Guest post by Rishad Rzayev.
Love for my roots
I am very happy and proud that my life is full of rich emotions and memories. I always believed that I have two homelands because I was born and raised up in the capital of Kazakhstan – Astana and lived there throughout my childhood and graduated high school there. However, I grew up in two places from the time I was an infant. My family used to travel almost every year to Azerbaijan to visit all my relatives and family members. For me, in these two countries, everything is dear, I feel very happy in the environment of my relatives and friends. Though I was born in Kazakhstan, I have Azerbaijani roots.
Adventures in Malaysia
In the year 2010, I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where I got my bachelor’s degree. I immediately fell in love with Malaysia. This is the country in which my wonderful student years were spent. Malaysia gave me a lot of things. The country is multinational and multicultural, where you can meet almost everything. For 4 years of living in Malaysia, I have developed a very great respect for the Malays as a nation. I succeeded several times to participate in the programs of the “Home Stay” where for several days foreign students could live in Malay families studying the culture, traditions, and language of the local population.
Seeking professional development
After graduating in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree from Malaysia I left back to Kazakhstan and started to work. I was fortunate enough to work in three large companies in Kazakhstan in the IT sector in various positions, which added experience and knowledge to my further career development. In 2016 I decided to apply for a Master’s degree in Kazakhstan combining it with work. So far, my plans have been realized successfully.
Value of friendship
Another thing in my life is, I always adhere to the idea of not looking for good friends, but being a good one. Most of my friends are people with whom I have been friends for more than 10-15 years, with some even from kindergarten, and I really appreciate friendship, because I believe that this is the result of a relationship. Although the time zones are opposite (day/night) I often communicate with my friends from all over the world, including those from my hometown and we very much look forward to new meetings.
Once I experienced Missouri State University for the first time, I had to come back
While doing my first Master’s degree in Kazakhstan our University had an exchange program with Missouri State. A total of 7 people were able to join that program and we studied one semester here. In May 2017, after completing the semester at Missouri State, I went back to Kazakhstan and finished my Master’s degree in Technology. After that, I realized I loved Missouri State, Springfield, and America so much, so I decided to come back and study at Missouri State for my 2nd Master’s degree. Missouri State has all the facilities and resources for self-realization in many different directions. I really like the active life of our university. Thanks to Missouri State, my professional plans were being realized. I also knew I could find a place for myself in the social life of the university as I already met many friends.
Discovering the U.S. through traveling
I am a travel lover. My travels within the States keep me in search of something new like people, cultures, languages, traditions, etc. I have learned a lot about America and Americans through MSU and I have created an opinion about Americans as people who can be trusted. Most Americans are very kind and honest people. This is what I like most about Americans.
Getting involved and promoting involvement
Being a man who is always on the lookout for new pleasant adventures I always try to participate in events and activities related to Missouri State University or Springfield in general. I have participated in several trips and events such as Bear Breaks. These experiences made me discover the University and Springfield more. This semester I had the idea of adding something new to the University. My friends and I came up with the idea of creating a new student organization called Russian Speakers Union (RSU). RSU’s main purpose is to connect Russian speakers and welcome people interested in the culture and get them engaged within the community. We are currently recruiting members and we are going to officially start next semester in August.
I can easily say that personally, I have changed a lot for the better. America taught me many good things. Due to the diversity in the U.S., I am able to see and learn many good things from different people. I am a graduate assistant working in the Office of International Programs with professional people, very experienced in their fields.
Planning his near future in Springfield
I am very attached to the University and Springfield so after graduating I want to work as a full-time employee with my lovely International Programs Office. I am very happy that I am here Missouri State and Springfield for me is my home. Even traveling across the states, after a few days I immediately start missing Springfield. One of my main future goals is that I think I need to open up more in the career direction benefiting the environment of Missouri State University and Springfield in general.
Advice for a #InternationalBear
I want to advise them to be active all the time, expand in different directions without being afraid of challenges, and make use of their time in the right and useful directions, as well as take advantage of facilities that Missouri State is providing. I also want to wish them good luck in all their endeavors and success in their educational and working careers. – Rishad Rzayev