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.

Deepotsav

We celebrate Diwali every year with our flagship event, Deepotsav - a large-scale production consisting of performances by ISAR, undergraduate student clubs and professionals, ending with a banquet dinner, with more than 500 attendees across campus.

Supporting New Students

ISAR works diligently 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 perform every year to help incoming RICE students.

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

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Kshitij Rai
President
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Meera Gadit
Vice President
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Jayant Patil
Programming Director
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Debasish Jana
Programming Director
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Sudheendra Herkal
Programming Director
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Lokesh Boominathan
GSA Representative
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Nishant Mehrotra
Webmaster
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Nidish Narayanaa
Treasurer
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Gaurav Gupta
Media Head

New Students Information

Airport pickup

We are organizing airport pickups for incoming graduate students from India for Fall 2019. If you would like to be picked up from one of the Houston airports, please fill out the form below with your flight details so that we know when and where to pick you up. Since we need to make arrangements and find drivers free at or around the time of your arrival, we'd love to have your arrival details well before time. The last date to enroll for airport pickups is 25th July 2019.

Airport pickup signup link

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 [at] rice {dot} edu or even better, post on the ISAR Facebook group if you have any questions or concerns! If you have questions that are specific to your future department at Rice, email us and we will get you in touch with an Indian student at the relevant department.

Do checkout the 'current students' section below, for more info about off-campus housing

Ways to stay in touch

We have some links below for you to stay in touch with current Indian students at Rice and also get a chance to meet other incoming Indian students, our favorite is the facebook group!

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 identifying 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 from their 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 choose apartment near public transportation (Metro train is quite frequent) or along bikeable routes within close reach of grocery etc. Find out which areas are safe and where other students live. Car is not really a necessity and is not cost effective to commute to campus (parking costs)

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 (no lottery to worry about).
  • There are apartment complexes quite close to bus stops, grocery stores, etc.

Disadvantages of living off-campus

  • Rent does not usually include water, cable, power, internet, etc.
  • You are responsible for finding roommates.
  • 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

  • GSA has a great webpage on housing including a map showing where current grad students live along with rents, public transport, safety etc.
  • Post a message at the ISAR Facebook group for finding roommates.
  • Email the ISAR mailing list asking if anyone is looking for a roommate.
  • Post a message at the GSA Facebook group.
  • Email the Rice international student office's mailing list.

Contact Us

Want to get in touch with us? Just send us an email: isar [at] rice {dot} edu. The form below doesn't work, but do try it if you want ;)

Don't call us

Email is better ;)

Email Address

isar [at] rice {dot} edu

Office Location

Rice University, Houston, TX

Working Hours

Monday-Friday 9.00-21.00

Subscribe to us

Just like you, we too hate spam! We will only send you useful e-mails once in a while. To get informed about events at and around Rice + general Indian events in Houston, consider subscribing to our mailing list.