Spartans of UD: Aigerim Begalieva

Oct 30, 2019

Spartans of UD highlights what makes University of Dubuque special – the people who live, work, and study on campus.

Aigerim Begalieva, a master of divinity student, traveled from Kyrgyzstan to attend University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. In addition to her studies, she is also a World View Seminar adjunct faculty member, an English as a Second Language teacher, a graduate assistant in the Office of International Student Services, and a member of the UDTS Student Council.

Spartans of UD - Aigerim Begalieva

1. How did you learn about UD? Why did you choose to study here?

“I learned about the University of Dubuque through friends who study there whom I met while attending events provided by UD. There are three progressive reasons why I chose to study here. First of all, those particular friends of mine shared their positive experiences and feedback about this university with me. Second, I had very good impressions of the campus environment such as the diversity of stu dents, kindness of the staff, and hospitality of the campus every time I visited the campus. Third, and most importantly, the University of Dubuque offered a wonderful program and graduate scholarship for me with opportunities of teaching the World View Seminar to undergraduate students and being an assistant at the Office of International Student Services. These opportunities have potential impact for my future vocation and career.”

2. What advice do you have for future international students who are looking to study at UD?

“I would advise prospective international students of the University of Dubuque to consider doing the following before and during their college life: 

    1. Make short- and long-term goals for your college time.
    2. Ask for help, because there are many kind people.
    3. Make lifelong friends from different backgrounds.
    4. Become open and collaborative with your teachers.
    5. Take ownership and leadership of your projects.
    6. Apply talents and personal strengths to achieve goals.  
    7. Learn and teach something useful to people.
    8. Make use of opportunities UD provides for you.
    9. Explore and take advantage of the campus facilities.
    10. Volunteer, work, and serve while you are in college.”

3. What is the best memory you have so far at UD?

“My best memory I have formed thus far at the University of Dubuque is when I taught my first English as a Second Language class with Saudi women on campus. I am passionate about helping international students in any way possible, because I understand them and can relate to their needs as an international student myself. Last year, I used my continuing education certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language to teach international students at Divine Word, Emmaus Bible College, and the University of Dubuque. I really liked teaching the English language and I had a dream to continue doing that and building friendships with immigrants through interactive class settings. The University of Dubuque has supported me in realizing those dreams by providing helpful staff at the Office of International Student Services, classrooms with technology, library books, and printers at the computer centers.”

4. How would you describe being an international student in five words?

“The identity of an international student in five words is multilingual, chameleon, survivor, adventurer, and open-minded.”

5. What is your favorite spot on campus?

“My favorite spot on campus is the road between the football field and campus townhouses leading to Bennett Street. I walk along this road a few times each day to get to the campus buildings and back to my townhouse. I love this road because it is surrounded by colorful trees, beautiful flowers, active squirrels, cute rabbits, orange butterflies, and black flies. As I walk daily on that road, I look at the beautiful creation all around me. I am always in awe of God’s creation and pray to God about different things in life. For me it is the most amazing and breathtaking meeting point between God and me that reminds me daily that there is so much good, love, and hope in life that I can receive and give to people around me.”