International, Portsmouth, Student, Uni Life, Year Abroad

The Countdown


Roughly fourteen hours.


That’s how long it takes for a Bangladeshi student (such as myself), to take off from Dhaka soil and land feet first on the British Isles. As I type this, I haven’t really landed yet, I still have roughly two and a half hours to go, but then again, I don’t really feel like I’ve left yet at all, so I don’t see why actually being somewhere, or not being somewhere should matter.

And, yet, the irony is – it always matters.


It matters for those of you, who are traveling just a couple measly miles, those of you who are travelling cross county, and maybe a little bit more for us internationals.


Excitement, urgency, nervousness – it’s like everything around me is a maze of turbulent emotions that I have no idea how to navigate.

The funny thing is, this isn’t even my first time living away from home to study. It is however, the first time when I won’t be just an hour away from home – wherever home is.


And to be absolutely honest, that terrifies me.


This here today, is life without safety nets.


How so?
Think for a moment, of all the tiny little things around you that make you feel at home.


The things that make you feel safe. The things that make you feel like you belong.


The people that look like you, food that tastes like an explosion of spices with every bite, the endless traffic, the weird inside jokes you had with the friends you’ve known way back when you thought bright green eye shadow was ‘cool’.


It’s a bunch of ridiculously random, often pretty stupid details that you never really thought you’d miss.

But you kinda do, anyway.


Honestly, I’m not even sure I’m ready to think of any of that – some call it ostrich syndrome, I call it, knowing better.


The truth is, I don’t know what this year is going to be like for me. I don’t think any of us do.

So, I’m not going to sit back and worry myself into a frenzy – I may not get to choose how I am going to feel, but I sure as hell have a say in terms of how I’m going to think.
And, the only thing I can think of right now though, is that for the next twelve months, I am going to need to find a way to make, this little corner of the world – where the sun rises five hours after what I’m used to – feel like home.


It’s going to be an amazing journey – I can only hope you’ll tune back in and share it with me.


International, Portsmouth, Student, Study, Time Management, Uni Life, Uni services, Work experience

6 things International Student needs to know

For most international students, coming to study in the UK can be exciting, or intimidating. In order to enjoy both studying and living abroad, it is crucial to be fully prepared. After staying in Portsmouth for 8 months, I’ve spoken to a number of international students and marked down a few things that international students have to think about before arriving in the UK.

  1. Research

It would be good if you speak to anyone already in the UK or the alumni from your country. I’ve asked my friend who is a graduate from the University of Portsmouth and she helps me a lot in the process of applying the course. The next step is have a look on the University website for an idea of the things you might need to consider. Besides, don’t be afraid to contact the university directly to ask about the course details or other arrangements. Besides, there are always local advisers or agencies that provide details on studying in Portsmouth. Learn about the clubs and societies here at the University of Portsmouth.

2. Be academically prepared

If English is not your mother tongue, try to improve it to a level where you can feel confident about using it both academically and socially. Check out Global café in Park Building on every Wednesday, you will be able to meet friends from all over the world.

3. Working in the UK 

International Students usually pay a higher tuition fees than domestic students. Luckily, the Purple Door supports students to find jobs or career planning. Getting a part-time job not only provides some extra money, but also an opportunity to extend your networks and improve your language skills.

4. Student accommodation
Accommodation is one of the most important things that you’ve to concern about because this is where you’ll spend most of your time, meet your first friends and where you have to sleep! Normally you will get into student halls as an international student, here are some advice on choosing student accommodation.

5. Freshers’ Fayre


This is a week held at the start of the academic year which involves all the way from induction to huge bar crawls, find your way around your campus, clubs and societies and start to get used to living in the UK. As an international student, you’ll find some particular events that are designed for international students such as coach trip to Brighton or Oxford.

6. Finally, the Weather

The weather in UK is unpredictable. Even if the sun is shining, rain clouds can quickly appear and result in short, heavy downpours. Make sure you bring appropriate clothing and always carry an umbrella (even though sometimes it’s too windy to use an umbrella).



As always, feel free to ask questions or add anything else in the comments below. 🙂

International, Uncategorized

5 Jobs for an International Student Studying Abroad

A blog post from one of our International Student Ambassadors.


While living abroad and away from the comfort of your home, expenses tend to shoot up at the slightest hitch. The fall back option to get over such snags in rising expenses is calling your Mum and asking parents back home for some extra cash. Easier said than done, isn’t it? The embarrassment of asking money all the time or the long wait for the next instalment of your loan to come in.

But wouldn’t it be easier to earn some money on the side, without having to work too much? And rather than falling for the easy money scheme pop-ups on the internet, here are 5 ways you can earn while studying!!


The best option of all. The University has numerous jobs for the students, looking for their experience in the University to guide prospective students and present the University in local and international markets. Common jobs which require no expertise or previous work experience like Student Guides, International Ambassadors, Volunteers for Information and Open Days, Volunteers for Fairs and Exhibitions and other such jobs are always open in the University. Since most of this work is event based, it hardly ever cuts into your course and study time and pays well too, helping you save up for a rainy day. Or you can just apply and get all of the University jobs and be an Alpha on the campus!

international student ambassadors

International Student Ambassadors


Fancy working at your favourite brand shop? You can get free merchandise as a part of your uniform!

Love eating out? You can get a free lunch besides getting paid for working there!

Commercial shops always employ students for part-time work. Be it Calvin Klein or Hugo Boss, Nike or Adidas, or even McDonalds or Subway! The best part is, you can choose the days you want to work, the time you want to work, and it won’t exceed 20 hours a week. With that amount of money, coupled with the perks of store discount or carry-home-food, you’ll be decently settled throughout your stay abroad.


Adding a bit of work experience and practical knowledge of what you are studying distinguishes your CV from everyone else. A part-time placement gets you into the professional working environment early on, clocking in towards your total work experience. Not only does it add to your CV, but it gives you the best opportunity to understand what it is like to work in your field of interest, what to expect from a formal employment, build up your networking and employability skills and plus, it puts you at the forefront of your class, being able to understand everything better than everyone else. Moreover, a placement will always pay better than most other jobs out there.


Undergrad student thinking of pursuing a Masters? Post-grad student thinking of pursuing a Doctorate? You can assist your professors, tutors and supervisors in their ongoing research and get paid for it too. Research Assistants are essentially treated like a member of staff, doing research work handed down by their professor, either singularly or in groups. It is as good as a placement job, as it gets added as a vital work experience on your CV and also gets you a glowing recommendation from your Tutors, which might be rare to say the least.


Social-media savvy? Well then, just use your social media skills to the fullest and get paid for it. Any city with a sizeable student population uses social media to advertise and organise events. These events can be University events, clubbing specials, or even trips and outings. So create an event on Facebook and invite people, distribute flyers, write blogs or act as tour guides, you can have fun and earn at the same time, without doing much work. Talk about easy money, almost seems like a dream job.

Like any student city, many International Students are always on the look-out for all of these jobs to make their life easier. So best to start scouting for the job that you want as soon as you start your term and lay down your worries of budgeting your expenses for a bit and enjoy the experience.

Clubs and societies, International, Uncategorized

Street and Break dance at Portsmouth University!

A blog post from one of our International Student Ambassadors.

maralBy Maral Amini

Do you enjoying dancing? Do you want to find brilliant inspired friends at Portsmouth University? Do you want to compete for street and break dance society? If YES you are in a right place!

Firstly let’s see- what’s street and break dance?

The University of Portsmouth offers a range of different classes for street and break dance from beginner to intermediate. Street dance covers locking, house, popping, whacking. We learn different routines with different style each time. Each routine takes about 3 weeks and after 3, 4 routines we will get ready for performances and competitions. I myself joined this society one year ago and I was a beginner. However I improved a lot. I believe the most interesting fact about this society is the people who make it a friendly environment. We have socials every other 2 weeks. We go out and dance! We also practice and show off our moves in the club! 90 % of all the members are international students and I myself, as an international student really enjoy this friendly society. We have students from china, Malaysia, Poland, Iran, Spain etc. I found very close, good friends of mine from this society. We are like a small family for each other. I participated in 2 competitions since I joined this society . The experience is remarkably enjoyable. You have to train more for the competitions, so you get a chance to be with the crew more often. One of the fascinating facts about the people in the society is they are very supportive. I myself sometimes couldn’t get the moves as fast as the others in the crew but the members were so patient and friendly and they help me to improve massively.

maral xmas meal

The competitions are really good experience as you have a chance to see other dance groups and many professionals. This can inspire you to train harder and harder. We also have some charity activities such as dancing to raise money. This is a fantastic opportunity to express yourself and have a chance to get involved in charity activities such as RAG. This society changed my lifestyle! I experienced new things, meet new people and understood that university is more than studying! You will learn to be more competitive, supportive and also increase your teamwork and leadership.

maral competition

So don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy, get fit, meet new people and have fun at university of Portsmouth!

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