Alisher Kalibekov plans to perfect his English through SDSU's College of Extended Studies.
Like many parents, Zhenis Kalibekov would love to see his son, Alisher, follow in his footsteps.
Zhenis is the Republic of Kazakhstan’s diplomat to China, following four years as his country’s diplomat to Russia.
Alisher enrolled this semester in the English for Academic Purposes program through SDSU’s American Language Institute, a division of SDSU’s College of Extended Studies.
Starting as a non-English speaker
When Zhenis recently took part in an English interview, his son sat intently listening. Alisher does not speak English, but he plans to perfect the language at San Diego State.
“This is a big step for my son,” Zhenis said. “He is very proud to be accepted by the American Language Institute. He’ll take English, get to a high level and choose where he will go. I want my son to help people and his country.”
The English for Academic Purposes program will help Alisher develop the skills needed to succeed at an American university. He will most likely learn English for one year at SDSU, and then go to either Harvard University or University of California Los Angeles to study international law.
Alisher actually preceded his father, who is based in Beijing, by one year in China. Alisher studied Mandarin in China for two years before graduating in July.
According to his father, Alisher studied Chinese for 13 hours daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“He was one of the best students in the school,” his father said.
“In China, the rules are very tough. He knew nothing when he went to China; but he liked it. In a short time, it was necessary for him to communicate with the Chinese people.”
Following Bill Price's leadership
Why did Alisher leave China to enroll at SDSU?
Bill Price, executive director of the American Language Institute at SDSU, was the executive vice president at the now defunct Osaka Sangyo University, Los Angeles Education Center when Zhenis studied there a decade ago. Zhenis remembers Price as being “the best friend of all the students when I studied in Los Angeles,” so he was only too happy to send his son to be under Price’s direction at the institute.
“Dr. Price was always giving good suggestions and advice,” Zhenis said.
“As students, we could always speak openly to Dr. Price. He gave me good direction to go to Russia as a diplomat. Now that I’m in a high position as a diplomat, I’m very proud of it and very proud of Dr. Price.”
Zhenis is also very proud of his son for coming to SDSU to learn English and eventually become a diplomat.
“Being a diplomat is very interesting,” Zhenis said. “I now have the knowledge to protect my citizens and companies in foreign countries. I tell my son to get a good education and use it in a professional field.”