Learn about the various services and activities available to all Intensive English Program students.
Students in the Intensive English Program receive personal attention from the program’s staff. In addition, students are given suggestions for a variety of fun things to do in and around Houston, whether they have a few hours, a weekend or the break between sessions.
The Rice University Intensive English Program realizes you need a healthy balance between studying and having fun. We have suggestions of fun things to do in Houston if you have a couple of hours or a whole afternoon. On the weekend or during your break between sessions, you may want to take a day trip to the exciting attractions that are within a short drive from Houston.
Brazos Bend State Park (45-minute drive south of Houston): George Observatory (one of the largest telescopes in the nation open to the public on a regular basis), wild alligators, six lakes, hiking and biking trails, picnic areas and fishing.
Huntsville State Park (90 miles north of Houston): Sam Houston statue, 210-acre lake, boating, hiking trails, horseback riding and campgrounds.
If you are thinking of applying to an American university, we have a number of tips to help make your search easier.
Plan ahead; start at least three to four months before you wish to enter the university, but 8 to 12 months is best
Look for schools that offer what you want to study at the level you desire (Undergraduate or graduate level?)
Learn more about the schools; check out school websites, look for information about international students, write or email the admissions office, visit the school and talk to alumni or others who know the university
Narrow the list of possibilities; you may want to limit the list to three or four schools: one that you are sure you can get into, one or two that are strong possibilities and one that may be more difficult to get into
Plan your university budget (Tuition, fees, room and board, books and supplies, computers, transportation, personal expenses)
Check to see if you are eligible for international scholarships and financial aid
Complete applications early and pay attention to deadlines (Be careful!); deadlines may be different for international students
Take required tests (e.g., TOEFL, IELTS, GRE, GMAT, SAT) in time for scores to be reported to the university
If you plan to transfer from a community college to a university, find out which courses will transfer
Students enjoy getting together after class to participate in a number of program-sponsored activities, such as Karaoke parties, barbecue luncheons and trips to the zoo and to sporting events. Below is a list of social activities our Intensive English Program students have enjoyed in past sessions.
Game Nights: Fun nights of board games, darts, ping pong and billiards are held across campus at the Rice Memorial Center.
Rockets Games: Students travel to the Toyota Center to watch Houston Rockets basketball, one of the many professional sporting events Houston offers.
Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo: Students gussy up for a night at the Houston Rodeo. They enjoy the carnival and watch traditional rodeo events, followed by a concert by one of the many big-name musical talents that come every year to NRG Stadium.
Rice Baseball: Students can show their Rice pride by supporting the Rice Owls at a home game.
Houston Zoo: A staple on our social calendar, students get a taste of the wilder side of Houston at the Houston Zoo, located just across the street from the Rice campus.
Pizza Parties: Students gather with teachers and friends at these fun events held at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus: A favorite for all ages and backgrounds, students often attend “The Greatest Show on Earth” with their entire families. The Intensive English Program hasn’t missed a show in over 15 years. From lions and tigers to clowns and trapeze artists, The Ringling Bros. show offers traditional circus fun!
Ice Cream Socials: In another ESL favorite, students beat the heat with frozen treats at the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies.
Karaoke Parties at Willy’s Pub: Students get their groove on and show off their golden voices and dance moves at the party of the year in the basement of the Rice Memorial Center.
Thanksgiving Luncheon: Every November, students and teachers come together to celebrate all that we are thankful for by enjoying a traditional Thanksgiving dinner complete with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and, of course, pumpkin pie!
Intensive English Program students have also enjoyed Dynamo soccer games, Rice football and Halloween parties