Rice Unconventional Wisdom

IPREP Staff 2018


 The I-PREP Staff consists of six current international undergraduate students that will serve as your guides during your first few days at Rice. They will be staying with you at the Hilton Hotel, and will be leading you through your I-PREP experience. All of them are excellent students, superior leaders, and wonderful company!

 The 2018 I-PREP Staff is Andrew, Brian, Mariana, Niky, Noor and Sofia. Now let's learn a little more about your I-PREP Staff!!! 

2018 I-PREP Student Director

Andrew is the I-PREP Student Director and the leader of the rest of the I-PREP Staff.   

IPP Andy


Major:  Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hometown:   Bolton, England

Interests:  Track and field, surfing, yoga, playing piano

Fun Facts: I used to compete for Great Britain in modern pentathlon which is a combination of running, swimming, shooting, fencing and horse riding

Advice to new students:  If I could give one piece of advice to incoming international students it would be get immersed in the American culture and in Rice! You're going to spend at least the next four years in a country that is vastly different than your own and you want to leave knowing that you really got the most out of your time here. It's an amazing experience to be able to study abroad for the whole of your undergraduate degree and we should all consider ourselves lucky to have this opportunity, especially at such a prestigious university. I am sure you will remember your time at Rice for the rest of your life, so experience as much as you can. Try new things, meet as many people as possible, travel and get involved with extracurricular activities. The honest truth is that you won't remember the exams you took or the homework you did, but you will remember the experiences you had with friends.

Favorite thing to do in Houston:  Houston has lots of pop-up markets every week in different locations that sell locally made goods and display artwork by local artists. I love going to them as usually they take me to a new part of Houston and I get to meet interesting people.

2018 I-PREP Staff

The entire I-PREP Staff is very excited to help welcome you to Rice University and I-PREP 2018!

 IPP Brian


Major:  Civil and Environmental Engineering

Hometown:   Kigali, Rwanda

Interests:  Soccer, dance, leadership, movies

Advice to new students:  1) Don't ever be afraid to be yourself, the Rice community is enriched by your presence and uniqueness. 2) Engage with the Rice Community and Houston in general cause there is a lot to learn from this amazing community, and 3) ask questions, always ask questions, even with what you consider a small matter, it will save you a lot.

Favorite thing to do in Houston:  To go out to eat at all the diverse and unique restaurants. 

IPP Mariana


Major:  Religions and Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations

Hometown:   Monterrey, México

Interests:  Cycling, fixing bikes, reading, sewing, listening to podcasts

Fun Facts: I can speak English, Spanish, French, German, and Ancient Greek!

Advice to new students:  The trick is to find balance: delve deeper into your passions but don't be afraid to try new things; welcome new cultures and traditions but don't forget the ones you grew up with; work hard in your classes but also remember to have fun; venture out and join groups, clubs, and teams, but don't overwhelm yourself. Be yourself, but also let yourself grow to be an even better version of yourself with the experiences and knowledge you gain in college.

Favorite thing to do in Houston:  It's definitely split evenly between exploring new neighborhoods on my bike (biking along Houston's various bayous and residential neighborhoods is so fun!) and trying out different restaurants with my friends, because Houston's restaurant scene is just amazing.


IPP Niky


Major:  Mathematical Economic Analysis & Political Science

Hometown:   Beijing, China

Interests:  Running, chatting, reading, writing, watching movies

Fun Facts: I laugh before I am able to tell jokes.

Advice to new students:  "20 seconds of embarrassing bravery": Be brave whenever you really want to do something but can't because you are afraid of embarrassing yourself. Just do it. And remember your I-PREP advisors are always happy to help you.

Favorite thing to do in Houston:  Dining out in Chinatown



IPP Noor


Major:  Computer Science with a minor in Business

Hometown:   Alexandria, Egypt

Interests:  Music festivals, sports, computer science and food

Fun Facts: I'm a semi-professional rugby player

Advice to new students:  I don't know who you are or where you come from, but choosing Rice is the best decision you could've possibly made. Make the most out of this experience, leave your comfort zone, and most importantly, enjoy yourself as these 4 years might just be the best 4 years of your life.

Favorite thing to do in Houston:  Since Houston is super diverse, I find it really cool to explore Houston's cuisines and museums. There are also a ton of concerts going on all-year, so those are pretty exciting too. There are also a ton of beautiful parks and fun places to go to, so, honestly, the world your oyster!


IPP Sofia


Major:  Bioengineering

Hometown:   Queretaro, Mexico

Interests:  I like playing volleyball and playing the piano

Fun Facts: I'm the biggest "Wicked" fan. If you want to read the books, get a piano sheet for a song, or see my cool Elphaba and Glinda socks just let me know!

Advice to new students:  Don't be afraid to ask for help! Rice is full of amazing people who are happy to help you in any way they can. Take the chance to get to know them and it will make your experience at Rice much better. If you take advantage of Rice's Culture of Care, you'll feel at home in no time at all.

Favorite thing to do in Houston:  I love going to concerts. Houston is such a diverse city you can pretty much find any type of music you like. Each concert has its unique energy and I love listening to live music with my friends.