About Us

Rice University's ISAR (Indian Students at Rice) is a secular, non-partisan graduate student organization dedicated to creating a warm and welcoming environment for Indian students on Rice campus, showcasing Indian culture to the student body, and fostering social ties with the Indian-American community in the Greater Houston area.

What we do

We host a number of events throughout the year.


Our flagship event Deepotsav celebrating Diwali, a large-scale production consisting of performances by both ISAR members and professionals and a banquet dinner, with more than 250 atendees.

Supporting New Students

ISAR works dilligently to support all the new students coming to RICE. We always try to make the transition as easy as possible for new students. Among all the other initiatives of ISAR we have airport pickup, mentorship and our officers are available for your support.

Airport Pickup

Airport pickup is one of the core services that ISAR members does pro-actively each year in a bid to help new students who are coming to RICE for the first time.

Organizing Events

Cultural events such as Holi, Independence Day, Republic Day, etc. Social events such as an annual Freshers' party, camping trips, antakshari, cricket matches, etc. We collaborate with a number of other organizations at Rice, such as the Rice South Asian Society, the Rice Cricket Club, the Rice Graduate Student Association, Rice ADVANCE, and many others.

Our Team

Dinesh Dhankar
Prashant Bharadwaj
Vice President
Devashish Salpekar
Aravind Govindaraju
Amruta Pai
Event Co-Ordinator
Saurabh Chaudhari
Event Co-Ordinator
Yash Mehta
Facilities Coordinators
Srikanth Kuthuru
Facilities Coordinators
Kshipra Kapoor
Publicity Coordinator
Manisha Patel
Arthi Appathurai
GSA Representative
Sushreyo Misra
External Affairs
Akshat Dave
Graphics Designer
Juhi Bhatnagar

New Students Information

Airport pickup, Fall 2016

The pickup for Fall,2016 has been closed. Please wait for a mail communication if you ahve applied before 31st july for airport pickup. Any pickup's requested after that may not be entertained. Be sure to check for emails to ensure you have someone waiting for you to pick up.

Resources for new students

We are here to make your transition to Houston and Rice University as smooth as possible. We have compiled a "Starter Pack" containing lots of information and tips about booking flights, packing, etc. The information contained here is based on the experiences of our members. Don't hesitate to contact us at isar@rice.edu if you have any questions or concerns! If you have questions that are specific to your future department at Rice, email isar@rice.edu and we will get you in touch with an Indian student at the relevant department.

Current Students

Indian-American community in Houston

Houston has one of the largest Indian-American populations in the United States, with around 90,000 people identitfying as South-Asian American in the 2010 census. There are a number of active South Asian communities and organizations in Houston, such as:

  • IIT Alumni of Greater Houston
  • India Culture Center
  • India House Houston
  • Houston Durgabari

Off-campus housing

Many students choose to live off-campus in their later years at Rice, usually from the second year onwards. There are quite a few apartment complexes within walking distance of Rice, and even more within biking distance. If you decide to live off-campus, it will make your lives significantly easier if you own a car, or at the very least a bicycle.

Advantages of living off-campus

  • The baseline rent is somewhat cheaper if one lives off-campus. As a reference, the rent for a 450 sq ft 1-bedroom apartment at RVA is $855/month, while the rent for a 660 sq ft 1-bedroom apartment off-campus within biking distance to Rice is roughly $700/month. The rent for a 637 sq ft 2-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment in RVA is $630 per bed per month, while the rent for an 875 sq ft 2-bedroom 1-bathroom apartment off-campus is roughly $460 per bed per month. The farther one lives from Rice, the cheaper the rent gets.
  • You can renew your lease every year (there is no lottery to worry about).
  • There are apartment complexes quite close to bus stops, grocery stores, etc.

Disadvantages of living off-campus

  • Rent do not usually include water, cable, power, internet, etc.
  • If you choose to live in a 2-bedroom apartment, you are responsible for finding your own roommate.
  • It is quite difficult to get by without a car/bicycle, to get to Rice and to grocery stores.
  • Usually one has to prove that one’s monthly income is three times the monthly rent, or pay a much larger security deposit.
  • Some apartment complexes are not gated, others might be located in unsafe areas.

Ideas for finding off-campus housing

  • Look at Rice's list of off campus housing options at offcampus.rice.edu.
  • Email the ISAR mailing list asking if anyone is looking for a roommate.
  • Post a message at the ISAR Facebook group.
  • Post a message at the GSA Facebook group.
  • Email the Rice international student office's mailing list.
  • Contact apartment complexes close to Rice. A google map with some such places marked can be found here.

Contact Us

Want to get in touch with us? Just fill out the form.

Call Us

+1 713-423-9206

Email Address


Office Location

Rice University, at Houston, TX

Working Hours

Monday-Friday 9.00-21.00

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