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Abzal Ongarbaev

Graduate Diploma in Information Technology



Abzal Ongarbaev made his childhood dream a reality when he came to New Zealand from Kazakhstan to study.

He completed a Bachelor in Computing and Software Development back home and worked in the IT field for almost 10 years prior to joining OPAIC.

Abzal realised he would benefit from some international experience and chose to come to New Zealand because he’d wanted to visit since he was a child.

“I really was dreaming about this, all my friends too.”

They’d seen pictures of the country and heard stories. They thought it looked like a really interesting place, but it had seemed so far away when they were young.

 “When you’re young you want to do all these crazy things.”

Abzal’s childhood friends are realising their dreams too. One friend is living here, another will arrive this winter and more plan to make the trip in the future.

Abzal said there were a number of schools he could have enrolled at. He choose OPAIC because of the ratings and feedback it had received and because of the study programmes and teachers here.

“The best part of studying in OPAIC is getting knowledge and experience from greatest teachers.”

His favourite part of the programme was data science. It was a hard course at first. However, he came to understand how valuable the knowledge of data science is.

“It was very useful and I just use all this knowledge in my job.”

Abzal’s been working for the New Zealand company Seismo Limited as a Software Developer.

He and his colleagues have designed a standalone seismic sensor they use to collect data about how buildings move in order to understand how to stabilise them.

He worked at the company as a student, then continued full-time after he graduated last November.

He’s just secured another position as Senior Server Side Developer at The Warehouse Group Investments.

One of the best parts about New Zealand is the work-life balance, according to Abzal.

Another is the local people – he says Kiwis are very kind.

Abzal’s made new friends in New Zealand including Kiwis, Hungarians and Italians.

He likes hanging out with his Kiwi friends because it gives him a chance to practice his English.

He advised other students from his part of the world thinking of enrolling at OPAIC not to be afraid.

“Studying in OPAIC is a key for new opportunities.”

Hear Abzal speak about his experience over on Youtube.

Read more about the Graduate Diploma in Information Technology here.