Ice Breakers and Snacks at the Fall Meet and Greet

dsc_0018_bHere at the Rice University Intensive English Program we’ve started a brand new session, and almost half of our currently enrolled students are new to the program, so we hosted one of our new session Meet and Greets! Both new and returning students enjoyed light snacks and made friends from different levels. We played an ice breaker name game, and our students turned out to have fantastic memories! Some students were able to go around their table and name all eleven other students, along with what country each of them were from, although all of our students did a really great job learning their classmates’ names. We are looking forward to another great session with the best group of ESL students!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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Movie Night with Friends, Popcorn…and Dinosaurs!


We’ve had a few rainy afternoons this week in Houston, and one of the best things to do when it’s raining is settle into the couch and watch a movie…so that’s what our ESL students did on Wednesday. We stayed cozy and dry in front of the big screen in the dean’s commons watching one of the best rainy day movies: Jurassic World! Part thriller, part sci-fi, part adventure, it had something for all of our students to enjoy, plus, who doesn’t love a good dinosaur movie? Students snacked on popcorn and candy and had fun watching the movie (and their friends’ reactions to the movie!), while the rain slowed outside, stopping just as the credits rolled and it was time to go home, a happy ending both on screen and off!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator





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ESL Students Savor the Flavor of Summer in Houston

DSC_0055_BLast week, our hard working Intensive English students earned themselves a special treat…an ice cream social! This is one of our favorite events of the year, as both our morning and afternoon students have the opportunity to mingle with students from different levels and make new friends. We also really love ice cream here in Houston. Everyone was able to try several different types of ice cream treats (because there is no such thing as too much ice cream!), and the overwhelming favorites were the classic ice cream sandwiches, and the minion pops!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator




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ESL Students Have an XTREMEly Good Time at the Circus!

DSC_0013We love taking our Intensive English students to the circus when it comes to town every summer! This year, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey outdid themselves with their exciting “CIRCUS XTREME” show. Students especially enjoyed watching dancers perform on the backs of camels and heart-stopping aerial acrobatics, including a four-person tower…on a tightrope 35 feet in the air! We also got to see all of the circus classics: the big cats, goofy clowns, a live band, and a strong-man act. However, our absolute favorite performer was the human cannonball… the youngest female cannonball in Ringling Bros. history shot herself across the entire arena, did a flip in the air, and landed with a smile on her face! Some of our students captured really great videos of her performance on Snapchat to send to their friends back home. We hope our students had a wonderful time at this classic American show!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator



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Bingo and Hot Dogs to Celebrate Independence Day


America’s biggest party of the year is Independence Day, when we commemorate becoming an independent country back in 1776, so we decided to celebrate with our ESL students! We invited Intensive English students to “party like it’s 1776” by participating in a few of our 4th of July traditions, including eating hot dogs and hamburgers and playing bingo. This was our first student activity of the summer session, and we enjoyed sharing a little bit of American culture and giving students an opportunity to meet their new classmates!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator




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Gorgeous day for a picnic and games


There is a saying that goes, “April showers bring May flowers”, but the weather in Houston was nothing but sunshine and warm breezes on Tuesday…absolutely PERFECT for an Intensive English Program picnic! It was a gorgeous day for all the classic picnic activities. ESL students ate a lunch of fresh sandwiches and chips, then some spent the rest of the afternoon lounging in the sun on blankets, chatting with friends. Other students spread out on the grass outside our Anderson-Clarke Center and played lawn games with their classmates, like badminton, catch, frisbee, and soccer. As our picnic drew to a close, students (and teachers!) had a hard time going back inside for afternoon classes after all the fun. We’re all hoping for many more beautiful days this spring!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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ESL Students Learn to Boot Scoot for the Rodeo!


Visitors to Rice University who drove past the lawn in front of the Anderson-Clarke Center last Friday enjoyed quite a show! In preparation for our trip to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that evening, four rodeo volunteers visited us at Rice to teach our Intensive English students how to line dance. The event kicked off with yummy chili and cold iced tea, traditional Texan fare, and then students formed up in lines for their line dancing lesson. First we learned the four corners line dance, used to dance to “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” and then we circled up for the dance hall favorite “Cotton-Eyed Joe.” Our ESL students had so much fun learning to country dance, and those who weren’t quite brave enough to line up with their peers enjoyed tapping their feet to the music and cheering on their friends. The dance instruction ended with a song our students easily recognized… “Cupid Shuffle.” It’s always nice to dance to a song that tells you all the steps!

At the end of the day students hopped on the bus and headed out to the rodeo to put their new dance moves to good use. Even the rain wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of our students at the rodeo, many of whom had never seen bronco riding or steer wrestling before. Our students (and chaperones) were very impressed by the bull riding, but by far the favorite event was the mutton-bustin’…nothing compares to how cute little kids look riding sheep. Just as the rodeo wrapped up the skies cleared and students got to enjoy all the best parts of the carnival, including the infamous deep fried oreos. We love taking our ESL students to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, and can’t wait to go again next year!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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ESL Students LOVE to Party!


For Valentine’s Day, what do you give to the ESL student who has everything? A big Valentine’s Party, of course! On February 11, we threw our first annual Valentine’s Party, complete with chocolate, conversation hearts, valentine-themed coloring sheets, and, everyone’s greatest love, pizza. Lots of pizza. We decorated with enough pink and red to make Cupid blush, and students loved the heart-themed photo booth. It was a great day of food and friendship. We hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day spent with friends and loved ones!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator


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Rice ESL Students see the Houston Rockets win!

DSC_0106 BA great thing about living in Houston is the diverse entertainment options available on any given day, including a number of professional sporting events. With basketball season fully underway, we decided it was time to show off one of the city’s greatest assets: the Houston Rockets!! Sixty ESL students loaded up a bus last Friday for the twelve minute drive to Toyota Center, home of Houston’s very own NBA team. Students got to enjoy all the excitement a Rockets game has to offer; watching the fan cam, the halftime entertainment, all of the silly antics of Clutch, the mascot, and best of all, a Houston Rockets win against the Milwaukee Bucks!

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator



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Meet and Greet to Start the New Year


After a nice long holiday break for students, the Rice Intensive English Program is back in full swing! We are so glad to have our returning students back for another session, and just as excited to welcome over one hundred new students to the program! With so many new students joining our classes, we decided to start the year off with a Meet and Greet so that all of our students could spend some time meeting their new classmates. Our ESL students gathered in the afternoon to chat with new students, enjoy a few snacks, and meet our Language Programs office staff.

Author: Savannah Burch, Enrollment Coordinator



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