Kazakhstan to Arizona State University

My first experience with skateboarding

Hi! My name is Zhandos Orazalin. Today, I’m going to tell you about my first experience with skateboarding. I’m from Kazakhstan, which is a fascinating country located between Europe and Asia.  It’s a size of whole of the Western Europe, it has stable government and it’s becoming a very attractive place for investments.

[Watch Zhandos Orazalin talk about his experience at ASU & learning to skateboard]

The President of our country has established a scholarship named “Bolashak” which allows the best students from Kazakhstan to study in any country of the world with the objective to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to build a democratic and prosperous society.

Currently, I have a great honor to study at AECP, American English and Culture Program, in Arizona State University. AECP is the best place to learn English and it has a great deal of what to do in order to become a successful student in any university of the United States of America.

I came to Arizona this year, 2009, on March. It’s my first time here in the United States. I came here from the overseas, and, as it happens, I’ve had a cultural shock. The first thought that came to my mind was that I’m in American college movie. It was something absolutely new to me – being in American University’s campus. Thanks to the AECP that helped me a lot to adjust to the new environment.

Khazakh student Zhandos Orazalin learning to skateboard & learning english at Arizona State University

I was placed to live in real American College dormitory, and I had classes in different buildings around the biggest university campus at ASU. However, I had a big problem with transportation; I didn’t know how to get from my one class to another because of the big distances.

I’ve seen that a great number of American students are using skateboards in purpose of transportation. For that time, for me, it was just a piece of wood with wheels. I had absolutely no idea how they are doing this – skateboarding.

I’ve never used skateboard in my country, maybe because I’m now a graduate student, and, as I thought, I was too old for that. By the way, I’m going to study Civil Engineering in the graduate school next year. Currently, I’m studying English at AECP and preparing for the standardized tests and application for the top notch graduate schools. Time is absolutely crucial for me, and I don’t want to waste my precious time on transportation.

In addition, I didn’t want to use car or bicycle, because these types of transportation were all about maintenance and parking issues. These types of transportation weren’t mobile and easy to carry everywhere with me. Thus, I decided to buy a skateboard and use it as my super mobile “car”.

One of my friends from Kazakhstan said that it wasn’t a good idea for me to waste my money on skateboard because as he said, “You will never learn skateboarding! It is only for American Students who use skateboards since their childhood! Observing American students on skateboards you may think that it is just a piece of cake, but skateboarding is very-very difficult. You should give up with an idea that you will use skateboard someday…” Then I said to myself – “Well, I’ve got to learn this!”

I bought a board and went to the campus. The first day on skateboard was just horrible! I couldn’t even stand on this tiny piece of wood. I’ve been falling every 10 seconds for the first days. I thought that maybe my friend was right, and I won’t learn skateboarding in my life… However, I didn’t give up. I just got my skateboard and said to myself, “Well, man, your next class in different building, you should be on the other side of the campus in the next 5 minutes. There is no way to do it by walking.” In other words, I was just forced to use skateboard in order to achieve my goals. It was my great motivation for the success.

To sum up, as you see – I’ve learned to skateboard, and I’m doing it everyday. It helps me to save my time on transportation, gives me an opportunity to get to know more American culture, and it is good for my health.

I’m very grateful for the AECP program at ASU, and I encourage every student who wants to be successful in American College environment to attend American English and Culture Program at Arizona State University.

For more information on the ASU American English and Culture Program contact

ASU American English and Culture Program
Ph: (480) 965-2376 • Fax: (480) 965-8529
Email: aecp@asu.edu
Web: www.asu.edu/aecp

ASU International Undergraduate Admissions
Ph: (480) 965-2688
Email: asuinternational@asu.edu
Web: www.students.asu.edu/international-admission

ASU Graduate College
Ph: (480) 965-6113
Web: www.graduate.asu.edu/

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