History

History

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 took 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 arranged cultural evenings, coffee mornings, Sunday teas and English classes for mothers and toddlers, even holidays! During this time Focus International joined forces with International Friends to become International Focus but continued along the same lines. More recently, part of the student team set up the ‘Small World Cafe’ as a further way of extending friendship to international students. This originally operated on Wednesday evenings but now runs in partnership with the International team of the university Christian Union on Friday evenings. We generally run trips on a monthly basis now.

One week’s theme was run by Kazakh students!