“I'm so grateful for everything Kyrgyzstan has offered me, and I feel like I've grown so much as a person,” says Ayesha.
Ever since she was a little girl, Ayesha dreamed of one day becoming a doctor. Originally from Pakistan, she jumped at the opportunity to pursue her studies in nearby Kyrgyzstan – eager to discover a new culture and find some independence.
She has been studying at the International University of Kyrgyzstan for the past two and a half years. “It's been an incredible journey so far,” she says. “Kyrgyzstan is a fantastic country that has so much to offer to international students. I've had the chance to explore beautiful landscapes, visit historical sites, and learn about the rich history and traditions of the people here. I've even learned a new language while I've been here, which has been a great way to connect with the locals and learn more about the culture.”
Although she feels fulfilled in her current chapter of life, Ayesha admits that there is no place like home. “I am away from my family, and I miss my parents,” she explains. She longs for her mother's cooking but is thrilled to have found a local shop where she can buy the spices needed to make Pakistani food in Kyrgyztan.
Although she is nostalgic for the flavors of her favorite childhood dishes, she has come to love the taste of Kyrgyz food. “The traditional dishes are so delicious and unique, and I've had the chance to try so many new things,” she says.
Halfway through her studies, Kyrgyzstan feels more and more like home to Ayesha. “The hospitality of the people here is amazing. Everyone is so friendly and welcoming, and I've made some great friends.”
Driven forward by her longtime dream of returning to Pakistan as a medical doctor, Ayesha is eager to see what the future holds.