Women students in Portsmouth

Welcome to the UK

Discover the activities and events taking place to help you settle into life in the UK

Stepping into a new course in a new country is an opportunity to embrace new passions, make new friends and make the most of your time as an international student.

We are really excited to welcome you to Portsmouth and as well as university-wide activities for you to experience, you can take part in our International Orientation programme in person, online and on-demand.

Our in-person Orientation events for September 2022 have now finished.

You can catch up with our Orientation On Demand Online below.

Orientation On Demand Online

We understand  you may miss a session or want to remind yourself of some of the details.

Do not worry – we have created 'Orientation On Demand', where you can catch up on webinars, presentations and workshops, and access virtual campus tours, fitness classes and fun games and activities to help you get to know Portsmouth. 

Welcome to Portsmouth from the Vice-Chancellor

We're delighted and proud to welcome you to the University of Portsmouth

In this video, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith welcomes you to the University of Portsmouth.

Hello and welcome to the University of Portsmouth at this incredibly exciting time. 

I’m Graham Galbraith and as Vice-Chancellor I’d like to congratulate you and say well done for what you’ve achieved so far. You have worked incredibly hard to get here, and overcome many obstacles and challenges in trying circumstances to reach your goals. 

Support from teachers, family and friends is incredibly valuable. But we also know that your accomplishments are driven by your own knowledge, ambition and determination - those individual qualities which we value so highly here at Portsmouth. 

University life is a step into a world of new experiences, new ideas and new friendships and I’m delighted that you have chosen us to deliver what you need in the months ahead.

With any new adventure, you may feel some nerves as well. This is perfectly natural and something all students feel - even me when I was a new student many years ago although it feels just like yesterday! 

You will face challenges but rest assured you will be supported every step of the way to meet your academic and personal needs.

Over the coming days we will provide you with details to prepare for university life and help you forge friendships with your fellow students so you can feel part of our global community which values diversity in all its forms and does all it can to help you succeed.

My one piece of advice is for you to commit wholeheartedly to your studies and embrace the many opportunities on offer at Portsmouth. It’s true to say the more you commit the more you will be rewarded with a richness of knowledge and experience which most of our graduates look back on as the best years of their lives. 

We’re proud to welcome you as a member of our special community on the next stage of your journey.

International Orientation Programme Welcome Presentation | September 2022

Helpful information about the UK

The International Student Advice team welcomes you to the University and gives you information about joining the University, the Orientation programme and Welcome events, and the services you can access during your studies.

Hello, everybody, and thank you for joining us at this presentation. We want to extend a very warm welcome to you for joining us at the University of Portsmouth this year. And we hope you are enjoying your journey with us so far.

I'm going to talk to you in this presentation about some important information that you need for your arrival and your first couple of weeks and semester at the University of Portsmouth.

So thank you for joining us today. So we want to tell you about who we are, who is UoP global. So we UoP Global and hope you've met us and heard of us before. We have been with you in your journey to the University of Portsmouth and from when you probably first heard of us to when you've made your application to to before you arrived. We're really excited that you're here with us. We're really excited to meet you. Whether we've met you in person or whether we're meeting you virtually today. And we want to tell you a little bit about who we are and what we do.

So at UoP Global, we want provide 1 to 1 support to all our international students. You can come to us with any questions that you may have, any concerns. We may not be able to be the ones that are able to answer your questions. But what we will certainly do is be able to put you in the right direction and let you know who can help you and help you make contact with the people who can support you. We also provide student visa and immigration advice. So we expect that if you're watching this presentation, then you are here on a student visa for your studies. And if you have any questions or concerns or issues about your student visa or any immigration related issues, you can come and speak to us and we can advise you accordingly.

We also provide a whole range of social events and excursions throughout the year. We do coach trips to different cities in the UK. We have a social event, social events and we have cultural events as well, including Global Week, which usually takes place in March every year. So we hope to see you on one of our social events or excursions.

If you haven't been to the university already, if you haven't been to see us.  Please do come and pick up a social events brochure. You can do this from the Nuffield Centre on the first floor in the global office. Please come and see us and we'll give you a social events brochure which details all the events and the coach trips that we have on throughout the year. If you're interested. Investing in as a country wants to hear. When you require a visa for that, you may need a holiday or Schengen visa letter and we can provide that for you. Information can be found on our web pages at Port UK, Forward Slash International, or you can come and visit us, speak to our team and we can advise you accordingly.

We also have a dedicated mobility to global mobility team. So if you are here with us on an Erasmus exchange or study abroad, you may need paperwork signed by the global mobility team. And if you're also interested in perhaps going abroad yourself and studying somewhere else in the world, either for study or work placement, again, come and speak to our global mobility team who will be able to advise you and support you accordingly.

We also have a global e-newsletter which goes out to all registered international and EU students. And in this letter we include things like events that are going on in the city. Events that we think might be of interest to you. Also job opportunities, university news, and so on. So please do look out for our global e-newsletter. It goes out four or five times a year and is sent directly to your student email address.

What we've compiled is a list of a few things that we think are the most important things that you need to do in your first week, your first month, and your first semester at the University of Portsmouth. So in your first week. The most important things that we think the top three things that we think we are advising you to do. So number one is to complete your registration on your course. Registration is a two step process. You must complete your online registration. So fill in your registration form online and you must complete an ID check in person. You can book an appointment to have your ID checked once you have filled in your online registration form. You will not be fully registered until you have completed both the online registration and the ID check as well. And what's very important as part of the registration process is to pay your tuition fees. 50% of your tuition fees are due at the point of registration. As a reminder, it is not possible to pay your tuition fees in cash. So please do not bring cash with you to the UK to pay your fees as the university will be unable to accept this.

If you are a non-EU student, you will need to collect your BRP card, which is your visa. It's a credit card sized card and is your proof of your right to reside and study in the UK. During this time, four students who are from the EU, it is most likely that you will have a digital visa so you will not need to collect a BRP card. If you do have a BRP card. This information will be in your visa issue letter and the point of collection. Whether this be the alternative collection location, which is the university or a local post office, will be stated on your visa issue letter. If you've lost this letter or you can't find it or you have any problems, please come and speak to us. 

As well as these important things of doing your registration and sorting out your visa. We also suggest that you enjoy your time here and attend a social event with lots of social events going on. It may be a social event organised by Global. It may be a social event organised through the students union or through one of the clubs and societies. But one of the best ways to get settled into your time in Portsmouth is to attend a social event and to make new friends. We appreciate that. Viewing lots of presentations and absorbing lots of information at this time. You will you will likely to forget some things. So we wanted to say that if you remember only one thing from this slide, please ensure that you complete your registration as you will not be able to continue on your course if your registration has not been completed. Within your first month.

We have three things that we feel are are the top three things that you should be doing in your first months at the University of Portsmouth. This may seem like an obvious one, but the first one is to ensure that you attend your classes. We've seen research and data that shows that students that do attend the class on a regular basis achieve better than students who don't. However, also vitally, it is very important to attend your classes as we have an attendance monitoring system here at the University of Portsmouth. The attendance monitoring system is partly linked to your visa as well. If you are here on a student visa with your student visa, you are required to attend at least 70% of your classes and engagement with your course. If you do not attend and you stop engaging with your course, your visa is at risk of being cancelled. So not only is it good for your studies, it is also a requirement of the student visa that you attend.

We also suggest that you open a bank account. This is very useful to have money sent into.  To be able to pay your tuition fees if you're working to have weight, your wages sent there. And also you'll receive a debit card. And it's easy to make payments in the UK. If you do have a UK bank card. It's nice and easy to open a bank account. If you go to your student view portal, you can request a bank letter which you can take into a bank and they will open a standard bank account for you to note. You must be fully registered, so you must have completed your online registration and your ID check to be able to read to open a bank account.

We also suggest that you register with a doctor and that you do this within your first month of being here in the UK. We know them as GP's or general practitioners and a doctor or GP is the person that you would see if you were feeling unwell and needed medication on prescription. We advise that you have registered with them now or in your first month as there is some paperwork to fill in. And when you're not feeling very well, filling in lots of paperwork and then waiting for your registration to be confirmed can be very time consuming and tiring. So please ensure that you do this now before you get sick, or hopefully you won't get sick before. If you do get sick and you don't require a fee to register at the time that you're unwell.

And like I said, again, a lot of information that but if you remember only one thing from this presentation, please ensure that you attend your classes. But then your first semester and when we say semester, we mean the time between now, which is September and the Christmas vacation break.

So hopefully you'll be attending your classes and enjoying your time here. But we also suggest that you explore your new home. Portsmouth has so much to offer. It's a fairly easy city to get around by walking or cycling, and it's completely flat. There's lots of free things to do in Portsmouth and lots of places of interest to visit as well. For example, the historic Dockyard Spinnaker Tower, Portsmouth Museum, the D-Day Museum, the clubs and the restaurants and cafes in Southsea and lots of other things as well. So please do take the time to explore your new home.

We also find that students that do explore Portsmouth and get to know it feel much more settled within the city and on their course. We strongly advise that you get to know the university resources that are available to you. You are here studying at the University of Portsmouth and there are a whole array of support services for you. We have the, for example, Student Well-Being Service Careers and Employability Service, Student Finance Chaplaincy. Academic skill support and disability support, as well as the Sports and Rec Department, Maths Cafe and the Students Union. There are a whole range of resources at the university to support you during your time here, whatever it may be.

The university has also has a whole range of digital resources as well. For example, LinkedIn learning packages and digital skills work. And finally, also, we suggest that you sign up to a social event or one of our coach trips.

We run coach trips throughout the year and we have a coach trip on the 15th of October to Brighton and another one just before Christmas to the Bath Christmas market. You may also want to sign up for a free social event again runs via the Students Union or through UoP Global. We really think that this is a great way to practise your English, meet new people, make new friends and feel as settled as possible at the University of Portsmouth.

If you remember only one thing from this presentation on this slide, please remember to check out the university resources. You can go to my port dot port UK and this should also be your homepage. When you log in to your computer when you're connected to the university Wi-Fi or in the library. Have a browse through the resources and become familiar with where you can find support. Telephone numbers, email addresses and locations of all the support services are also available on those my port pages.

Do keep in touch with us: Our telephone number is 02392843488. And our email address is global at Port dot AC UK. We are currently based on the first floor of the Nuffield Centre. If you do have any questions or concerns or any problems at all, like I said at the beginning of this presentation, please do get in touch with us and we will help you as best we can. We hope that you enjoy your time here in Portsmouth. We hope that you have arrived here safely or will be arriving here safely soon. And if you do require support, please do reach out to someone. The most important thing is to ask questions. We love to hear your questions. We love to hear your feedback. So please get in touch with us.

Welcome to the University Students' Union

Introduction to the Students' Union

Find out about how the Students' Union represents you, and how you can get involved! From paid and volunteer roles, academic representation and sports and social clubs, the Students' Union has something for everyone.

Welcome to The University of Portsmouth Students’ Union! Or as we’re more commonly known, UPSU or the Union! 

When you start at Portsmouth, you automatically get the right to join an association of students. Giving you access to a number of services and opportunities throughout your University experience.

Your Student Union is here to ensure your time at University is exactly what you want it to be. Through the Union, you can access life-changing opportunities, get support to make life easier and make sure that your student voice is empowered! 

Each year we let you vote on who leads the Union in our student Elections.

UPSU is led by 5 Elected Officers, each representing your views in a particular area. These areas are: Academic Representation, Democracy and Campaigns, Development, Learning Experience and Welfare.

The officers all work closely with other Union staff and the University to make a positive change for Portsmouth students like you!

We know that nothing’s perfect, so if there’s something that matters to you we want to help you campaign for change.

Give your voice real power! Our Have Your Say platform allows you to put forward your ideas for change and get support from other students. Get enough support then your idea will be discussed at a senior University meeting!

Got some feedback? We want to hear that too! Through our StART platform, you can tell us what you think about any aspect of your University experience. We take a regular look at the responses to see how everything is going for you.

Being away from home is an opportunity to experience new things. 

Looking to meet those with similar interests and beliefs? With our student groups, there’s sure to be something for everyone! We have interests, cultural and religious groups that will be the perfect place for you to build your own community in Portsmouth!

At the Union, we understand that some policies and procedures can be confusing and contain some complex language. We also know, now more than ever, that circumstances can change, and that shouldn’t get in the way of your education.

Our Advice service is on hand to make sure you know where you stand and what options you have. 

Empowering you to achieve the best academic outcome, no matter what your circumstances may be.

Make the most of your time in Portsmouth, there's lots to do and see in your seaside city! Get involved and feel part of something bigger...

Take a walk around the campus

Full University of Portsmouth tour

Photography student, Amy, and Business Information Systems student, Joel, take you on a walking tour of our University campus.

If you can come to Portsmouth for a visit, follow our self-guided tour to explore the city.


Amy Welcome to the University of Portsmouth walking campus tour. My name is Amy and I'm a second-year photography student.

Joel My name is Joel. I'm a third-year student studying Business Information Systems. Now, let's follow me.

Joel Here we have three halls. So the first one is Greetham Street, then Margaret Rule and Chaucer House.

Amy And Greetham Street is the really tall yellow one that you can see has a viewing platform of the whole of Portsmouth. It's really nice.

Amy Here is Portsmouth and Southsea train station. It has great transport links around the city and you can get to London in just an hour and a half.

Joel Here we have Commercial Road, known as 'city centre', where we have the high street shops. On my right, we have another halls of residence known as Catherine House. It's one of our largest and newest halls of residence. They also do social activities, during Halloween they do trick or treating.

Amy We're now heading to Park Building. Follow me.

Joel Welcome to Park Building, the home of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences and we have Politics, International Relations and Languages.

Amy You can choose to learn from eight different languages alongside your university degree, such as Mandarin and British sign language, which I take at the moment.

Joel Now, follow me.

Amy Here, we're outside the White Swan Building, which is the home of Drama, Performance and Musical Theatre.

Joel If you study Television and Broadcasting, they provide a green screen studio.

Amy And whilst we're here, this is Rosalind Franklin halls of residence. Anyway, on with the tour.

Amy These two buildings are for the Faculty of Science and Health.

Joel And this is Rosalind Franklin West and if you study health-related degrees, they provide mock operating theatres and radiography suites.

Amy And in St. Michael's, you'll find Biomedical Science degrees and Pharmacy, with state of the art labs.

Joel Continuing from the Faculty of Science and Health, we're at the King Henry Building, where they provide School of Biological Sciences and Psychology.

Amy Part of the Faculty, we also have a Marine Biology degree which is situated in our Eastney campus.

Amy Welcome to Anglesea Building, the home of the Faculty of Technology.

Joel They provide courses such as Mechanical Engineering and Electronic Engineering. We have a School of Law also here.

Amy They have a mock law court situated inside.

Joel Follow us onto the Northern Quarter.

Amy If you continue this way, you'll get to Gunwharf Quays.

Amy Welcome to Northern Quarter.

Joel This is the Dennis Sciama Building. It's the home of the Institution of Cosmology and Gravitation. We also have a hub cafe and they do some amazing hot chocolate.

Amy And just behind us, we have Burnaby Building, which is the home of Earth and Environment Sciences and it also has an Engineering degree.

Joel I'm at Richmond Building at the Faculty of Business and Law. It has the largest lecture theatre and during my first year, I spent most of my time in this lecture theatre.

Amy We also have the Bloomberg Suite, which is the mock stock-exchange facility.

Amy Welcome to Portland Building. It's the home of Civil Engineering and Surveying degrees and it has a large open-access IT suite for all students to use.

Joel Here, we have the Future Technology Centre, one of our newest buildings. At the ground floor, we have the global centre. On the first floor, we have large group presentations where they have large TV screens as well. On the second floor, you have personal computer suites and they have some cosy booths. And on the top floor, they have business networking suites.

Amy Lovely. And onto Lion Gate and Buckingham Building.

Joel We're at Lion Gate, the Department of Mathematics, where they provide Maths Cafe and help you with one-to-one support and group support as well. I've had a previous experience where I've got loads of one-to-one support with my coursework and assignments, and also you can rent out laptops as well.

Amy And here's Buckingham Building, with the Department of Geography and the School of Computing. And they have a forensic computing lab inside.

Joel Follow us to the Milldam Building, the last stop of the Northern Quarter.

Joel We're at the Milldam Building, the School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature, and if you study Journalism, there's also a journalism newsroom.

Amy Here, you'll also find the University on-campus nursery, where spaces are primarily reserved for students with children.

Amy Welcome to the University Library. During term time, the library is open 24/7. It is where you'll find the majority of students. There are computer rooms that are bookable for group sessions and there's a large open-access computer suite for all students to use. There are also laptops available for loans for up to 24 hours.

Joel We have the new Ravelin Sports Centre. Once it's finished, you will have a 25-metre swimming lane and climbing walls and ski simulations.

Amy Welcome to Ravelin House, the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice.

Joel The University of Portsmouth has a partnership with Hampshire Constabulary, where they provide placements for students and also graduate jobs. St George's Building, it's also a building where they do Criminology, as well.

Amy And just behind us, we have William Beatty Building, which is the Dental Academy where students practise in professional clinics with phantom heads.

Joel Welcome to the Student Union. They provide services such as advice and support for students.

Amy There are also over 200 student-led societies.

Joel I'm part of the Bollywood Society and we have weekly practises and we perform at cultural events.

Amy And it's also the home of Third Space, which is a large study social area. And there's also the University shop, which sells University hoodies that everyone wants.

Joel Now follow us onto Nuffield Centre.

Amy Nuffield Centre is home to Academic Skills, the University Student Finance Centre, Student Wellbeing and the MyPort Hub.

Joel Also, additional support and disability services, Student Housing and faith services as well.

Tati The Nuffield Centre is also home to the Global Team. They provide support to our international and EU students with everything from arrival programmes, visa advice and extensions. They also offer opportunities to engage with exchanges, study abroad and summer schools for all students of the university.

Amy And right next door, we have the University Surgery. Top-tip advice is to register with a doctor when you get to the University.

Joel Behind me is the Spinnaker Building. It's the heart of sports-related degrees.

Amy And right next door is the Spinnaker Sports Centre, which you can have over 50 classes per week. And there's a large sports hall where we can play a variety of sports, such as badminton.

Joel Now follow us onto Eldon Building.

Joel On my left, we have the University House. On my right-hand side, we have the Careers and Employability Service, they help students with placements, part-time jobs, internships and also graduate jobs and finding volunteering services as well.

Amy Welcome to Eldon Building, it's the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, and it's where my degrees take place. Inside, there's an art shop, CCI TV and the radio station.

Joel On my left, we have another hall of residence. It's known as Trafalgar Halls, it's recently been refurbished. Now follow me to Harry Law and Bateson.

Amy These are the last two halls on our tour. On my right, we have Harry Law and on my left we have Bateson.

Joel Now, let's go back to Guildhall where we started.

Amy And now we're back at the Guildhall, which is the centre of the city, and it's where you'll graduate after your time here at university. If you've got any more questions for us, head to the University of Portsmouth website.

Joel Thanks for joining us.

Introduction to In-Sessional English at Portsmouth

In-Sessional English

Our In-Sessional English team are ready to help you develop your English for academic communication whilst studying at the University of Portsmouth.

Further guides:

Hello there and welcome to this brief introduction to ISE or in-sessional English for academic language and communication.

  • So what is ISE?
  • Who and what is it for?
  • How does it work and what should you do if you want to take part?

ISE stands for in-sessional English for academic language and communication. The in-sessional part tells you that these are courses which take place during the academic year or in session. That means all ISE courses run in both teaching block one in the fall and then again in the spring in teaching block 2.

But what is most important for the majority of students is the academic language and communication.

Academic language and communication is quite different from the kind of language and communication you might use on social media, or when you are travelling, or for meeting friends and socializing

At high school students are expected to learn knowledge and then show their teachers how well they have understood it. But at university, as some of you watching this video may already know, you will be expected to create knowledge and then present what you have created to the community other students, your tutors, even other universities.

So to create academic knowledge you will need suitable academic language. To communicate that knowledge you will need to know the conventions and traditions that we use to present ideas in speech and in writing within the British university.

So this, in a nutshell, is what ISE modules aim to do. They take the knowledge of English you have now and show you how you can apply it to your academic studies and assessments.

ISE modules are open to all students at the University of Portsmouth this includes undergraduates, postgraduates, full and part-time students, campus, online and also distance learning and exchange students. Although it is primarily designed for students who speak English as a foreign, second or additional language, students with English as a first language also sometimes take part. 

ISE offers students a suite of 18 different modules. Some of these modules focus on developing language skills, for example, using business vocabulary or developing an academic style phrase and sentence structure. 

Other ISE modules focus on the communication skills required to complete certain kinds of tasks or assessment, for example developing language for presentations, seminar and group work for science and technology students or developing critical reading skills. 

Depending on the module you choose courses last for 5, 6 or 11 weeks. Most ISE modules may be taken by both undergraduate or postgraduate students. However please note that improving your academic English for dissertation and final report writing is intended for undergraduate students only while writing a postgraduate dissertation is available for postgraduate students only.

This course, writing a postgraduate dissertation is the only 11-week ISE module. All others are 5 or 6 weeks. Each week students are expected to review the material on the Moodle page and complete the exercises. The material is designed to last approximately 2 hours, but resources for further independent study are also provided for those who wish to do more.

Students communicate with each other and their tutor via a discussion forum on the Moodle page or, if they are available, during a weekly live online session.

So what do you do if you want to find out more?

The first place to go is the MyPort article hub on MyPort. Search for “ISE” and you will get the pages you need.

Links to these pages are also in the description below on the YouTube page for this video.

Click on What modules does in-sessional English offer to learn more about the range of modules

Click on How do I register for an in-sessional English module to sign up.

And if you have any other questions, you can email the ISE team here at ise@port.ac.uk. We hope you have a happy and successful year with us and hope to see you soon.

Welcome to the library | University of Portsmouth

A brief welcome video introducing the University Library and its services.

Welcome to the University Library and its services.

An Introduction to British Culture & Culture Workshop

British Culture Workshop

Are you an international student wishing to understand British Culture before studying in Portsmouth? This webinar will explain some of the local phrases. British habits and how you can make the most of your time during your studies.

Kim: So what we're going to talk about today, we're going to talk about a snapshot of British culture, I'm going to give you some local information to help familiarise yourself with the local area. We're going to talk about culture shock a little bit. And I'm going to give you some tips to help you embrace British culture. And then I'll tell you a little bit about the Global Office.

So what do we mean by culture, a culture is made up of the values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and the unwritten rules shared by a group of people, it's the unwritten rules bit that can be the most daunting part of joining a new culture, because those are the things that you're supposed to know but no one's actually telling you. Some of the popular stereotypes about the British we have on this screen here.

So we do like our cups of tea and we do like a beer, but we're not always drinking tea and always in the pub. There's a lovely picture at the bottom of London. We don't all live in London. There's more than one city in the UK and we certainly don't all live in beautiful stately homes. So what do we mean by British? Everything on this map here, this is all the British Isles and there are six thousand islands in the British Isles.

Great Britain is the big one here, and that comprises Scotland, England and Wales. It's called Great Britain because it's the largest island. It's got nothing to do with whether or not we're great. We're not that fantastic. But it seems to go to people's heads and everyone thinks, oh, we're Great Britain because we're great.

No, that's not true. It's the same as the biggest of the Canary Islands is known as Grand Canaria. So that's the GB part of the UK. And then we have NI, which is Northern Ireland, and these four countries all together make up the UK. The official name of the country is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. So the Olympic Committee that calls our Olympic athletes Team GB, that's a bit unfair because they ignore the fact that Northern Ireland is a part of the UK.

There's one other little bit this red bit here, and that's the Republic of Ireland. So Ireland itself, this bit here, is actually split into two. Northern Ireland is part of the UK. The Republic of Ireland is not. It's a separate country, and lucky for them, they are still in the European Union, whereas we sadly are not.

So your home versus the U.K., the things that you're going to notice, the differences language, obviously, and even though you probably came here thinking that your English was excellent and then suddenly you're talking to actual English people and thinking, hang on a minute, this is not what I was taught. You're going to have to learn a lot of slang and get used to our accents as well.

Food, the food may not be what you expected or you might actually find that it's better than you expected because British food has a bad reputation. But the thing with British food is that we steal everybody else's food and bring it here.

Weather - one British stereotype that is absolutely true is that we spend all of our time talking about the weather and obsessing over the weather. Today, the main topic of conversation in our office is what time is it going to start raining? Is that going to spoil our plans? Does everybody have what they need if it's going to start raining?

Your accommodation may well be very different to what you're used to, whether it's private accommodation or university halls of residence. And you're going to have to adapt to your living conditions. Maybe you're sharing for the first time. Maybe you're not used to living with so many people and you're going to have noisy neighbours to deal with as well. 

The buildings and surroundings may be very, very different to what you are used to. It may well be that you're from a big, shiny megacity like Hong Kong and you're finding it quite strange and quaint and old fashioned in Portsmouth. It may be the other way round. You're used to village life and suddenly you're in what feels to you like quite a big city. Portsmouth is actually a very small city because we are cooped up on one little island. It's the only island city in the UK. I will explain that later on. 

The people, people may be very different to what you're expecting and to what you're used to, the etiquette and social customs. These are the things that we're going to be talking about today so that hopefully I can give you a little bit of comfort and advice on how to behave around other people while you're in the UK. Accents, Now, I have a very standard Southern English accent, and that might be what you're quite used to.

You may find me quite easy to follow, but some of your lecturers may well have a very strong Scottish accent or a strong Yorkshire accent. So a northern English accent, which you may not be very used to. They may also, of course, be from overseas themselves because we are a very multicultural society, the UK, we are a complete melting pot. We have people from all different backgrounds, nationalities, religions and cultures.

So be prepared because you may well be from a country where everybody's the same, everybody's one religion, everybody's one colour. And you've come here and suddenly it's completely different. So I'm going to stop sharing and open this up for a little bit discussion.

What differences have you noticed already? So anyone feeling brave?

Anybody want to put their hand up, unmute themselves and tell me something that you've noticed since you arrived in the UK that you weren't expecting?
Anybody? OK,  Xiaoqing, I'm going to ask you put you on the spot, Xiaoqing and Omer are two of our international ambassadors. You'll see them around campus this week in their purple, and they're here to help you and answer any questions. Take you on tours. So Xiaoqing. When you first arrived a year ago, what was the biggest difference you noticed from your home country?

Xiaoqing: Well, the biggest difference is like in my home country, I'm from China. There are lots of people there, especially in the city and here there's few people. So when I walk on the street and many strangers will nod to me and smile to me, and this is quite a big difference to the situation in China, because if it is a very crowded city, no strangers will suddenly smile at strangers, right? It seems a little bit odd. But here, people are very friendly. They will smile. And even they chat with the strangers and I think is quite good. Yes, this is the biggest difference when I just arrived in the U.K.

Kim: Thank you. Yeah. I've always lived in Portsmouth my whole life, apart from time overseas. But this is my home city. And when I first moved to the international office, I was very surprised when all the students were saying to me, Portsmouth is so quiet. I'm like, this is a busy, busy city. How is it quiet? Then I went to Hong Kong and I was like, OK, this is busy. Home is not busy. So yeah, it is quite a peaceful little city. It was particularly quiet when Xiaoqing 
 arrived because, of course, she came a year ago when we were still very much in lockdown. It will get a little bit more busy now. I think over the next six months you'll see the city will get busier and busier. More and more students will arrive as well. Anybody feeling brave?

Anybody want to tell me something that they've noticed since they arrived that's very different to home. It was something to do with the weather. So I'm walking down commercial road and it starts to rain like crazy. And, you know, construction workers were just continuing as if it's just a normal sunny day. And at home, that just doesn't happen. Like people will just stop everything. They'll go take some shelter. But over here, the wind was blowing. It was just crazy rain all over the place. But, you know, it was just business as usual, business as usual. And I was like, wow, this is a bit odd.

And after experiencing it for a while myself. It's just business as usual for me as well now. So, yeah, yes. I will be talking a lot about the weather later on. And one of the things I always say to people is never let the weather stop you from continuing with your plans, because if you do that, you'll never do anything. You have to just get used to it. Make yourself comfortable in the environment by making sure you've got a good coat, good boots. You're not running around in sandals or trainers all the time. You're going to end up with very wet feet. And we'll talk about brollies later on. But yeah, the weather can be a bit of a shock.

Yesterday was an excellent example of that. We went on the seafront to yesterday evening. We set off in the most glorious sunshine and half an hour later we're on the seafront. And it not only rained, we then had hailstones as well. And we got absolutely soaked because we weren't ready for that. We had thought that it wasn't going to rain for the rest of the day. Never trust your weather app on your phone. I was looking at mine yesterday. It was chucking it down with rain and my weather app said, oh, it's bright and sunny. No, it's not. No, it's not. So, yeah, the British weather is always fun. We'll get back to that later. Thank you, Omar. Right. I'm going to go back to sharing.

Share... So British greetings, you all know the basics. Hello, hi, good morning. But there are lots of other things we say just to completely confuse you when we are greeting you. We also say, how's it going? What's up? You OK? You are right? Now, of course, these are all questions, but we're not necessarily asking you to tell us how you are feeling that morning. We're simply saying hello, this is our way of saying hello, which can cause quite a lot of confusion. If somebody asks you one of those questions and it doesn't seem like a just a simple hello, if they look concerned about you, maybe you've got you having a bad hair day.

You've just fallen out of bed and you're late for your lecture and they go, oh, you're right? And look concerned, then you would be expected to answer and say, yes, I've just woken up. My alarm didn't go off. I'm having a terrible day. I need coffee. But generally speaking, if somebody says you alright? that's just a hello. And more confusion is British slang and slang words can be very dependent on where you are in the country.

So I've given you a few here that are very much south of England. You'll hear these all of the time. So, 'ta'  means thank you. It's just a shortened version of thank you. So you'll hear that quite a lot, ta. Cheers is the same again. It's what we say when we salute with drinks, but it's also just a very basic thank you. Knackered is a very popular one in the South and that means your tired. Bloke is just a lad. A man. A kip means you're having a little sleep. So sorry. Just a short nap is a kip. So if you are knackered, you'd have a kip.

Pompey is the abbreviation for the city of Portsmouth. It's also used a lot for our football team, but it does also mean the city. And of course, now you're at the uni, what uni are you at? You're at Pompey. OK, so you'll get used to hearing the word Pompey a lot. Now, a very, very localised word, which is specific to Portsmouth is 'din' and 'din' means somebody who's being silly, someone's being an idiot. They're being a din. It's short for Dinlo. Now, this is a funny word.

And the reason I include it is because you may see it on posters around the city. During lockdown we had a couple of local campaigns. One of the posters says don't be a din, stay in as in, stay at home during the lockdown. And the other one was a litter campaign to stop people from littering. And it says, don't be a din, put it in the bin. OK, so just so you know, that's a very, very standard, specific to Portsmouth word that you will hear from locals and if you start using it yourself, you'll start sounding like a local. 

British humour. Now, this is something that confuses everybody. It's always a complaint. It's like, I don't know if you're joking or not. That's because one of our favourite things is sarcasm. Sarcasm and irony are something very difficult to get your head around and get used to. But basically, what we're doing is we're saying one thing when we mean the complete opposite.

OK, so say your friend. You're out having a night out in a club. Your friend is an absolutely terrible dancer. But rather than saying you're a terrible dancer, you would say nice moves, mate. So you're just being sarcastic at them. This would be done with humour. So you're not insulting them. You're just pointing it out that they're not very good. They'll know they're not very good. And the other thing that we do is understatements.

So understating something that's very, very obvious. So if there's terrible weather outside and you're downplaying it by just saying, oh, it's a bit windy when clearly there's a massive storm raging outside. This is a really good website. A nice little list gives you 10 types of British humour and how to cope with them.

So I highly recommend having a look at that. Few little language tips for you for vocabulary. Write down differences that you notice in expressions.  Writing things down will obviously help you to remember it better. And if you learn something new, share it with your friends and then make a joke out of using it. So you say write everyone in the house. This is my new word I've discovered today. We all have to use it by six o'clock tonight. You have to find a way of using that word. It will really help you to improve your language vocabulary.

You will need to do some research on how academic work is structured and particularly on referencing and citations. The university library is where you need to go for help and advice on that. They will give you all the information that you need for referencing and citations, But it may be very different to what you're used to. So I recommend that you do some investigation into that, particularly if you're coming into final year or you are doing a masters.

Watch English videos without the subtitles to help you, cheating. So little things like TED talks, YouTube videos, podcasts, all of these things can be done in short bites and it will start to get you used to the to the language.

It also helps your listening skills and it will help you get used to the sentence construction as well, because it may be very different than the formal English that you've been taught in your home country. Reading the news, particularly on your phone. News articles can be nice and short and very simple.

So just keeping up to date with the local news, the UK news, it can be really, really easy to do on your phone. And it's just short bursts of English language. It's often divided into subject areas as well. For example, if you're studying business, you can read the business news and it will help you to pick up the common vocabulary for your subject at the same time. And, talk to the locals.

You don't have to talk to the local people in Portsmouth. We apparently are quite scary and a little bit crazy. But talk to the home students, get to know the ones on your course, find those ones to speak to, and that will help you to improve your language and your confidence as well.
And it will give you the added bonus of you may be able to make some new friends with the home students.

So this is one simple example of a classic pitfall in English, these two words, you think they mean the same thing, but misapplication of this word will immediately mark you out as a 'English. Is your second language' speaker. Nice versus good. I always tease the ambassadors when they misuse this word. Nice refers to something being kind, being pleasant or being exact.

So thank you for helping me. That was nice of you. So that was somebody being kind and being helpful, something pleasant. So we went sailing. We had a really nice time. Or if your lecturer asks you a question to define something and you give a really good response, a really precise response, then we might say nice answer. Good refers to quality ability and morality. So quality, the food here is really good. Ability. She's a really good singer and morality, if you're trying to be environmentally friendly, then you have good principles.

OK, I know that sometimes it can be interchangeable and this is something that confuses people. But nobody British would ever say, is it a nice movie? We would say is a good movie. OK, it's about quality. It's the same with a teacher you would say is a nice teacher, someone who's a nice teacher, that means that they're really kind and they care about their students. whereas if they're a good teacher, then that means that the quality of what they're teaching you is what you're describing,

The difference between kind and quality, nice versus good. So British telly, thanks to the wonderful world of Netflix, we can stream TV from all over the world now. I am particularly hooked on a lot of Korean telly and Turkish telly. I watch things from all over the world and it's fantastic that we can all now do this. It's making the world smaller and more accessible. I'm sure that all of you have watched something British during your downtime, Sherlock, Doctor Who, The Crown. These are really, really popular dramas.

The Great British Bake Off has just started again, and we've already got a competition going in our office to see who's going to win this year. There are lots of other British programmes that you can watch, though, and watching British telly will actually help you improve your language skills. I highly recommend doing this. It also gives you an insight into British culture and can teach you things that you might not have noticed beforehand.

Soap operas particularly give you a nice look at a more down to earth British life - the way that we would normally operate rather than high drama like the Crown and Sherlock and things like that. Indian call centres who ring up the British public with their bills and things like that. They are all they watch EastEnders to learn about British culture, and it will teach them things like in the U.K., it is perfectly normal for people to live together as a couple without being married.

And in their culture, that just wouldn't happen. So things like that you can pick up really easily from soap operas. Food is probably the biggest factor in culture shock if you can't find things you like to eat. You're going to get more and more upset and then other things will start to affect you because you're hungry. We never really appreciate just how important food is to our comfort and our happiness. You will feel so much happier in your new city once you have found familiar food in the local shops and the restaurants. So don't keep it to yourself. Tell your friends when you find these places, you can also look for the advice that we give on the MyPort pages and the Global Office web pages. We have a list of local stores for other other cultures' food. You can swap your recommendations with your friends. So as soon as you find somewhere good, tell your friends recommend that you will go there at the weekend and try it again together and teach your housemates recipes from your home country.

That's a nice way of getting to know one another. Sharing food is the best way to make friends with somebody. We call it a leveller. The things that people have in common, no matter what their cultural background, will always be food, sport and music. Those things will always mean that you have something in common with somebody from a different culture.

So another question. Does anybody want to guess what the official number one favourite food is in the U.K.? Just take yourself off mute and shout out. Fish and chips. Fish and chips, Good answer, but no, not the right answer. Anybody else? Curry? Who said Curry? Well done, you're right, it's Curry, our number one favourite food is Indian food. However, the Indian food that you will find in the U.K. is not traditional Indian food. So if you are Indian, you will find our food to be quite a shock because it's been changed for the local preferences for British diets.

I think it's a huge shame. I've spent a lot of time in Asia and I love Asian food of all kinds. And when you have it in the U.K., it's a bit of a disappointment. It's not what you're expecting. However, there will be an Indian restaurant locally that is much better than the others. So get to know other Indian students who've been here a while. They'll tell you which ones are the best.

The same with the Chinese restaurants. There'll be a couple that are actually better than the others and they aren't quite as adapted to the British terrible diet. So do share your information with your friends when you find them. 

One British stereotype that is really, really, really true. Is queueing is very important to us. Never, ever try and jump a queue or push in You will get a lot of hostility if you do that. Respect the line, respect the queue. It is very much important now because of all the covid-19 restrictions.

While most of the restrictions have been lifted, there is still an expectation for people to wait their turn and to leave a gap between yourself and the people in front of you. People are not queuing as tightly as this photograph shows. Some smaller shops and food places will still have some restrictions as well on how many people can be inside, Wait at the door until you're instructed. If you're at a restaurant and the staff will show you to a table, don't just walk in and sit down. With smaller shops they'll have a sign up on the door that will say only four people at a time or six people at a time. So just wait there and somebody, a member of staff will wave at you and you can come in.

OK, we do recommend that you still wear a facemask in big shops and on public transport. Of course, wearing masks is a personal preference at this point in time, but it is probably best and safest to do it on public transport where you're trapped in a small, enclosed space with not much ventilation.

And when you're greeting someone, don't shake hands or make physical contact with them, even if they offer first, you should probably keep your distance for a little bit longer. Anywhere where there are still One-Way systems and barriers and 'Please stand here and wait' Just please follow those instructions and do as you've been asked.

Right, bit of local information, this is Portsmouth. So Portsmouth is actually made up of this island here, which is Portsea Island and the South Slope of Port's downhill, if you join one of the bus tours at the weekend, we will drive you up to the top to this road at the top Portsdown Hill road right at the top. And that's the the border of the city. So if you cross that road, you've left Portsmouth, but if you're on this side of the road, you are still in Portsmouth and you have fantastic views all the way down to the tower and all the seafront area.

You can see the university quarter is marked with the purple rectangle that's our campus, and it is perfectly placed, it gives you perfect access to all the good places so that historic dockyard, Gunwharf Quays, the beach, the city centre. We are five to 10 minutes walk from all of those places from campus.

You don't need a car if you live in the city. It's just not needed. The area here that's called Langston Campus. We no longer have the accommodation at Langston campus, but we do still have the university sports fields over there. And there will be a bus, a Uni bus that's free that takes you over there. If you're joining one of the sports clubs, there is a university bus free for students and it goes all around Southsea. It's a circular bus, so you just hop on, hop off. You need to show your unique ID card to use the bus.

So make sure that you always carry your ID card. So this is the bottom end of the city. Let me just show you where this is. This is this section here at the bottom from Clar-, Well, from Portsmouth Harbour Station, right down to the Pier, is this picture here. OK? So this area is Gunwharf Quays, which I'm hoping most of you have found by now, this is where the tower lives and it's where there's the big cinema, the bowling alley and all the outlet shops. Outlet shops mean that it's slightly cheaper than the normal prices for those big brand names.

OK, it's right next to the Portsmouth Harbour Station. Now, the best thing about Portsmouth is we are the end of the train line. So if you go up to London for the weekend, visit your friends. When you get your train home, if you fall asleep on the train and you miss your stop at Fratton or Portsmouth and Southsea, you don't need to panic.

You're not going to wake up in another city. The only place you can wake up is Portsmouth Harbour, OK, which is this train station just next to the tower here. So we are the end of the line and you will never wake up in the wrong city. You can only end up in Portsmouth, but then you've got a trek back to your accommodation. This area here is the campus and to the left, off the shot will take you into the city centre, into Commercial Road. And the rest of this is, oh, no, one more. Here we go.

This is old Portsmouth, which is the oldest part of the city. If you join one of the seafront stores, we'll take you around old Portsmouth in the afternoon. And as you can see, that starts into the beach area. But once you get past this yellow outline, you are then in Southsea. So the rest of this picture is all Southsea. So the local places. Southsea seafront is obviously the beach area and also there is a huge green area called Southsea Common.

One of the ambassadors laughed and she told me that her whole of her first year, she was wondering where this common place was. And was a common room? Which is standard English for a place where students go and hang out, a common room. But she couldn't find it. She didn't realise that it meant the park down by the seafront. So, yes, she was quite embarrassed when she found that out. So I thought that's actually a very good point.

And I've added it to my presentation. Southsea Common is a huge green expanse right by the beach, and it's basically the front garden of the whole of Portsmouth. It is where you go and have barbecues. There's loads of festivals that go on there during the summer, loads of activities and events. Great place for playing football and Frisbee with your friends. Next up is Gunwharf Quays. As I said, that's the home of the tower, which has recently been repainted to go back to white again.

So this is an old picture. And the shops, really good shopping area. It's also a good place for finding part time jobs if you're looking for a part time job while you are a student. Old Portsmouth's is the oldest area of the city and has this lovely little secret beach, which is Xiaoqing's favourite place to go. And this all the fortifications down there, these big walls, these are what we call the hot walls because it's hot. You walk through the little entranceway and you can feel the difference in temperature. This is a little sun trap. Guildhall is the big square in the city centre, and that is the heart of the city. It's where all the civic offices are, the Guildhall itself, which is the town hall. And that's where you will have your graduation ceremony when you finish your course.

So, moving on now to culture shock. How does it feel to experience so many new things at the same time? It can be very, very stressful. You're in a new country, you're surrounded by strangers. You're in strange accommodation. You don't understand the layout of the city. You don't understand how a university works in the U.K. It's an awful lot to take on in one go. And I will always admire all of you that you have decided to do your education in a completely new country. Lots of research has been done on culture shock, and they have found that there are six stages.

So currently you're between the first two stages. So you've done your preparation. You've got all excited to come, you've packed all your things and you've arrived fantastic. And arriving. You still feel like this is all exciting and it's a novelty and it feels like you're on holiday and you're really, really excited for your new journey. However, then things start to pull you down. There, the weather particularly will be quite a shock to some of you, and it will start to make you feel miserable.

You won't be able to find the right food. You start to miss your family, and coping with everyday life becomes really difficult. You don't understand the money yet. You don't know how to get the right bus. All of these things can start to really, really add up, which is why when you find out something new, to share it with your friends, as soon as somebody finds something out in your house or your flat, share it with your friends because you'll be helping them as well as helping yourself.

Gradually, you'll start to understand the money, you'll know the buses, you'll get comfortable at the uni. You'll start to know where to go for help. And that's when you start your gradual adjustment. And within a month or two, everything feels great and you've completely settled. And then you start to adapt. And once you've learnt to function in your new culture, you will also hopefully start to feel a part of it. The one thing that people forget, though, is when you go home, home will feel different to you because you've changed as a person.

You've been out in the big wide world on your own. It's had quite an impact on you. You've grown and changed, so your old life will then start to feel quite alien to you. And we do have students report back that when they go home, it has quite a culture shock on them all over again. So that's just something to bear in mind. I won't play the video because it doesn't always work. But if you wanted to have a look at this video, it pretty much just explains everything that I've just gone through on the previous slide.

What can you do to cope with the culture shock? First off, as I said, talk about it, talk to your friends, tell them today is a day that I'm struggling. I need someone to cheer me up today. Let's go out for lunch. Let's meet between lectures and just have a chat, because I'm feeling really, really down. This is, I'm struggling. Tell each other about it. And when you're having a good day, say, right, I'm having a great day to day, who's struggling? Let's go out and do something. It really does help to talk about it.

Stay connected to your home, your friends and family. Make sure, though, that you're not relying on this too much. There is no need to Skype with your family every single day. You will be reducing your capacity to adapt if you rely too much on the people at home to talk to them every single day, you need to give yourself time to adjust. One nice thing that you can do, though, is to keep a list of all the things you love about your new culture so you can look back and remind yourself some days you're having a bad day and you might need to remind yourself.

These are the things I like about being here. Be social, make the effort. Everybody is in the same boat. Everybody feels the same way that you feel. You're all new arrivals. You're not on your own. So talk to each other, make new friends, be sociable, go out, join a club or society, come to Fresher's fayre next week and start taking part in as many activities as you can be very active as well. Don't just stay cooped up in your room. If you're suffering, go out for a walk.

Who knows what will happen when you're out on your walk. You might meet somebody. You might find a really cool place that you didn't know existed. Somewhere you can hang out. You might find the best cake shop in the whole city and cake solves every problem. Trust me, except wait, it makes you fat. But we love cake anyway. And be open minded. You might think that somebody looks a bit strange.

Somebody looks a bit intimidating. Turns out they're lovely. So have a chat with them. Find out is this someone I have something in common with? Is this somebody scary? Who knows? Your well-being is very low.

All right. Wellbeing in the U.K., we are very open in talking about our health and that includes our mental health. This may be very different from what you're used to in your home country, OK, but if you suffer in silence, no one will be able to help you. You must speak up. It is OK to ask for help. If you are struggling, you will not be judged. There will not be a report on your student record. Your parents will not be contacted.

Nothing like that. We care about each individual student and we have lots and lots of resources to help you. Some of them are in person. Some of them are things that you can do online and you could do things anonymously if you want to. Here are all the services if you look at the MyPort website, Guidance and support, and then look for health and well-being. The wellbeing service is there if you need some counselling or you need some online tools to help you. There's also the chaplaincy and you don't have to be religious to use the chaplaincy services.

It's for everybody. And as I said, there's lots of self-help resources, things that you can do in private on your own time, in your room online. And there's also lots of extra support for the additional support and disability advice service that includes, if you are autistic or you have ADHD or dyslexia. They have lots of different ways of helping you. All of these services are in the same building as the as the Global Office. That's the Nuffield Centre.

So if you're ever having any problems, you come to the Nuffield Centre and whatever service you require will be in that building. And if you don't know where to go, you come to the Global Office and we will direct you and help you to make an appointment if you need one. There's also lots of students who are around to help you, as well as the international student ambassadors like Omar and Xiaoqing, we also have welcome ambassadors.

Now, that's a voluntary role and they will wear blue T-shirts. You'll see them running around the campus for the next couple of weeks. And they are there to ask questions so you can ask them any questions and get some advice from them, tell you where to find things all around the city and the university. And then if you're in a hall of residence, there will be Res-Life assistance as well. They will be students who have been there for a couple of years. They live in the same hall as you or in the next door hall to you. And they're available two hours every evening during the week.

They'll also put on social events in your hall as well. So the UK higher education system may be very different to what you're used to, this can also be quite distressing for you. So getting used to a UK university in itself requires some skill. Now, you may be used to in your home country having 30 hours of lessons every week. In the U.K., we do things differently.

You'll only have about 15 hours of lectures per week. But that doesn't mean that you're only doing 15 hours of work per week because we expect you to do another 15+ hours self study.
So you have to learn self-discipline. You'll be spending a lot of time at the library and on campus in other places, studying on your own or doing group projects together.

So lectures 15 hours a week, private study about the same. As I mentioned earlier, you'll need some advice on referencing incitation because you'll have to reference all of your work, the university library will help you with that. And you should have a library tour built into your induction timetable for next week. That will be part of your course induction next week.

Plagiarism is a very important thing. You may well come from a culture where it's quite a normal practice. In the UK, it is not allowed. OK, so finding an essay online and copying it and putting your name to it, that's plagiarism that is not allowed. You have to do your own work. Extenuating circumstances. So if you got sick or you had a bereavement at home in your family and things were affecting your ability to do your job, to do your study and to handle your work in on time, you can apply for extenuating circumstances. And this will allow you to have an extension on your deadlines. OK, so you can talk to your personal tutor about that.

Every student is assigned a personal tutor. And they're the person that you would speak to if you need an ECF is what we call it, and extenuating circumstances form, which is a form that you fill out and send in. And hopefully they'll give you an extension on your deadlines. You may also find that your digital skills are not quite up to scratch or that you're struggling with something new that the university uses that you've never been familiar with before.

There's lots of advice and help for that online. You will find that as well. You can also talk to ASK, which is the Academic Skills Department also in the Nuffield Centre. There's a little link on there for the report. If you go to MyPort and just look for study skills, you can make appointments and get some advice there.

So has anybody experienced culture shock before? Stop, share. Go back to my panel of lovely faces. Anybody want to talk to me about something that's caused culture shock in the past? Nope? Omer, I'm coming to you again. Did anything give you a nasty case of culture shock when you first arrived?

Omer: So there was a time I went to my lectures and people would just come in the pyjamas and I'm there like, OK, one person is in a whole suit on one side of the room. There's me like casual clothes and a person. who has just walked up, in pyjamas, And it's just it was just a normal thing, as if, you know, it's an everyday thing and like, the whole lecture just continues and everything. And I was like, OK, I guess this is the thing now.

Kim: Was there more than one person in pyjamas or just one? 

Omer: I mean, it was like it happened at multiple times. So be like, one people. But yeah... That is most likely because there's been a problem in the Hall of Presidents and the students have had to get our short notice and they're in their pyjamas. This does happen. Some people find it funny to set off the fire alarms in s Hall of Residence, and then you're all outside at 5:00 in the morning in your pyjamas, and that can quite often lead to the student deciding, I'm just not going to bother. I'm just going to go to my lecture in my pyjamas. That's not an acceptable thing in society. People do not walk around in their pyjamas. But I can I can understand that that would have been very surprising for you. But I reckon that's because there had been a fire alarm or something like that. People couldn't get back in their room in time to then get ready and change for their lecture. So they just went to the lecture in their pyjamas. It can also be a little bit of a badge of honour to say I'm so cool, I can just turn up in my pyjamas and I just don't care. But I don't recommend that you think that it's normal and go around in your pyjamas. Keep your pyjamas inside your hall as much as you possibly can.

Kim: Xiaoqing, did anything give you culture shock when you arrived, did you get really, really down about anything?

Xiaoqing: Er... yes, actually my graduation paper is about the international student satisfaction. So I actually did some interviews of international students from different countries. And I found that actually this culture shock or the differences in the educational system, do affect the international students satisfaction and the the perceived quality of education that was received, I noticed that amongst the group of today's meeting there are some (seems) some Chinese students like from their names. Well, I want to share is that especially for the students from the East Asian countries, like in this university, we have a lot of group discussions right, during lecture. But many, from the perspective of many East Asian students, they think the group discussion is kind of useless. It is a waste of time and it does not produce much like high quality education. So they have a very negative impression towards this kind of teaching method. But actually, after, like one year study it, it starts to make you realise that it is just a part of differences in various educational systems. But when you realise that fact, your programme nearly just ended. So it is a pity. But I think if you can realise that this fact, this difference before you before you start getting to begin your study, I think it will help your future study a lot. Like group discussion can help you to discover the different perspectives of people from different cultures towards just one thing.

It will broaden your mind and like more self study can also better to your critical thinking. And if you think that way, it will help you study. Just my point of view.

Kim: Now, that's fantastic. Thank you. Xiaoqing, that's really, really helpful. Very, very good point. And yes, critical thinking. That can be quite a shock to some people because you may come from a culture where you've been told this is the way it is and this is why we do it like this. And that's how you have to do it. And you're not expected to question why and to do investigation. Is this a good thing? Is this a bad thing? Critical thinking is something that's really key when you're doing your degree. And it may well be that you have to learn how to implement critical thinking before you can take it forward another step. 

Xiaoqing: Yes, I want to say that from my [Kim: carry on], we also encourage critical thinking, but in different ways. It is in lecture. The lecturer really talk talk really less than lectures in China. It is like in China. The lecturers will give as much as quality information on class and after class you can do it like critical thinking and, when, like ask questions to the classmates or the lecturer. But here I think the proportion is different. But it's just the difference, is the culture shock.

Kim: Oh, thank you. That's really, really helpful. Right, moving on back to sharing. Right, settling in, settling in is all about finding a balance between taking comfort in the things from home and being brave enough to try new things. So make sure that you do keep in touch with home. But as I said, don't be overdoing it. Don't be getting in touch with home every single day. You're here to forge your own path and to find your own way. And you need to push yourself to be brave and try new things. As I mentioned before, Freshers Week is next week and there you can sign up for all different societies. Don't just sign up for a society that's from your country. Try something different. Try something new. Find. Find something that you really enjoy doing and see if there's a society where you can do that with new people as well and always keep an open mind. 

As I said, we all look very strange and very different in this country. And we've got lots of tattoos. We've got crazy coloured hair. We may have face piercings, all kinds of different things. This could be very different from where you're from and quite a shock to the system. But do bear in mind that everybody is in the same boat. As I said, we're a really friendly bunch. People want to make friends. They want to talk to each other. So join in and talk to as many people as you can.

Don't just stick to people from your own country. You will not grow, develop and improve your language skills either. If you're only talking to people from your own country, get to know those other people from different countries. Get to know the home students as well. So a little bit of advice from some of our ambassadors, one of the main cultural shocks I had was adapting to the British accent, don't be afraid to ask people to repeat themselves. This is a very good point from Samiah, even your lecturer. If you say, I'm sorry, I don't understand. Can you please repeat what you just said? As I said, they may well have very strong accents.

Something that I'm guilty of as well is talking really fast. I'm better on a headset than I am in person. In person. I get faster and faster and people have to say, "Kim, slow down." You can do that. Nobody will be offended. Even if you've already said repeat that, say, I'm really sorry, I'm not getting it, particularly if it's in a lecture. Just say, can you write it on the board? Can you type it on screen just so that you make sure that you're getting the right information, 

OK? British people are quite open and friendly. It's easy to ask them questions that in your home culture may be rude or uncomfortable. This is a really good one and it shows the differences between cultures. There are some questions I've been asked in other countries that are very personal that I would never be expected to be asked. I always have to warn people when I'm taking them to other countries they will ask you this. Why would they ask you that? Because it's perfectly normal where they are from.

And there are things the other way around as well that we might ask, that you might find insulting, that somebody is asking you that and consider that to be private and personal. So just just bear in mind that the person's not trying to insult you. They're just acting on their own cultural background. A polite gesture can take you a long way. A simple thank you or sorry is very much appreciated here. Queues and lines are a normal thing, which is new for many overseas students.

So my top tips carry an umbrella and sunglasses. The weather, it's insane. It is completely unpredictable. The UK is the only place in the world where five different weather systems all hit one point, which is why our weather is so crazy. Never let the weather dictate your plans. It will probably change anyway, which could be. I don't want to go out today because it's raining. In half an hour, the sun might shine and the weather's lovely. Let's go out for a barbecue and then you end up hiding under a tree, getting completely drenched with soggy sausages on a dead barbecue tray. But do beware the wind because we live by the sea, which is wonderful for the wonderful views of the beach. But because we are by the sea, that means the wind is really strong here and it could snap your umbrella.

So you might prefer to get a big winter coat with a hood. You will cope with the weather better if you have the right clothing to cope with it. So a decent pair of winter boots, a good winter coat, scarf and gloves. Omer yesterday was complaining it was chilly and he needed to go get his gloves. I was laughing at him because I was running around in a T-shirt. So if you know that you feel the cold, go shopping now, OK? Before it gets proper cold. It doesn't normally get proper cold until December. But then my impression of proper cold and your impression of proper cold are probably quite different. And yeah, that wind can cut you in half and also cut the temperature in half, even though it's warm out of the wind. The minute you step into the wind, the temperature will drop. In terms of umbrellas, I recommend the ones that where you press a button and it automatically opens. They are always stronger than the cheap ones that you have to open yourself. 

Informal but polite, you can call your professors by their first name, so instead of calling him Professor Smith, you just call him John, OK, you would just call me Kim. There's no need to call me Miss Kim or Miss Hadley. It's just Kim. And there's no need to refer to older people as sir, madam or uncle, auntie. We don't have that in the UK. You just refer to people by their first name. Please and thank you, though, are very important. We are very hot on please and thank you. If you come from a culture where that just seems a waste of time, you're going to have to learn how to waste that time and keep saying please and thank you in the UK. You may find this is quite a funny local thing that I'd never thought about until some students mentioned it. To me, they find it really strange, particularly in shops, when the lady serving them behind the till and taking the money calls them darling, sweetie, honey, pet, things like that.

That is completely normal in the UK. The first time you hear it. What, what? Why did you call me sweetie? Things like that. It is completely normal. Me, it's hun. I call people hun which is short for honey all the time. It's just normal. The other thing is, alright mate. Alright mate! We roll our words into one all the time. That is just a very normal greeting. Alright mate. But it will come out from anybody from Portsmouth as "Alright-mate". What, what did he just say. I don't understand. We're just saying hello. Be punctual, your nine o'clock seminar starts at nine o'clock.

It would be considered very rude to arrive late and you could end up in trouble if you make a habit of it. But also, bear in mind, when your lecturer has started talking at nine o'clock, if you're sneaking in at the back at 20 past nine and trying to hide and get onto the back row, you're actually disrupting the person who's talking and putting them off. So do make sure that you are on time for all of your lectures and seminars. You must also be on time for appointments. If you're going to, if you've made an appointment at the ASK department or at Wellbeing, you need to be on time. The same if you're making an appointment with a doctor or a dentist, you need to be on time, particularly with things like that. You may end up getting charged for things if you're late, but things like a hair appointment. If you've made an appointment and you're late, they may charge you. Arrangements with friends, those are completely flexible. So if you say me at seven, you could arrive at ten to seven and your friend might not turn up till quarter past. But you're not going to berate them for being late. Unless it's the cinema and you've missed the start of the film.

Tea? with the question mark. We use tea and hot drinks to communicate. British people really are powered by tea or coffee. We need hot drinks to survive. Everybody walks around the street with cups of coffee. We all have travel mugs. Travel mugs, save the planet, use travel mugs. But it's also a means of communication as well. If my housemate came in and they had had a really bad day and I took one look at them, I could see how miserable they were. I would just say "Cuppa?",  "Cuppa tea?" "kettles on" and then we'd sit down and talk about whatever's wrong. It is very much a means of communication and we are all about the kettle being on. And if you put the kettle on. Always make sure you put enough water in for two people because the minute you put the kettle on someone will hear you, and then they'll come and have a cup of tea with you.

Bit of useful information, cycling the best thing about Portsmouth is the island. Portsea Island is completely flat, so it's a really good place for cycling. However, the number one crime in Portsmouth is bike theft. So make sure that you buy two good D-locks. D-locks are in the shape of the letter D and are strong metal. You buy two and you put them through the frame and the wheel at the front and back. Look after your bike. If you're going to buy a bike, you must wear a helmet for your own safety and you must have lights on your bike. Those are a legal requirement. If you are caught cycling after dark with no lights on your bike, you will get fined.
And the police do tend to have a crack down at this time of year, OK? And don't cycle on the pavement even if you see other people doing it that cycle on the pavement, because that's also something you can be fined for by the police.

Crossings, there are three types of crossings, this lovely picture here is my favourite zebra crossing, it's right by the beach and it's lovely because it's like you're just crossing over straight to the sea. You have right of way at a zebra crossing. So you just have to hover there and wait for the cars to stop. They should stop for you. Two kinds of cars that will never stop for you are taxis and BMWs, Beemer drivers never stop for anyone.

Islands are where you've got a very wide road and there's just a clump of concrete with a yellow beacon on it. That's just so that you can get halfway across. Wait there till it's clear and then cross the rest of the road. Okay. You don't have right of way there, you have to wait until the road is clear. It's just a recommended safe place to stop and it just helps you get across a wide road. And finally, you have pelican crossings, which are the ones where you push a button and you wait for the little man to go from red to green. If nothing is coming, you can cross. It's not an illegal thing to cross when the man is still red. But you must be very, very careful, especially around the city centre and around the campus, because that's, we are situated in some of the busiest roads. So do be careful. 

Water in the UK is drinkable tap water, you can drink the tap water, you don't have to go out and buy expensive bottled water. OK, Best thing to do is buy one of these, buy a nice refillable water bottle, carry it around with you and refill it throughout the day. One thing you might not like about the local water, Portsmouth Water is quite hard, Portsdown Hill, Which you may remember from the map is actually made up of chalk and chalk does get into our water. This means that you will need to descale your kettle regularly and you might not like the taste of the water. I am fine with the taste of the water, but that's because I've always lived here. You might think it tastes horrible. So best thing to do is to buy a water filter jug and then you can filter the water before you put it in the kettle and before you drink it.

Recycling, we're really hot on recycling, especially around campus, if you're in private housing, you will have been provided with a green bin. So any plastics or cardboard can go in the green bin. A plastic will be, it will have this triangular sign on it. Anything with the triangular sign on it can go in your green bin. If it doesn't have the triangular sign on, it can't. OK, but all cardboard, paper and plastic with this sign on can go in your green bin. When you're on campus. However, everything goes in the green bin and the university recycles most of that waste.

Don't put food in green bins, OK, on the campus to be a little food waste bin next to the green bin. So don't go putting your banana skin in a green bin. You mustn't put food in them. Bigger recycling points can be found all around the city, including glass recycling. Glass cannot go in your green bin, but you have to take them to what we call the bottle bank. Be a big, big bin, they're situated all over the city. And then you can, on a bad day, get all your glass together, go to the bottle bank and then you smash all into bin and make yourself feel better. When you go shopping. Take your own bags. Shops will charge you. If you need a plastic bag, you'll have to pay for one. So avoid that and always take bags with you for your shopping. And don't drop litter. Don't forget the signs. Don't be a din. Put it in the bin. 

So we're nearly at the end now, just talk a little bit about the Global Office, we're based in the Nuffield Centre on the first floor, you can pop in and see us any time. In our office we have the international student advisors who are the lovely ladies who will help you with visa extensions, any pastoral care that you need, any problems that you're having. If you have issues with your lectures, you can come and talk to them about anything. They are there to help you and they are lovely, lovely team, and they'll do anything they can to help. They also run our social events and our coach trips, which I'll tell you about in a minute.

My job within the office is the international summer schools. So usually, before COVID, every summer I would take groups of students to China, Malaysia, India, Kenya, all these wonderful, exotic places that we can't currently travel to. So I'm currently working on alternatives for next summer. But hopefully before you graduate, the trips to Asia and Africa will be back on and you might get to experience one of those. 

Also in our office, you'll find the exchanges and study abroad team. If you want to do a semester abroad or a work placement overseas, you can do that as part of your degree. And the advisors also run our Global Week, which I'll tell you a bit more about in a minute. So the coach trips currently we have three that are bookable and booking is live now. So you can work on straight away. We have a trip to Oxford, a trip to bath and a trip to Stonehenge. We've got the coach trips back on now after covid, but we're only doing three at the moment. The year after, hopefully we'll have six or seven and some theatre trips to London as well. But for now, we've just got three back. If you want to book on, you go to this website, Port.ac.uk/pay/Global and as I said, bookings open now so you can go and book straight away.

Global Week will be the week beginning the seventh of March, we have activities all through the week. You can represent your culture at our festival. We have all stands, all the countries have their own stand, and we'll have food from their countries and pictures and postcards and give out information. And we always have an evening showcase, big stage, and you can do music, dance from your culture. They'll be quiz nights, movie nights, all kinds of things throughout the week. So online resources, these are things that can help you preparing for life in the U.K., how to embrace culture, embrace culture shock.

I like the look of the one at the bottom. I really need to read that. Why culture shock is good for you. I guess it's because it makes you resilient. And once you've been through a culture shock, once you'll be less scared of doing it again, going to another country. But I really must read that these are really good, though. Have a look, see if they pick up any more tips from there. And as I said, come to the Global Office. Any problems that you're having, you don't know where to go.

You're lost you're confused. You need some help with your visa or anything like that. Schengen visas as well. If you're looking to travel a bit while you're studying in the U.K., come to the global office. First floor of the Nuffield Centre. We're also using the main hall on the first floor of the Nuffield for the next week or two. So you can pop in and have a chat with the ambassadors, get some advice from someone who actually knows what it's like to be a student, because I can't remember.

It was years ago for me. Anyway, thank you very much for listening.

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