I could probably try to explain my time at the University of Reading in words and still not fully be able to explain just how incredible it was. However, I will try my best to give you a taste of what it felt like to study and live on the University’s Whiteknights campus.
I myself lived across the lake that is on the campus, which made me incredibly lucky as the view from my room consisted of trees, grass and water. Extremely calming, something that most definitely came in handy the (more than a) couple of times I got stressed. The whole Whiteknights campus is covered in trees, meadows, flowers and little rivers. This provided for excellent morning walks or for a great excuse on those many days where you really should be studying, but the weather is just too nice.
The best thing about campus life, aside from the great grassy views (can you tell I’m a nature-lover?), is that your friends are never far away. Just a quick text and 5 minutes later you are having a coffee at one of the cafes on campus. The community feel that the campus provides makes sure you never have to feel alone. There is always someone to hang out with between classes or something new to try, e.g. the food stalls or the fruit and veg market on each term time Thursday. As most of my friends stayed on campus for the full day, working together in the Library easily became the norm. With many cups of coffee, studying became incredibly fun, even during exam time.
However, if you feel like you need to get out of the studying drag and into some more fast-paced living, London is only half an hour away by train. I got used to going to London twice a month as a self-proclaimed, well-deserved break from studying. London quickly became a second home and it was great to have the time to explore the lesser known parts of the city.
Reading is situated in an ideal area of England as there are many direct trains to cities up north and down south, and direct links with many of the London airports. It made exploring the entire UK extremely easy and incredibly fun. As most UK student cities have many youth hostels, travelling through the UK was not even that expensive. Even when travelling alone, you would always meet people in a new city with whom you could explore.
Aside from all the great trips I made, the level of education at the University of Reading was high and the professors I had were excellent and extremely kind. Everything was easy to arrange and whenever a problem did arise, everyone you talked to was approachable, kind and helpful. I had an incredible year at the University of Reading and I could not recommend my study abroad experience at Reading enough (and will probably not stop talking about it for a while either). I am already missing my time here on campus.