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).
The 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…”. (https://www.reading.ac.uk/about/strategy.aspx )
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Working with our partners to offer something reciprocal, so that our collective actions will help positive actions that might exceed the CO₂ emissions generated.
- 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.
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Arriving soon to join the Study Abroad Programme? Here are some useful hints and tips to be aware of!
- Pack an empty shoebox in your suitcase, so that you have space for souvenirs from your life in the UK when you return home.
- Bring some small mementos from home to personalise your room and make it your own.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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:
- The process will be different to what you are used to, however the Erasmus & Study Abroad Office (ESAO) team are here to help.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com!