Welcome to the International Focus website!
International Focus is an organisation in Reading comprised of university students, staff and friends. Our purpose is to provide social events, hospitality and sightseeing trips for international students. Our hope is that students will develop friendships and have an enjoyable, beneficial and positive experience during their stay in this country.
Small World Cafe every Friday evening 7:00 to 9:00 during term time in the HUMSS G74
There will be some events during the summer holidays please see our SmallWorld Cafe Facebook pages.
Impromptu campus walk leaving from the chapliancy at 7:10pm Friday 1st July assemble 7:00pm
There is an opportunity to visit Waddesdon Manor by private arrangement during the term, see Tony about this, group of 4 would be perfect. AntonyCowling at gmail dot com one group is already going
Our online booking system for each trip opens three weeks before the day of the trip and closes one week before the trip. You can also book at the Small World Cafe by seeing Tony or one of the team.
Please do not leave trip booking until the last minute.
Booking can be made online, at Small World Cafe and at any of our other events.
Booking will remain open until the trip is full. For booking problems please email us via the website.
This is what one of our recent team leaders, Priscilla said, "As a foreign student adapting to a new country, I will always be grateful towards Small World Cafe for welcoming me with open arms. My university life was enriched by the multi-cultural exposure and valuable friendships gained through the Cafe. Coming from such different backgrounds means we all have so much to offer and share with each other! Be brave and take the opportunities to discover- it is all part of our educational experience! I hope you will also greatly enjoy your time here as I have."
And one of last years students (Camille), "If you want to find a nice place to have a wonderful time by chatting, distracting yourself, sharing experiences, playing games, laughing with amazing people and built beautiful memories don't hesitate : join the Small World Cafe ! You will always feel welcomed ! "
We keep getting asked how it all started so here is a brief history.
In 1993, some University of Reading students asked an alumni family who had recently returned from teaching English overseas, to help them book coaches to take international students on day trips to local places of interest. Together they discovered a small family bus company in Caversham who were delighted to oblige and were flexible with the bookings! Fortnightly trips during term time were then arranged, a name and a website were set up, and since then Focus International has taken many students (sometimes 3 coaches at one trip) from Cadbury's World Birmingham in the north, to the Isle of Wight in the south, to Cardiff in the west and London and Cambridge to the east.
Later, in addition to trips, Focus International students and friends have arranged cultural evenings, coffee mornings, Sunday teas and English classes for mothers and toddlers, even holidays! During this time Focus International joined forces with Friends International to become Focus International but continued along the same lines.
More recently, students on campus set up the 'small world cafe' as further way of extending friendship to international students. This originally operated on Wednesday evenings but now runs in partnership with the I-team of the university Christian union on Friday evenings. We generally run trips on a monthly basis now.