Life in Almaty & On-Campus

Almaty - the cultural, financial and economic centre of Kazakhstan - is a friendly comfortable city with many places worth visiting and much to offer international students and professionals for an enjoyable living, studying, and working experience. There are many historical, cultural, and natural places to visit, and you can indulge in many entertainment, culinary and nightlife hotspots, as well as sport hobbies such as hiking, trekking, skiing, rafting, and cycling in Almaty's surrounding nature.

Narxoz University is at the heart of your experience in Kazakhstan and also offers many resources and activities to make the most of your time here. Specifically, the International Students and Faculty Department is here to support you at every stage, help you to explore the city and enjoy your stay in Almaty.

Use this guide to help you get acquainted with your new home, make the most of your experience here, become familiar with rules, resources, and customs, and know what is available for your success in Almaty and at Narxoz.
IMPORTANT: The information provided may not be up to date due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic and the 2020 campus renovation construction. Please double check information to assure accuracy.
International Networks & Resources
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There are several online networks for internationals in Kazakhstan to build community, find resources, ask questions, share, sell and buy. Additionally, there are some great visitor resources to help you get acquainted with your new home city. Here are some resources that Narxoz international students and professionals recommend:
The International Student and Faculty Department is also happy to help advise you on networks and resources as well.
Campus Facilities & Resources
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Narxoz University has two campuses located within a short drive of each other. Both campuses have classrooms, offices, service departments, cafes, and study and recreational spaces. The following are helpful resources for the Narxoz international community to use while on-campus.


Campuses

Sain-Ulugbek Campus: Microdistrict 1, 81, Almaty
(sometimes referred to as ""Улк-2"/ "ulk dva" in Russian)

Zhandossov Campus: Zhandossov Street 55, Almaty
(sometimes referred to as "Улк-1"/ "ulk udin" in Russian)

Transportation Between Campuses

You may have classes or responsibilities on both campuses throughout the week. Travel between the campuses usually takes 10-15 minutes by car/taxi (+/- 500 tenge) or 30-45 minutes by public transportation (bus route 31; +/- 80 tenge).


Hours of Operation

While working hours for individual employees and faculty varies, operation hours for most Narxoz offices are Monday through Friday from 9:00 - 18:00.
International Students and Faculty Department
The International Students and Faculty Department is housed within the Narxoz International Development and Partnerships Office, with staff available on both campuses. Make sure to follow us on social media and meet our global team of dedicated professionals who are excited to welcome you to Almaty and support you throughout your time at Narxoz.

Contact or visit us anytime for support:
welcome@narxoz.kz, +7 (705) 550-03-97

Office locations:
Saina campus, office 16a (first floor)
Zhandossov campus, office 306 (third floor) in the Narxoz Business School building

Hours: Monday through Friday, 09:00 - 18:00 (closed 13:00-14:00)
Closed on Kazakhstan national holidays
University Calendar
IMPORTANT: Due to the impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic, all orientation events and classes may take place online during all or some of the Fall 2020 semester, but it is yet to be confirmed. The following dates are tentative and all students will be informed of the Fall 2020 course format in August. We appreciate everyone's flexibility during these unprecedented times.

FALL 2020


  • June-August: Fall course registration (exact dates announced via email)
  • 20-26 August: Dormitory move-in
  • 23 August: Last day for new international students to arrive to Almaty
  • 28 August: Last day for new international students to submit required arrival/admission documentation
  • 26-31 August: New Student Orientation Week
  • 30 August: Constitution Day*
  • 24 August-5 September: Fall course add/drop period
  • 1 September: First day of classes
  • 7-12 September: Late course registration period
  • 12 September: Final day to drop courses
  • 19-24 October: First internal semester control (mid-semester exams or additional credit opportunities)
  • 1 December: First President Day*
  • 7-12 December: Second internal semester control (additional semester exams or and additional credit opportunities)
  • 16-17 December: Kazakhstan Independence Day*
  • 14 December-2 January: Fall final exam period
  • 4-23 January: Winter vacation
  • 11-16 January: Re-taking of an examination (in case of FX)

SPRING 2021

  • November-December: Spring course registration (exact dates announced via email)
  • 1-2 January: New Year's Day*
  • 7 January: Orthodox Christmas Day*
  • 18-23 January: Spring course add/drop period
  • 25 January: First day of Spring classes
  • 25-30 January-: Spring late registration period
  • 25-30 January : Final day to drop Spring courses
  • 8 March: International Women's Day*
  • 15-20 March: First internal semester control/mid-semester exams
  • 21-23 March: Nauryz*
  • 1 May: Unity Day*
  • 3-8 May: Second internal semester control/additional semester exams
  • 7-9 May: Defender's Day and Victory Day*
  • 10-29 May: Spring final exam period
  • 31 May-5 June: Re-taking of an examination (in case of FX)
  • mid-June to mid-July: Graduation ceremony (exact date announced via email)

SUMMER 2021

Regular classes are not held during the summer; however, make-up classes may be available for students who did not pass classes during the fall or spring semesters.

  • 31 May-12 June: Registration for Summer term
  • 31 May-3 July: Internship period
  • 5-10 July: Internship report defence
  • 14 June: First day of Summer classes
  • 24 July: Last day of Summer classes
  • 6 July: Capital Day*
  • 20 July: Kurban Ait*
* Narxoz University and all facilities are fully closed and will not hold classes on the days listed with an asterisk. If a holiday falls on a weekend, the university may be closed the week day/s before or after the holiday. An official announcement will be sent to your Narxoz email account the week before the holiday.
Libraries
Library hours: 9:00 to 22:00 Monday through Friday | 10:00 to 15:00 Saturdays | Closed Sundays

There is a library on the second floor of the main building on each campus, both offering books, magazines, journals and other academic publications in the electronic catalog, as well as computer access and study spaces. Library services can be accessed using the Narxoz ID card. Learn more about Narxoz' libraries.
Technology Support
+7 727 377-13-11 | Zhandossov campus - office 105а | servicedesk@narxoz.kz

The Narxoz IT Support Center will help you solve any issues with your Narxoz email and Banner Student account, WiFi access, or other matters relating to campus technology. If urgent IT assistance is needed while teaching or in a meeting, please contact your designated school contact in the dean's office for assistance if IT does not answer their phone.
On-campus WiFi Access
All Narxoz facilities have free WiFi access for students, employees, and guests under the "Welcome to Narxoz'' network as follows:

  • Students log on via their Banner System login and password. This is separate from their Narxoz email account. The Banner information is automatically created for you and is provided when you arrive at the university.
  • Employees can login using their Narxoz email address and personal password. Additionally, employees can also use their Narxoz Personal Network on their personal devices. To obtain access, contact maksim.terebov@narxoz.kz and provide your device MAC-address.
  • Guests can log on via their Facebook account or an SMS message. Guests without SMS capabilities can ask for assistance from the International Students and Faculty Department.
Student Service Center
The Student Service Centers provides all Narxoz students with the following services:

  • Issuance of the Narxoz ID card

  • Registration in the academic record system (Banner System)

  • Academic related needs

  • Dormitory related needs

  • Obtaining an Onay public transportation card

  • Assistance with finding the right Narxoz office to help with other requests

Narxoz Student Service Centers:

Zhandossov Campus
+7 727 377-19-05 or +7 727 377-12-41
front-office1@narxoz.kz or front-office@narxoz.kz
Located to the left of the main entrance lobby.

Saina Campus
+7 727 377-12-46 or +7 727 377-19-05
front-office1@narxoz.kz or front-office@narxoz.kz
Located to the left of the main entrance lobby.
New Student Orientation Week
At the start of every academic year in August, all new students participate in New Student Orientation Week. International students should arrive in Almaty no later than one week before the start of New Student Orientation Week to allow enough time to take care of all of the mandatory arrival tasks to confirm full admission. During orientation week, new students:

  • Get acquainted with Narxoz' campuses and neighborhoods inside and out

  • Know where classrooms, eating facilities, restrooms, deans' offices, student affairs offices, student service centers, other useful departments and facilities are located

  • Learn about Narxoz and Kazakhstan policies and laws

  • Get a tour of Almaty and learn about all that Almaty has to offer

  • Learn how to use public transportation, visit nearby grocery stores and other important facilities, and learn the basics of life in Almaty

  • Get acquainted with an International Buddy who will guide international students through their first semester at Narxoz

  • Meet other Narxoz international and local students, faculty and staff

  • Learn about more involvement opportunities, such as student clubs, sport activities, student research, business incubator and internships, and academic mobility

  • Hear about the history of Narxoz and its alumni network, and learn about career development opportunities through the Narxoz experience
Student Life & Community Involvement
Narxoz provides many engaging activities throughout the academic year for students. The Office of Student Life, student clubs and the International Students and Faculty Department collaborate to put on exciting events such as study sessions, talent shows, global nights, best students contest, Zhaidarman (comedy shows), movie-watching, debates, innovation and global solutions all-night lock-ins, workshops, nature visits, hiking, cultural events, career and expert guest speakers, and other celebrations and creative events. Learn more about student clubs and student life at Narxoz.
Cafes and Restaurants: On-Campus
There are several food spots on each floor of classroom buildings where drinks and snacks are for purchase. There is also a big canteen (cafeteria) on each campus that provides breakfast, lunch, and snack options. Students and employees may also bring their own food to eat on campus. However, kitchens are not available for student use.


Zhandossov Campus
Canteen 1: Narxoz Business School, first floor
Canteen 2: Main building, Cafe "Tvorcheskoye", ground floor/lower level
Cafe: Papa's Cafe in the lobby of the Grand Pool Wellness Center
Cafe: ground floor/lower level of the main building
Snack bars are available on each floor of the main classroom building.

Saina Campus
Canteens are available on the ground floor/lower level and first floor.
Snack bars are available on each floor.


Note: On-campus canteens and cafes may change during the campus reconstruction period. Cards are not accepted in some campus eateries. Not all of the staff at eateries speak English, but the Google Translate app can help with the language barrier and there may be another student or employee around that will be happy to help you communicate.
Cafes and Restaurants: Off-Campus
Surrounding the Narxoz' campuses, there are several quality cafes and restaurants with national and international menus and inexpensive to mid-cost prices. Some of the most popular restaurants include:


Zhandossov Campus

Closest to campus:
Samurai Sushi (pan-Asian, European/Western) $$
Belyi Zhuravl/White Crane (Kazakh & European/Western) $$
Dodo Pizza (pizza; fast food) $
Magnum Express (grocery store with ready-made food and food stalls on the second floor) $-$$

East and north of campus:
Degirmen (regional favorites/pastries/Turkish) $-$$
Zheka's Doner & Pilov House (regional favorites/fast food) $-$$
Shafran (regional favorites) $$
Sushi Maki (pan-Asian, European/Western) $$
Marta Lounge (bar, lounge, light food) $$

South of campus:
Khinkalnaya (Georgian) $$
Wok Lagman (Central Asian noodle and stir fry) $
Lanzhou (Central Asian/regional favorites) $$
Doner Khan (regional favorites/fast treats) $
Red Dragon Almaty (Central Asian noodle cart/fast food) $
Magnum Express (grocery store with ready-made food) $-$$


Saina Campus

Cafe Gold (pan-Asian, European/Western) $$
Kiz Kulesi (regional favorites/cafe) $-$$
Magnum ATAK (grocery store with ready-made food) $-$$
Study, Recreation, Exercise & Wellness Spaces
Study Spaces

Students have access to study in several locations around Narxoz including over 190 classrooms, 56 computer classrooms, six library reading halls, several on-campus cafes and canteens, and various student lounges and outdoor spaces. Electric outlets are not readily available at all spaces, so laptops should be charged before coming to campus.


Recreation Spaces

The Narxoz community has access to several areas on-campus to relax and gather, including several open space zones, courtyards, fountain areas, sports complex and stadium, and the Grand Pool Wellness Center and swimming pool. In addition, international students and employees can enjoy Narxoz University's facilities at the Kapchagay Water Reservoir and Balchash Lake outside Almaty. For more information and to schedule a trip, contact yekaterina.kalugina@narxoz.kz.


"Grand Pool" Wellness Center

The Narxoz Zhandossov campus houses one of Almaty's best gyms and pools, Grand Pool, open to both the Narxoz community and the public. Grand Pool offers modern circuit and weight training equipment, over 20 group fitness classes, an olympic size pool, swim lessons, sauna, showers, lockers, a refreshments bar, and friendly knowledgeable staff and fitness coaches. Children's classes, personal training, and massage services are also available. All Narxoz students and employees receive discounts on membership by showing their Narxoz ID upon signing up for membership. Become a member of the Grand Pool.


Sports and Exercise Spaces

In addition to the Grand Pool Wellness Center, the Narxoz community also has access to join Narxoz' sports and exercise organizations or programs.

Students can join the following student sports teams (which have eligibility requirements and a selection process): football, futsal, basketball, tennis, chess, cheerleading, volleyball, swimming, boxing, freestyle wrestling, sambo, judo, Kazakh wrestling, and running. Any students can participate in the following sports which have no eligibility requirements nor selection process: table tennis, darts, aerobics, and wrestling sports.

Employees have free access to the Narxoz stadium and sport hall at the Zhandossov campus when not in use by classes or teams. The swimming pool is accessible with a fee. The annual employee sport contests, Densaulyk Olympiad, is advertised and open to all employees and includes basketball, futsal, darts, Kazakh wrestling, swimming and chess.
Trash and Recycling
Narxoz University is committed to institutional sustainability. All students and employees should recycle whenever possible. There are central recycling bins located at both campuses.

Zhandossov Campus Recycling
The recycling bins are behind Grand Pool Fitness Center.


Saina Campus Recycling
At the Saina campus, the recycling bins are located in the central courtyard and behind the building on Airixa Street (Улица Айриха).
Airport & Travel
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Most international flights to Kazakhstan arrive at the Almaty International Airport or the Nursultan Nazarbayev International Airport (with connections to Almaty International Airport). Both airports are modern and provide all standard amenities of an international airport. Ground transportation to and from each airport is very easy and convenient with light traffic at all times, and both airports are located just on the outskirts of the Almaty and Nur Sultan.

Important: The WiFi service in both airports is free. However, it is usually only accessible by logging in with a local phone number. Therefore, it is important to confirm all airport pick-up arrangements before your flight since you may have no way of communicating on the phone when you arrive. The information desks in the main lobby of each airport always have staff available that can speak English, Kazakh, and Russian, and may be able to help you make a call if needed.
What to Expect Upon Arrival & Departure
What to expect after leaving the plane

Most flights have passengers exit the plane on stairs and walk to a nearby shuttle that will transfer you to the terminal. From there you will walk to the immigration screening section where you will enter the line for foreigners. The process is usually very quick, taking only five to ten minutes (including wait time). The immigration officer will ask for your passport and visa, may ask a few general questions about the purpose of your visit (with Narxoz), and will then take a picture of you, stamp your passport, and welcome you to Kazakhstan. From there, you will then pick up your luggage then walk through the customs section into the airport lobby.


What to expect in the airport lobby

After exiting the immigration, luggage pickup and customs room, you will quickly enter the airport lobby which will be filled with eager taxi drivers. Many drivers will ask you again and again if you need taxi services. They are harmless and will respectfully stop asking once you let them know that you are not interested. Additionally, the lobby has a variety of services including restaurants and cafes, souvenir shops, restrooms, and a help desk.


What to expect when leaving Almaty through the airport

On the day you will leave Almaty via the airport, it is highly suggested to leave your home three to four hours before your international flight (or two to three hours for domestic flights), keeping in mind traffic congestion. It is important to arrive at the airport no later than two or three hours before your international flight (or one or two hours for domestic flights). Go to either the domestic or international flights check-in counters and present your passport. There you will check-in your luggage and receive your boarding pass (unless you have been issued a digital ticket). For international flights you will go through immigration where your exit will be quickly recorded. From there, all passengers will go through security screening (standard x-ray machine) and can then proceed to their gates. Restaurants, cafes, souvenir shops, and restrooms will be available near your gate.
Airport Pick-up & Transportation
Narxoz' free airport pickup service, taxi or bus are the options to get from the Almaty airport to Narxoz or your final destination:

Narxoz' Free Airport Pickup Service

The International Students and Faculty Department arranges free airport pickup services for all new Narxoz international students, employees and guests via Narxoz' private driver service. Please email your flight itinerary at least one to three weeks before your arrival to welcome@narxoz.kz. Confirmation details will be sent to you by email reply.

Once you leave the plane and go through the immigration and customs process, you will quickly enter the airport lobby where our university driver will be waiting for you with a sign with your name. The driver will assist you with all of your luggage and will take you to your final destination. The drivers speak minimal English but are fluent in Kazakh and Russian.


Taxi

Taxi is a fast and convenient transportation method that costs approximately 2,000 to 3,000 tenge (approximately 7-10 Euros). It is wise to confirm the price of the taxi before commencing the ride to the university since, very rarely, some taxi drivers illegally inflate prices for foreigners. Estimated travel time by taxi is 40-50 minutes to the area around Narxoz University. Taxi drivers will be waiting in the airport lobby or right outside the airport exit doors. To order a taxi you can use a mobile app or call by phone. Since you may not have a local phone connection when you arrive, it is most convenient to arrange the free airport pick-up service with Narxoz. There are several taxi options, including:

Yandex: +7 747 094 00 54 and by app
Uber: +7 775 875 5535 and by app
Almaty taxi: +7 701 225 27 27
EcoTaxi: +7 777 672 77 77
Lider: +7 727 355-0550


Public Bus

The cheapest and most environmentally friendly transfer option is by public bus (No. 79 to the Narxoz Zhandossov campus), which costs only 150 tenge (less than 1 Euro) per person for a one-way ticket. However, these buses often get crowded soon after leaving the airport and entering the city center; therefore, if you have more than carry-on luggage, you are advised to take a taxi or reserve your private airport transfer with Narxoz.

Bus tickets are available for purchase on board (tenge cash only) or you may purchase on Onay card at the airport (refer to the public transportation section below). If you are going to Narxoz University, it is recommended to ask the bus driver to announce the stop "Narxoz University", which is in front of the university. It takes one to one and a half hours to get to Narxoz by bus. The bus is available from 06:35 to 22:40 and picks up right outside of the airport lobby doors at the assigned bus stop.
Getting Around Almaty
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There are several ways to conveniently move around Almaty, including walking, public transportation (bus and metro), taxi, and driving. The 2GIS app (pronounced too-gees) is the most widely used navigation app in Kazakhstan for both vehicles and public transportation. It is more up-to-date and accurate than Google Maps. The app is available in Russian and English; however, the English version still lists some information in Russian only.
Public Transportation (Bus and Metro)
Public transportation is the most widely used form of transportation in Almaty, and is very affordable - 80 tenge (less than half of one US dollar) per ride or only 40 tenge for students (with the Onay student card). Options include the metro, regular city buses, or smaller neighborhood or regional buses (called marshrootkas). Make sure to review safety tips while using public transportation.


Routes

There are many bus routes that run throughout every part of the city, including a concentration of routes to the city center, as well as routes to the outskirts of the city as well as the Medeo mountain recreation area.

The metro has one line that runs east-west through the city center. Metro is a convenient option if your destination is along the line or you want to transfer to one of the many bus routes near the metro stops.


Payment & Plans

The Onay Card (pronounced oh-nay) is the most convenient way to pay for any public transportation and is also substantially cheaper than paying by tenge/cash. Every bus will have one or more machines where you can tap your card to pay for your ride and the metro entrance will require you to tap your Onay card to enter. You can also use the Onay app to pay for the ride by connecting your Onay Card to your app account. If you need to pay by cash on the bus, you may do so with the driver; however, you will need to have small denominations (preferably coins) as the drivers often do not have much change. If you pay by cash, make sure to get the printed receipt and save it until you are done with your ride. There are also other ways to pay for your ride on your phone by scanning the QR code or by text message. See the details on your phone providers website.


To Purchase an Onay Card

Onay cards cost 500 tenge (or are free for students - first time only). Onay cards can be obtained from the following locations:

  • Narxoz Student Service Centers at both campuses

  • At any metro station, airport, railway stations, and the Sairan central bus station

  • Caravan kiosks, Akson-mobile stores, Rozhayev BG or Tourist Information Center trading points

  • Onay service centers: 33/1 Ryskulbekova Street or the Altyn Taraz Shopping Center at Abylai Khan 3A

  • Guidejet TI: Manasa Street 7B

  • RIXOS Hotel

  • From a ticket controller on the bus (not the driver)


Student Onay Transportation Card

Students pay only half the normal fare (only 40 tenge) when they use the Onay card for students. Students can receive this card at the Narxoz Student Services Center. Students can also purchase a monthly pass called the Student Urban Transport Pass for 3,000 tenge.


Tips

  • Large buses are green. Smaller buses are a variety of colors but are noticeably smaller.

  • The bus number is visible on the front, side, and rear of the bus.

  • Busses do not stop very long for riders to get on. So it is important to get on quickly from any of the open doors.

  • Scan your bus card or pay your fair as soon as you enter.

  • Give your seat up for the elderly, disabled, pregnant, and those with children.

  • Buses are often crowded most times of the day, especially during the morning and evening rush hours.

  • It is common for transportation officials to enter buses to double check fares. Have your Onay card, paper receipt, or other proof of payment available to show the official.

  • Bus stops are announced most of the time but not always. There are bus stops on both sides of the street in front of both Narxoz campuses. The Zhandossov campus stops are announced in Russian as "universitat Narxoz". It is okay to ask the bus driver to announce the "Narxoz University" so you know where to get off.


Resources

Download the Onay app to refill your card, pay for rides with a QR code and to see the routes and live locations of both bus and metro, and learn more about public transportation options in Almaty:

Taxi
Taxi is a fast and convenient transportation method that costs approximately 600 to 3,000 tenge (approximately 2-10 Euros) depending on the distance. It is wise to confirm the price of the taxi before commencing the ride to the university since some taxi drivers illegally inflate prices for foreigners. To avoid this, you can use one of several taxi services apps, such as Yandex Taxi and InDriver, which are pre-determined. To order a taxi you can use a mobile app or call by phone. Common taxi options include:

Yandex: +7 747 094 00 54 and by app
Uber: +7 775 875 5535 and by app
Almaty taxi: +7 701 225 27 27
EcoTaxi: +7 777 672 77 77
Lider: +7 727 355-0550

Taxis can pick you up in the front or rear entrances of each Narxoz campus.
Flagging Down Cars
While in Almaty, you will see people standing by the side of the road with their hand out to hail informal taxis. This is a tradition widely used almost exclusively in Almaty and nowhere else in Kazakhstan. Waving a hand can get you an official taxi or an individual non-taxi driver who wants to earn some extra money or just someone heading in the same direction. Locals often choose this option since it can be cheaper than a taxi and/or faster to get to your final destination than on a bus or the metro.


While the informal taxi system can be convenient, is legal, and Almaty has relatively low crime rates, you are advised to research safety aspects of doing this so that you can make an informed decision based on your own tolerance for risk. While the International Students and Faculty Department does its best to accommodate its international community's needs, we may be unable to help you if you are overcharged, taken to the wrong address, or encounter an extreme and time sensitive safety issue. Therefore, we strongly recommend opting for a safer option such as public transportation or Yandex or inDriver (see above.)


Things to note:

  • Since most drivers speak limited English, it's easier and safer to do this process with a local/Russian speaker. If a driver knows some English, they will often want to practice with you.

  • Once a car stops, you must go to their passenger window to negotiate your final destination and the process.

  • Always take a picture of the license plate and car and send it to a trusted contact so they are aware, then let your contact know when you arrive at your final destination.

  • Informal rides can be shared with other passengers picked up along your approximate route.

  • Payment is done in cash (tenge) or Kaspi online at the end of your ride.
Driving in Almaty
Most international residents of Almaty prefer to use public transportation, taxis, and car-sharing services rather than using a personally owned vehicle. If you enjoy driving, it's worth noting that car-sharing can cost as little as 19 tenge per minute.

When driving in Almaty, note that your driving will be monitored by radar and camera systems, and fines for speeding can be high. The speed limit range in the city is from 40 to 60 km/h, and Al-Farabi is the only street that allows speeds up to 80 km/h. Additionally, you will need to be careful to park your car only in designated (paid) parking places. Parking in unauthorized areas can result in large fines.

Useful applications:

Further reading (in English):

Housing/Accomodation
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Unless you are staying in a Narxoz dormitory upon arrival, it is important to plan to stay in short-term accommodation for your first three to seven days while you look for long-term housing. To avoid scams or any issues, it is important to finalize long-term accommodation in-person and not over the internet or phone.
Short-term Accommodation Options
There are many good quality hotels, hostels, and AirBnB options in the city center as well as some near Narxoz University.

AirBNB

AirBnB is a great way to find affordable, reliable, and convenient short-term housing options that are close to the Narxoz campus in both apartments as well as houses owned by locals. This is a secure way to also get a better taste of local living standards and options, and maybe get to know locals.


Hotels

Some well-known hotels in Almaty include Novotel, the historic Kazakhstan Hotel - Almaty, and Garden Park Inn. These hotels are all located in central Almaty, approximately a 15- to 25-minute taxi ride or 30 to 45-minute bus ride to Narxoz.

Narxoz employees are eligible for a 30-37% discount at Mildom Hotel, which is also a 30 to 40-minute ride from Narxoz by taxi: +7(727) 390 06 00; address: 2GIS, Google Maps.


Hostels

Hostels are a great option to get to know other foreigners and locals, and for those on a budget. There are several hostels throughout Almaty, with most located in the city center. Hostels offer communal living as well as private rooms. Quality and amenities vary, as well as options for locking up your belongings and luggage, so it is important to do your research before reserving a hostel. Hostels can be found by searching for "hostels Almaty" on Google.


For International Employees

For full-time permanent employees, Narxoz pays for up to a five-day stay in a hotel while an employee is looking for accommodation. New employees must find accommodation within the five days and inform HR and their International Faculty Coordinator immediately to re-register their new address in the Kazakhstan migration system.
Long-term Accommodation Options
New apartment complexes with modern finishings and amenities continue to be built in Almaty; however, most people live in old Soviet apartments since they are the most affordable. The old Soviet apartment complexes are built in the communal style that people lived in during the Soviet Union. They often lack elevators despite being several storeys high. While the outside appearance may be run down, the quality of each apartment varies greatly based on the landlord; some apartments are luxurious and remodeled inside while others are average or rundown.


Apartments & AirBnB

Finding long-term housing in-person is much faster and reliable than before your arrival to Almaty. Calling potential locations on the phone and visiting them in-person avoids scams or misunderstandings. Having a local help you negotiate a rental agreement can be very beneficial if not essential, particularly if you do not speak fluent Russian. The International Students and Faculty Department is happy to help you search for temporary or permanent housing in Almaty both before and after you arrive. You might also find opportunities and resources by posting on the community forums listed in the International Networks & Resources section.


Tips:

  • Quality long-term housing can usually be found within one week. Plan to spend three to four hours a day for a few days for the entire search, view, contract and move-in process.

  • Most people, including foreigners, live in apartments. Houses are very rarely available for foreigners.

  • Most all housing comes fully-furnished, including major refrigerator, washer, oven and stove, couch, bed, closet, curtains, dining table and chairs. Some fully-furnished apartments include additional items such as dishware, bathroom accessories, etc.

  • Most rental agreements are month-to-month or six-months-long, which is very convenient for foreigners.

  • In most cases, only a passport and possibly a deposit will be needed to rent an apartment – and some landlords don't even charge a deposit.

  • You should always have a written and mutually signed rental agreement, with a copy for your records.

  • Utilities (water, heating, and internet) are not usually included in the rental price but are considerably affordable.

  • Most housing in Almaty does not provide air conditioning although the summer can be hot for about a month or two. Fans are quite convenient during Almaty summers. Radiated heat is used throughout all buildings in Almaty from about November to March.

  • Krisha is the most used resource for rental agreements at an affordable rate, usually with lots of options near Narxoz and central Almaty. Some landlords will also rent their AirBnB listings for a month or longer. Inquire with the landlord through a message on AirBnB.
Narxoz Dormitories
Narxoz international students and short-term visiting professionals can stay in the Narxoz dormitory for the duration of their stay. The International Students and Employees Department will support you throughout the application and check-in processes.


About Narxoz Dormitories

  • There are three dormitories located within a short walking distance of the Zhandossov campus. Their convenient locations allow residents to spend less time and money commuting.

  • Each dorm room is designed for two to three people, and is equipped with beds, bedside tables, ottomans, wardrobes, and a refrigerator.

  • All dormitories are equipped with free WiF as well as the following communal spaces: lounge rooms with plasma TVs (with satellite and local TV), kitchens, sports rooms, reception rooms, showers, and laundry rooms equipped with modern appliances - washing and drying machines, ironing boards, and irons.

  • There are 821 beds in the three dormitories. Living area per resident is 6.6 meters. The total area within the three dormitories is 18,819.9 square meters.

  • All buildings were built following construction codes and the laws of Kazakhstan to assure safety and sanitation. Additionally, all residential buildings will be renovated by 2021. In order to ensure the safety of all residents, video cameras and an access control system (ACS) are installed at the entrances of dormitories, and security are available at each dormitory 24 hours a day. Additionally, the dormitory supervisor is available daily from 9:00 to 18:00.

  • Access is available from 6 am to 11 pm for residents by their Narxoz ID cards and keys. Guests can visit by checking in with security at building entrances.

  • Student clubs and the Office of Student Life regularly conduct activities onsite that are available to all dormitory residents, including reading clubs, movie nights, and workshops.


Monthly Rental Fees

The price for dormitory rent is very low compared to rental prices in surrounding apartments.

21,700 tenge (per month, per person, two-person room)
20,700 tenge (per month, per person, four-person room)

The dormitory rental fee is due once per semester or once per year; however, payment plans are available by request. Payment can be made via local bank transfer or in cash (KZT) upon arrival. This process is done fully with the help of your International Student and Employee Coordinator.


Application Process

It is important to apply for a dormitory as soon as you receive admission to Narxoz since space is limited. To apply, email your International Student or Employee Coordinator for full instructions and guidance. During the application process, you will choose the type of accommodation (2, 3, 4-people per room) and complete an application. Once confirmation is received, you will receive a confirmation notification by email, then pay a deposit. (In the case of cancellation of residence, the amount of unused months of residence is returned to the student.)


Registration & Move-in

Registration for dormitory housing and check-in procedures are done through the Student Service Center with the help of your International Student and Employee Coordinator.


Medical Examination & Additional Documents

Before the student can move-in to the dormitory, the following steps must be completed and originals of all required documents submitted:

  • Five passport-style photos (3x4 cm; white background and no shadows; applicant's face should be clearly seen with a neutral expression; There are shops near Narxoz campuses where you can take these photos.)
  • Copy of your passport identify page
  • Medical certificate (form 086): The medical form is available at any hospital/clinic in Kazakhstan and will require a physical examination with a doctor to confirm the student has no medical contradictions that might cause the student's health to deteriorate under the normal academic workload.
  • Fluorography shot/chest x-ray (This must be completed in Kazakhstan.)
  • A negative diagnosis for HIV / AIDS (This must be completed in Kazakhstan.)
Once all documents are submitted, payment is complete, and all steps are completed, the student will sign the residential contract in order to finish registration and move into their dormitory room.


Move-in Procedures

Move-in may take place between August 20-26, or as confirmed with the dormitory manager. If you have not confirmed your check-in or if you arrive at the university before August 20 (or outside of 9:00-18:00), it is important to coordinate short-term accommodations until your check-in time is confirmed.

Note: Dormitory residents do not have to move out during the winter and summer vacation periods.
Communication: Phone, Internet, Email, etc.
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Digital communications are fairly reliable and modern in most parts of Kazakhstan, especially in Almaty and Nur Sultan. Internationals are encouraged to bring their own cell phones since Narxoz will provide you with a SIM card upon arrival.
Mobile Phones & SIM Cards
The International Students and Faculty Department purchases SIM cards for all new international students and employees and provides them during airport pickup so you have mobile data from the moment they meet you at the airport. Within one week of receiving your SIM card, you must register it at a telecommunications provider store. Your passport is needed for the process.

There are several telecommunications companies that offer a variety of mobile phone data packages. Additional SIM cards (GSM network) can also be purchased at many local neighborhood stores and mobile centers. The approximate cost of a cell phone package with 10 GB of internet is 2,000 tenge per month.

Cellular communications companies in Kazakhstan operate on a prepaid system. As credit runs out, it can be replenished easily by purchasing more via recharge stations throughout the city. They are located in every neighborhood mainly in supermarkets, convenience stores and major shopping centers. But you can sometimes find the recharge stations off the sidewalk on frequented streets. Most of the companies also offer online payment methods on their websites or mobile apps but they only accept local bank cards.

Reliable cell phone operators: Activ | Kcell | Beeline* | Altel* | Tele2*

*These providers do not have an English website. Speak to a member of the International Students and Faculty Department for assistance if you choose this provider.
Internet & WIFi
The Internet is widely used by most people in Kazakhstan. However, the reliability and access is greater in bigger cities like Almaty and Nur Sultan. Many public locations in Almaty offer free WiFi but it is usually only available by entering a local mobile phone number.


All Narxoz facilities have free WiFi access for all students, employees, and guests under the "Welcome to Narxoz'' network. WiFi access around the campuses allows for easy use of laptops and other mobile devices. See the Narxoz WiFi access section for more details.
Narxoz Email Accounts & Listservs
All Narxoz students and employees will have a Narxoz corporate email account (e.g. abc.123@narxoz.kz) and are expected to use it for all Narxoz related communications. Account information will be provided shortly after the student's admission or employee's contract is confirmed. The International Students and Faculty Department will assist you in assuring your email account is created and login information provided to you. It is every student's and employee's responsibility to check their email daily.


There are also a variety of Narxoz listservs that you will be added to in order to receive important communications from Narxoz offices. For example, all students will be added to the all-Narxoz students listserv as well as the listserv for their school; whereas all employees will be added to the listserv for all employees and their specific division (if applicable).
General Communication
The most popular apps for communication in Kazakhstan are WhatsApp and Telegram.


For Narxoz employees, Narxoz mainly uses Microsoft Teams for remote meetings, calls, and messages. Every department or office will probably have a Microsoft Teams group that you will be added to in your first week of employment. Inquire with your supervisor for more information. Google Hangouts, Google Chat, Zoom, and WhatsApp and WhatsApp for Business are also used by some departments and employees.
Language Learning & Translation
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The number of Almaty residents with intermediate-to-advanced English is large and growing. However, Kazakh and Russian are still the main languages of use and you will encounter many situations in which being able to communicate in Kazakh and/or Russian will be extremely beneficial, if not the only means of communication, both at Narxoz and in public. Russian is widely used by almost everyone at the workplace while Kazakh is used colloquially and somewhat in the workplace.


To more conveniently communicate with locals, show greater respect to locals, and learn some basic language skills and cultural aspects, use the following applications:

  • Google Translate is useful for reading labels and menus in Kazakh or Russian, or communicating with non-English speakers.

  • Duolingo or Tandem are helpful for learning Russian.

Kazakh and Russian language instruction is available at Narxoz for a fee via one-to-one tutoring and group courses that follow the academic calendar. For more information, contact the International Students and Faculty Department.

Note: Kazakhstan is currently at the beginning of a multi-year transition of the Kazakh alphabet script from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Roman alphabet. Therefore, you will notice Kazakh written in either alphabet for the next few years as the country transitions to using only the Roman alphabet for Kazakh.
Banking & Finance
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Kazakhstan has a fairly modern banking system that follows international standards and provides many online access options. International students, employees, and visitors will find that money matters are relatively easy and straightforward. However, there may be differences between your banking system and Kazakhstan's that you should research in advance.


Money in Kazakhstan

The local currency is the Kazakhstani Tenge (KZT).

  • Notes: 200, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 KZT
  • Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 KZT


Paying for Goods and Services

Most stores, restaurants, hotels and other providers of goods and services accept most major foreign cards, including American Express and Visa cards, especially in Almaty and Nur-Sultan. However, cash is generally preferred in retail, smaller shops, restaurants, food vendors, and taxis (although card payments can be set up for the taxi applications referenced elsewhere in this guide.) Outside of Almaty and Nur-Sultan, credit card acceptance is limited and cash is the normal method of payment. Kaspi is also a widely accepted payment method among small and large businesses, as well as with individuals, but requires you to open a Kaspi bank account.
Banking in Kazakhstan
Internationals have a wide variety of banks to choose from that offer in-person and online services that align with high quality international standards. Banks are usually open every weekday from 9:00 to 18:00, with an hour lunch break, and are closed on weekends. Some banks are open on Saturdays for limited hours.


Opening a Bank Account

To open a local bank account, coordinate with the International Students and Faculty Department.

If you are staying in Kazakhstan for more than a few months, we recommend opening a bank account in Kazakhstan to make your stay easier. Opening a local bank account is usually free and allows you more payment and money transfer options. Furthermore, many apps and some organizations only accept local bank accounts. Specifically, opening a Kaspi account is the most widely used method of payment with any type of vendor in Kazakhstan, other than by cash.

There are no restrictions on non-residents opening a bank account in Kazakhstan. Internationals will need their passport and an Individual Identification Number (Kazakh tax/resident number) to open a bank account in Kazakhstan. A minimum deposit will also be required, either in tenge or a widely accepted foreign currency (such as US dollars, British pounds or euros).

Note: International employees will need a letter of employment verification from Narxoz HR in order to open a bank account in Kazakhstan. Additionally, employees with full-time positions and working visas must open a Forte Bank account for salary purposes; other Kazakhstani or foreign banks cannot receive Narxoz' salary payments.


Additional Information for International Employees

Employees receive their salary in Kazakh Tenge (KZT) in the amount/interval specified in the employee's employment contract. Employees with a full-time contract and a working visa may only receive their salary through their ForteBank account. Therefore, such employees must open a bank account with Forte Bank for salary processes. Forte Bank is a high quality bank used widely throughout Kazakhstan and includes services such as mobile banking and international money transfer service. View the list of Forte Bank locations and liaise with a member of the International Students and Faculty Department to coordinate the process of opening a bank account.


ATMs

ATMs are widely available in Kazakhstan's main cities, but can be scarce in smaller locations. Most ATMs will accept foreign bank cards. Most machines only dispense cash in tenge, but some in the larger cities also stock US dollars. All major credit cards are accepted in Kazakhstan.

If you are looking for an ATM that allows you to withdraw from your normal account, you may find the following resource helpful.

Currency Exchange and Currency Controls

US dollars, Euros, British pounds, Roubles, Rupees and other common currencies can be exchanged locally in banks and exchange offices. Internationals may import/export an unlimited amount of cash (national and foreign currency) and travelers' cheques provided that it is done in compliance with customs regulations. Exported/imported cash and travelers' cheques are subject to declaration to customs if the amount exceeds 10,000 USD.
Taxes in Kazakhstan
International Students

International students do not have to pay income tax in Kazakhstan.


International Employees

International employee income is taxed at a flat rate of 10 percent of gross income in Kazakhstan. This amount is automatically deducted from each paycheck. International employees do not have to pay the additional 10% for Kazakhstan pension benefits. Please refer to the following information:

  • Pension tax (10%)
    Foreign citizens from non-EAEU member-countries: No payment
    Foreign citizens from EAEU member-countries: No payment

  • Social deductions (3,5%)
    Foreign citizens from non-EAEU member-countries: No payment
    Foreign citizens from EAEU member-countries: Yes, must be paid

  • Compulsory health insurance (1,5%)
    Foreign citizens from non-EAEU member-countries: No payment
    Foreign citizens from EAEU member-countries: Yes, must be paid

  • Individual income tax (10%)
    Foreign citizens from non-EAEU member-countries: Yes, must be paid
    Foreign citizens from EAEU member-countries: Yes, must be paid

  • Social tax (9,5%)
    Foreign citizens from non-EAEU member-countries: Yes, must be paid
    Foreign citizens from EAEU member-countries: Yes, must be paid
EAEU: Eurasian Economic Union
Source: uchet.kz

If a foreign citizen has a residence permit (typically issued for ten years) in Kazakhstan, then he/she is taxed exactly with the same taxes and fees as citizens of Kazakhstan. Tax residents are subject to personal tax on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed only on their income generated in Kazakhstan.


Although Kazakhstan's tax system is relatively uncomplicated, it's best for international employees to hire the services of a qualified tax consultant to assist them in managing their taxes while in Kazakhstan and in accordance with the tax regulations of their home country.


For more information on income tax in Kazakhstan, we recommend the following sources: KPMG | Deloitte | Electronic Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan
Food
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With so many ethnicities represented in Kazakhstan and because of its geographical location, a robust food culture and many food options are available in Almaty, reflecting cultures from Asia - especially Korea and Central Asia, Russia, eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the West. Meat, dairy, and wheat products are staples of the diverse Kazakhstani diet. Additionally, Almaty has some of the freshest natural produce in the entire country, shipped in from local, organic, and/or natural farms around the Almaty region or neighboring countries. Restaurants and stores are also starting to offer a growing array of options for people with specific dietary requirements and global food options, although they can be difficult to find other than by word of mouth. You will also have the opportunity to experience ancient and regional dishes, as well as common dishes which you may have never tried such as horse meat, fermented horse milk, camel milk, fermented wheat drink, and buckwheat. Below are some recommendations for finding convenient food that fits your personal needs.


Discounts

To earn prizes and bonus points when paying for food, you can download the Raxmet app, and link it to your local bank card.
Grocery
Grocery Stores (with a wide selection):

Amaranth (vegan & natural grocery chain) | Esentai Gourmet (European/global) | Galmart (inside Dostyk Plaza) | GranoWay (vegan & natural) | Interfood (German-owned) | Magnum (Kazakhstan's largest commercial grocery chain) | Ramstore (Turkish-owned chain) | Salem, sosed (local eco-revolution) | Small Supermarket (wide selection and big, despite the name) | Stolichniy (open 24-hours; old Soviet style building from the 1950s)


Local Groceries

The Green ("Zelyoniy") Bazaar (Zhibek Zholy Street in central Almaty) is the most historic and traditional market that has a wide variety of quality products and local foods, some that you will not easily find in grocery stores. However, every neighborhood throughout Almaty has many small shops and outdoor produce stands that sell locally sourced food products. It is common for every neighborhood to have a shop for dairy, a butcher, a bakery, a fermented vegetable shop, and fresh vegetable, fruit, nuts and legumes stands. The best produce can be found in these smaller shops rather than larger chain grocery stores. Meeting locals is also a great way to find out about and experience all of the great local grocery spots.
Restaurants
Almaty has the best restaurant scene in all of Kazakhstan. There are so many places to try that even people living in Almaty their entire lives have never eaten at all restaurants. From traditional Kazakh and Central Asian cuisine, to Asian and Western fusion, to Russian favorites, European and a variety of international options, cafes, bars, and shisha lounges, Almaty is full of endless culinary delights to explore. Here is a list of restaurants highly recommended by some of Narxoz' local ambassadors and international students and employees:

  • Bahandi (local popular burger chain) $

  • Hardy's (American fast food) $

  • Harissa (Middle-Eastern cuisine; vegan options) $-$$

  • Minimo (Georgian) $-$$

  • Navat (traditional Central Asian, traditional live performances, good prices, beautiful) $-$$

  • Traveler's Cafe (cafe with good food and drinks) $-$$

  • Tyubeteika (Central Asian) $-$$

  • Del Papa (Italian; best pizza in Almaty) $$

  • Mado (Turkish, desserts, specialty ice cream) $$

  • Muzecafe (live music) $$

  • Vanilla Coffee Shop (Western cafe with good food and drinks; vegan options) $$

  • Lolita's (trendy lounge/bar) $$-$$$

  • Ocean Basket (seafood) $$-$$$

  • Wine Cafe & Shop (Euro-Italian, wine from around the world) $$-$$$


Food Delivery

Food delivery is very popular throughout Almaty. The companies providing food delivery from most restaurants include: Glovo | Chocofood | Wolt | YandexEda.
Special Diets
While the number of international residents and people with diets outside the average Kazakhstani diet are growing, many locals will still find special diets (e.g. wheat-free and vegan) to be strange and perhaps fascinating. At Narxoz, there is a small but significant number of students and employees that follow alternative diets. They find adhering to their diets in public sometimes or often challenging. However, they are able to find a variety of food options they can cook at home from regular and specialty grocery stores and markets.


When ordering food at a restaurant, it is helpful to have a local help you navigate the menu and ordering as menus are usually exclusively in Russian and when you ask if something is halal, vegan, kosher or vegetarian, it very well might not be even if the waiter says it is. For example, if you ask if a soup is vegetarian, the waiter may say it is even though it was made with meat broth. If you follow a strict halal diet, most restaurants do not follow halal practices; however, restaurants with the halal insignia on them do follow halal practices. People with severe allergies or food sensitivities need to take extra precautions, especially with nut or wheat allergies.


Halal food: Zabihah restaurant list | TripAdvisor halal restaurant list
Kosher food: KosherWhere - Almaty
Vegetarian food: The Happy Cow | Vegans and Vegetarians of Central Asia and Kazakhstan
Shopping
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Discounts and Prizes

To earn prizes and bonus points when paying with your local banking card, use Raxmet.


Neighborhood Shops

Every neighborhood in Almaty has a variety of small businesses including convenience stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, home essentials and hardware, tailors, florists, pet stores, salons, barbers, banks, cafes, and restaurants. These shops are very convenient and have good prices.


Malls
Almaty has many malls that provide almost any product you would find at top malls around the world. These malls are stocked with imported goods and international brands, especially in the city center. Due to import laws, many imported goods are fairly expensive. At these malls, there isn't much in the way of handmade crafts and local goods, though you can pick up unique fashions by Kazakh designers and sports gear for the local pastimes of camping, skiing or hiking in Almaty's mountains.


  • For furniture, homewares, and tools, Leroy Merlen and OBI are recommended.
  • Arbat Street is also a popular shopping district in Almaty and the city's first pedestrian zone. The street is completely closed off to vehicles and offers street entertainment, cafes, restaurants and great walking paths in addition to stores and Tsum mall/bazaar.


Bazaars


For local goods, less expensive products, and items you cannot find in commercial shopping centers, people frequent the bazaars.

  • The Green ("Zelyoniy") Bazaar (Zhibek Zholy Street in central Almaty) is the most historic and traditional market that has a wide variety of quality products and local foods that you will not easily find in grocery stores.

  • Baraholka is the biggest bazaar in Kazakhstan with routes back to the ancient Silk Road trading history. Here you can find almost anything among the hundreds of vendors that provide both local and imported products among the many connected buildings that make up the bazaar. It is very important to go to Barahoka with a local so you can know where to look and how to navigate the seemingly endless isles and buildings.


Pharmacies

See a comprehensive list of pharmacies in the Healthcare section below.
Healthcare
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International students and employees are entitled to use the public and private healthcare systems throughout Kazakhstan. Narxoz students receive free healthcare at all Mediker facilities and Narxoz employees receive discounted services (details below under Mediker Medical Centers).


Although the government continues to make improvements to the level of service, the quality of healthcare in Kazakhstan is highly variable, especially in the public sector. For this reason, internationals are advised to invest in comprehensive private health insurance in order to make use of Kazakhstan's private hospitals and doctors.


Before Travelling to Kazakhstan & Orientation

Before travelling to Kazakhstan, internationals should make copies of all important medical documents and take note of their medical insurance coverage and important medical emergency contacts while in Kazakhstan. Any important emergency contacts and medical information should be provided to your contacts both back at home and in Almaty. Make sure to also provide Narxoz HR and the International Students and Faculty Department with your emergency contact information.


During orientation, the International Students and Faculty Department will provide advice on how to get to the nearest medical clinic in case of an urgent health matter, as well as more detailed information about the medical centers and clinics in Almaty.
Emergency Services (101 Fire - 102 Police - 103 Ambulance) & On-campus First Aid
In a medical emergency, dial 103 or +7 727 328 00 03 for an ambulance. Additionally, 101 connects to the fire department and 102 connects to the police. Operators are not likely to speak English and ambulance arrival times can be slow. For this reason, it may be preferable to drive to the hospital or take a taxi instead.


Internationals are encouraged to create their own personal safety strategy for navigating public transportation, (rare but possible) earthquakes, and other possible scenarios that you may encounter at home or while out. Most embassies and consulates in Kazakhstan also provide emergency contact information for their citizens, which should be recorded in your phone and provided to your emergency contacts.


On-campus First Aid

Zhandossov campus, room 15 | Saina campus, room 112

There is a first-aid office at each campus that offers basic first aid and medicine. The health staff can also call an ambulance.
Public and Private Healthcare Overview
Public Healthcare

Public hospitals are easy to find and make up around 70 percent of the country's hospitals. But as mentioned earlier, it is difficult to predict the quality of treatment. Some people receive adequate to good care, while others experience low quality service with a constant shortage of medication and equipment. English-speaking medical professionals are rare in the public healthcare sector, so you should have a fluent speaker that can translate for you if you don't speak Russian or Kazakh fluently.


Private Healthcare

Private healthcare in Kazakhstan may not offer world class healthcare quality and internationals may still face some challenges, but they are higher quality than public healthcare services and some have very excellent services. While English-speaking doctors are more prevalent in the private healthcare sector, they can still be somewhat hard to find, especially in smaller towns and rural areas. Insurance companies should be able to recommend English-speaking doctors if there are any available in the area.

Note:

Depending on where you are from, you may notice that the bedside manner of Kazakhstani doctors and healthcare workers is quite different from that of Western or other doctors. While they may come off as unsympathetic or impatient, especially when facing time constraints, a language barrier, and low salaries, this is quite common and shouldn't be taken personally.

Internationals with chronic diseases or serious health conditions should consider the healthcare standards and medical and pharmaceutical availability before coming to Kazakhstan. For major operations or serious medical situations, internationals are usually advised to utilise medical evacuation services to be airlifted to a nearby country for improved standards of medical treatment.
Medical Facilities
Below are some medical centers that the Narxoz International Students and Faculty Department recommend as they provide a wide range of medical services and language translation. Internationals may also find additional resources in the US embassy's guide to medical services in Kazakhstan or through internationals' respective embassies.


Mediker Medical Centers

Mediker are private health facilities that have good prices for basic tests and consultations.

All Narxoz students receive service for free after registering with Mediker and students who are not registered receive a 10% discount.

Students can register for Mediker at the: 1) Saina campus (room 112), 2) Zhandossov campus, Student Services Center (lobby of main entrance), or online E-gov using your mobile number (Call the Narxoz Mediker manager at 8.747.626.74.78 to get instructions).

Narxoz employees receive a 20% discount and relatives of employees receive a 15 % discount. Employees do not need to register to receive the discount. To use the discount you need to show your Narxoz ID card.

Mediker does not offer English services or translation, so you are advised to coordinate with the International Students and Faculty Department or a trusted Russian-speaker. There are several Mediker Medical Centers in Almaty. Below is the closest center to the Narxoz campuses.


Mediker Alatau Medical Center

310 Navoi Street, Orbita-2, Almaty
+7 (727) 259-73-95, +7-707-62-434-62
mediker-almaty@mediker.kz
Monday-Friday: 8:00 – 20:00, Saturday: 8:00-14:00


Health City

International standards, high quality, professionalism and responsibility of medical personnel - all this combines the HealthCity project - a network of personal medicine centers and a diagnostic clinic located in Almaty. HealthCity personal doctors with the support of consultants from the USA and the UK will provide you with competent medical care using the latest medical technologies.

Musabaev Street 8, Almaty
+7 (727) 331 3 331, 8 (778) 021 19 77
hc@healthcity.kz
Open 24/7


SOS International Almaty

SOS international is equipped to provide primary care care and emergency medical assistance on a 24-hour basis, 365 days a year. The clinic has its own laboratory, X-ray facilities, pharmacy, emergency rooms and ambulances, and is staffed with expatriate and English-speaking doctors and receptionists. Additionally, they work with many international healthcare insurance providers and, in cases of extreme emergency, can coordinate medical evacuations and repatriation.

1B Gornaya Street, Almaty
+7 727 2581 912
ALAmarketing@internationalsos.com
Working hours: 24/7 for medical emergencies


Interteach

Interteach is more affordable than SOS International and provides medical translation to foreigners, ambulance services, and 24/7 services in their five locations in Almaty.

See their website for location information.
+ 7 (727) 3 200 200
Working hours: Vary based on clinic; 24/7 emergency call center available


Republican Family Medical Center

The center provides high-quality and comprehensive medical care from initial consultation and in-depth diagnostics to high-tech treatment, including surgical intervention and subsequent rehabilitation. Clinic patients receive one-time medical services and services as part of comprehensive individual, family and corporate service programs.

Ayteke Bi, 83 (corner of Tchaikovsky Street), Almaty
+7 (727) 258-80-93 (24/7), +7 (727) 258-81-00, +7 (727) 258-12-03, +7 (727) 258-12-02
24/7 support available
info@rfmc.kz
Health Insurance
Internationals are encouraged to purchase additional coverage to access the private sector and its various associated benefits.


International Students

Students are not provided with health insurance and are advised to purchase their own private health insurance. However, the cost of services at public healthcare facilities is relatively inexpensive.


International Employees

  • Compulsory Health Insurance
    Per Kazakhstani law, international employees from the Eurasian Economic Union (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia) are provided compulsory health insurance. Such international employees are required to contribute 1% of their monthly salary towards the insurance, which is automatically deducted from each paycheck. All other employees are not eligible to receive this insurance.

  • Occupational Accident Insurance
    Per Kazakhstani law, Narxoz pays for every full-time permanent employee's occupational accident insurance, which covers only injuries that happened during performance of work duties. HR can provide additional information per request. This type of insurance is not provided for contractor or volunteer employees.

  • Additional Health Coverage
    Narxoz employees are advised to purchase their own private health insurance to use at private healthcare facilities and for serious procedures or medical evacuation coverage, if needed. For all out-of-pocket medical care, Narxoz employees receive a 20% discount at Mediker (see the Mediker section above).
Pharmacies & Medicine
Pharmacies are widely available in Almaty and Nur Sultan and offer a variety of certified medicines, over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, products for children and mothers, as well as health food, dietary supplements, cosmetics and other personal health products. While many basic medicines and products are widely available at all pharmacies, some medications and products common in other countries may not be readily available in Kazakhstan, so it's best for internationals to bring their own from home. It is important to note that Kazakhstani pharmacists may not be able to answer questions in English about medication or other health matters, so it is best to get full details from one's doctor on how to take the prescribed medication and/or bring a local with you to communicate in Kazakh or Russian.


Popular Pharmacies

Europharma | Biosfera | Apteka Plus | Central Pharmacy

Note: The Central Pharmacy is the largest pharmacy in Almaty and tends to have products not available at other pharmacies.
Health Hazards & Pre-arrival Vaccinations
Health Hazards

While Kazakhstan's main health concerns are non-communicable illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory illnesses, cases of HIV and tuberculosis are rare but prevalent. Internationals should take appropriate precautions to avoid becoming infected. Since the country still relies on coal-burning power, especially during the winter time to provide heat, the air pollution in the winter can cause serious issues for people with respiratory conditions. Therefore, it is recommended to wear masks in the winter for respiratory protection.


Pre-travel Vaccinations

It is recommended to ensure that routine vaccinations are up to date before travelling to Kazakhstan. It is also recommended to have vaccinations for typhoid and hepatitis A as there is a slight risk of contraction through contaminated food or water, especially when visiting rural areas of Kazakhstan.
Spirituality & Places of Worship
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Kazakhstan is a largely secular country, home to over 130 ethnicities and a long history of peace between religions. There is freedom of worship but proselytising is not tolerated or allowed. If you are from a country with interfaith gatherings and initiatives, you will find that these are limited to non-existent in Kazakhstan.


The majority of the population (about 70 percent) is Muslim; however, the Muslim population varies in their religious practices with many defining themselves as culturally Muslim and/or minimally practicing. The second largest religious grouping is Christian (about 20 percent) with most following Russian Orthodox traditions.


There are various communities and places of worship throughout Almaty and the country:
Churches in Almaty | Mosques in Almaty | Synagogues in Almaty | Temple (Hindu) in Almaty


Regardless of your faith and spirituality, it is worth visiting Almaty's places of worship, as they are beautifully designed and provide a glimpse into the recent history and contemporary cultures of the city and country. In particular, the Central Mosque of Almaty (Pushkina 16, Almaty 050016) is one of the largest places of worship in the country, and is renowned for its stunning gold-domes and white marble. Zenkov's Cathedral, St. Nicholas' Cathedral, Sofia Church, and the Russian Orthodox Church offer remarkably beautiful and historical architecture and artwork. Remember that women must cover their heads, arms and legs when visiting mosques, as well as many orthodox churches and synagogues; and men must dress modestly, covering from their elbows above and the knees and above.
Childcare & Education
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At Narxoz, we understand that taking care of your children's wellbeing will be a top priority for you as you settle into Almaty. As such, the International Students and Faculty Department will help you explore childcare and schooling options for your children. Below is some basic information that may be a good starting point for you.


Most expat families choose international schools in Kazakhstan due to the language barrier they face in public schools. There are several international schools in Kazakhstan providing an excellent level of education, which are often set in modern, purpose-built facilities and staffed by well-qualified, highly trained teachers. Most teach in English, though some have additional foreign-language streams such as French. Globally recognised and respected education systems are offered, including the Cambridge IGCSEs and A-levels, American SATs and Advanced Placement subjects, and the International Baccalaureate.
Bilimkana School
Bilimkana is a network of highly rated Russian schools in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Narxoz faculty, staff, and alumni are eligible for a 50% discount on tuition, and the Bilimkana School in Almaty is located within walking distance to the Narxoz Zhandossov campus. Most of the curriculum is taught exclusively in Russian.


Address: 10th Microdistrict, 7B, Almaty, 050035 (behind the Narxoz Zhandossov campus field)
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Phone: 8 (747) 823 7730
Email: school@bilimkana.kz
Private (Non-International) Schools in Almaty
Safety & Security
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Almaty is a comparatively very safe international destination. However, just like all large cities, it is important to familiarize yourself with the safety culture and resources available to you that may be different from your home country.
Emergency Services (Dial 101 Fire - 102 Police - 103 Ambulance) & Safety On-campus
Safety Contact Information (Dial 101 Fire - 102 Police - 103 Ambulance)

Kazakhstan's free emergency numbers are: 101 for the fire department; 102 for the police; 103 or +7 727-328-00-03 for an ambulance. Since the emergency number operators typically do not speak English, you are advised to save the contact information of a trusted medical provider that offers 24/7 English support. Additionally, you are encouraged to choose a designated contact to help you navigate non-medical emergencies.


Also, save the emergency contact information for your embassy or consulate in Almaty. Your embassy or consulate's website most likely provides the emergency contact information as well as emergency protocol and emergency support services that can be provided for you while you are in Kazakhstan. Some embassies may also provide emergency alert message systems for their citizens that you are encouraged to sign up for.


Safety On-campus

All Narxoz campus entrances are accessible only by checking in with security. All Narxox students and employees will receive an ID card which will also grant access to all Narxoz facilities. For any safety issues while at Narxoz, you can immediately go to any of the security stations for assistance. Since the security staff only speak Kazakh or Russian, you are advised to also contact the International Student and Employees Department or your designated school official for support.


Department of Legal Affairs and Security

The Department of Legal Affairs and Security assists international students and employees address rare and unforeseen issues with law enforcement (e.g., immigration police), as well as safety issues. In particular, as Almaty is at risk for earthquakes, the Department provides safety instructions and training to international students and employees during their orientation week.

Valery Vitalievich Kozlov, Director
Zhandossov campus, office 6
+7 727 377-16-02 | +8 701 111-87-17
Public Transportation Safety
Public transport in Kazakhstan is reliable, inexpensive and safe. That said, if travelling late in the evening, try not to wait at bus or metro stops alone. If using the bus or metro system makes you feel uncomfortable, ask someone to wait with you and/or to meet you at the stop.


Additionally, we recommend follow the following general advice:

  • Local friends or colleagues can often give advice about the best bus or metro stop for your destination. Remember it never hurts to ask.

  • Take along someone familiar with the system and the route for your first trip. Have an idea of where you want to go and which streets will get you there before you use the system.

  • Public transportation is often crowded, especially during rush hours so pick your travel times if you have some flexibility. Just like in any crowded situation, keep a good hold on your belongings.

  • If you are travelling a long way by train outside of Almaty or Kazakhstan, make sure someone knows which train you are travelling on and when you are due to arrive.

  • Always have cash with you and a back-up plan if you are separated from the people you are travelling with.
General Home Safety
Although Almaty - and specifically the neighborhoods around Narxoz University - are generally safe, you should exercise discretion to ensure that you and your belongings stay safe at home. Some general tips are as follows:

  • If you have to call for a worker to install or fix something in your apartment, please be careful with your valuable belongings and don't leave workers alone in your apartment. If you are going out on the town, tell someone you trust where you are going and when you will be back.

  • If you arrive home and see signs of a break-in (e.g. smashed windows or open doors) don't go in and instead call the police. Do not touch anything when you do go back in, as you could destroy valuable evidence.

  • Whenever you go out, make sure that you turn off electrical appliances.

  • When you move in, orient yourself to all of the emergency exits, emergency maintenance numbers (if applicable), and the best location to relocate outside the building during an emergency.

  • Also create a plan about where to shelter in your residence, building or nearby in the case of a fire or an earthquake. Have extra batteries, flashlights, water and non-perishable food available during an earthquake emergency.
Street Safety
It is generally safe to walk on the streets in Almaty, although you should always be aware of your surroundings and use your common sense wherever you are. Pay attention to the location you are going to (especially if you are traveling to new areas) and plan your stay before you travel. It is always advisable to avoid high-risk situations such as walking late at night and in unfamiliar areas. When you first move into your new accommodation, find suitable and safe routes to shops, work, and other frequent destinations. You will find that the biggest threat to your safety on the streets are potholes and broken sidewalks, rather than people. Nevertheless, the International Students and Faculty Department can help order taxis for you and can give you advice about local areas.


Additionally, we recommend the following general safety protocol:

  • Don't carry large amounts of cash with you when you are out. Do not count large amounts of money in public places.

  • Be aware of others around you at cash point machines (ATMs) and try not to use cash machines at night or in poorly lit areas.

  • Try to avoid attracting attention to yourself. Realize that speaking a foreign language (not Kazakh and Russian) draws immediate attention to you.

  • Carry some photo identification at all times, like a photocopy of your passport. Do not carry your actual passport with you. This is also helpful if you are stopped by police as they will need to reference these documents.

  • Avoid deserted areas and badly lit streets. Run away if someone threatening approaches.

  • If you are travelling late at night, walk in a group or, preferably, use public transport or a taxi instead of walking late at night.

  • Always keep your bag, coat or jacket with you and don't leave them on a chair or out of sight.

  • Make sure you carry a fully charged mobile phone with you so you can make a phone call or call a taxi if you need one.

  • Save all of your emergency contacts in your phone and written in your wallet, or better yet, memorize their phone numbers.

  • You should never accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended in public places.

  • Avoid drugs and/or the excessive use of alcohol. When your judgment is impaired you are more likely to be a target.
Earthquake Safety
While earthquakes are rarely felt, Almaty is located in a seismically active zone and a large earthquake is possible. All Narxoz students and employees are strongly advised to create a personal emergency plan in case of an earthquake and to carefully select living arrangements bearing in mind structural resilience to earthquakes. The US Department of State provides useful guidance on what to do in an earthquake.


Safety instructions and training will be provided to international students and employees during their orientation week. For additional questions or concerns about earthquakes and other safety concerns, connect with the International Students and Faculty Department who will liaise with the Narxoz Office of Safety Management.
More Safety Information

For more information on safety in Kazakhstan, view the US Overseas Security Advisory Council profile of Kazakhstan.
Laws in Kazakhstan
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Laws in Kazakhstan may be different from those in your country. This especially applies to the use of alcohol and tobacco:

  • While uncommon, it is possible to be stopped by police anytime in public. It is important to have copies of your passport and visa to provide the police.

  • It is prohibited to drink alcohol in public places except bars, restaurants, or public catering organizations where it is allowed to sell alcohol. It is prohibited to appear drunk in public.

  • Sale of alcoholic spirits in Kazakhstan by volume at 30% and stronger is prohibited between 21:00 and 12:00 the next day. A similar ban on the sale of low-alcohol beverages (e.g., beer and wine) is from 23:00 to 8:00. However, you may still drink alcohol in restaurants, cafes and bars.

  • It is not allowed to make noise and disturb your neighbors after 23:00 until 6:00 in the morning. You may be fined for disturbing your neighbors during this period.

  • It is prohibited to smoke in public places, except for specifically provided and furnished rooms. You may see locals breaking this law; however, it is still strongly advised that you do not do the same since you are a foreigner.

  • Gambling is generally illegal except for designated gambling and gaming businesses.

  • It is prohibited for individuals under 21 years of age to purchase alcohol.


Look up more information about laws in Kazakhstan and access the Ministry of Justice's legal information center.
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+7 727 377 2011
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