Every year UT Austin hosts 15-20 Saudi Arabian students sponsored by SABIC for a customized Foundation Year program. The program consists of 18 months of intensive English and rigorous academic work to prepare the students for their undergraduate studies at various institutions across the U.S. On April 30th the students commemorated their hard work and thanked their teachers at the SABIC graduation. Three student speakers reflected on the past year and offered words of encouragement for the future. A former teacher and friend also praised the students for their strong work ethic and thoughtfulness. The Director of ESL, Dr. Michael Smith and Director of International Student and Scholar Services, Dr. Teri Albrecht, both delivered inspirational speeches, urging the students to continue their commitment to excellence and leadership. After receiving certificates of completion, the students closed the ceremony with a special dance from the Dabke Dance Team. The evening ended in celebratory drinks of non-alcoholic Saudi champagne (a combination of sparkling water, apple juice and fruit) and Arabic treats.
Having completed the Foundation Year Program, the students will begin their undergraduate work at American universities in the fall. The UT Austin Foundation Year team wishes the students all the best in their future endeavors!