Meet Your American Spaces Coordinator

Learning for All 

Meet your American Spaces coordinator: Altynai Arstanbekova, from the American Corner in Talas, Kyrgyzstan.

We sat down with Altynai Arstanbekova, a coordinator at the American Corner in Talas, Kyrgyzstan, during her recent training visit to Vienna. Altynai has been a coordinator with American Spaces for four years – we’re excited to share what she had to say during our Q&A (questions and answers) session with her. 

Can you tell us about how you became involved with American Spaces? 

Altynai: The American Corner in Talas is within the Humanities department at the university here. While I was a student, I volunteered in programs and projects at the Corner. Then, when I graduated, they were hiring for a coordinator, so I became a coordinator.  

What is a program or project you’re the proudest of at the American Corner? 

Altynai: The tech camp program. I want to bring it back again. We also have other programs like media literacy, English for young professionals, etc. And, we have a caravan that we take across to other districts.  

Can you tell us more about the caravan? 

Altynai: The caravan program is great – we have seven regions and eight American Corners around the country and each Corner has their own caravan. The caravan program requires a lot of volunteers and a lot of materials like tablets, books, tables, board games and sports games, like soccer, volleyball and basketball. We have volunteers who help with programming, like Peace Corps volunteers who participate in English conversation programming, or others like the IVLP alumni who teach physics or science and can help with building Legos or help conduct research on the tablets. Alumni also help market the programs in their area. The goal is to go to the different districts outside of the city and share the programs and projects we have at the Corner. In 2019 we went to 15 districts. It was great! 

What advice or suggestions do you have for other American Spaces coordinators?  

Altynai: If you’re working with a lot of colleagues, you’re lucky. Please do take advantage of the many opportunities provided by your big team and you can do big programs and projects with your team. A big team is a big opportunity to do big projects.