The Prince Mohammad bin Fahd University (PMU) in Saudi Arabia sent its first cohort of students to the newly-launched “PMU in Texas” study abroad program at the Texas International Education Consortium (TIEC).
Forty-four co-ed students arrived in October for the 10-week study abroad program, designed for PMU preparation year students to measurably improve their language skills, earn college credit, and have a cultural experience in Texas.
Upon successful completion of these preparatory courses and the Intensive English Program, the students will return home and begin substantive courses at PMU. Although they are PMU students, they have not entered in their credit-bearing programs yet, according to Heather Farmakis, PhD, Senior Director of Global Learning at TIEC.
“This is a unique opportunity for students from Saudi Arabia to accelerate their English learning, and prepare for college,” Dr. Farmakis said. “Although students will be immersed in US culture, we are making sure they have what they need to feel at home and welcome. “
This is not the first time TIEC and PMU have collaborated on a program – TIEC has been on-the-ground with PMU since its university design phase back in 2006. The relationship has endured, continuing with curriculum review projects, and now extending to study abroad.
“This is the first study abroad program PMU has ever offered our students, and we are so pleased that it is with a long-standing partner like TIEC,” said Dr. Issa H. Al-Ansari, Rector at PMU. “We hope this experience enriches our students’ global outlooks and improves their English. We look forward to growing this program for years to come.”
The accelerated program provides an immersive experience to enhance English language skills and global competencies for all participants. Through TIEC’s specialized approach and decades of instructional experience, students participate in structured learning environments and face real-world situations.
The program includes 240 hours of instruction and/or tutoring, 50 hours of additional-tutoring for math studies, 24 hours of student support services, extracurricular activities, assistance with I-20 documents and more.
“I am so pleased to see this program come together. PMU made a very strong commitment to supporting study abroad here in Austin, and we at TIEC are thrilled to help these students live the English language, and learn self-confidence and self-expression in English,” said TIEC President and CEO Robin J. Lerner. “We see this program as a reflection of our long-standing partnership with PMU. Seeing those 44 students walk in the door last month gave me goose-bumps.”
The next cohort of study abroad students from PMU are scheduled to arrive in January.