Orientation Information

Pre-departure Orientation

Prior to their departure and Bridging Cultures Program, students will receive access to a lengthy and detailed pre-departure online orientation which serves as a primer for their study abroad experience in Reading. Although the Bridging Cultures Program will cover the nitty-gritty of life in England, the online orientation allows students to read up on pertinent information before their arrival in Reading. It covers academics, culture, useful phrases, food, housing, the university, ISA facilities, money matters, visas, and numerous other details. Of course, students are always welcome to contact the England site specialist with any questions.

Bridging Cultures Program

The Bridging Cultures Program (BCP) was designed to help ease our students' transition into their study abroad experience by introducing them to their new host country's culture, language and lifestyle.

The Bridging Cultures Program blends discussion and interactive activities into an informative and fun introduction to the student's new host country. Each program is designed to:
  • Help facilitate the adjustment and adaptation process.
  • Guide each student through a goal-setting activity to encourage them to reflect on their expectations for their study abroad experience.
  • Introduce students to the local culture through a variety of activities including a review of key words and phrases in the local language, understanding traditions and more.
  • Visit culturally relevant destinations in Reading during a familiarization tour, accompanied by ISA Resident Staff.
  • Prepare students for some of the relevant health and safety issues in England.
  • Provide students with valuable information regarding visas, housing, transportation, communication, finances and budgeting, and career development.
  • Inform students about important academic information related to the students' program, including the course registration process, attendance policies, the host university grading scale, optional tutoring and unique academic differences between England and North America.
  • Highlight planned cultural activities and excursions for the program, along with opportunities to meet locals.
  • Start students on the road to discovery by providing them with an instructive, engaging and memorable experience at the beginning of their program.