The Flying Start Programme – BA Accounting and Business

We spoke to Ilias Skoullou, second year student from Cyprus doing the BA Accounting and Business Flying Start Programme, about his experience at Henley so far. This is what he had to say:

“Located in the heart of the south east and a 30 minutes’ train-ride from London Paddington, Henley’s location at the University of Reading, alongside with it’s extensive business links to many of the UK’s leading corporations, provides students with a great opportunity to build their career prospects. Major companies such as Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco have their headquarters in Reading.

img_4645-2View of Henley Business School, photo taken in October 2016.

What’s more, there is a wide diversity of nationalities and cultures which, for me has meant being exposed to different experiences and has helped turn me into a more approachable and adaptable individual.

What I really enjoy in doing the BA in Accounting and Business is that provides a balance of both worlds, studying and working. Therefore, you can make a living while at University while in the meantime you are taught relevant modules that are applied during your placement. Combined with the fact that most of our lecturers in the Business School are individuals with significant academic but also practical industry experience, this makes teaching more efficient.

In my eyes studying here results in participating in society not just as University graduates, but also well-prepared professionals. I often experience that flash that comes with doing a task in a profession that I have been taught before.

Apart from the theoretical knowledge you gain, teaching involves real-life business scenarios and examples that enable me to see the bigger picture of what I have been taught; something I have realised when I had my first internship.

Reading is a town but feels like a small city as it has everything you need within walking distance from University, whilst the big city life at London is just 30 minutes away. What I like about living in Reading is the wide range of things you have access to within a 15-minute walk. You can go for a kayak ride on the river Thames, or a good night out in the town centre. As an international student coming all the way from a tiny country like Cyprus, Reading was the best place for me to adapt. Easy to learn, with services and commodities that make your life easier and can cater for the needs of all types of people.

Then there is the University campus. I had read about the award-winning Whiteknights campus but until I saw it, I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful it was! The green space and tranquil surroundings give you the peace of mind you need during periods of pressure, like deadlines and exams.

campusView of Whiteknights lake, photo taken in September 2016.

Having been away from education for two years prior to coming to Henley, adapting to a University environment was challenging at first. Moreover, family income was not enough to cover all of my living expenses and studying abroad was challenging and uncertain at the same time. However, I talked this through with my tutor and lecturers from day one and they have been there for me throughout. They provided me with the all guidance I needed and helped me learn how to approach my modules effectively so as to get the most out of them. What is more, the University disability service provided me with further support and guidance with regards to a health disability I had from my army service.

I have been working in different jobs since I was seventeen and I can confidently say that ones offered at the University of Reading are the most flexible ones a student can hope for. The University as a whole provides you with good working conditions and takes into consideration your academic commitments. It helps you get a balance between money, study and a good social life. Looking back, it would have been impossible to overcome the difficulties I initially faced if it wasn’t about the strong support and well-organised services and facilities that are provided to students here.

What I would like to share with prospective students is the fact that UoR amazingly accommodates for any needs you have. All of the staff is helpful and approachable. Lecturers are there to help you, both them and all the supportive services of the University. Finally take advantage of the University events with international students and meet new people from many different countries.

You can meet people that will help you grow as an individual and instil upon you valuable skills that you will need when you get out to in the real world.”

To find out more about the BA Accounting and Business Flying Start Programme and the other Undergraduate Programmes available at Henley Business School visit

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