Student Life in Reading

Reading Overview

Reading is a great place to study for everyone, with comments from international students often stating the warm atmosphere and multicultural vibe in the city makes it a great place to study. Evidence of the first settlement in Reading dates back to the 8th century, in 1121 the Reading Abbey was built, and you can see the ruins of the Abbey still today. Reading Abbey was a hallmark for famous kings and is still open today for guided tours which will teach you all about the rich history that went on between the Abbeys walls. The town rapidly developed in the 19th century due to the Great Western Railway rail link that passes through the city. As well as the rail link, they also had an increase in brewing, baking and seed growing which helped push Reading forward into the city it has become today. Reading is currently a major commercial centre with great involvement in insurance and information technology and even tough London is very close, Reading has a high commuter flow which means people travel from around the country to work and live in Reading due to its bustling economy. This makes it a great place to study with lots of options for when you are finished with your degrees.

Things to do in Reading

Reading is a great place to go shopping, with a high street that has a wealth of shops to choose from and two major indoor shopping centres. The Oracle and the Broad Street Mall are two shopping centres with a wide range of shops meaning you will struggle to find exactly what you are after at great prices. There are several places to find smaller independent shops, Harris Arcade and Kings Walk both boast a lovely array of independent boutiques which sell things you wont usually find in the high-street stores. Once you have finished shopping you will find a cluster of restaurants by the Riverside which is a short walk from the Oracle shopping centre, at the Riverside you will find a cuisine for everyone; French, Italian, Indian, Greek, Thai, Brazilian and many more.

Reading is home to one of the biggest music festivals in the UK, with over 87,000 music fans flocking to see some of the world’s biggest music names, it makes for a great atmosphere in the town during this time and a must-go for anyone living in the area. If festivals are not your thing, the Hexagon Theatre will have something for you, with productions and shows on every night you will struggle to not find something you enjoy. In the city centre there is a 10-screen cinema that shows all the latest blockbusters and latest Hollywood releases, the cinema also shows a wide range of Bollywood blockbusters.

Sport in Reading

The best place to watch live football or ruby is at the Madejski stadium located just outside the town centre, this stadium is home to Reading FC and London Irish Rugby Club and has over 24,000 seats which makes for a great atmosphere on match day. There are 3 major leisure centres in Reading with each of them boasting a wide range of facilities to help the local people stay fit and healthy. There are also two brand new swimming pools being opened in the city which will make for a great day out for you and your friends during winter or summer as the pool is indoors.

Escape Reading

Reading is surrounded by beautiful waterways and green spaces making it the perfect place to unwind after a long day at university. Just outside the city you have the marina which is idyllic during the summer with lovely shops and restaurants nearby. To the north of the city you have the Chilterns which are a range of mountains and hills that separate London from Oxford, the Chilterns have lovely pathways which are excellent for walks or for a bike ride. Not to far to the east of the city you have London which is a place where you will never run out of things to do.

Transport in Reading

There are direct trains that run to most of the major cities across the UK including; Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Bristol, London and many more. Direct trains to London only take about 30 mins which makes it very accessible. The motorway that surrounds Reading is the M4 which will connect you to the national motorway network which allows you to travel to most parts of the UK. Reading is also very close to all the Major London airports.

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