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Helping hands

In this article, find out how the University of Reading offers advice and support to new students before they set foot on campus.
A student holding a sign saying Open Day and wearing a t-shirt with the writing here to help is ready to help prospective students during their visit.
© University of Reading

At Reading, we have a number of ways of delivering advice and support before our new students arrive on campus. Listed below are the opportunities we provide, and other universities will have similar set ups. Keep an eye out for these opportunities as they’re really worth taking advantage of.

What’s available before applying:

Open days (virtual and in person)

Whether it’s in person or virtually, open days are an opportunity to experience a university first-hand. Attending open days is a great way to narrow down your choices and to figure out what it is that you want from a university.

A University of Reading student ambassador is giving a campus tour to prospective students

Chat to our current students

You can connect to current university students online via a chat platform powered by Unibuddy. There is a range of student profiles – different subjects and levels of study – that you can pick to chat to and find out what university is like for them and what it could be like for you. It’s a great way to ask questions about university and the subject you’re interested in – especially from the perspectives of those who are living the experience.

In addition to the chat function, there are also a range of useful vlogs and blogs talking about being a student, which cover topics including accommodation, having a year abroad, academic life, student finance, careers, and much more.

What’s available after you apply:

Speak to a current student

From late-January to March we offer the chance for undergraduate applicants to speak to a current student on the phone. Student callers are matched to applicants based on their chosen course, with the aim to provide information on what it’s like to study at the University. You may find this call useful for asking any questions you have about student life and applicants often ask about the course they’ve applied for, the differences between A-levels and university, living in student accommodation (often referred to as ‘halls’) and about the town and the campus.

Applicant Visit Days

Visit Days are an invitation-only event for our applicants who have already received an offer. This is a chance to come and get to know your academic department (or for students on joint honours programmes – departments) and campus. The day consists of:

  • Taster sessions – to give students an idea of what it’s like to study with us.
  • Meeting the academic staff who will be teaching you.
  • Talking to current students who will tell you what it’s really like to study at Reading.
  • Guided tours – to help students familiarise themselves with the campus and facilities, as well as their accommodation (if on campus).
  • Meeting the accommodation, finance, support and admissions teams to give students a chance to ask relevant questions.

A large balloon on a string is up in the air, being held in place by a student as a amall group of parents of other students look on

Meteorology students are taking part in a practical demonstrations at a visit day for prospective students

Me@Reading Applicant Portal

The Me@Reading Applicant portal is an easy and convenient way to manage your application and have a tailored digital experience of life at the University of Reading before arriving. You can log on:

  • To read news and articles covering any events or updates from your chosen department and the University.
  • To track your application until your arrival at the campus in Freshers Week.
  • To check for reminders relevant to your study.
  • To submit any questions you may have.

The Disability Advisory Service

If you’re a student with a disability, you may find it useful to book an appointment with a Disability Adviser in advance of starting at university in order to:

  • Become familiar with the service.
  • Discuss your support needs in greater detail.
  • Discuss accessibility within Halls and campus buildings.
  • Establish distances from accommodation, lecture theatres and other areas of campus, to ensure these are manageable.
  • Become familiar with the campus location in relation to the town/city centre.

What opportunities have you taken or will do? What’s been your experience so far? Share what’s been useful in the comments below.

© University of Reading
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