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UT Austin International Office International Student and Scholar Services

SABIC: Welcome Students!

Arrival Information |  Academics |  Meet the Staff |  About UT |  About Austin, TX |  Photos

I would like to welcome you to the Foundation Year at the University of Texas at Austin.  As a member of this program, you are embarking on an exciting adventure that we hope not only will open wide the doors of international understanding, but also provide fresh experiences in a supportive learning environment.

Within this welcome section, you will find links to a variety of useful items.  Please look carefully through the links above, for the information contained in them should answer many of your questions about your stay in Austin.  I look forward to meeting you and working with you.  My door is always open to you, and together we will navigate the upcoming months with a positive vision.

Arrival Information

Suggested Items to Bring

Although you will have opportunities to go shopping after you arrive, it’s a good idea to come prepared.

  • Sweater
  • Jacket
  • Shower shoes
  • Toiletries
  • Umbrella
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Gym or athletic clothes
  • Muffler or scarf
  • Hat or cap
  • One pair of dress pants
  • One button-down, collared shirt
  • Your favorite thobe
  • Personal items you might enjoy having in your dorm room
  • Copies of important medical records, X-rays, and prescriptions. Have prescriptions written in English in generic terms.
  • Familiar medicine for headache, stomachache, cough, and so forth
  • Organize finances: arrange to transfer funds to a U.S. bank and make sure you have funds for travel and expenses on arrival; consider obtaining a credit card, if possible.


Housing has been arranged for you at an off-campus dormitory, within walking distance of UT and just a few steps from my office. Your dorm has suites:  a shared living space, a small kitchen, two bedrooms and two bathrooms.  The dorm also has a cafeteria where you will have your meals.

Placement Testing & Course Registration

  • Your appointments for English placement testing and registration were included in your acceptance letter.
  • They will be scheduled during the week of January 16.  (January 16 is Martin Luther King Day, a national holiday.  There are no classes that day.)
  • The registration process takes 2 to 3 hours.
  • You will need all your travel documents (passport, I-20, I-94, proof of health insurance).
  • Placement testing takes approximately three hours.


You must attend a student orientation at the end of registration week.  At orientation, you will receive your class schedule and learn about the campus and the facilities that are available to you.

Immigration Requirements: Documents to Bring

  • Passport
  • Form I-94 (issued at U.S. airport)
  • Form I -20
  • Proof of health insurance through SABIC
  • SEVIS Fee receipt

All of these documents are required for registration.  Please be very careful with these travel documents! The process for replacing them is extremely difficult and could add unnecessary stress to your experience.


You will be responsible for knowing the policies for travel set out by SABIC and your I-20, as well as the policies and procedures of UT ESL Services, detailed in the student handbook, which will be given to you at registration.


Below is an overview of each semester’s courses.  The exact times vary from semester to semester.


  • Individual Learning Skills (short course)
  • ESL courses:  listening/speaking, reading, writing, grammar


  • ESL courses
  • Academic Success
  • TOEFL Preparation
  • Math


  • ESL course:  Academic Reading and Writing
  • SAT Preparation
  • Math
  • Physics
  • Volunteering
  • College Applications


  • Math for college credit
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Critical Thinking
  • Volunteering
  • Leadership Activities
  • College Applications as needed

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Meet the Staff

Monica Malhotra, Immigration Advisor

Monica is currently the International Student Advisor for ESL Services at UT Austin where she assists with admissions, immigration and sponsored student programs. Past experiences include working for a refugee resettlement program and working at the EastWest Institute in New York as a Development intern. She also worked at the International Office at UT Austin as an International Student Advisor for over four years. Monica Malhotra earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from The University of Texas at Arlington and received her Master’s degree in International Studies from the University of Exeter, UK.

Liz Smith, Coordinator, Sponsored Student Programs

Liz Smith is the Coordinator of the Sponsored Student Program at The University of Texas at Austin, where she manages the placement of nearly 400 students from more than 40 countries and 50 sponsoring agencies. As a strategic university partner liaison for several social justice related programs, Ms. Smith works closely with the university’s international admissions office and various academic departments to provide opportunities for students from underrepresented countries and marginalized communities. Ms. Smith has worked in the field of international education for over five years, has served in the Peace Corps in Senegal and has studied gender and development in Central America, Africa, and Europe.

Dr. Teri Albrecht, Director, International Student & Scholar Services

Dr. Teri Albrecht is Director of International Student & Scholar Services at The University of Texas at Austin and has been with the International Office since 1999. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Albrecht held positions at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas and Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Dr. Albrecht completed her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Texas at Austin where her dissertation research focused on the experiences of undocumented students in institutions of higher education. She received her Bachelors of Business Administration and Masters in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Texas A&M University.   Active in NAFSA – Association of International Educators, Dr. Albrecht has written several articles for NAFSA’s publication, International Educator and has presented numerous sessions at the NAFSA annual conferences.

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About UT

The links below offer useful information about the University of Texas at Austin.

University Academic Calendars

About UT

Campus Life

ESL Services

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About Austin, TX

Would you like to know more about the city where you will be living during the Foundation Year program? The links below offer some helpful information about the city of Austin, TX.

PDF Document highlighting many of the main attractions throughout the city: Austin Official Visitors Guide

Austin Entertainment, Food, Music, Movies:

Local Austin Newspaper - News, Weather, Business & Sports:

Public radio station operated by UT Austin:

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(coming soon)

Also, we invite you to join our UT-SABIC program Facebook page!

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