Green Mobility

The Erasmus & Study Abroad Office (ESAO) is pleased to finally introduce our ‘Green Mobility’ project – a pilot plan of action to help ESAO align our activities with the University of Reading’s institutional strategy (2020-26).

Green mobility logoThe strategy states that it is our institutional: “… long-term ambition to be the greenest university in the UK, we will lead by example and commit to genuine carbon neutrality by 2030…”. ( )

We want Study Abroad – both ‘import’ and ‘export’ – to contribute to this long-term commitment.

The initial 24-month project is a flexible plan, aimed at supporting more environmentally friendly study and staff mobility abroad, and international education opportunities at home. It will include:

  1. Making a financial contribution to offset or inset (to be decided in conjunction with UoR Sustainability) our CO₂ emissions for every outgoing and incoming student mobility managed by ESAO, taking place in 2021/2 and 2022/3.
  2. Mandating that all Erasmus+ staff mobilities or trips funded by ESAO fully offset the return trip(s) at time of booking with the UoR Travel Management company.
  3. Raising student awareness about more environmentally friendly ways of travel and the importance of compensating for CO₂ emissions, as a routine part of Study Abroad promotion and preparation.
  4. Working with our partners to offer something reciprocal, so that our collective actions will help positive actions that might exceed the CO₂ emissions generated.
  5. Investigating the possibilities for creating climate change and sustainability pathways, sessions, activities and awards, which students studying abroad (incoming and outgoing) can participate in – here, or at our partners.
  6. Supporting greater engagement with virtual / online international learning opportunities, thereby hopefully increasing the number of students that can have a meaningful international and interactive education experience.

We will work with UoR Sustainability Office and other stakeholders at the University of Reading to review and develop the pilot into a more coherent strategy from January 2023 onwards.

We know that what we are proposing is imperfect, but it is a start. However we will learn as we progress, and will utilise the expertise at the University to improve what we do, in order to do our bit.


If you have any queries about the Green Mobility project, please contact Marcus Dowse ( .


Study Abroad Programme Hints & Tips

Arriving soon to join the Study Abroad Programme? Here are some useful hints and tips to be aware of!


  1. Pack an empty shoebox in your suitcase, so that you have space for souvenirs from your life in the UK when you return home.
  2. Bring some small mementos from home to personalise your room and make it your own.
  3. You will be able to access the books, journal articles and other resources you need for your modules through the University Library, so no need to buy books and bring them with you. If you do find when you get here that you’d like to buy a book, the student bookshop on campus, Blackwell’s, sells many second hand books.


  1. Most shops and businesses in the UK will accept debit / credit cards, for contactless and chip and pin payment. The most common card types in the UK are Visa and Mastercard. Some smaller shops may charge you for card transactions below a certain amount, e.g. £5.
  2. If you’re bringing some UK cash (Pound Sterling / GBP / £), try to avoid bringing £50 notes, as these are not widely used or accepted by shops and other businesses. If all you can get are £50 notes, you may be able to change these for smaller denomination notes (£5, £10, £20) at a bank, Post Office, or bureau de change.


  1. Reading Buses, the bus company for the town of Reading, runs many bus service 24 hours, 7 days per week. This includes the University buses 21 and 21a.
  2. Get a Railcard if you’re planning to use the trains. Which card you can get depends on your age: either the 16 – 25 Railcard, or the 26 – 30 Railcard. Students over 30 can apply for the 16 – 25 Railcard as a mature student. Both give a third off in discount on many regular rail fares.
  3. Reading has very good public transport links to major UK airports. Use the RailAir coach service to travel between Reading and Heathrow Airport. Use the Great Western Railway train service to travel between Reading and Gatwick Airport.

Modules & Timetables:

  1. The process will be different to what you are used to, however the Erasmus & Study Abroad Office (ESAO) team are here to help.
  2. Be prepared to be flexible: sometimes the timetable will prevent certain combinations of modules, so an alternative will be needed. Make sure you keep in regular contact with ESAO and your home university if you need to do this.
  3. Make sure you follow ESAO deadlines for submitting documents, to make sure that you have the modules and timetable you need ready as soon as possible for the start of term.

Student Life:

  1. If you have housemates in halls or in other accommodation, make sure you introduce yourself to them. Housemates can be a very useful way of getting to know the University and the UK.
  2. Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU) is run by students, for students. Make sure you keep up with what’s going on there via their website, social media, and posters in the RUSU building.

If you have any other hints and tips, please let us know via!

One of the best years of my life

I have not been paid by the Erasmus & Study Abroad Office to say that my year in Reading has been one of the best experiences of my life, to say the least. I have met amazing people, seen beautiful places, learned so many things and I can even say I’ve changed!

I came to Reading with much enthusiasm at the end of September 2018 to spend the whole academic year. Thanks to a friend from my home university who had come to the University of Reading a few years ago, I joined three adorable English girls of my age to share a house in town. They quickly became much more than housemates, dear friends, who I stay in contact with today. As they were in the Reading University Christian Union, they invited me to events where I met their very nice and welcoming friends.

I also got to make other friends thanks to the Welcome Week organised by the University. As so, I met with a group of people from various backgrounds and nationalities at a board games and pizza night. We kept meeting for the whole year, playing many games and sharing plenty of food and fun. I have to say if I hadn’t gone to that event I would have probably never met my boyfriend… If I had been told I was about to meet so many incredible people AND to find love in Reading, I don’t know if I would have believed it!

Regarding studies – because that was supposed to be the main point of the trip –, I was in Henley Business School for my final year in management. The teaching team was excellent, I am really thankful I had those lecturers and seminar teachers because they played a crucial role in my understanding of the modules. Moreover, the few contact hours allowed me enough time to study well at home.

In addition to the quality of the teaching, the University of Reading offers a huge and beautiful campus, including my favourite place: the Harris Garden! I really appreciated having this small peaceful park to walk, admiring the colourful flowers and the playful squirrels.

I also want to add that in the University of Reading there is a staff team that is very welcoming, kind and ready to help, as well as available and efficient. I especially include the Erasmus & Study Abroad Office (special thanks to Chris!) and the Students Union that both provided help and advice in different matters, not only concerning university. As we are young students in a different country, it is very appreciable to know that we will always find someone to help. I could write a novel about my year there but this has to be a bit shorter, so I’ll just conclude by recommending going to study at the University of Reading! I don’t think it is possible to have a bad experience there, at least I hope not. I am currently making an album with pictures, items and comments of my year because it has been so amazing!

A year of development

My name is Sandra. My professional passion is human behaviour and inspiring & encouraging people to use all their potential and talents. Hence, I would like to share my experience of being an Erasmus student, to give you a kind push to do it – because trust me, it will change your life in ways you can’t even imagine!

I was an Erasmus student at UoR in 2018/2019, doing my last year of my undergraduate in psychology. I am originally from Denmark, but have ended up staying in England, as I am currently studying an MSc in Organisational Psychiatry and Psychology at King’s College London – and honestly, I have no plans of retuning to Denmark, looking at how many opportunities this year has brought me!

Arriving in Reading I didn’t know a single person, but within the first 2 days of welcome week I had established a network of students from all over the world and all sorts of different faculties – a network that I spend hours and hours with, and that I’m still in contact with today. These people have contributed to so many great memories and learning opportunities, and whenever one of us was struggling, we always helped and supported each other. UoR definitely facilitated this through the great amount of welcome events and societies – it’s just a matter of taking the first step of showing up, then the rest comes naturally. Yet I must admit that due to my passion of dancing and the amount of time I spend dancing, most of my friends outside university was in the dance environment in Reading (and that is absolutely amazing!). So, Reading facilitates friendships both at university and outside university!!!

Academically I had the opportunity the explore more than just psychology, as both my home university and UoR accepted me applying for modules on other faculties, that in different ways supported psychology and the career path I had planned. Hence, I did modules in psychology, law and business – enjoying sharing knowledge between the different faculties with my fellow students and discussing with the great teachers how everything could be interconnected. Though sounding very different, they complement each other very well, and I can see how this diversity of modules has contributed to me in my current MSc. So, don’t be scared to explore new fields and try to create your own education – you might, like me, get a bunch of awesome modules that somehow help you understand each of them better!

Obviously, it’s not just fun and amazing – life has its ups and downs, but when university gets stressful there is amazing support. The UK way of doing university is very different from in Denmark, which affected my studies as I had to do my dissertation at the same time as all exams at UoR. It was very stressful, but I found a lot of good support from the Erasmus office and the friends I made in Reading. And even though it was tough, I still managed to reach my goal of getting into KCL and at the same time learning and realising, that “I got it!” even though it’s hard. I got to know my own strength in a completely new way, and through this I developed a lot.

Concluding, my time at UoR has contributed to so much more than my education. Both socially and personally I’ve benefited so much from the year, and I’m so much more prepared for what life brings now!

The best decision of my life

If you want me to summarise my one academic year life in Reading, I probably will use three words to highlight this unforgettable experience here: challenge-able, self-developed, enjoyable. Coming to the University of Reading for this year is absolutely the best decision in my life.

Firstly, it is challenge-able as I am a student coming from China, where people speak a totally different language and share different culture and traditions. So going to a completely different country and using a different language to study and live for the first time on my own is really a big challenge. But when I came here, all faculty I met here were so kind and nice, that they help me to adapt myself into this new environment so quickly.

When it comes to my second word, my point is that the University of Reading has made me a well-rounded person. During time here, I learned how to cook, how to organise my life in order, and also how to make friends with people coming from different countries. Also, I developed a lot of skills academically as I finished 5 research papers here all on my own and for most of them I got a first class grade.

Finally, life here is really enjoyable. As Your Halls Life and Study Abroad have organised so many activities during my staying here. These activities broadened my horizons, helped me get a deeper understanding in the UK and also allowed me to meet my best friend, Connie! There is never an end for my staying and memories here at the University of Reading. I will cherish all my memories here and definitely will come back one day in the future to thank everything happened here. If you are also a student who considers about an exchange program, Study Abroad Programme at the University of Reading is really a nice choice.

Reading, my one and only

The University of Reading was my fourth university in fours years. After the first year in Prague, studying philosophy of art in the historical centre of Prague in a class of 20 people, I moved to France, to study at the University of Nantes. In the first year, we were 900 students taking the degree in English on the old campus of concrete where we had to fight for our places as only 50% of students got into the second year. For the second year, I transferred to Toulouse, where the level of English was very demanding, and during the second semester the university had been closed due to the university strike for four months. I therefore had plenty of time to prepare for my Erasmus in Reading. I had been looking forward to it more than I could admit, because I knew how easily things could go wrong. But this time, I was more than lucky.

The University of Reading received me with open arms. From the beginning, everything went so smoothly; the administration, the settling down, the accommodation. I instantly fell in love with the beautiful green campus. I felt very cosy in the St George’s Hall, where I had a chance to share the flat with another Spanish Erasmus student, and students from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and the UK. I think this was the first time I actually went through the cultural shock of how people can perceive reality differently. On the other hand, we were all students with shared the devotion to our studies and struggles of everyday university life. We spent some amazing times together cooking, celebrating birthdays, or visiting some of the many restaurants in Reading. After two years in France where I always felt like a foreigner because of my Czech accent, on the University of Reading campus I felt at ease thanks to its international and welcoming ambience.

I was surprised by the low number of contact hours. I was used to 20 to 25 hours per week whereas in England it was only 9 in my case. But I grew to appreciate it, because it allowed me to study the specific topics while spending long hours in my favourite Library@URS building, which does not close apart from Saturday night. As my degree does not exist in England my modules were spread across four departments within second and third year . I found it extraordinary. Some of them were easy, and some of them almost impossible  i.e. a 3rd year politics module when I have no background in political studies. But I think that this is exactly what an experience of living abroad should consist of and I am grateful for it.

I had also a lot of free time and that was my favourite part about my year in Reading. There were so many options! I chose boxing. I actually had the idea to pick up boxing before leaving for Reading, and I found out about the boxing society before my departure. I cannot easily describe how much I enjoyed and appreciated it. Maybe because boxing has this aggressive side, the atmosphere in the gym was very calm, friendly and concentrated. The society made a real effort for girls to feel welcomed in the gym and the president of the society, Vincent,and other members of the society, who trained us, were patient and kind. I believe that my enthusiasm was seen as I was rewarded as one of four most improved boxers.

I also decided to try apply for a job on campus, because I always liked the job of barista and I thought of it as of a great opportunity to meet a lot of different people and gain confidence with my English. Which is why I felt very lucky when I got the job. The process was so easy! I applied through Campus Jobs which was linked with my University account, went for an interview and after four induction sessions I happened to work on a Friday afternoon alone in the Library@URS building cafe. It had a great effect on my sense of belonging. This is the reason why the smell of the freshly blended coffee is definitely one of the strongest memories of my Erasmus year. I was again so lucky with the team of supervisor (thank you Renata and Jason for being so nice and patient with us!) and coworkers.

I chose Reading for its accessibility, as I needed to be able to fly to France and the Czech Republic often. It was magical to go to a concert to London and to come back on the same night to my own bed. I loved the visits to Oxford. But apart from one trip to Edinburgh I did not really travel around and it feels right. Because I felt, after a long time, at home. I believe that the University of Reading is an amazing place to stay and live. The everyday life it has so much to offer. One can leave a party at 2 a.m. in the Students‘ Union and come back at 11 a.m. for a farmers market for fresh vegetables which is literally spread on the dancefloor. You can spend hours in nature, while still being on the campus. Get a first for your hard work. Or become a boxer. And barista. And get to meet so many extraordinary people from all over the world. In the end, and I am so much grateful to my university in Toulouse for sending me to Reading.

Thank you Reading for being my one and only.

Your friends are never far away on campus

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.

The Family Comes to Visit

You might be planning already for your family to visit you while you are studying abroad at Reading. If you need some ideas for what to do with them, here’s what Collin got up to when his family visited!

One of the great things about Reading is that it provides an excellent place for family to come and visit while studying at the University. Being so close to London my family was able to fly in during Thanksgiving break to come explore what England has to offer. Being their first time to Europe I was very excited to show them around. The first item on the agenda was to explore the town of Reading. The whole family was keen on doing some shopping, so the Oracle center provided the perfect opportunity to cross that off the list.

The next item on the list was Stonehenge. Stonehenge is only about an hour south of Reading, easily accessible by car. It was a wonderful experience and very informational. Stonehenge is one of those things that you have to experience first hand to truly appreciate the beauty and history it has to offer. On the same day, we visited the town of Salisbury, a small medieval cathedral city with tons of shops and restaurants. The next couple days were spent in downtown London seeing places like Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, and St. Paul’s Cathedral.

There are so many other exciting places to see in England that are close to Reading. Other excellent places to visit within a short distance are Oxford and Bath. Oxford is home to the world famous University as well as a city with unique shops. It is quite a pleasant sight and definitely a must see for anyone travelling to England. Bath is another must-see city home to the Roman baths and museum as well as a Christmas market in the beginning of the Christmas season. Overall, it was an awesome experience having my family come into town and Reading provided the perfect opportunity to make that happen.

NB: for students joining us in January (and those continuing from Autumn 2017), we’ll be organising a Study Abroad Programme Trip to Stonehenge and Winchester, which will take place on Saturday 10 March 2018. More details will follow in February 2018. Save the date!

One World at Reading

Reading is proud to have a diverse community of students and staff. Coming from a diverse campus at University of Texas at Dallas, Kiara was able to get involved with activities to celebrate this diversity while a member of the Study Abroad Programme at the University of Reading!

I am racially ambiguous. Being multiracial is a huge part of my identity. It’s kind of hard for it not to be a huge part of who I am, considering it generally means I look different from my peers–regardless of wherever in the world I happen to be. I really do love being multiracial, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Growing up in a multiracial family meant being surrounded by diversity all the time. The older I got, the more I realized that diversity is not always the norm; moreover, diversity is something to be celebrated and appreciated. Diversity is so near and dear to me that it played into my decision to attend my home university, The University of Texas at Dallas. My university has been ranked by U.S. News as one of the nation’s most diverse campuses. I was so fortunate to become a part a community that values diversity in all forms. For example, administrative departments like the International Center, the Galerstein Gender Center, and the Multicultural Center are a few great resources that schedule many popular student functions throughout the school year. In my second year at UTD, the Multicultural Center founded a student group specifically by multiracial students for multiracial students. After spending a year on this committee, I left to study abroad at the University of Reading.

When I got to campus, I was in awe of how much Reading has to offer their students. There is a student organization for anything you could think of: surfing, quidditch, archery, Bollywood, Disney, and the list goes on and on. I had no idea where to begin! As luck would have it, shortly after I got to campus, I got an email from RUSU’s [Reading University Students’ Union] Diversity Officer. She was promoting Black History Month and a student committee dedicated to celebrating the diversity that exists on campus. I jumped at the opportunity to join the One World Committee!

In the initial interest meeting, we had representation from seven countries. It was incredible to see such a large, diverse turnout, despite the university being primarily white, British students. We began to plan the first event of the school year–an event to showcase how cultures from around the world celebrate winter holidays. The event was scheduled for early December, and I was really excited to see how everything turned out. I’ll be working the welcome booth, but other Reading students from all across the globe were setting up booths to show how they celebrate Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and other winter holidays with traditions, clothing, and food. I mean, who doesn’t love cultural learning and free food?

As part of the One World Committee, I also had the opportunity to help design a video campaign to promote One World Committee and its events. I even get to be in the video! The video is still in the works, but keep your eyes out on RUSU’s social media pages for updates!

Even though I am only at Reading for the fall, I am grateful to have had the opportunity to meet and work with some great people. I am so happy to have found a community that values diversity and works to promote it. I’ve enjoyed my time working with the One World Committee and I cannot wait to see how it grows and develops (even if it is via social media). One family, one people, one world, one love!

NB: for more information about how diversity is acknowledged and celebrated at the University of Reading, please see For more information about the One World campaign Kiara was involved with, please see 

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.