Kazakhstan lies in the north of the central Asian republics and is bounded by Russia in the north, China in the east, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in the south, and the Caspian Sea and part of Turkmenistan in the west. It has almost 1,177 mi (1,894 km) of coastline on the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan is about four times the size of Texas. The territory is mostly steppe land with hilly plains and plateaus.
The largest and wealthiest of the countries nicknamed the ‘Stans’, Kazakhstan has long been an ethnically diverse country; in the 2009 census, only 63% of residents were native Kazakhs. This international element is also a key characteristic of the country’s higher education sector, in which global collaborations and exchanges are occupying an increasingly prominent role, with universities in Kazakhstan keen to welcome international students and academics from across the world. The main religion in Kazakhastan is Islam and rare animals found in the Kazakhastan are Leopard, Eagles and falcons.