UEX helps international students adapt to life and study in the U.S.


University Extension (UEX) works in partnership with the university’s International Office to offer courses that help students from Saudi Arabia adapt to life and study in the United States. These students, sponsored by the Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), take UEX-developed courses in physics, chemistry and math that are customized to address the students’ knowledge levels as well as language and cultural learning style differences. The SABIC program also helps these students become acclimated to American educational and societal customs with an acculturation class. In this class, students receive training in how to interact with American professors and students.

“The International Office approached us two years ago to partner with them to develop some content courses to complement the ESL curriculum,” says Lois Kim of UEX. “The SABIC students at UT Austin are all pre-engineering students and strong in math and science, but the students needed more foundational work in math, physics, and chemistry to help them succeed at an American university. It was then that we also realized that the students would benefit from an acculturation type of course.”

“Leslie Moore and Aaron Rochlen co-taught the course, with Dr. Moore focused on helping the students develop strong study skills and habits, while Dr. Rochlen focused on acculturation,” continues Lois. “The acculturation course was so popular with SABIC, that they requested all participating universities to develop their own version for the students they were hosting on their campuses.”

The University of Texas at Austin is one of four institutions of higher learning with a SABIC program. The others are Boston University, University of Pennsylvania and Vanderbilt University.

More information about the SABIC program at UT Austin may be found online.


Tags: university extension, students, saudi arabia, sabic, international office,