I’m moving to Kyrgyzstan…?

July 11, 2013 | By

Question by Chris: I'm moving to Kyrgyzstan...?
So, My name is chris, i'm from Canada and I am a newly selected outbound to Kyrgyzstan! I'm a bit nervous. Please, tell me ( if anyone has been / lived there) what it is like. Safety? The people? Help me out! Oh, by the way, i'm 15, and im going as an exchange student with Rotary..

Best answer:

Answer by sitcpsitcb
1) Stay out of politics. Very dangerous these days.

2) The lifestyle varies a lot depending on where you'll be and even within the same city. I would recommend learning the language absolutely as quickly as you can - in many places no one at all will speak English.

The US State Department has lots of information on safety in different countries. I imagine the Canadian government publishes something similar. You should definitely read up on it because things many people take for granted do not work the same way in other countries - asking for directions from police officers, for example.

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Comments (1)

  1. Janim

    Kyrgyzstan is beautiful! especially if you love nature and the people there are generally very friendly, I was in Bishkek this past year and took a trip around Issyk Kul and to Chollpon Atta and it was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in my life. I made a lot of good friends there and had a wild time.

    The majority of people in Kyrgyzstan are Muslim and speak Russian and Kyrgyz. There are a lot of resources to help you learn Russian if you are a native English speaker, but next to none to help you learn Kyrgyz, there’s a Kygyz-English Dictionary by Karl Krippes you should pick up from Amazon, and I recommend also downloading the Kyrgyz language .pdf that the peace corps provides it’s volunteers, and printing it out for yourself..

    here’s a link


    you can find .mp3’s on the web too, associated with that .pdf to help you learn Kyrgyz.

    Safety is really relative, consider it’s a developing country, you aren’t protected in the same ways you would be in Canada. You might see some interesting things happen, but for the most part family and friendship bonds seem to make up the difference out of necessity, so your host family and new friends will most likely look out for your well being.

    People tend to be rather nationalistic in KGZ and some traditionalist values that would not be accepted in the west are making a resurgence because of it. Things you may have read about from a quick google search like Alla Kaachu (bride kidnapping) are more common than you might think, and I recommend you watch some of the movies/documentaries that have been made about it…..

    here’s a link to a Kyrgyz film called Boz Salkyn about it


    and then here’s a program on Al-Jazeera called witness


    but read the comments too like one guy Chyngyz11 says “just because they filmed a couple of knuckleheads stealing a girl doesn’t mean the whole population is like that” and also think about what you read in the daily news in Canada and how relative that is to your daily life. I think it’s the same for many Kyrgyz people…

    despite that, I think you are in for one of the best years of your life….I’d love to live in Kyrgyzstan for a year and to do it at that age would be so great. Read a Chyngyz Aitmatov novel, study a bit of Islam, bone up on your knowledge of Manas learn some Russian and Kyrgyz and you’ll have a great time!