The Reading Aesthetic

There’s a special something about the University of Reading and the town of Reading that really appealed to Collin, who joined us on the Study Abroad Programme from the University of Rhode Island. Read on to get a taste of that aesthetic!

Coming from a small New England town in the United States, I grew up appreciating nature for all the beauty it has to offer. At first glance I was a little skeptical about the urban location of the University of Reading and how many cities these days are more focused on buildings than plants and animals.

It only took me a few hours to realize the University of Reading has both the benefits of an urban setting while still keeping its natural roots. It’s amazing how the University is able to combine modern buildings, historical buildings, and a vast amount of biodiversity all on the same campus. It is safe to say Reading has surpassed my expectations and continues to surprise me.

Another great thing about Reading is the downtown area. There are so many stores, restaurants, and events that its almost impossible to visit them all even though it is only about a 10-minute bus ride. The streets have a very old-town English feel to them, even though they are stocked with all the latest stores (many of which can only be found in England). It makes for a great place to adventure with friends for shopping and other activities such as getting coffee or tea.

There is an overabundance of different types of restaurants with food from all over the world. Its quite remarkable how much culture and diversity they have jammed into one small city. There’s also numerous festivals that take place during the year like the Oktoberfest celebration that is held in town every year. During the winter term they even have the town decorated with Christmas decorations with a large tree in the town center. It is a very beautiful setup and rivals even some of the larger European cities.

A Gateway to Europe…

Join Michaela as she takes a break from her studies at Easter and leaves her home away from home at Reading to explore more of Europe!

When you study abroad at somewhere like the University of Reading, you inadvertently discover a home away from home. At the same time, you are also inspired to leave that home and explore.

Having come from a family who has encouraged me to see the world, I took full advantage of the University of Reading’s Easter Break between spring and summer term. After my last class that Friday, I headed to London Gatwick with my weekend duffle bag to start my 24 day-long trip in Madrid. Through the Erasmus programme, I found travel partners as well as places to stay along my trip since my new friends from school live in all different countries.

14 cities, 6 countries, and 1 British Territory later, I had felt a range of emotions. Accomplished for surviving various metros in foreign languages by myself, bliss from eating delicious food, exhausting from overnight trains and endless walking, and above everything else: appreciation.

If it wasn’t for this school and in part the funding from my blog scholarship, I wouldn’t have pushed myself to see so much. This school has a unique ability to help you surface your passions and to realize everything you’re already capable of, which is something every student can benefit from.

Not only did Reading give me the courage and resources to explore so much, but it also gave me a place to miss.

By the end of my travels, I started to feel homesick for Reading and the people it brings together.

Creating friendships that last a lifetime…

For Michaela, from the University of Rhode Island, its the people she met at the University of Reading that made her Study Abroad Programme experience here a home away from home. Join her as she reflects on January – June 2017…

When you take part in a study abroad program, you sign up for more than what’s proposed in the name “Study Abroad’. Not only do you leave an academic system that you’ve already adjusted to, but you leave your old university home and respective social groups.

Coming from the University of Rhode Island, where the campus acts as a student city filled with familiar faces, I knew no one here. However, I soon realized that didn’t mean I was alone. Since the first day of orientation, I’ve met countless other international students which turned into a close group of friends. I’ve also become friends with my English flat mates, as well as the English flat mates of my international friends. With their help, I have created lifetime friends and experienced the social life they have to offer.

The Erasmus and study abroad team has helped expose me to new places around the UK and test the waters of exploration through the comfort of the University. The picturesque Whiteknights campus continuously gives me a friendly and safe atmosphere while its location gives easy access to England’s capital and a subsequent gateway to all over Europe.

In a time where everything is new and you’re forced to immerse yourself into a culture that is unique to your own, the University of Reading and its community has managed to make it a home away from home.