Eagles Abroad!

Sarah from University of Mary Washington offers some great pointers for studying abroad at Reading…

As the semester is winding down and examination preparation is in its midst, I am taking a moment to reflect on what has happened in the past three months of my abroad experience. A lot has happened and it has been hectic, joyful, and quite the learning experience. Let me tell you, it does rain. And yes, take your umbrella with you.

At University of Reading I am enrolled in modules in the Henley Business School. I am an International Business major and Henley’s excellence in emphasizing international study was a real draw for me! Studying at a university in the United Kingdom was definitely a transition. It places much more importance on self-learning than traditional American institutions. In all honesty, I did not know how to handle all my “free” time when I initially began my modules! However, I soon began to smoothly transition to UK study habits and joined clubs to fill my time.

One club that was extremely beneficial to my time abroad was the Erasmus Society. The Erasmus Society gave me the opportunity to meet and travel with international students and others who were interested in study abroad. It was a welcoming and friendly community which allowed me to create long lasting friendships while exploring parts of the UK’s most interesting landmarks and cities.

Speaking of traveling, the UK has allowed me to experience some of the most memorable travel experiences. I have travelled by train, plane, and bus exploring the UK. Whether the trips were planned by the amazing Erasmus & Study Abroad office, the Erasmus Society, or my own personal trip advising, I have seen and done things that I will cherish for a lifetime.

One of my favourite memories while traveling the UK was getting to see the Crown jewels at the Tower of London. I am a real fan of the “The Crown” on Netflix so getting to experience the monarchy’s history was a real treat! Even though navigating the Tube did take some getting use to!

Getting to go abroad was an amazing experience and it cannot be summed up in nearly one post. I am glad I chose to come the United Kingdom as my abroad destination and even happier that I chose the University of Reading as my abroad university!

Making (simulated) millions at ICMA!

In March 2017, Dan from University of Mary Washington joined us for our Study Abroad Programme Trading Room Challenge at the on-campus ICMA Centre. Read on to learn more…

When most people talk about their study abroad they talk about the places they travelled to and the sites they got to see but a great experiences from my time at the University of Reading was participating in a trading room simulation at the ICMA Centre at the University of Reading Henley Business School. The ICMA trading room is a fully functioning and equipped trading room capable of simulating the real life market and training finance students at the Henley Business School. I personally am a Business major and was super excited to see what a trading simulation would be like.

Going into the simulation I had very little experience in a trading environment but never the less couldn’t wait to give it a shot. When I got there all the participants were seated and briefly explained the rules and how the simulation would work. I remember the teacher explaining the controls saying it normally takes students over a year of classes and training to get to the trading room but you all are going to learn in 15 minutes.

The simulation worked like this. We all had a starting amount of money and no stocks. We could choose from a limited number of stocks such as Google and Morgan Stanley to buy and sell. Every 15 seconds there would be a ‘call’ from another bank asking for a buying and selling price, and based off what you enter the bank either buys or sells stocks from you. The entire market was influenced by simulated news events. There was a contest amongst the group for who could make the most money and who could make the least money.

So, after very little explanation the simulation started and we were off. The whole hour long simulation passed in a blur. It seemed to only take around 5 minutes. The entire room was dead quiet except for the sound of frantic clicking and typing.

Looking back the trading room simulation was an amazing experience. As a Business major it was cool to experience how stock trading works in a real time environment. Study abroad is not just about the experiences you know you will have by traveling and experiencing new things. It is also about the small unexpected experiences you have along the way that you will always remember.

NB: The Erasmus & Study Abroad Office would like to thank Dr Michael Smith of the ICMA Centre for facilitating this event for Study Abroad Programme students.

Do you want a cuppa tea?

Well by all means sit back and relax with a cuppa as Sarah, studying abroad from the University of Mary Washington from January – June 2017, reflects on the British food and drink she encountered while here, and a whole lot more besides…

Yes, the Brits do drink tea as much as you think. It has only been a few weeks since I arrived at the University of Reading and I am loving every minute of it! Before I arrived in the United Kingdom, I had never been to the UK or mainland Europe. So when the University of Reading Erasmus & Study Abroad Office offered a trip to explore the sites within the UK I jumped on the chance to explore! One of my first trips within the United Kingdom was to the little village of Bourton on the Water and the Blenheim Palace!

Bourton on the Water is your quintessential English village with traditional cottages, elegant low bridges, and beautiful parkways. Here, I experienced my first full English breakfast at an English tea room!

I also got to tour Blenheim Palace! The Palace was built for the 1st Duke of Marlborough, John Churchill, in the 18th century. It is also the childhood home of Winston Churchill. The Palace was an incredible sight to see! The Palace was filled with decorative china and intricate portraits, paintings, and tapestries. There were also vast areas of gardens (including a waterfall) and land for grazing sheep.

This was an amazing first trip after getting settled into my accommodation in Windsor Hall. The best part about living in Windsor Hall is the close knit community of study abroad students. Being so close allows us to bond over our study abroad experiences and creates an amazing way to make new friendships. Living right outside of Park Eat also has its perks. Park Eat is truly the life of the campus. It is a place where people gather to watch sports games and highlights, meet up with friends after modules for food and drink, and prep for a fun night at the Union! I can’t wait to see what else awaits during the rest of my study abroad experience!

 

 

Reflecting on the distant (and not so distant!) past…

Join Dan from the University of Mary Washington (January – June 2017) as he reflects on his study abroad at Reading, as well as further back in time…

As my time studying abroad at the University of Reading draws to a close, when I look back and reflect on my experiences, one of my favorite aspects of studying abroad at the University of Reading was the guided trips put on by the study abroad office. The study abroad trips were wonderful because the study abroad office provides transportation and an itinerary of ideas of what to do. The study abroad trips consisted of many members of the study abroad program visiting some place in the United Kingdom all together. All of the trips were amazing because on my own I may not have ever found out about the places we visited and got to hang out with the rest of the study abroad group.

My favorite trip put on by the study abroad office was the trip to Stonehenge. Stonehenge to me is one of the must see places when visiting the United Kingdom. Coming from the United States, it blows my mind just how old the site is and how people from thousands of years about managed to move such large rocks.

The Stonehenge trip started out on a cloudy day with around forty members of the study abroad group waiting for the bus to arrive. The first thing I always enjoy about the trips is that you get to hang out with and talk to members of the study abroad group that you would not normally do so. Talking with other members of study abroad is honestly one of the best things about the whole experience because typically in my everyday life I interact with the same people. It is a fascinating experience to branch out and talk to people from other countries and cultures.

After getting on the bus it was around an hour journey to Stonehenge. I always enjoy the bus rides because I like to just look out the window and see the country side of a country I am not from. When we arrived at Stonehenge the bus dropped our group off at the visitor center and we all had the option of take shuttle or walk a little over ¾ of a mile to get to the rocks. I decided to walk. I think it is always important when visiting to see as much as possible because that is of course what I am study abroad to do.  To see new places and have new experience that I typically wouldn’t have in my everyday life. The walking path took me through beautiful landscape of green open fields filled with sheep with little patches of forest scattered here and there. The fields were also dotted with large mounds, which after reading several signs I found out were burial mounds from around the time after the completion of Stonehenge.

After walking a bit further I got my first sight of the famous monument that is Stonehenge. The first thing I noticed is how big the rocks actually were. All pictures I had seen don’t give credit to the scale of the actual thing.

That is something else that I learned while on my study abroad. You can watch videos of a place and see tons of pictures but you don’t ever fully experience a place until you are up close to it and get the feeling of the area around it. Stonehenge was an amazing place to visit. It is a great experience to see a place that I have heard people talk about all my life.

Study abroad is a great idea because you have experiences and create memories that you will have for the rest of your life.