them. The major I graduated with is “Sustainability Studies”. It does sound vague and esoteric. However, I did manage to explain my parents that Sustainability Studies is about learning how to live without destroying the planet, and making sure that we do not run out of resources.
Well the field of Sustainability is brand new, this wave did not reach Kazakhstan yet. It has only been around since 1970-ies, and did not become a big deal the 21st century. Actually many people in the United States are still unaware about the concept of sustainability. The topic of this major is hard to explain not only to old people, but also to some students on Hofstra campus. Hofstra Sustainability studies program was only established in 2013, the same year I came to Hofstra. To this day not a lot of students are aware of the sustainability program, and there are less than 50 Sustainability majors on the campus with 11 thousand students. That is counting both Undergraduate and Graduate Students. The Masters Program in Sustainability studies was established only two years ago, and this year Hofstra has one student graduating with this degree.Well, that’s one more person than the whole nation of Kazakhstan.
In the future it will off course change. The notion of Sustainable development, will cease to be a novel idea, and will become understood throughout society both in Kazakhstan and the United States, and also in other countries around the World.People will become more conscious about the Environmental impact of their decisions, and change their lifestyles. The courses in Sustainability and Environmental Science will be taught in colleges throughout the world. Not only in Liberal leaning western institutions. I hope that these concept will enter the high school curriculum as well, even those who do not pursue majors in Sustainability should be aware of the current Environmental Issues.
Personally I am going to miss Hofstra a lot. The instructors here have been very helpful and understanding, and I have found friends among the students. It is the place which I want to visit again in the future.The campus is a beautiful site, where one can find great diversity of plants and some modern art sculptures. Here is a footage of the Sculptures outside of the University Student Center.