Student Services News

News from the Student Services Centre (Carrington Building)

Month: February 2014

Teach in Thailand this summer

Teaching in ThailandThe British Council is recruiting 300 British University students/recent graduates of any discipline to teach English in Thai schools this summer for nine weeks from 27 June to 29 August 2014.

The deadline for applications (completed online – web link below) is 7 March. It is a short application form, the only searching part is a  ‘Supporting statement’, explaining why you want to go and what you could contribute. They will be looking here for people who show evidence of being:

  • Willing and able to step out of one’s comfort zone
  • Adaptable to unusual and unexpected situations
  • Able to work in a team and contribute as a team member
  • Be an excellent communicator
  • Have an understanding and empathy towards other cultures
  • Be punctual and hard-working
  • Independent and able to problem solve and overcome challenges
  • Be enthusiastic and open to trying new ideas
  • Be confident and able to work with and manage large groups of children (class sizes up to 40-50)

You will also need to provide details of a university referee (eg personal tutor) who will be contacted if you are short-listed.

Applications will only be accepted from students currently studying at or recently graduated from universities agreeing to participate in the 2014 programme. Applicants must fulfil all the eligibility criteria:

  •  You hold a UK or EU passport
  • You are 18 or over
  • You are currently a student in higher education in the UK are graduating in 2014 or graduate in 2013
  • Your level of English is at native speaker competence, and you have excellent communication skills in English
  • You have a keen interest in gaining work experience in Thailand as an English language teaching assistant
  • You are able to attend a pre-departure briefing and training day in the UK in April 2014

 Application form and Further Information

Reading Half Marathon – Sunday 2 March

Reading Half MarathonThe University’s Whiteknights campus will be host to many avid runners from our community in Reading and beyond as, once again, we are delighted to form part of the route for the Reading Half Marathon.

The event is the UK’s second biggest half-marathon with approximately 16,000 people set to run approximately 21 kilometres, on Sunday 2 March.

The route begins at Green Park and runs through the University campus, entering at the Pepper Lane entrance (look out for Belle the street food van and the Samba Band!) and following the road in front of Whiteknights House, exiting at the main Shinfield Road entrance by the SportsPark.

Although the campus is not an official spectator area, those wishing to view the run as it passes through the site are encouraged. However, please be advised that there will be no vehicular access to the Whiteknights campus throughout the morning, from 07.45 to 13:00.

A number of roads around the town, including those close to the University, will be closed for periods of the day and a number of bus routes will be affected. Please visit the official Reading Half Marathon website for information on the full route and further details of road closures and disruptions and the Reading Buses website for details of changed bus routes.


Night buses, Travel Survey and iPads

If you would like to see night buses come to campus or other travel improvements we need to let the University know about it.

The number of student responses to the University Travel Survey is down this year, so we really need to get behind it and let them know what we’d like to see. What we tell them really does make a difference – you can see what they did as a result of last year’s survey here.

The survey will now close at 09:00 on Tuesday 25 February, click here to take it.

The Big Q: Is a Degree Enough?

As part of their Improving Your Employability Campaign RUSU will be hosting a panel discussion on the value of degrees on 18 February at 18:00 in 3Sixty.

This is a chance for you to both network with employers such as Deloitte and PwC to find out about potential jobs, but to also hear a panel of industry professionals have their say on what they think makes a good internship and whether just having a degree is enough to stay afloat in the 21st century job market. Panellists include:

Julie Bowen: Member Services Manager at APSCo
John Slattery: Career Coach and former Head of Development at United Biscuits
Chris Hares: Internaware
Tom Slater: Assistant Editor at ‘Spiked!’

Click here for more details
Admission is free but places are limited. To book a place,
T: 0118 378 4313

This is a great chance to meet potential employers and to find out what employers want when applying to them – also counts towards the RED Award.

Adverse weather conditions

Fallen treeThere are new storms forecast to hit the south of England. The University asks that students and staff:

  • keep to tarmacked footpaths;
  • do not enter any areas that have been cordoned off, as this will have been done to protect your safety. The University has closed paths at the highest risk of falling branches and trees;
  • contact the Estates & Facilities helpdesk if you discover fallen branches or other obstacles on 0118 378 7000 (or 0118 378 7799 for emergencies or out-of-hours issues);
  • take care when travelling to and from campus. If you are experiencing difficulties getting to campus please contact your Department or Line Manager as soon as possible.

Further information:

Free online courses

The University is developing exciting ways for people to study something new. As a current student this might be something that complements your current studies, or a taste of something totally new that grabs your interest. These courses are taught by our world-class academics and delivered online via the FutureLearn platform.

A beginners’ guide to writing in English for university study

Start date: 17 February 2014
Duration: Five weeks, three hours per week
Educator: Steve Thomas
Requirements: The course is aimed at those for whom English is a second language. Minimum level of IELTS 4.5 or equivalent
Click here for more information and to sign-up

Begin programming: Build your first mobile game

Start date: 24 February 2014
Duration: Seven weeks, three hours per week
Educator: Karsten Øster Lundqvist
Requirements: It really is a beginners’ course so all you should need is a computer and a little bit of computing knowledge (ie how to download and install programs)! See the link below for a full description.
Click here for more information and to sign-up

For more information and to see upcoming courses check our Free online courses page.

Vice-Chancellor’s China Scholarship

Beijing cityscapeThe University is offering an exciting opportunity for some of our students to spend the summer in China. The scheme will enable up to 6 students to attend one of two summer schools in Beijing, China during the summer of 2014.

DragonThe scholarship provides a maximum of £3,000 per student which will cover flights, accommodation and visas (to be organised and booked by the University) and a daily stipend of £25 for food and drink. It is open to anyone who has a keen interest in China, Chinese, East Asia, or who is looking for an adventure!

The summer schools run for about 28 days and will provide you with the chance to meet, and make friends with, people from around the world. The modules available to you will cover a broad range of aspects of Chinese culture, from language to history and politics to economics.

Want to know more?

Come along to the briefing presentation at 14:00 on 18 February, in room 128 HumSS.

A second briefing and Q&A session has been arranged for Wednesday 5 March in Carrington 101 from 16:00-17:00. Please come to meet our China Regional Manager Craig Lennox to find out more about the scheme.

NB The deadline is Friday 7 March so you will still have time to complete your application. The session is open to all eligible students so do come along if you have any questions, even if you have already submitted your application. You can find out more about the scheme, including:

  • a brief introduction to life in China (and more specifically, Beijing);
  • information on the Universities involved;
  • details on both of the summer schools, including the activities available to you.

or, by visiting the website below.

At the end of the session there will be time for all your questions to be answered.

Click here for the full details and to apply.

Closing date: 7 March.

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