When studying abroad, it’s imperative to try and live like a local. I was fortunate enough to become very close with the people I live with, all but one of whom are actually British, and this helped me really settle into the British way of life. With this being said, there are a few things that are a must if you decide to study at the University of Reading.
- Try the local food. Yes, I mean British food, and yes, just like you, as a girl who hails from the great state of Louisiana, I was more than put off by the idea of being stuck eating British food for six months. Fret not though because as bland and gross as it may seem, it’s actually pretty good. Pies (of the meat variety), and Sunday roasts satisfy that home cooked food need that we all experience while at uni. A Full English, aka the breakfast that includes mushrooms and baked beans, is a life saver after a long night when you and your mates are exhausted and in desperate need of sustenance. So go for it, try the food! You might or might not like it, but at least give it a shot!
- Go for a walk along the riverside! It’s an offshoot of the Thames that runs through he center of town, so if the sun is out (which, yes, the sun does shine in England) take the afternoon off and walk down to The Oracle, the shopping complex, and people watch along the river!
- If you’re in Reading one thing I highly suggest is going clubbing at least once (responsibly!). In the town center there are a variety of clubs to choose from, but nothing beats Monday nights at Q Club, lovingly called Monday Night Q (MNQ). Students get a discount, and with two separate rooms, and an upstairs VIP area, it’s one of Reading’s top clubs. If you’re not up for spending money going to town, the Reading University Student Union, RUSU, transforms into the massive three roomed club, 3sixty, every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s on campus, right next to the Palmer Building and Co-op, making it within walking distance of all the on campus housing. Students also get a discount on entry tickets here, so make sure you keep your student I.D. on you!
- If you’re in Reading during the spring and summer terms, go to Summer Ball!! I cannot express how much fun I had at Summer Ball this year with all my friends. It’s 10 hours of live music and carnival rides that goes from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. There’s bars and tents full of food as well to keep you going through the night!
- The last thing I recommend is to enjoy your time. Don’t take anything you do or see for granted because the time will fly, and the next thing you know you’re 5 days away from flying back to the United States while frantically trying to schedule in trips to see your friends before you go. If you go to Reading, you’re guaranteed to find a group of people who will become your family, I know I sure did. So make sure that you don’t take the little things for granted. Enjoy the sunsets, giggle at the accents, and revel in the sense of community you’ll feel with your friends when you do mundane things together like brushing your teeth, or cooking dinner because those will be the memories you hold most dear when you look back on your time abroad.
You’ll definitely have the time of your life in England, and especially if you choose Reading, this I promise you.