Kazakhstan is located in the center of the Asian continent, and its ethnic and territorial composition reflects the continent’s diversity. Kazakhstan is a land of steppes and nomads, the land through which the Great Silk Road passed, and where cultures have mingled and interacted for centuries. Nowadays, there are over 130 different ethnic groups living on the territory of Kazakhstan. Whether you are coming for a short visit or for a longer stay, Kazakhstan’s nature, peoples, and their cultures will impress you.
Kazakhstan is as big as Western Europe, or half of the continental United States. Kazakhstan shares borders with Russia in the North, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in the South, China in the East, and Turkmenistan in the West. The capital of the country is Astana; country’s total population is over 16 million. Kazakhstan is one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Although it was a nomadic region for centuries, around 60% of Kazakhstan’s people now live in urban areas, with about 1.3 million living in Almaty.
Today, Kazakhstan is beginning to reveal its economic potential. Market reforms have allowed the country to grow into a leading position within the CIS in economic terms. However, this rapid economic growth is still largely based on natural resources, mostly on oil and gas. Kazakhstan is expanding the development of the country’s vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.
Almaty is located at the spot where the steppes meet the mountains. To the South, the snow-capped Tian Shan range surrounds Almaty and to the North, it faces a vast plain that stretches all the way to Siberia. There are many deep river gorges, lakes and hills nearby the city. Almaty has perhaps one of the most striking and beautiful locations of any city in the world.
The name Almaty comes from the Kazakh word ‘alma’, which means ‘apple’. It was previously claimed that Almaty was a home to the sweetest fruit in the world, and its former name, ‘Alma-Ata,’ means ‘father of apples.’
Nowadays, Almaty is the center of the economic, cultural, and political life in Kazakhstan. Until 1997, it used to be the capital of Kazakhstan, but then this status was transferred to Astana. Nevertheless, Almaty remains the ‘Southern Capital,’ and the financial and cultural center of the whole Central Asian region.
KIMEP University is situated in the center of Almaty in close proximity to the shops, cafes, major hotels, and the main road to the mountains.