A guide to the Student's Union for International Students
What is Reading University Students’ Union (RUSU)?
Almost all Universities in the UK have a Students’ Union which works to represent the views and interests of students on academic issues. At the University of Reading your Students’ Union is know as RUSU or the Union. RUSU was founded in 1910 and is an essential voice for students within the University of Reading, the local community and nationally. We are a student-focussed, student-led organisation which exists to represent all students at the University of Reading and to provide services to support and enhance the student experience.
In the UK, it is common for students to campaign for change, in academic matters to improve their academic experience and also in national and international matters. Take a look at what students have campaigned for through RUSU.
We are a separate organisation to the University, which means we are unbiased and can speak to the University independently about issues that are affecting students.
How do I become a member?
Good news! If you are studying at the University of Reading you automatically become a member of RUSU. This also means that you will be eligible for an NUS Extra Card, which provides many discounts and beneits across a wide range of products and services outside of RUSU.
What can RUSU do for me?
Whether you are an undergrad or postgrad, RUSU provides excellent personal development opportunities (e.g. Societies, Sports and Volunteering), services (e.g. Advice) and facilities and also represents your views and interests.
By spending money in the RUSU shops, bars and cafés, you are helping to ensure we can continue to offer students a variety of volunteering opportunities.
Our Freshers’ Angels, who you may see around campus during Welcome Week are volunteers who make sure international students receive a warm welcome to the University.
RUSU employs staff to develop and support student volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to develop your skills, meet new people and improve your career prospects.
Find out more about the wide range of volunteering opportunities on our website or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any specific questions.
Societies & Sports
RUSU provides students with the opportunity to start or be a member of a society. Joining a society can be a great way to meet other students, develop your interests and hobbies and experience cultures from around the world.
There are over 100 societies to choose from including a Games and Roleplay Society, Baking Society, International Students Society, Swing Dance Society and even a Gospel Choir.
RUSU support over 50 different sports clubs, including cricket, polo, tennis, football, hockey, lacrosse, badminton, snowsports… Whatever sport you enjoy, it is likely that we have a team for it.
Take a look at the full range of RUSU societies and sports clubs on offer.
RUSU Advice Service
Need some housing, money or academic advice? Here at RUSU we have a team of five trained student advisors who offer specialist and confidential advice.
The advice team help students with a wide range of issues, such as:
- Dealing with landlords to make sure your student house is kept in good repair
- Advising on how to organise your finances and pay bills
- Dealing with mobile phone contracts
- Claiming tax back
- Advising on university policy and procedures
- Supporting you by attending university hearings and academic appeals.
They also provide events such as ‘Find a Housemate’ which is aimed at students who are moving out of halls accommodation for the first time.
The RUSU Advice Service is free, independent and open all year.
The Student Advisors are located in the Students' Union Reception and helpful infomation can be found on our website.
RUSU Nursery Service
There are many student parents with young children. RUSU provides an excellent nursery facility on campus, called The Little Learners Nursery.
If you are a parent and have your children here at Reading, you can apply for a place for your pre-school child.
Visit www.rusu.co.uk/nursery for more information.
Who are your student representatives?
RUSU is led by students for students. Elections for all student representative positions take place during the academic year.
Whilst studying at University of Reading, you are represented by the following groups;
Full-Time Student Officers
Every year, in the spring term elections take place on campus. Students nominate themselves to represent you. They either do this at the end of their studies or take a one-year sabbatical (one year without study).
These Officers are employed full time. Your elected Officer team for 2017/2018 is made up of:
RUSU supports a system that gives a voice to groups on campus that have faced discrimination and/or underrepresentation. Part-Time Student Officers are elected every year and work to ensure every student’s voice is heard.
Your International Students’ Officer for 2017/17 is Karim Helbawi. The role of the International SO isto make sure that the views of international students are represented and that your needs are being met by the University and RUSU.
To keep up-to-date with issues affecting International students across the University, join us on Facebook.
Other Part-time Student Officer positions are:
- LGBT+ Officer (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and other minority sexual and gender identities)
- BAME Officer (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic)
- Women’s Officer
- Disabled Students’ Officer
- Postgraduate Students’ Officer
- Environment & Ethics Officer
- Mature Students’ Officer
- London Road Students' Officer
In the Autumn term, around 350 Course Reps are elected. Course Reps are students who represent your views at school level. If you have a problem with your course or you want to tell the University what is great about your course, get in touch with your Course Rep and they will communicate your views to School staff.
In the Spring term, elections take place to elect 10 students who represent you at School level. Their role is to liaise with Course Reps and find out your views whilst making sure School staff hear about what students want, need and think about their academic experience.
Every term School Reps meet with all Course Reps to hear about issues affecting students on their course and in their schools/departments.
Visit our School Rep page to find our more.
How can I get involved in the Students’ Union?
The only way RUSU can represent you is if you tell us what you like and don’t like about the Students’ Union and the University.
Change It! allows you to get your voice heard. It makes it quick and easy to put forward your ideas online, no matter how big or small.
By putting your ideas forward, you will keep your student representatives informed about issues that matter to you. Your ideas will be discussed at the ‘Ideas Group’ meetings which are held twice a term and debates take place throughout the year.
All students, regardless of whether you are from overseas or the UK are welcome to these meetings.
RUSU organises and supports campaigns that have been put forward by students with the aim to improve the experience for students on campus, in the community and on a national level.
Campaigns raise awareness amongst the student community on issues that affect them or aim to create change in order to benefit students.
If you want to get involved email our Campaigns Team or pop into the Students’ Union and ask to speak to the Campaigns Coordinator.
Become a Student Rep!
If you are interested in representing your fellow students, there are many full-time and part-time roles available.
To find out more about the positions on offer and how to put yourself forward pop into the Students' Union and talk to our Campaigns Team.
Even if you don’t want to be a student representative, make sure you take time to vote in the elections to ensure the best students are representing you.
How do I find more information?
Take a look at our website for more information about your Union or visit us in the Students’ Union building located on Whiteknights Campus and ask to speak to your Student Officers.
Don’t miss the Volunteering, Societies and Sports Fayres taking place on Tuesday 20th September, Wednesday 21st and Thursday 22nd September. All students are welcome to come along. The Fayres can be very busy but offer a great way to find out about various clubs and societies and other activities on offer to students.These are also a way to meet other students and make new friends.
RUSU puts on a variety of social events over the year. Keep and eye on our website to see what’s coming up.
Finally, remember your Students’ Union is here to represent you. Come down, get to know us, tell us what you want and get involved.