dancing student at festival of cultures

Starting your social life at uni

Discover the upcoming social events for international students

University life is about much more than just studying. Discovering the local culture and exploring your new hometown – and the country around it too – is a big part of what makes studying abroad so memorable.

Throughout the year, we offer a variety of events and activities for all our students. Take a look below for a sample of the activities happening this year.

From September 2022, we will be bringing back our full programme of Coach Trips to popular locations around the UK as well as our smaller free social events on campus here in Portsmouth. 

You can also get involved with cultural events throughout the year, from Christmas Vacation socials to Chinese New Year celebrations, and even our Global Week – a week long programme of events, lectures and sports sessions to celebrate diversity here in Portsmouth. Keep up to date on these events on our official Global Community Facebook group

Social Events

Join us in the winter months to celebrate the shorter days and Christmas themed activities.

Speed Friending and Pizza - FREE - 9 November 2022
New in town? No problem. Unsure about where to meet potential friends? Join our Speed Friending event! It’s a great way to meet more people at university.  
Just like speed dating, you’ll have a few minutes to chat one-on-one with another student, before moving on to talk to someone else. We'll provide some questions to ask those you are paired with, to help break the ice and get conversations flowing!  

Christmas Crafternoon - FREE - 14 December 2022 
An opportunity to relax and get creative! Join us for an afternoon of Christmas crafts. Free to join, with all craft materials provided and FREE hot chocolate. Activities will include pom-pom making, felt decorations and so on.

Winter Solstice Walk - FREE - 21 December 2022
Today is the shortest day of the year - and the longest night! Join other students and International Student Ambassadors for a Festive Winter Solstice Sunset Walk  the day of the "sun's rebirth.” Most often, winter solstice celebrations honour the symbolism of fire and light. We will be joined by the pagan society who will be there to talk about their winter traditions. 

Winter Break Vacation Socials- FREE - 28 and 29 December 2022
Are you staying in Portsmouth during Christmas vacation? If so, join our International Student Ambassadors for snacks and games, movie marathons and general chat.

Valentine’s - Cupcake and cookie decorating afternoon FREE - 14 February 
Come along to decorate heart shaped cookies, cupcakes, rice krispy treats! Everything will be provided free. Join us for a fun afternoon. 

March 2023

Global Week celebrates the global culture we have at the University of Portsmouth!

In March 2023 we will be hosting a week-long programme of events celebrating the international diversity we have at the University of Portsmouth. More information will be announced on the Global Week webpage over the next few months.

As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, join us on these activities.

World Earth Day - FREE - Beach clean 22 April 2023
Volunteers come together worldwide today in an effort to clean up litter and mismanaged waste from beaches, rivers, forests and streets. Join us as we head to the seafront to clean Southsea beach. Gloves and bin bags provided.

Morning Summer Solstice walk - FREE - 21 June 2023
Join us on a morning walk to mark the longest day of the year, when the light is the longest and the night is shortest. Throughout the ages, this period has been seen as a marker for time and to reflect on the past season and set goals for the season ahead. You’ll have the chance to walk in community with others and take in all the elements.

We organise several different coach trips during the year.  Here is the programme for the 2022-23 Academic Year.

Brighton - Saturday 15 October 2022 - £18
Departure from Portsmouth 8.30am
Departure from Brighton 4.30pm
Ticket includes coach travel only.

Brighton is the UK’s most popular seaside town and is described as the UK’s most colourful city! Brighton is bursting with attractions, including the Royal Pavilion; an extravagant Indian style palace, and Brighton Pier; an iconic, neon lit pier filled with amusements, fairground rides and sea views. Brighton is also filled with vintage and independent shops and quirky cafés.

Book here

Bath Christmas Market - Saturday 3 December 2022 - £20
Departure from Portsmouth 8.00am
Departure from Bath 5.30pm
Ticket includes coach travel only.

Are you looking for a truly fantastic festive shopping experience? Each year, the centre of historic Bath is transformed into a magical Christmas shopping paradise! There are over 170 stalls packed with a huge range of gifts from jewellery, clothes, handmade crafts, food and much more! Warm up with some mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst soaking in the wonderful festive atmosphere.

Book here

Oxford - Saturday 18 February 2023 - £20
Departure from Portsmouth 8.00am
Departure from Oxford 4.30pm

For over 800 years, Oxford has been home to royalty and scholars, and nowadays it is a bustling cosmopolitan city, full of history and culture. Visit this famous historic English town and see Oxford Castle, visit some of Oxford’s colleges or take a boat ride down the river Thames. Visit Oxford’s Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens or Museum of the History of Science and visit the local markets and boutiques! If you are a Harry Potter fan, Oxford is a great place to discover the secrets of Hogwarts and walk the same mysterious hallways as Harry!

Book here

Cardiff - Saturday 6 May 2023 - £25
Departure from Portsmouth 7.00am
Departure from Cardiff 5.00pm
Ticket includes coach travel only.

Cardiff is a thriving and dynamic creative capital city with a rich cultural heritage; a burgeoning music scene; one of the largest collections of impressionist artwork in the world; an exciting sports culture and a multitude of activities to choose from. In the heart of the city centre, Cardiff Castle’s walls and fairy-tale towers conceal over 2,000 years of history and the Victorian and Edwardian arcades, full of independent boutiques and cafes are worth a visit as architectural gems. Explore the City Centre or head out to Cardiff Bay if you are missing the water.

Book here

Chinese New Year, January 2023 - Year of the Rabbit

Honour the Year of the Rabbit with the Chinese Society’s annual show to celebrate their Lunar New Year through traditional dance, songs and other performances. Free.

International Students Book Club

Meet once a month for friendly and relaxed discussions on books, poems and short stories. The Book Club is a great place to meet new people, practice your English skills and enjoy talks and visits about other places associated with books and reading in Portsmouth!
Once a year, Book Club takes part in World Book Night celebrations and take books to communities outside the university, getting to know new people and new places.
For more information, contact rhiannon.thomson@port.ac.uk

Global Café

1.00pm-2.00pm every Wednesday during term time, Park Building Café. All students welcome.

Global Café hosts weekly themed discussions every Wednesday during term time. If you'd like to meet other students in a friendly, informal environment then Global Café is for you! You'll meet students from other countries and share knowledge and experience of other cultures and languages, or just a chat. All students are welcome. Join us on Moodle for updates, venues, theme announcements and online conversation.

Global Week

Global Week celebrates the global culture we have at the University of Portsmouth!

In March 2023 we will be hosting a week-long programme of events celebrating the international diversity we have at the University of Portsmouth. More information will be announced on this page over the next few months.

HOST UK is a scheme where you can spend a day or weekend with a British family anywhere in the UK. You will get to learn more about British culture and share your culture with them. This is a great opportunity to fully immerse yourself in British culture and to make new friends along the way. Contact us for details on how to apply.

  • Weekend visit: £30
  • Day visit: £15
  • The cost of travel is extra.

Look out for details of the HOSTUK Christmas visits on our Facebook Page and in the WeAreGlobal newsletter to experience a real British Christmas, with all the trimmings.