Reading is a well-planned town that continues to impress students with its cultural, retail, and dining scenes. From one of the biggest shopping centres, The Oracle, which has 11 movie screens, to the Reading Festival, one of the UK's biggest music festivals, attracting thousands of music fans from all over the world, there’s no shortage of excitement and entertainment here.
Big technology companies like Microsoft and Oracle have a presence in Reading; it's no wonder the city is attracting students from around the world. Let's read more to find out what makes Reading a great place for international students to study in the UK.
International Student Guide to Reading
A Wholesome Student Experience
Students can expect a warm and welcoming experience in Reading. Many choose to live on campus in the university's Halls of Residence, which can be a convenient and affordable option for students, as it is close to the university's facilities and social events.
Reading is located just 33 minutes away from London by train, giving students easy access to the capital city and all its attractions also. Additionally, it is also well-connected to other major cities in the UK, making it easy for students to travel around the country.
Private rented accommodation can vary in size and style, from studio apartments to larger houses with multiple bedrooms. The cost of accommodation can vary depending on the location and type of property, but there are options available to suit a range of budgets.
Earley and Woodley are popular choices as they have a range of options and also have great transport links to the rest of the city. The East Reading area, particularly around London Road and Cemetery Junction, is home to a significant Indian population. This area has several Indian grocery stores, restaurants, and other businesses catering to the local Indian community. The Indian Community Association is a hub for the local Indian community, offering a range of activities and events, including language classes, dance classes, and cultural events.
Top Rated Universities
This university was established in 1892 as an extension college of Oxford University. It finally gained its own Royal Charter and independence in 1926. The university is known for its research in areas such as agriculture, food science, and environmental science. It has also produced several notable alumni.
- Acceptance rate: 58%
- Popular courses: Business, Food, Agriculture
It was founded in 1945 and is known for its highly ranked MBA programme, the school also offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses in business, management, and finance. The campus of the school is located in Henley-on-Thames, a town near Reading, and features a modern building designed by the architect Sir Norman Foster.
Diverse Dining Options
Want smashed avocado and organic eggs for breakfast or a good old curry for dinner? Reading food and drink, has you covered, as its vibrant food scene has plenty of options for all tastes and budgets.
The Oracle is a modern shopping destination and is home to more than 80 shops and restaurants, including the biggest global brands. It also features an 11-screen and a riverside dining area with views of the River Kennet.
Other popular areas are Friar Street, Market Place, Oxford Road, and Broad Street. These are home to several independent restaurants and cafes serving Japanese, Middle Eastern, Italian and many more cuisines.
There are also several Indian restaurants in Reading, including House of Flavours, Haweli Twyford, and Gulab Indian Kitchen. These restaurants offer a range of traditional Indian dishes, including vegetarian and vegan options.
Movies and Music
The River Thames, which runs through the town, was once surrounded by extensive reed beds, so it's possible that the name "Reading" came to be associated with the town over centuries.
It has a rich cultural history that dates back to Roman times, and during the Industrial Revolution, it became a major manufacturing centre for textiles, ironworks, and other goods.
It is now home to a diverse population, with many cultural events and festivals throughout the year. One of the most popular is the world renowned Reading Festival. A music event that’s been running since the 1960s and draws some of the biggest names in the music industry.
For history buffs, there are several museums and heritage sites in Reading, including the Museum of English Rural Life, the Reading Museum, and the ruins of Reading Abbey. There are also several parks and green spaces in Reading, including Forbury Gardens and Prospect Park, which are great for picnics and outdoor activities.
Reading is regularly voted as one of the best places to work in the UK. This is because, historically the city has been heavily involved in information technology companies, cementing its long-standing ties to the international technology community. Microsoft and Oracle are just some of the tech giants that have established their presence here.
Reading offers a range of job opportunities, particularly in the technology, telecommunications, and energy sectors. The town's proximity to London also makes it an attractive location for companies looking to establish a presence outside of the capital.
Study in Reading
Reading has a long history of welcoming students from across the globe. This forward-thinking town with a focus on technology, innovation and excellent transport links makes it at the top of our list of ideal student towns in the UK.
If you are interested in studying at one of the top universities in Reading and experiencing life as an International student in this bustling UK city, book a free consultation with SI-UK India today.
Living and Studying in Reading FAQ
Yes, Reading is generally considered a good student city. It is home to two universities, the University of Reading and the University of West London, as well as several colleges and language schools. The city has a vibrant student culture and offers a range of amenities and activities for students.
There are job opportunities available for international students in Reading, although it may depend on their qualifications and visa status. Students can check with their universities' career services or job boards to find suitable positions.
Most students in Reading live in off-campus housing, either in shared houses or apartments. The areas around the University of Reading, such as Earley, Lower Earley, and Shinfield, are popular among students. The city centre also has several student accommodation options.
The monthly expenses in Reading can vary depending on the student's lifestyle and accommodation choices. On average, a student can expect to spend between £800 – £1000 per month on accommodation, food, transportation, and other expenses.