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Life at the University of Reading: Louis’ Story

This summer we caught up with Louis, a Bell University Foundation Programme graduate from Belgium, who is now studying at the University of Reading. Louis visited his former school, Bell Cambridge, to say hello to his tutors and tell us what it’s like to study at university in the UK.

Louis, Belgium. Bell University Foundation Programme graduate

Louis studied on Bell’s Humanities Foundation course from 2014-2015 and graduated with a distinction. He is now about to start his second year at the University of Reading, studying Management with IT. Reading, one of Bell’s partner universities, is ranked in the top 1% of universities worldwide (QS University World Rankings 2016/17), with a world-class reputation for the quality of teaching, research and links to business.*

For Louis, the transition from Bell to university was an easy one: “It was really easy to move to university because I had a year of living and studying in the UK. The University Foundation Programme prepared me well as I already had experience of attending lectures, seminars and workshops in English.”

“I’m studying Management with IT at the University of Reading, specifically at Henley Business School (part of the university). It’s a very interesting course – there are only 7 of us in my class and we all help each other, but we join other students for lectures, mixing with the Computer Science and Business Management courses.”

Henley Business School, University of Reading
Henley Business School, University of Reading

When asked how the University Foundation Programme prepared him for studying in English, Louis commented: “The language skills classes, part of the Academic Skills module, helped me a lot as I had never written academic essays in English before. If I went directly from Belgium to a UK university I would have found it quite difficult to write essays because, in addition to the research and content, I would have to focus on the grammar, spelling and structure. Bell gave me a good preparation for writing academic essays in English. Now I can focus on the content rather than the form.”

Louis keeps in touch with the friends he made at Bell, contacting them through messenger and meeting up with them when he can: “I think it’s important that you keep the friends you made at Bell for a long time, because they shared the same experience as you. They’ve in a university abroad like you and they’re away from home too, so they are feeling the same emotions.”

Bell University Foundation Programme graduation 2015
Louis on graduation day with his fellow Bell students

During Louis’ visit we discussed university rankings and whether students should place importance on them when making their university choices, Louis comments:

“Looking back to when I made my university decision, ranking was important but when I think about it now ranking doesn’t have much importance in the choice, because it’s very subjective. It’s also based on research and some universities receive more funding than others. You need to be very careful when looking at rankings. The main factors I considered were campus, location, accommodation and tuition fees.”

We asked Louis to give us his top tips for students starting the Bell University Foundation Programme, he recommends:

  • Try and make as many friends as possible both on your course and other courses. You will gain and learn so much this.
  • Make the most of Bell’s Higher Education Advisory Service as they will help with your application and choice of university
  • Don’t be late for your lessons and don’t miss them!

It was fantastic to catch up with Louis and hear about his first year at university. We wish him all the best with his second year, we’re sure he will continue to excel.

Did you study on the Bell University Foundation Programme? We would love to hear from you. Contact us on

Find out more about Bell’s University Foundation Programme in Cambridge. Students can choose from a variety of subject pathways including Business, Humanities, Law and Science.



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