It is common for your host university to ask for a recently acquired (under two years ago) original certificate (IELTS or TOEFL) as proof of your English proficiency. If you would like to improve your English language skills, the UT Language Coordination Center offers language courses. For more information follow the link below.
If you want to know more about your host country, Lonely Planet travel guides are always a good starting point. This world-renowned travel guide offers information on a wide variety of hotels, restaurants, sights and entertainment in all price ranges.