International student ambassadors

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.

As well as a whole Welcome Month of activities for you to experience, you can take part in our international orientation programme. Join our in-person orientation activities, and take part in orientation online or on-demand.

We are really excited to welcome you to Portsmouth, whether you are here with us in person or joining us online from overseas. 


Update on Welcome Month events

Please note that all Welcome Month activities were planned before the latest Government advice, restricting gatherings to groups of 6 people. We're still committed to giving you the best experience in your first weeks of the new academic year, and to keeping you safe.

For that reason, all events are being revised and updated, so please check individual events for further information before attending.

Themes

International Orientation events are in 3 main themes – use them to help you plan your events diary and spot the events most important to you.

Course-related

Discover events that will help you get to know your course, classmates and your way around campus facilities.

Student life

Discover the opportunities available to you outside study by exploring societies, new hobbies and Portsmouth.

Support and guidance

Attending support and guidance events will help you get set up and prepared for the new year ahead.

In-Person Orientation Week: 28 September – 4 October

Take part in face-to-face events and activities during orientation week to meet students from all over the world and the UK. Explore Portsmouth through city tours and get a taste of English life in our Introduction to British Culture workshops, afternoon tea socials and seafront tours with fish and chips.

You need to register for these events via the links below.


Orientation Live Online: 8 September – 15 October

For those of you who cannot join us in person, whether you are self-isolating in the UK or still in your home country, we have an exciting programme of webinars and online events to help you get started at Portsmouth. You can also join these webinars if you are with us in person too.

We really encourage you attend these webinars – they are fun, interesting, and there are even prizes to be won. 

There is a series of "Being Brilliant" webinars for you to attend, to help you build your confidence, get motivated and 'be brilliant'. We also have an exciting series of webinars to help you adjust to culture in the UK, from academic culture to inter-personal communication, and how to sell your cultural experiences to future employers. There will even be Virtual Salsa classes.

Register for these events via the links below.

 

September

Tuesday 8, 11:00am: Art of Brilliance – The Art of Being Brilliant

Thursday 10, 11:00am: Be Culture Smart – Preparing to Start

Tuesday 15, 11:00am: Art of Brilliance – How to be a WELL BEING

Thursday 17, 11:00am: Be Culture Smart – Cultural Conversations

Friday 18, 10:00am: International Information Fair

Tuesday 22, 11:00am: Art of Brilliance – Give yourself a HUGG

Thursday 24, 11:00am: Be Culture Smart – Academic Expectations in the UK

Thursday 24, 12:00am: Virtual Salsa class

Friday 25, 10:00am: International Information Fair

Monday 28, 3:30pm: Virtual Afternoon Tea

Tuesday 29, 11:00am: Art of Brilliance – The Why-Factor

Tuesday 29, 3:30pm: Virtual Afternoon Tea

Tuesday 29, 4:30pm: Virtual Postgraduate Networking Afternoon Tea

Wednesday 30, 3:30pm: Virtual Afternoon Tea

Wednesday 30, 7:00pm: Virtual Salsa class

Student in dance class

Virtual International Information Fair

The Information Fair is the perfect opportunity for you to discover student services, banks, student societies and much more. And this year you'll be able to attend the Information Fair in-person or online, no matter where you are.

To pre-book appointments for the upcoming virtual International Information Fairs, download the Careers Fairs+ app and search for 'University of Portsmouth' or visit the Careers Fair+ website.

The virtual fair will take place from 10.00am on:


Orientation On Demand Online

We understand  you may miss a session or not be able to attend an event because of the time difference between the UK and your home country.

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. 

Walking Campus Tour – Full University of Portsmouth Tour
Walking Campus Tour

Students, Amy and Joel provide a full tour of the entire University of Portsmouth campus. This tour highlights how close all of our buildings, student halls and student services are located within our city.

Amy is a first year BA (Hons) Photography student and Joel is a 2nd year BSc (Hons) Business and Information System student here at the University of Portsmouth.

International Welcome Presentation
Watch our welcome video for new international students

In this video, you'll find information you need to know including the support, orientation and social events available to you.

The presentation also includes a welcome from Vice-Chancellor, Professor Graham Galbraith and the In-Sessional English team.

Introduction from Alana

Welcome to the University of Portsmouth. We'd like to welcome you to join us during this special time, and we hope that we can see you soon, whether you're based in the UK and currently self isolating or whether you're joining us from your home country before you travel to us later on.

In a moment, you'll receive a welcome from Graham Galbraith, who is the University Vice-Chancellor, and he will welcome you to your studies at the University of Portsmouth.

Welcome from Graham Galbraith

It is a real pleasure to welcome you to the University of Portsmouth as an international student who is about to embark on this new and exciting phase of your life. I know from personal experience that this can also be an anxious time for you. However, I want to reassure you that you are at the heart of all we do at Portsmouth.

Many of you have had to navigate a very difficult few months with a sudden change to education, cancellation of exams and then the uncertainty around exam results. You should be really proud of yourself and your resilience under difficult circumstances and we are really excited to be now welcoming you to university. 

You will be pleased to hear that as a Global University, we celebrate our diversity through an inclusive culture and vibrant international community, which you will experience either here in the city of Portsmouth or if you are studying in your home country. Life as a student this year will, of course, be different with activities both educational and social delivered in a blended and connected format.

We've worked really hard over the summer to ensure our campus and activities operate within government guidelines, and often exceed those requirements, to create a safe environment for our students while giving them at the same time a varied and fulfilling experience. Despite the challenges of Covid, we are determined that they will enjoy the highest quality university education.

Some may question why we are providing any face-to-face teaching at all, given concerns about the pandemic and the possible risk of infection. I can understand some of the nervousness that parents and students may feel. But as a university, our fundamental role is to provide the very best possible educational experience.

As the pandemic unfolded, universities moved quickly to online teaching and in many cases, online exams and assessments. While this is appropriate as a short term measure, it is important that students do not completely miss out on some of the crucial face-to-face learning that our students need. For example, in laboratories where practical skills are developed.

In some ways, it would be much easier to move online, but we want to make sure that this cohort of students does not miss out and is not in any way disadvantaged. We want them to receive the full level of education to which all our students are entitled.

Of course, we must also accept that this dreadful pandemic may not be going away anytime soon. The difficult reality is that we must learn to live with it, doing all that we can to make our campus as safe as possible for the whole university community. If we were to wait too long to return to face-to-face interaction, our students risk having important parts of their education paused and quite possibly their long term futures impacted.

We also know that the pandemic has had an unequal impact on different young people as well as their families. Many of our students are more likely to have been negatively affected by some of those effects. We must also take account of the mental health and broader wellbeing affects our students will have experienced since March. Our students need us to return to something that feels more normal as quickly and safely as possible. A vital element of this is face-to-face interaction with staff and then engaging with other aspects of university life.

In light of this, the central question on which all our planning has focussed is this, can we make face-to-face teaching, ans all staff-student interaction, as safe as any other activity that staff and students currently engage in as part of their day to day lives? I believe that the steps we have taken show that the answer to this question is yes. We have put in place extensive measures to reduce the spread of infection, including everyone wearing masks on campus, hand sanitising stations, temperature monitors, one way systems, social distancing measures such as reducing capacity in teaching places and we have introduced our own dedicated testing programme. We are asking all our staff and students to follow the guidelines, taking responsibility for their own safety and encouraging others to do the same. If we all do our bit, we can continue to provide the education and social experience that our students want and deserve. 

The University of Portsmouth is a vibrant and exciting place to study, in a city that is proud of its heritage but always looking forward. While our students are here they will have all the support they may need, both in their education and to support their wellbeing. This from our dedicated Academic Skills Support, our Wellbeing Service, through to the one-to-one support of personal tutors. There will always be someone there for our students if they need support and guidance. 

And of course, life at university is more than just study, and there will be many opportunities for students to socialise with each other and engage in the life of the wider university and city community. Our commitment to you is that we will do all we can to support you to have a fulfilling and successful time at university and equip you for the journey once your studies with us have been completed.

I am delighted and proud to welcome you to the University of Portsmouth. 

Alana

Here in UoP Global, we're here to support you and we can provide you with 1-to-1 support on things like student visas and immigration and police registration. We also organise social events and excursions throughout the year and can provide visa letters for visiting other countries, and we will send out the We Are Global newsletter to you several times a year.

We have a dedicated reception desk for all your enquiries and a dedicated exchanges and study abroad team.

We're based in the Nuffield Centre, and that's right in the middle of lots of University buildings. So we're just across the road from the Students Union and the Library, so we're really nice and easy to find. 

So if you'd like to get in contact with us, we're currently available by appointment, either by Zoom or telephone. And you can arrange an appointment by email at global@port.ac.uk.

We're part of many support services and advice services throughout the University. And they include the Academic Skills Unit, the Exchange and Study Abroad team, the MyPort Information Hub, the Student Finance Centre and the Student Wellbeing Service.

One of the most important services that the university offers is the In-sessional English courses. These courses are all free of charge and sit alongside your studies. In a moment, you'll see a short video from the In-sessional English team telling you all about the benefits and advantages to joining this course and how you can book on to classes.

Introduction to In-Sessional English (ISE)

Hello and welcome to this short introduction to ISE or In-Sessional English for Academic Language and Communication. This short video answers these questions. What is the ISC programme? Who and what is it for? How might it help you to succeed in your studies? And how can you take part in the programme? 

Students often discover that academic language and communication is written and sometimes even spoken in a way that uses language, and which follows conventions that many people are unfamiliar with. This is not only true for students who have English as a second or foreign language, but also for many students whose first language is English. 

Academic language and communication is quite different from the kind of language and communication you might be more familiar with. Such as the language you use on social media or when you are travelling, or meeting friends and socialising. Many students believe that they come to university to learn knowledge and to show how well they have understood that knowledge. But in fact, in many cases, you will be expected to create knowledge and then present what you have created to your academic community — in other words, to other students on your course and to your tutors.

To create academic knowledge, you will need to use suitable academic language. To communicate that knowledge to others, you will need to follow the conventions and traditions that we use to present ideas in speech and in writing at university.

Therefore, during the academic year, or In-Session, in Teaching Block 1 and again in Teaching Block 2, these In-Sessional English Academic Language and Communication, or ISE modules, are available to students from any department or faculty across the University of Portsmouth.

The ISE programme offers you a suite of 18 short modules, each one designed to give you a better understanding of academic language and communication. The majority of these modules are for students at any level, undergraduate, postgraduate or exchange students, and they take 5 or 6 weeks to complete. One module takes eleven weeks but this is for postgraduate students only. All modules offer a minimum of 2 hours content per week but there is also additional material which may take up to 6 hours.

ISE modules are optional, and therefore they cannot be taken for course credit for your degree. However, ISE modules are free to any current University of Portsmouth or exchange student. In other words, there are no additional tuition fees for any ISE module. 

To take part in the ISE programme, go to MyPort and search for the In-Sessional English page. That page will give you more information about each ISE module, advice on which modules might be best for you and a link to the online registration form. To join ISE, complete the registration form and choose your modules. Please note that registration takes place at certain times. You can find the information on this slide, also on our MyPort page. And if you miss a registration or you would like to do more than one ISE module, please note that all ISE modules are repeated again in Teaching Block 2. 

For 2020, ISE modules will be online only in Teaching Block 2. However, for Teaching Block 2, we hope to see you in the classroom. For more information or to ask any questions, please email us at ise@port.ac.uk. The ISC programme is based in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics in the Park Building. Thank you for watching. 

Alana

If you are not sure who to contact in your faculty, we've put together a few pieces of information for you just so that you know who to contact in your department if you've got any questions or queries about your course.

So for Faculty of Business and Law, that will be MyPort Richmond; Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries will be MyPort Eldon; Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature and School of Languages and Applied Linguistics will be MyPort Mildam; the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies and School of Education and Sociology will be MyPort St. Georges; and in the Faculty of Science and Health, the Schools of Psychology, Biological Sciences, Health and Care Professions and Pharmacy and Biomedical sciences can be contacted at MyPort ULC. 

For the Dental Academy, School of Sport, Health and Exercise Science School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences, that will be MyPort, Anglesey. And for the Faculty of Technology, that will be MyPort Liongate.

So do remember to contact your department at these addresses if there's anything you need from them about your course.

If you have any general questions or queries, the other place you can go is the MyPort Hub, and they're physically based in the Nuffield Centre downstairs from the UoP Global office. And they can be contacted at myport@port.ac.uk, and they're a great one stop shop for lots of information about the university and the surroundings. So if you need a bus timetable or a map or you've got enquiries about your graduation, they are the place to go.

MyPort is also where you will find lots of information online. And the site is there so that you can access applications such as Moodle and your Google Mail, manage your course timetable and update your personal details and access university services and support. There is also a helpful Article Hub, if you have any queries.

Your faculty will be welcoming you when you come in person. But we know that not everybody is able to travel at the moment. So we've made the faculty welcomes from the Global leads in each faculty available in the Orientation on demand online section of MyPort.ac.uk.

Whilst you are with us you can join the Countdown and Connect Challenge. It's your chance to connect with other new students and with your course, and you get the opportunity to win prizes and get some inspiration for the years ahead.

Sessions include the Art of Brilliance Workshops and Be Culture Smart workshops, and they cover everything from flourishing at uni to how to work effectively in intercultural groups. They also cover things like homesickness and employability.

To find out more and join the Count On and Connect Challenge, please visit the MyPort Website.

We've made orientation live and on demand online, as we know that you can't join everything straight away. So you do have the opportunity from the comfort of your own home to join campus tours, salsa classes, virtual afternoon tea and the information fair. If you would like to join these events, please find out more on the International Orientation pages of Myport.

Alongside the Orientation information you can find free of charge Student IT training. And this is for all students. If you need something, you can go to studentittraining@port.ac.uk to book and learn more about these different training sessions.

For those of you that are on postgraduate courses, the university has a postgraduate suite in the library and there is a postgraduate and mature students network in the Students Union. The Graduate School also provides workshops for students on MRes programmes and PHD students.

Your engagement and attendance at the university is really important. And this year we'll be measuring that through a blend of face to face and online learning so that we can make sure that you start your studies and continue to study in the best way possible.

So for those of you that will be on campus, that will be done by swiping your student card at the card readers that are placed outside or inside teaching rooms for face to face sessions. And for those of you that aren't attending in person yet, then your attendance and engagement will be measured by logging in and accessing modules and learning materials on Moodle for your virtual learning.

Attendance and engagement is really important. And it is a condition of a Tier 4 visa. But more than anything, it's to make sure that you're progressing well on your course and that you’re getting on with your studies in the UK and getting to know the university well. If you have any queries about attendance monitoring, there is further information on MyPort.

So when you do arrive in the UK, you will need to collect your BRP card. That can be done at the Post Office if your decision letter instructs you to collect it there. Or if you indicated the alternative collection location, then your BRP card will be sent by UKVI to the UK home address that you gave on your I.D. submission form.

And as a part of the university, we are committed to you and you are committed to us. So we have developed the Student Charter to help you enjoy your time at the university and be as productive as possible. We here to support you and provide community for you, whether that be online or in person. And we're here to offer you opportunities. There are lots of opportunities in the curriculum at the university to get you on the best path for your future.

We want to make sure that we have a culture of dignity and respect at the university and that people are treated fairly and equally. As I'm sure you will understand Education is a very big part of the university and we're committed to making sure that you have a stimulating learning environment and that we respond to you in a timely fashion and give you useful feedback.

One of your other responsibilities whilst you're in Portsmouth will be to make sure that you adhere to the government rules on social gatherings. In the UK currently there are different rules, and particularly in England there is a rule about meeting in groups of 6 people. This is the maximum amount of people that can be together in a social setting. And this includes indoors and outdoors. There are exceptions for gatherings, for education.

Students must follow the rules on campus, in accommodation and when out and about in the city. it's really important to make sure that you protect yourself and others around you by limiting gatherings of up to 6 people, washing your hands regularly, wearing face coverings and maintaining social distancing.

You can also get yourself tested for coronavirus at the University and you'll be able to book that online when you arrive at the university. After your quarantine period is finished, you are able to book an appointment to get a coronavirus test, and results are usually available between 24 and 48 hours. And the test is nothing to worry about, so do make sure you book on that when you can.

The university has a Careers and Employability service and they're here to help and support you, not only finding part time work and work experience, but also guiding you to your future success with CV writing and interview guidance.

The University Careers and Employability Service offers recruitment fairs and a really helpful online resource called Going Global. You will be able to meet them at the virtual information fair. 

For those of you on a Tier 4 Visa, you will only be able to work up to 20 hours per week during term time. And for those of you on postgraduate courses, the summer period does not count as term time because that's when you'll be writing your dissertation. But please do check with your department about your study requirements.

As I mentioned before, we do organise social events. At the moment, we don't have as many social events as normal due to Covid. But please do check back throughout the year, and as soon as things change, we will post any trips and activities that we will be organising on our social activities page.

As a way to join the university and meet new people, we would recommend joining our Global Community Facebook group. It's a chance to meet other people and also find out what's going on in the university and across the city. And sometimes we hold social events such as quizzes on there. So it's a really good opportunity to join in and get to know people.

Next year, we will be hosting a global week and this will be from the 15th to the 21st of March. Further information will be available throughout the year, and it might look a bit different to this busy picture that you can see on screen! But we will find a way to make sure that we showcase and share all the interesting things in the University that cover students and staff and the global reach that we have.

We also have the Students Union support available. We have lots of sports clubs and societies as well as the Advice Service that they offer. And you can join their Freshers Fair, which will be virtual this year, and some of the societies will also be running their events virtually this year. So if you look for UPSU.net for information about clubs and societies and the Freshers fair.

If you want to find out a bit more about Portsmouth, so not just the clubs and societies or the services available at the University, we've also got some great blogs that were written by our students. And they include Top Tips, such as the top coffee shops in Portsmouth and also Students Guide to International Food Shops. You can find that in the blogs area of the university website.

We encourage you to explore Portsmouth, and you can do that with some of the tips that your fellow students have given you. And also, when you can, to get beyond Portsmouth. There's plenty of opportunities to travel from Portsmouth. We're well connected with places like London and Brighton. And also, you've got the chance to visit, maybe other countries, taking a ferry to France or maybe just a ferry to the Isle of Wight.

But if you can and regulations permit please do make sure that you make the best of the opportunity to to travel around the local area and get to know the UK a bit better too.

If you have any questions or queries, here is our information on the screen here. The best thing to do if you're not sure who to contact, would be to contact the General Enquiries email address, which is global@port.ac.uk.

We really hope that you’ve enjoyed the presentation and we look forward to meeting you soon.

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