Friday, August 19, 2011

VTLCI Partners with College of Science for KAUST Preparatory Year

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), a state-of-the-art post-graduate research university located on the Red Sea of Saudi Arabia, established the KAUST Gifted Student Program (KGSP) in the summer of 2008. The program has the goal of creating a pool of highly qualified Saudi graduates to enroll in KAUST’s graduate degree programs. Students in the program are selected from the top five percent of Saudi secondary school graduates (science track) who have participated in the country’s Gifted Student Program, known as ‘Mawhiba’ in Arabic.

The KGSP Preparatory Year will ready students for undergraduate study at American universities. Taking place over the 2011-2012 academic year, the program has been designed jointly by the Virginia Tech College of Science (COS) and the Language and Culture Institute (VTLCI). For their part in the program, COS will provide introductory courses in math and the sciences, as well as SAT preparation. VTLCI faculty and staff will guide students through the process of university selection, college application completion, and TOEFL test preparation. Participating students will take courses in academic writing and scientific and technical writing through the VTLCI, as well.

The KGSP has successfully placed students in degree programs at MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, and other world-leading universities. KAUST approached Virginia Tech to host the preparatory year seeking the highest level of program in terms of faculty, curriculum, facilities and reputation. Fifteen KAUST students are expected to participate in the Virginia Tech program, to arrive in early September.

Inquiries concerning the KGSP Preparatory Year should be directed to Amanda Johnson, Assistant Director for Special programs, at

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