Uzbekistan is the only doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of only two such countries worldwide, along with Liechtenstein. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Uzbekistan's economy relies mainly on commodity production, including cotton, gold, uranium, and natural gas. The policy of a gradual, strictly controlled transition to the market economy has nevertheless produced beneficial results in the form of economic recovery after 1995.
The Republic of Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia, and is one of the few countries which is doubly "landlocked," bordered of all sides by other landlocked countries. It shares its borders with Kazakhstan to the west and north and Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Before 1991, Uzbekistan was a part of the Soviet Union. It is the 56th largest country in the entire world by geographical area, and the 42nd largest by population. It has the fourth largest gold deposits in the world and over 80 tons of gold are mined from Uzbekistan annually. Citizens are encouraged to work and seek an education in order to benefit the society and contribute to its economic factors and industry.
Essential Facts about Uzbekistan
- The population of Uzbekistan is 29,559,100 people.
- It is the 56th largest country in the world by area.
- It is the 42nd largest country by population.
- It was formerly a part of the Soviet Union.
- Most known for its mining of gold.
- Currency is known as the "som."
- It is composed of 447,400 square km of space.
- The government is a Presidential republic.
- GDP is $85.188 billion
Uzbekistan's climate is considered continental with very hot summers and only cool winters. Winter temperatures average around -2°C but my fall to as low as -40°C. Annual rainfall averages between 100-200 millimeters of rainfall per year. Summer temperatures can rise to as high as 40°C. Most of the rainfall comes in winter and spring. It is hot and dry between July and September with very little rain, making the climate arid and stopping the growth of crops and vegetation during that season. This sometimes creates economic hardship on the country during the dry season so farmers and agriculturalists must plan ahead in order to offset the draughts that come later.
The "som" is the currency of Uzbekistan in Central Asia. But most use the US dollar for convenience sake. ATM'S in Uzbekistan are generally of no use, since many of them are empty of cash. Some of them hold US dollars, but it is important to remember that you must be careful how much you get, because the government is leary of people taking out foreign currency once you leave the country.
The predominant religion in Uzbekistan in Central Asia is Muslim with 90% reporting this as their religious preference. About 5% practice Russian Orthodox Christianity and another 5% practice some other form of religion. Children are generally raised Muslim and practice the Islamic religion throughout most of the country.
Study in Uzbekistan
Higher Education in Uzbekistan
All colleges in Uzbekistan are state funded. Since the establishment of the Wahhabi schools (based in Islamic fundamentalism), private schools have been forbidden. Between the years of 1992 and 2004, government spending on education went from 12 to 6.3 percent. Education is not highly valued in many parts of Uzbekistan. Programs of study tend to be centered around the economy or disciplines which involve training in industry or commerce rather than any areas focusing on self-actualization such as the arts or culture. The focus on education is generally on what will help the society, rather than the individual. But the government encourages furthering of education to work on improving oneself for the greater good.
The three largest institutions of higher education in Uzbekistan are Nukus, Samarkand, and Tashkent. All institutions of higher learning in the country of Uzbekistan are state owned and operated and there are very few other options.
Tuition fees vary in Uzbekistan by the type of program. For specialties like General Medicine and Pharmacy, on the Master's level, the cost is $3100-3500 per year. For specialties in nursing (Bachelor's level) it is $2200-2300 per year. A specialty in pharmacy (Bachelor's level) is $2200-2300 per year. Clinical residency costs are around $2500 per year and post-graduate work is around $3000 per year in US dollars.
Eligibility for Student Visas
Students who plan on attending a university in Uzbekistan may be eligible for a student visa. You must register an official statement with the Uzbekistan embassy within three days of entering the country. An official address where you are staying is also required at the time of entry. As part of the immigration process, you will be asked to declare exactly how much money you are bringing into the country as well, so that it can be reconciled before you leave. Also, Uzbekistan is one of the few Russian countries which still requires an exit visa. The government requires an exit visa and accountability of all monies in your possession because they do not want foreign currency leaving the country.
Why Study in Uzbekistan?
For anyone wanting a challenging and unique environment to study in, Uzbekistan can fit this bill. With their unique governmental policies and higher education options, you can choose from Business, Law, or other areas and some research opportunities are available to the right candidates. Schools are generally safe, as is the society, due to a police state which the country is now in. Transportation and communications are some of the modern conveniences you will notice in Uzbekistan. Many people prefer to take the underground train but you can hail a car anytime for a ride. Health insurance for students may be obtained by purchasing travel insurance from your regular health insurance company before leaving for the country of Uzbekistan. Many unique socialization opportunities exist through the universities and other means once in Uzbekistan. There are many students studying abroad there who enjoy the difference in culture and history you can find there.