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Welcoming New Foundation Year Students to the US

This August, the KGSP welcomed 77 newly-admitted Foundation year students to the United States as they begin the first steps in their academic journey to KAUST!
 Boston University cohort headed to first day of classes
Boston University cohort headed to first day of classes 

The KGSP partners with six top universities to host the Foundation Year program: Boston University; University of California, Berkeley; University of Illinois, Urbana- Champaign; University of Pennsylvania; University of Texas at Austin; and the University of Washington.  Upon arrival, students were immediately greeted at the airport by KGSP advisors, who then remained on campus with the students to help them acclimate to their new home city and prepare for college life. 

University of Texas at Austin students with their KGSP advisor Huzaifa PotiaUniversity of Texas at Austin with their KGSP Advisor Huzaifa Potia 

Over the following week, advisors and host universities provided multi-day orientation seminars, building upon the preparation originally introduced during the KGSP Pre-Departure Orientation this summer on the KAUST campus:  This included in-depth instruction on topics related to living and learning in the U.S. such as academic expectations, intercultural competencies, time management, and financial responsibilities.  Advisors also planned fun group settling-in activities that helped students get to know their new city and each other:  Apartment move-in day, shopping together at local stores and markets to buy food, school supplies, and furnishings, and group dinners with returning KGSP undergraduate students all helped to start the formation of a community of learning, and friendship, and support.

University of Texas at Austin students with Sarah Smith, Associate Director of Undergraduate and Scholarship ProgramsUniversity of Texas at Austin students with Sarah Smith, Associate Director of Undergraduate and Scholarship Programs 

We warmly welcome the new Foundation Year cohort to the US and the KGSP community!


KGSP students represent the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s future scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, and thought-leaders. As both individuals and as a community, they reflect the KAUST mission of driving scientific discovery through excellence in education and cutting-edge research, and share a commitment to fostering innovation, economic development, and social prosperity throughout the Kingdom and the world.  


Selection to the KGSP is extremely competitive, and currently by invitation only. Successful applicants are Saudi Arabian students in their final year of high school who demonstrate impressive academic credentials within STEM fields, meaningful extra-curricular achievements, and who share the KAUST ethos of continuous discovery.  Learn more here.


The KGSP is administered by the Office of Strategic National Advancement at KAUST, under the direction of Vice President & Senior Associate to the President, Dr. Najah Ashry. Strategic National Advancement directs the university's strategy to serve Saudi Arabia's transformational priorities: Through initiatives in young talent and Saudi workforce development, social responsibility, and national engagement, the Office contributes to a thriving innovation ecosystem by building knowledge capacity, creating opportunities, and strengthening impact.