Boston Bound 2024 Trip

12 June: Journey to Boston, Arrival, and Exploration of Boston Common

Two groups of senior school pupils from Haileybury Astana and Haileybury Almaty set off on an exciting university trip to the United States. The adventure began with the Astana Boston Bruins arriving at Almaty Airport, soon to be joined by the Almaty group. We swiftly checked into our Qatar Airways flight at the new International Terminal, and the process was smooth and efficient. The first leg of our journey to Doha lasted 4.5 hours, followed by a brief 90-minute layover. Then came the long haul: a 13.5-hour flight to Boston. Despite the lengthy travel time, most of us managed to catch some sleep.

Upon arriving in Boston, we passed through US passport control without any issues and made our way to the Arrivals area. After a short wait for the vans and some rush hour traffic, we finally reached the International Guest House in Back Bay around 6 PM. We enjoyed a welcoming buffet dinner and settled into our rooms. Still buzzing with excitement, we ventured out to explore Boston Common, the city's central park.

The park was bustling with people engaged in various sports, games, and leisurely activities. We learned about its historical significance, particularly as a staging area for British troops before the American Revolution. Highlights of our visit included seeing the "Embrace" statue of Martin Luther King Jr. and a statue of the renowned writer Edgar Allan Poe. After strolling along Newbury Street and taking in the vibrant shopfronts, we returned to the Guest House, showered, and quickly fell asleep.

13 June: visit to Boston University and Warship Museums

Jet lag had us awake by 5 AM, giving us ample time to relax before breakfast. We enjoyed a diverse buffet catering to all dietary preferences and set out for the day with renewed energy.

Our morning walk along the Charles River Esplanade Park offered stunning views of MIT across the water, rowers gliding along the river, playful squirrels, and Canada geese. We were surprised by the number of joggers, often accompanied by their dogs.

At Boston University, an international admissions officer provided insights into gaining admission to this prestigious research university. We learned about the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., one of BU's most notable alumni, and appreciated the small class sizes and friendly campus atmosphere. Our students made videos capturing the essence of the university.

Next, we took the green line subway to central Boston and walked to North Boston's historical wharfs. This area is renowned for the Battle of Bunker Hill, a pivotal event in the American Revolution. We visited the USS Constitution, the world's oldest commissioned warship, and the USS Cassin Young, a World War II destroyer, both offering a fascinating glimpse into naval history.

After a walk along the harbour and a visit to the CambridgeSide shopping mall for some relaxation and food, we returned to Copley. Some of us were so exhausted that we headed straight to bed, while others enjoyed a meal at Chick-fil-A. Sleep came quickly for all of us that night.

14 June: Harvard University

We began the day with a hearty breakfast before heading to Harvard, with Damir as our navigator. At the Admissions Office, a senior officer highlighted the importance of a personal essay that reflects one's character and unique passions.

A Harvard student then led us on a campus tour, sharing stories about Harvard traditions and his personal journey to admission. As a first-generation university student, he underscored the opportunities Harvard offers to diverse and exceptional students.

We took a break at the Student Centre and did some shopping before visiting the Harvard Natural History Museum. A scavenger hunt through the museum was a hit, with the girls' team narrowly winning a prize from Mrs. Munoz.

After making videos about their visit, the students returned to the guest house for dinner. Some went shopping, while others stayed in to rest. Despite lingering jet lag, we were ready for another exciting day, which would include the Science Museum, a Duckboat tour, and a history tour of Boston.

15 June: Science Museum

Today, we visited the Science Museum, filled with fascinating exhibits and activities. We were particularly captivated by displays on AI and the Boston Dynamics robotic dog. We watched an Omni movie showcasing the marvels of the Webb Space Telescope, revealing previously unseen galaxies, stars, and exoplanets. Mr. Stockerman's geography students from two years ago might recall his enthusiasm for this instrument.

Later, we enjoyed a Planetarium show about the unique characteristics of moons in our solar system, including the possibility of life on some moons around Jupiter and Saturn.

After the museum, we went on the famous Boston Duckboat tour with our enthusiastic guide, Ms. Paprika, whose humorous stories about Boston and curious questions about Kazakhstan had us laughing for the entire hour.

We ended the day with a visit to Quincy Market in Old Boston, indulging in local fare like lobster, clam chowder, and Boston pizza. After a delicious meal, we took the subway home and happily fell asleep.

16 June: Whale Watching

Today was our most vibrant day yet. We began at the New England Aquarium, watching a 3D movie about the Arctic and climate change. The aquarium was teeming with life—fish, seals, penguins, and turtles.

We then embarked on a whale-watching trip aboard the fast boat Aquarius. An hour in, we spotted our first humpback whale, followed by several more. Our guide mentioned it was rare to see so many whales in one trip. The highlight was sighting a basking shark, a massive and rare species.

After a thrilling afternoon at sea, we returned for dinner and went to bed, exhausted but elated.

17 June: MIT

Today, we visited MIT. We walked across the Boston-Cambridge bridge, measuring its length in Smoots—364 Smoots to be exact! (A Smoot is a unique measurement created by Oliver Smoot, an MIT student.)

Thanks to Ms. Katya and Haileybury’s Togzhan Shyntay, we had an insightful meeting about life and admissions at MIT, followed by a fantastic campus tour with an economics major. Togzhan, a third-year computer science student, encouraged us to apply to MIT.

We explored the MIT Museum, which showcased numerous inventions from MIT labs.

In the evening, we returned home to eat, shop, and watch the final NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks. The Celtics won the championship, filling the town with cars, horns, fireworks, and celebration. Go Celtics!

18 June: Brown and Yale

Today was a long day. We took an early Amtrak train to Providence and walked to the Brown University Admissions Office. Our guide explained Brown’s Open Curriculum, offering students the freedom to choose their courses, requiring maturity and planning. Providence, known for its culinary school, means Brown students enjoy excellent food.

Next, we took the train to New Haven to visit Yale. Despite the heat wave, we admired Yale’s Old Campus and newer buildings like the Sterling and Beinecke libraries. Yale’s outstanding professors and graduate schools, along with its tradition of excellence, left everyone eager to apply.

19 June: Salem and Juneteenth Holiday

After the tiring heat and long walks yesterday, we took a break for Juneteenth, a national holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the USA. We took a ferry to Salem, a small town north of Boston known for its rich naval history and the infamous witch trials. Despite the heat, we managed a walking tour before returning to the Guest House to rest. In the evening, we played trivia games and awarded prizes to our students.

20 June: Northeastern, Museum of Fine Arts, Basketball

Today was exceptional. We walked to Northeastern University, impressed by its modest campus. Northeastern is renowned for its research, sports, and Co-op programs, offering students six months of paid work experience. This initiative greatly enhances employability, contributing to Northeastern's high rankings. Our guide's enthusiasm for the university's opportunities and student culture was inspiring.

Next, we visited the world-renowned Museum of Fine Arts, spending several hours immersed in its collections.

En route to a shopping centre, we came across a young man playing basketball alone in a park. Our boys joined him for a game in the hot sun, enjoying serious American basketball. The MIT student encouraged our students to apply to his university, fostering friendships wherever we went.

In the evening, we brainstormed with our teachers and students to plan activities for the next two years, aiming to apply to top universities worldwide. The students left feeling inspired and motivated.

21 June: Tufts, Parade, and Departure

Early morning, we packed and took the train to Tufts University, 30 minutes north of Boston. Tufts boasts a suburban campus with ample green spaces and a countryside-like feel. Known for its low teacher-to-student ratio and emphasis on undergraduate research and Liberal Arts, Tufts encourages exploration across disciplines.

We enjoyed a delightful lunch at the school canteen with a wide variety of choices.

Our planned trip to the TD Center was cancelled due to a parade celebrating the NBA champions, the Boston Celtics. We joined the festivities, celebrating with thousands dressed in green lining the streets and parks.

After returning to the Guest House, we had dinner and prepared to depart for the airport at 6:30 PM.

See you soon in Astana and Almaty!

This website use cookies. By continuing to use this website, you consent to our use of these cookies Learn more