OpiskelijaMika Pohjolainen
Koulu Teknillinen korkeakoulu
Matkakohde University of Reading, Englanti
Aika 02.10.2000 - 15.12.2000

I studied construction management and economics in the Department of Construction Management and Engineering at the University of Reading in the UK during the autumn term 2000. The autumn term started on October 2nd and lasted until December 15th. In Finland I have studied five years in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Helsinki University of Technology and my major is construction management and economics.

Originally I tried to apply to Reading University via the Socrates programme but my application was not accepted because there were no agreements between Reading University and Helsinki University of Technology. So I was sent a visiting student application form and this time I was given the green light to study there. The only difference between a visiting student and a Socrates one is that now I had to pay a tuition fee myself.

The university usually arranges accommodation in a Hall of Residence only for overseas students who study for a whole academic year at the university. So I had to arrange my accommodation myself. And in that case the university cannot guarantee anything and you are responsible yourself for making your own arrangements for private accommodation. Before I went to Reading I was told that there is a shortage of cheap accommodation there and it may be quite hard to find any accommodation in late September and early October when school starts. The other problem I faced was that landlords did not want to make tenancy agreements shorter than one year. Luckily I met three such nice fellows who were ready to rent a four room house under their names and let me be their sub-tenant.

I chose this university because the Department of Construction Management and Engineering is very well-known and highly respected in both the business and academic world. However, I see no difference in quality of teaching between this university and HUT. Based on my personal experiences I would even like to say that the quality of teaching in the Laboratory of Construction Economics and Management at HUT is better than that at Reading University. The biggest difference is in the contents of teaching as a consequence of the Reading departments' worldwide researches. Many practices and trends from all over the world were taught in lectures and a huge amount of literature about construction elsewhere in the world is available from the libraries and resource rooms.

It is essential to get involved with other students as soon as possible. There are 2607 international students at the university this year and therefore the atmosphere is deeply international and multicultural. On the other hand it seems to result in overseas students being together and British students spending their time among themselves. I don't mean anything negative by this but when thinking about your command of the language it would be better to talk with natives instead of foreigners. There 15 Finnish students in Reading and the most of them are undergraduate students and studying for an BSc or MSc. 


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