dancing student at festival of cultures

Starting your social life at uni

Discover the upcoming social events for international students

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

Throughout the year, we offer a variety of events and activities for all our students. Take a look below for the activities you can currently choose from.

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

There are also hundreds of different societies to discover at the Students' Union – so however you'd like to spend your free time, there's something to suit you.

Social Events

Saturday 5 October 2019, £18

London, the capital of England and the UK, is a 21st-century city with history stretching back to Roman times. At its centre stand the imposing Houses of Parliament, the iconic ‘Big Ben’ clock tower and Westminster Abbey. Across the Thames River, the London Eye observation wheel provides panoramic views of the entire city. There are also famous museums and galleries, street food markets, shopping and lovely music scenes! 

  • Tickets are for current enrolled students only
  • Tickets are non refundable (unless we cancel) and include coach travel only
  • Free day to spend as you wish in London
  • Departure from Portsmouth 8:00am
  • Departure from London 5:00pm

Buy your tickets at our online store

Saturday 9 November 2019, £18

For over 800 years Oxford has been a home to royalty and scholars, and nowadays it is a bustling cosmopolitan city, full of history and culture. Visit this famous historic English town and see Oxford Castle, visit some of Oxford's colleges or take a boat ride down the river. Visit Oxford Natural History Museum, the Botanical Gardens or Museum of the History of Science and visit the local markets and boutiques!

  • Tickets are for current enrolled students only
  • Tickets are non refundable (unless we cancel) and include coach travel only
  • Free day to spend as you wish in Oxford
  • Departure from Portsmouth 08:00am
  • Departure from Oxford 4.00pm

Buy your tickets at our online store

Saturday 7 December 2019, £13

Winchester Christmas Market is recognised as one of the best Christmas Markets in Europe! Wonderful Christmas gifts, decorations and festive foods can be found in abundance, with a delightful Food Court, British Crafts Village, and over 100 chalets to explore. Winchester is an ancient English town, most well-known for its medieval cathedral and the Great Hall, which houses King Arthur’s Round Table. 

  • Tickets are for current enrolled students only
  • Tickets are non refundable (unless we cancel) and include coach travel only
  • Free day to spend as you wish in Winchester Christmas Market
  • Departure from Portsmouth 9:00am
  • Departure from Winchester 5:00pm

Buy your tickets at our online store

Wednesday 5 February 2020, £48

Join us in London’s famous West End for one of the most successful stage shows of all time! Based on Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ film, this spectacular theatrical performance is filled with glorious colour, stunning effects and enchanting music. The powerful and moving story follows young Simba the lion cub on his epic journey to become King of the Pridelands.

  • Tickets are for current registered students only.
  • Tickets are non refundable (unless we cancel).
  • Ticket price includes coach travel to London and theatre ticket for The Lion King matinee performance.
  • Departure from Portsmouth 10.00am.  Departure from London is straight after the show.
  • Book tickets before the deadline of 30 January 2020

Buy your tickets at our online store

Saturday 14 March 2020, £30

Stonehenge is one of the wonders of the world; a famous pre-historic monument standing in beautiful English countryside. It is 5000 years old and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The purpose of Stonehenge remains a mystery to this day.

After visiting Stonehenge, the coach will take you on to the medieval cathedral city of Salisbury; typically English and full of medieval, Tudor, Georgian and Victorian architecture, as well as shops, cafes and attractions. 
  • Tickets are for current enrolled students only
  • Tickets are non refundable (unless we cancel) and include coach travel only
  • Ticket price includes coach travel to Stonehenge and Salisbury, and entry to Stonehenge
  • Departure from Portsmouth 09.00am
  • Departure from Salisbury at 4.00pm
  • Book tickets before the deadline of 6 March 2020

Buy your tickets at our online store

Saturday 25 April 2020, £18

Bath has been a well-being destination since Roman times, and is a World Heritage. It is home to the only natural hot springs you can bathe in in Britain and the famous Roman Baths. The Georgian architecture of Bath is like something straight out of a Jane Austen novel, and the streets are filled with independent and quirky boutique shops and cosy tearooms for traditional English afternoon tea.  

  • Tickets are for current enrolled students only.
  • Tickets are non refundable (unless we cancel) and include coach travel only.
  • Free day to spend in Bath as you wish.
  • Departure from Portsmouth 8.00am
  • Departure from Bath at 4.30pm
  • Book tickets before the deadline of 23 April 2020.

Buy your tickets at our online store

Wednesday 4 December 2019, Free

Enjoy an afternoon of fun and creativity making festive themed crafts, from Christmas tree decorations, gifts and greetings cards. Materials will be provided, as well as a nice warm cup of hot chocolate! 

  • Event is is from 1:00pm - 3:00pm 
  • Event is at The Chaplaincy, Nuffield Centre

Monday 9 December 2019, Free

Students, staff & their families are warmly invited to St John’s Roman Catholic Cathedral to sample Christmas food from around the world and enjoy Christmas themed activities including a Christmas Tree Festival. The event will continue with a service of Christmas Carols and Readings, accompanied by our wonderful University of Portsmouth choir.

  • Event is from 5:00pm
  • Event is at St John's Catholic Cathedral

Look out for more details nearer the time on university news or on Facebook at: Portsmouth Uni Chaplaincy.

Monday 2 December 2019 - The Waterhole Bar, 6:00pm

Join our ambassadors as they host a festive themed pub quiz. Prizes to be won!

Friday 27 and Saturday 28 December 2019, Free

Are you staying in Portsmouth during Christmas vacation? If so, join our International Student Ambassadors for food, games, Christmas movie marathons and general chat.

  • Event is from 12:00pm - 5:00pm each day
  • Event is at Rees Hall

January 2020 - Year of the Rat

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

Week beginning Monday 16 March 2020

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

A week-long programme of events, from open lectures to fashion shows, sports sessions and cultural society events including the highlight of the week Festival of Cultures. This exhibition style event celebrates the diversity we have on campus with an evening of food, music, costume and more! 


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

  • Weekend visit: £25
  • Day visit: £15
  • The cost of travel is extra.

Meet once a month for friendly and relaxed discussions on books, poems and short stories. The Book Club is a great place to meet new people, practice your English skills and enjoy talks and visits about other places associated with books and reading in Portsmouth!

Once a year, Book Club takes part in World Book Night celebrations and take books to communities outside the university, getting to know new people and new places.

For more information, contact rhiannon.thomson@port.ac.uk

Global Café hosts weekly themed discussions every Wednesday in Park Building Learning Resource Centre.

1pm-2pm, every Wednesday during term time.

If you would like to meet other students in a friendly, informal environment then Global Café is for you! You will meet students from other countries and share knowledge and experience of other cultures and languages, or just a chat over a hot drink. All students are welcome.

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