Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools

If you're looking for a teaching job in Kazakhstan then you'll be interested in hearing about the Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools. They are a group of 17 existing schools in Kazakhstan which will grow to 20 by the 2015-2016 academic year.


The Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools are state funded and very selective, aiming to educate the future intellectual elite of this prosperous and highly literate country. The schools are currently in the major cities such as Astana, Uralsk, Semey, Kokshetau, Ust-Kamanogorsk, Taldykorgan, Shymkent, Karaganda, Aktobe, Taraz, Atyrau, Kyzylorda, Pavlodar, Almaty and Kostanay.

Uniquely, the children in Nazarbayev Intellectual schools (NIS) are educated in a tri-lingual environment in Kazakh, Russian and English. Most NIS schools are for children aged 12 to 18.



Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools (NIS) are a part of a wider programme of educational reform, which includes the establishment of Nazarbayev University, the Centre for Educational Excellence and further initiatives to focus on teacher training and development. Named after the president of the country, Nursultan Nazarbayev, the NIS schools are intended to change the way education is delivered to gifted and talented secondary (high school) aged children. Besides teaching their subject, teachers involved in this project are also expected to informally mentor local Kazakh teachers and introduce best practice especially with respect to critical thinking and co-curricular activities.

Class size never exceeds 24 students. Depending on the subject the class is divided into 2 groups which means that the teachers will be working with max 12 students in a group.




The curriculum is currently based on the Kazakh national curriculum which underwent constructive development with support from the University of Cambridge International Examinations. There is an increasing emphasis on a student-centered, skills-based approach, while retaining the best of the current curriculum. The new curriculum was developed with the guidance of international experts and has been operating in functioning Intellectual Schools since September 2012. The trilingual policy has been implemented in all areas of the curriculum.



Salary and benefits

  • Salary in Astana and Almaty is equivalent to 4000 USD per month (pro rata) paid in national currency (tenge). NIS offers the equivalent of 5000 USD per month (pro rata) for teachers working in regional schools (i.e. all locations other than Astana and Almaty). Please note, a 10% personal income tax is deducted from monthly salary. Public holidays are not paid
  • NIS offers 2 return flights a year on economy class flight
  • Accommodation is paid directly to the landlord and provided upon arrival. Utility and internet are also covered by NIS
  • All teachers will be provided with medical insurance for the duration of their employment contract
  • NIS provides one time allowance of 2.000 USD for settling arrangements at the new location.Education allowance for children is equivalent to 4.000 USD per year.



English Teacher at NIS Pavlodar who has renewed his contract for a 2nd year

English Teacher at NIS Pavlodar who has renewed his contract for a 2nd year

Quotes from recently placed teachers

"The students are thirsty of knowledge that I feel like i always need to give more. I would say that the happiest moments of my life in Kazakhstan are those moments spent in the classroom with eager and responsible learners." Belban, English Teacher at NIS Pavlodar.

"We arrived safely and are treated very well by the principal and staff. We are well settled in our comfortable apartment." Indira, English teacher.

"It is going really well here.  The people are really friendly (foreign teachers and locals) and the induction has been pretty amazing.  A bit surreal at times, but very cool." Paul, ICT teacher.


About the country

Kazakhstan is by far the largest of the Central Asian states of the former Soviet Union. It has borders with Russia, China, and the Central Asian countries of Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. It is the world's ninth biggest country by size, and it is more than twice the size of the other Central Asian states combined. Kazakhstan is the richest country in Central Asia, due to its large oil and natural gas reserves.