Happy student taking part in a social activity at the festival of culture

Take it all in

Explore the social scene at university and opportunities to soak up the local culture

Discover the social and cultural activities you can get involved with on campus and throughout Portsmouth. Whether you're a new student, looking to improve your existing social life, or soak up some of the local culture, you'll find opportunities in Portsmouth to make the most of your free time at uni.

Here's how you can get started and get involved in the social scene at university:

Join a student society

If you're a new student, it's a great idea to check out student societies on campus. You can do this by attending the Freshers Fair at the UPSU, where you'll get to meet the society members.

There are over 150 societies so you should find a group that interests you. These include cultural societies like the Cinema Society, Book Club or the Harry Potter Society as well as national groups including the Bengali Society, the Czechoslovakian Group or the Afro-Caribbean Society.

It's a good idea to attend as many societies as you want, then suss out if they are for you, before you pay the membership fee. If you don't find a society based on your interests, you can start your own.

Find out more about student societies

Find a social event in halls

You'll find regular organised events at your halls of residence run by students (Residence life assistants) for students.

Look out for film nights, weekly quiz nights, games nights, karaoke nights, Jenga and pizza nights, talent nights, art nights, cake decorating and yoga. The events will be held online and in your Halls Common room.

Res Life will email you a monthly events calendar.

To find out more please speak to any member of our Residence Life Team or look out for promotions on hall digital screens, Res Life and your hall Facebook groups or email the Res Life Team at res.life@port.ac.uk.

Students playing a boardgame at the wellbeing cafe

Spend an afternoon playing a board game or just chatting with other students at the weekly wellbeing cafe.

Wellbeing Café

Wellbeing Café is a weekly opportunity to connect with others and take time out to focus on fun and relaxing wellbeing activities. Until further notice, the Virtual Wellbeing Cafe will run as a Zoom space open between 3 – 4.30pm every Wednesday. You can drop in just to listen to the weekly talks or watch the craft demos, and you can choose whether or not to join in with discussions, games or other activities.

The Café is run by staff from the Wellbeing Service, and they'd be happy to chat to you beforehand to offer a familiar face when you turn up. To find out more and sign up to receive the weekly invitation email wellbeingcafe@port.ac.uk.

No booking is required – just log on and pop in here between 3.00pm - 4.30pm to:

  • Find out more about how you can join the weekly virtual Café
  • Hear about all the exciting things we have planned for this year
  • Meet our lovely staff
  • Connect with other like-minded students

Follow us on Facebook for updates. We will be posting the open Zoom link on the morning of 7 October.

Also keep an eye on the events programme below for extra in-person Café activities which may be arranged where possible – such as wellbeing walks or other socially –distanced small group activities.

Discover more wellbeing events

Join a Global Office event

The Global Office runs an exciting programme of trips out, social and cultural events which are open to all students. 

Events will be updated throughout the year, please join the University of Portsmouth - Global Community group on Facebook for updates.

Global Office events:

Year of the Ox – February 2021

The Chinese Society hosts an annual show to celebrate their Lunar New Year through traditional dance, songs and other performances.

March 2020

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

It's a free week-long programme of events, from open lectures to fashion shows, sports sessions and cultural society events. The highlight is the Festival of Cultures, an exhibition-style event celebrating the diversity we have on campus with an evening of food, music, costume and more.

If you'd like to meet other students in a friendly, informal environment then Global Café is for you. You can meet students from other countries and share knowledge and experience of other cultures and languages, or just have a chat.

Global Café meets in-person and online on Wednesdays from 1.00pm to 2.00pm during term-time. The event is free and all students are welcome.

For further information and location of the events or to pre-book a place, contact slallearningdevelopment@port.ac.uk.

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.

You can choose a weekend visit costing £25 or a day visit costing £15.

Join the social activities at the Chaplaincy

Meet new people within a peaceful and impartial environment at the Chaplaincy. Social activities include:

  • Festival of Light
  • Film and Games nights (Xbox and board games)
  • Mug painting
  • Christmas Carol Service

Anybody within the University community is welcome to visit the Chaplaincy and participate in any of the social events and speak with the Chaplains, socialise with friends or to just have a space for quiet and reflection.

Social and cultural activities outside Uni

Exploring Portsmouth will expose you to many activities, events, festivals and communities. Find out more about our music scene, the arts and cultural communities in the city and sport in Portsmouth.

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