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Working at a Portsmouth Open Day

Sorry I haven’t posted in so long! I had a very busy January with a lot of deadlines!! Now that it’s thankfully mostly over, I should be able to post more regularly!

I thought I would write today about my experience yesterday working as a Student Marketing Assistant (those people in purple you see showing applicants around on open days). So yesterday was my first shift working the team, you might have seen me in front of University House directing people in the blistering cold!!  Despite the unforgiving weather conditions, I had great fun meeting loads of people who hopefully will be joining us in September! As Student Marketing Assistants or SMAs, as we are commonly referred as, we help ensure the smooth running of open days by operating walking tours of the campus, coach tours of the city and halls tours throughout the day.

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Our set up yesterday – What a bike!!

For those of you perhaps interested in working for the University, I would definitely recommend it. It’s a great way of meeting new people, gaining work experience and making a bit of money on the side. I was hired just before the new year for this role but the University is always looking for people to fill vacancies, ranging from positions in the Student Union to the library. Most are posted on the various student Facebook groups which I’m sure many of you are now accustomed to, but many vacancies also are posted on the Purple Door website (check it out if you haven’t already, it’s a great service for us students!) and the University jobs page. Feel free to write in the comments if you have any questions about my role as a Student Marketing Assistant or if you do see me or any purple people on an open day, I’m sure they’d be more than happy to talk to you!

Luka

 

 

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GeogSoc goes to Amsterdam!

Hey everyone!

Last weekend I was in Amsterdam with the Geography Society. It was my first time visiting there and I can honestly say it was the best weekend of my life!

GeogSoc in Amsterdam

Group photo of all of us!

What do you think of when you think of Amsterdam…?

Hopefully, you were thinking of cycling.

The cycle scene in Amsterdam is beyond belief. It would be fair to say that there are as many cyclists than pedestrians, the whole city is built around them. Of course this caused a lot of confusion when we were getting out of the coach after a 12 hour coach journey, a lot of us almost getting run over by some cyclists! It wouldn’t have been right to be in Amsterdam without cycling through the narrow streets, I and many other students took the opportunity to rent bikes and have a go at joining the locals in riding the streets. It’s incredible the amount you get to see whilst cycling around the city, I went around with a group of around 18 and we got to cycle past the Anne Frank House, the IAmsterdam sign and have a tour of the beautiful Vondelpark.

cycling amsterdam

Cycling through The Vondelpark

Typically, I lost my group of friends, but it did give me the opportunity to explore on my own for a bit. Whilst trying to navigate my way (shout out to the lady giving away free Fanta for directing me the right way) I saw a vendor selling smoked herring, which is apparently a local favourite. Yes, that’s raw fish and yes, I did try it. Needless to say, the combination of smoked herring, raw onions and pickles certainly left an unforgettable pungent taste.

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Smoked Herring on the canal!

Whilst in Amsterdam, I discovered something which I feel we are all missing from our lives here in the UK. Imagine a wall in which you put money in and hot food comes out. Well, these exist in Amsterdam and go by the name of FEBO. The absolute epitome of fast food and the food wasn’t half bad either!

FEBO

The fastest fast food ever!

Something I really recommend you do if you ever find yourself in Amsterdam is to do the Heineken experience. A few of us got the opportunity to go visit the old brewery where we learned a lot about the history and process of making Heineken lager. There were lots of cool displays going on and the complimentary pints on offer were certainly a highlight.

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The Heineken Brewery

After exploring the city during the day, all of us at GeogSoc grouped back together and took a tour of the city followed by a night out at the clubs. What was amusing were people’s reactions to the Red Light District. To be honest, as much as I had heard about it, nothing can quite prepare you for the brutal openness of it all.

The night life in Amsterdam was incredible and having 50+ of your course mates all out with you made it two great nights out!

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Out in the Amsterdam nightlife

There are of course many great trips you can go on with many different societies here at Portsmouth. There is also the AU Tour  in Salou during the Easter break which I believe you have to pay your deposit quite soon for. The SU also provide students with many trips throughout the year which you can check out here: https://www.upsu.net/whats-on/trips/

Hope you enjoyed reading, many thanks to the GeogSoc committee for organizing such a great trip!

Luka

 

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Free time

Escaping Portsmouth

Hey everyone!

This summer I was lucky enough to be working at a summer camp in Chichester which isn’t too far from here. I got the chance to take international students on trips to close-by tourist attractions, many of them I wouldn’t have considered visiting even though I live pretty close to them here at uni. I thought I’d share some of my experiences during my trips, hopefully encouraging some of you to maybe get out of Portsmouth for a bit and taking in some of our great local attractions!

So, as I spent most of my time in Chichester this summer, I’ll start off with that! If small market cities and beautiful cathedrals are your thing, I highly recommend you visit! A short and cheap 25 minute train journey east of Portsmouth will take you to “Chi” (as the locals call it). It’s quite a change from Portsmouth’s busy and built up environment and would definitely provide a relaxing retreat from the stresses of uni life. There’s also something about Chichester which has a quintessential British feel to it, probably due to it’s abundance of tea rooms! A visit of the Cathedral and its gardens is a must, the market on the weekend is also nice to have a look at!

Chichester Cathedral and part of its gardens

Chichester Cathedral and part of its gardens

Not too far from Chichester is Arundel, famed for its massive castle. Fortunately, Arudel is also a direct train ride from Portsmouth. Chances are if you’ve taken one of those long journeys to London on Southern Trains, then you would have probably seen its castle. You could just visit for the castle, which dates back to 1067, but that wouldn’t be doing Arundel justice which has enough antiques shops to turn even the most staunchest Antiques Roadshow haters to lovers! There’s literally an antiques shop for anything! The castle itself is incredible and has loads of medieval features and decorations that will leave you in awe.

Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

I know I’ve been only going on about old castles and cathedrals but I want to give just a quick shout out to Salisbury, a bit further than the other two but still worth the visit, especially if you love your history as its cathedral is home to the most intact copy of the Magna Carta!!

Salisbury Cathedral - Feels like you're walking through Hogwarts!

Salisbury Cathedral – Feels like you’re walking through Hogwarts!

It wouldn’t be right not to include Brighton in this post, given that its really close. Apparently, it’s the happiest city in the UK and to be fair, everyone seemed to love it when I went there with my students. There always seems to be something to do in Brighton. Personally, I quite enjoyed The Pavilion when I went there but the Sea Life aquarium is amazing! It’s the oldest operating aquarium in the world and has retained most of its Victorian architecture which just adds the the incredible experience. No trip to Brighton would be complete without visiting the Pier. I promise you, no matter how old you are, you will have fun there!

Brighton Pier

Brighton Pier

Me with a turtle at Sea Life

Me with a turtle at Sea Life

Hopefully I’ve given some of you some inspiration to get out and explore outside of Portsmouth, feel free to comment about other close-by places you have visited and enjoyed!

Luka

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Back in Pompey!

So after what felt like a never ending summer, I finally got back to Portsmouth in September! It’s been a month and a bit since then and I can safely say I’ve re-adjusted to the usual Uni routine, although those 9 AM starts don’t get any easier! I’m a second year here studying Geography (or ‘advanced colouring in’ to all you comedians!!) . I really enjoyed last year due to the great variety of topics covered in the modules, but this also gives me the problem of explaining to people what is it I exactly study. This year I focus more on the human branch of Geography which to put it basically, is the study of the interaction between human beings and their environment.

This year I live in a house in Southsea just by the Common, which is a nice 10-15 minute walk to the Uni. I’ve found that there are a lot of cool and quirky places in Southsea that as freshers we are completely oblivious to. Believe me, there is more to student life in Portsmouth than Guildhall Walk, Commercial Road and Tiger Tiger! There are loads of great bars and pubs down Albert Road which are definitely worth a try, Little Johnny Russell’s and The One Eyed Dog are two that I quite enjoy visiting. I also live close to Clarence Pier which if you haven’t yet been to, is your typical seaside amusement pier with a big arcade and funfair. The hovercraft which goes to the Isle of Wight also departs from right next to the pier and despite being 500 metres away, I can still hear come in and out of the beach. As you can probably imagine, it’s pretty noisy!

This year I rejoined the Uni Rugby Club, which is great fun and I would definitely recommend to anyone, especially with the ongoing Rugby World Cup happening in England, it’s a great time to join! I’ve played a few games this season, admittedly I don’t think I’ve been on the winning side yet but it’s not even a month into the season so I think that can be excused! There were loads of other cool societies out showcasing at Freshers Fayre which was great to see and goes to show how there really is something for everyone here!

That’s all from me for now, enjoy the rest of your day!

Luka

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