International Studies & Programs

Home > Long-term Programs > Program Types > Bolashak Program

Bolashak Program

Bolashak banner image2.jpg


The Bolashak Program

The Visiting International Professional Program is proud to partner with the Bolashak Program to bring professionals and scholars from Kazakhstan to Michigan State University for innovative education opportunities. The Bolashaq International Scholarship is the flagship scholarship program of the government of Kazakhstan and is designed to train the country's future leaders. 

MSU -2.jpgVIPP connects Bolashak scholars with the expertise of world-class faculty and resources available at MSU and the distinct American Higher Education System. As the US's pioneer land-grant university, MSU is one of the top research universities in the world and home to nationally ranked and recognized academic, residential college, and service-learning programs. Through our innovative programs, Bolashak scholars have a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to take advantage of MSU's prestigious resources and elevate their skills, knowledge and expertise to become tomorrow's leaders.


In collaboration with MSU colleges, VIPP offers the following programs for Bolashak scholars (click on the tabs above to read about each program in detail)

  • Higher Education Teaching and Learning (4 months)
  • Law Faculty Professional Development Program (12 months)
  • Agricultural Engineering (12 months)
  • Higher Education Pedagogy (12 months)
  • Personalized Program: A program tailored to the individual in another discipline, for example linguistics, second language studies, etc. (subject to mentor agreement)

Learn More or Apply

For questions about the Bolashak Program at VIPP contact Dr. Xiaoqing Chen:

Email: chenxia6(at)

Tel: 517-884-3487

Apply today icon.png

Higher Ed Teaching & Learning

Higher Education Teaching & Learning for University Instructors

Program Description

This program is designed for university instructors engaged in developing their own innovative practices, both in curriculum design as well as teaching and learning. During their time at Michigan State University, Bolashaq Fellows will participate in well-structured courses, and will be guided to work on their own teaching and learning research project that leads to an action plan for implementing in their home institutions. Participants will use MSU as a case study to explore the best practices of U.S. higher education teaching, learning, and curriculum development, including:

  • Student-centered teaching, learning, and curriculum design
  • Digital technology in higher education

Program Duration and Dates

  • 4 months
  • August 22, 2023 to December 21, 2023

Why VIPP for Higher Education Teaching & Learning

Michigan State is the ideal institution for world-class professional development for educators. The Visiting International Professional Program, in collaboration with MSU academic units and faculty, has been offering the Higher Education Teaching and Learning certificate program for international faculty for the last five years. A few hundred young scholars and educators from Asia and Africa have successfully completed the program and are making a significant impact on their countries and institutions’ higher education curriculum reform and teaching and learning innovation. We are skilled at working across disciplines and will connect our visitors with colleagues in various disciplines whenever possible.

Program Structure and Activities

The program consists of a series of workshops that provide an overview of U.S. higher education and the concepts of curriculum design, student-centered teaching and learning, and digital technology usage. Participants will also have the opportunity to enroll in a small number of skill-based courses such as Academic Writing, Critical Thinking, Leadership and Organization Change, U.S. Legal System and Government, American Culture, etc.

Apply today icon.png


Law Faculty Professional Development Program

Program Description

Hosted in collaboration with the MSU College of Law, this interactive course training and American cultural experience provides participants with complete immersion into American law school culture, legal language, and legal educational system to benefit their careers back in Kazakhstan. The program provides access to expert faculty at the Law College and throughout campus, and exposure to critical American and state-specific legal institutions such as the Michigan Supreme Court, the Michigan One Hall of Justice, and the Michigan Legislature. Participants will enjoy hands-on practice and networking, and integration with the MSU College of Law regular program.

Program Duration and Dates

  • 12 months
  • August 22, 2022 – August 21, 2023

Program Components

VIPP Courses (Fall and Summer Semesters)

VIPP courses are designed to give the participants the opportunity to improve academic English communication abilities specifically in the law area, a deeper understanding of cross-cultural and global issues, develop strong and practical leadership skills, and enhance professionalism regardless of participants' backgrounds. The participants can choose 1-2 courses from a wide variety of courses based on their interests, language ability and timetable. Some example courses include: English for Law Professionals, Academic and Professional Writing, American Culture – Education, Family and Society, Critical Thinking, Leadership Through Change and Innovation, etc. For a full list of VIPP courses, please refer to

Higher Education Teaching & Learning Workshops (Spring Semester)

This ten full day or half-day workshop series is taught by distinguished MSU faculty. The intensive program will provide a systematic introduction to teaching and learning in higher education. Each workshop will last about four hours including lecture, hands-on practice, interaction with faculty, and Q&A.

  • U.S. Higher Education Overview
  • Best Practice in University Teaching: Student Centered Active and Interactive Learning
  • Curriculum Design and Assessment of Student Learning
  • Document and Evaluating Teaching
  • Introduction to Leadership in Higher Education 
  • Effective Faculty Mentoring and Reflection
  • MSU Overview (Tenure system, faculty evaluation, promotion, student success, program approval process etc.)
  • MSU Desire 2 Learn (D2L) System and Online Resources
  • REAL – Rooms for Engaged Active Learning
  • Technology Resources for Teaching and Learning

Law School Immersion (Spring Semester)

A wide range of master-level and JD courses are available, and typically scholars can choose up to two courses based on their interests and experiences. Visiting scholars in the program may audit up to two classes per semester, including online offerings, subject to visa regulations.  Some examples include: Contract Law, Property Law, Criminal Law and other critical courses from the required Juris Doctor curriculum (taken by U.S. attorneys in training) as well as electives like Antitrust Law, Agricultural Law, Communication Law and Policy, Cyber Law, International IP Law, International Food Law and Regulation, etc. View the College of Law's full course list.

Scholars will have access to the Law College library and electronic resources, such as the Westlaw and LexisNexis online research systems. They will also be welcome at law college events and be able to participate in law student groups. Michigan State University has a wealth of activities, groups and resources open to all students, whether enrolled in law classes or not, which would also be available to the scholars.

Capstone Project (Summer Semester)

A dedicated faculty member will supervise and support the participant to independently complete a capstone project which could focus on different topics such as:

  • International business matters
  • Food law-focused subjects like international trade, food labeling, and regulation of Halal foods

Participants will be required to give a 20-30 minute presentation to the MSU Law community and colleagues in the visiting scholar programs. Written reports on each of the topical areas will also be required. Feedback from MSU faculty will be provided and discussed throughout the summer and fall semesters via regular meetings. 

Field Trips (Throughout the Year)

Professional visits and meetings to relevant law schools, law firms, legislative offices, the Michigan legislature, local and state courts, and private organizations will be arranged during the program to provide maximum exposure and networking opportunities to the participants. Out-of-state travel may also be arranged if budget allows, to include visits to Washington, D.C. and other critical legal destinations.


Court House.jpg

Apply today icon.png

Agricultural Engineering

Agricultural Engineering

Program Description

Hosted by the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) in collaboration with the MSU College of Agricultural and Natural Resources (CANR), and the MSU College of Engineering (EGR), this 12-month research internship (visiting scholar program) at MSU aims to build faculty’s research capacity with a clear goal to translate research into solutions, and in the process to publish high quality research papers and develop grant proposals to secure national and international funding. Participants will have the chance to take courses and pursue research opportunities focused on their unique academic interests. Opportunities to learn the latest research and practice models in food-energy-water-health nexus area will be provided, as will chances to network with faculty, students and professionals. Cultural and social activities across campus are great ways to learn the U.S. campus culture and fully engage with the academic community.

The purpose of this intensive program is to leverage MSU CARN and EGR academic resources, to build Kazakhstan agricultural engineering faculty’s research capacity. Participants will also Improve relevant disciplinary knowledge, build research collaborations and professional networks, and develop cultural awareness. They will also be able to observe Michigan agricultural industry in action through excursions.

Program Duration and Dates

  • 1 year
  • August 22, 2023 – August 21, 2024

Program Objectives

  • Gain a deep understanding of U.S. university campus culture, structure and governance with a focus on Agriculture or Engineering disciplines
  • Attend classes at relevant academic units while gain critical substantive knowledge in varied or specific fields of Ag and Engineering
  • Enhance academic English proficiency for research and teaching
  • Develop critical thinking and leadership skills to lead educational programs and research development at home institution 
  • Learn about various ongoing research projects in food-energy-water-health nexus area at MSU CANR and EGR (and other colleges) and explore potential research directions and partnerships for the home institution
  • Develop research capacity in terms of paper and proposal writing, and grant management    
    Develop strategy to improve home university’s research capacity

Program Components

  • Research and language skills development – academic writing & proposal development  
  • Academic skills development in biosystems and agricultural engineering area – course observation and special workshops  
  • Research projects in food-energy-water-health nexus topics – mentored by relevant MSU faculty with a potential outcome of a draft paper or funding proposal
  • Cultural awareness and understanding of U.S. higher education – courses & cultural site visit & professional meetings, and social engagement

Apply today icon.png

Higher Ed Pedagogy

Pedagogical Innovations for University Instructors

Program Description

Hosted by the Visiting International Professional Program (VIPP) in collaboration with the MSU College of Education's Global Education Engagement in the Office of International Studies in Education, this program is designed for university instructors engaged in developing their own innovative practices, both in pedagogy and research. During their time at Michigan State University, Bolashak Fellows will participate in a guided process of goal-setting and inquiry, resulting in an action plan for implementing needed pedagogical change in their home institutions. Each participant will be assigned an MSU faculty mentor to guide them through their independent study and research. Fellows will use MSU as a case study to explore the best practices of U.S. higher education teaching, learning and pedagogy, including:

  • Student centered teaching, learning and curriculum design
  • Digital technology in higher education
  • Pedagogical innovations and reforms across disciplines  

Program Duration and Dates

  • 12 months
  • August 22, 2023 to August 21, 2024

Program Structure and Components

The program will begin in the College of Education with a series of workshops that provide an overview of the U.S. higher education system and foundational concepts such as adult learning theory, psychology of motivation among adult learners, and curriculum design. This will be followed by a deeper look into the implications of these ideas for cutting-edge pedagogy, and opportunities to see these put into practice in MSU courses. The Fellows will then be paired with MSU faculty mentors in their subject areas, and spend most of their time in their subject-area departments. Throughout the program, they will engage in workshops to support their independent academic work, setting goals for individual projects, and building their capacity to engage in research. Fellows will also have the opportunity to enroll in a small number of skill-based courses through the VIPP program, such as Research Methodology, Critical Thinking, U.S. Legal System and Government, American Culture, etc. 

Why the Pedagogy Innovation Program

Michigan State University is the ideal institution for educators for world-class professional development. The MSU College of Education is well-respected across the United States and the world, ranking number 2 in education worldwide in the Shanghai Global Ranking, while eight of the College’s graduate programs are rated among the top ten in the US in the prestigious US News and World Report rankings. The Bolashak Fellows will have the opportunity to attend seminars given by top researchers and scholars in the College of Education, observe courses taught across the university, and pursue their own teaching and research interests.

Apply today icon.png


Individual Scholars

VIPP facilitates individualized research programs for Bolashak Scholars who would like to pursue a 12-month research program at MSU. Interested scholars must have a PhD with a minimum of 5 years of research experience. To apply as an individual scholar, submit your application with a full research proposal and most recent publications.

Apply today icon.png

   MSU-logo.jpgBolashaq logo.jpg