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Languages at UW-Madison



Kazakh is a Turkic language, closely related to Turkish, Uzbek, Tatar, and others. It is spoken by about 11 million people in Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Russia, Iran. Kazakh is on the U.S. State Department list of critical languages. Knowledge of Kazakh may lead to special educational and professional opportunities. The economy of Kazakhstan is larger than that of all other Central Asian countries combined, largely due to plentiful natural resources. Kazakhstan‘s wilderness is one of the most beautiful and unique in the world. Knowledge of Kazakh allows you to discover a world of the rich traditions and customs. UW-Madison is a strategic partner to Nazarbayev University (NU) in Astana, Kazakhstan, and opportunities exist for UW students to work on the NU project and to study at NU.

Majors & Certificates 

Languages and Cultures of Asia Major, Russian, East European, and Central Asian Studies Certificate; visit the Majors & Certificates page for more information.


Jennifer Tishler,

Study Abroad 

You can study Kazakh in Kazakhstan. Contact International Academic Programs for more information.

Student Organizations 

Kazakh Students Association; browse the Wisconsin Involvement Network for more information.


Consider an internship where you can use Kazakh, either in the US or abroad. An internship in any field can complement your language study and can provide valuable professional experience.