Portsmouth, or The Great Waterfront City, as it is known, is the UK's only island city. Famous as the birthplace of writer Charles Dickens, it is also known for its football club, Portsmouth FC. This island city is a popular hotspot for students from all over the world. Let's find out why.
International Student Guide to Portsmouth
Dynamic Student Life
Portsmouth is famous for its maritime history, iconic dockyards, scenic waterfront, and vibrant cultural scene with museums, galleries, theatres, and music venues. The city is compact and easy to navigate, with most attractions and amenities located within a relatively small area. Portsmouth has a comprehensive bus network, with frequent services connecting the city centre to the university, residential areas, and nearby towns and cities.
Most students live in the Southsea area of Portsmouth, which is close to the university campus and has a lively student community. Fratton, although not as close to the university’s main campus, is very popular with students as many like to experience living in Victorian-style terraced houses.
The Universities in Portsmouth offer a range of accommodation options for students, including halls of residence and shared houses. These are located close to the university campus and are usually fully furnished. Several private student halls, including Unite Students and The Student Housing Company, offer a range of en-suite and self-contained studio apartments. Besides, there are many private rented accommodation options available in Portsmouth, including houses and flats.
Top Rated Universities
Founded in 1869, the Portsmouth and Gosport School of Science and Art gained university status in 1992. At the University, there are five faculties that offer both undergraduate and postgraduate courses, namely Business and Law, Creative and Cultural Industries, Humanities and Social Sciences, Science and Health, and Technology. The university is known for its research in areas such as cosmology, neuroscience, and sustainable energy.
- Acceptance rate: 79%
- Top courses: Business, Technology, Science
Founded as a teacher training college in 1839, it gained university status in 2005 and has two campuses in Chichester and Bognor Regis. The university offers a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses across four faculties: Business and Management; Education, Health and Social Care; Arts and Humanities; and Sport and Exercise Sciences. It has a strong focus on teaching excellence, and it has been awarded Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework.
- Acceptance rate: 83%
- Top courses: Arts, Sports, History
Food Stalls and Festivals
Portsmouth has a diverse food scene, with a range of international cuisines available alongside traditional British fares like the iconic seaside classic, fish and chips.
Some popular areas for eating out are Gunwharf Quays, Southsea, Fratton and Albert Road. Apart from cuisines like Chinese, Mexican and Thai, there are several Indian restaurants in the area, including The Akash, Indian Cottage, Bombay Bay, Haldi etc. In addition to restaurants, there are several Indian stores like Spice Island that offer a range of Indian groceries, including spices, lentils, and snacks.
Portsmouth has food festivals galore, including the Portsmouth Seafood Festival, a two-day event that celebrates the city's coastal heritage. It features a range of seafood dishes from local restaurants, as well as live music and entertainment. Another popular one is the Love Southsea Markets. The markets often have a street food theme, with a range of international cuisines available, including Indian-style street food such as chaat, samosas, and dosas.
There is never a dull moment in Portsmouth, as the city has much to offer its young population. As a coastal city, there are several options to enjoy its many seaside attractions. Southsea is the most popular spot to hang out if you love spending time by the waterfront.
The ASC Portsmouth watersports centre, located on the shores of Langstone Harbour, offers a variety of water sports activities, including kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing.
Portsmouth has a rich history and culture and several museums for visitors to explore, including one dedicated to Charles Dickens. Portsmouth City Tours offers a range of walking tours to explore the city's history and culture, including The Portsmouth Ghost Tour. This popular walking tour explores the city's haunted history.
Watersports and More
Being a coastal town, one would expect swimming, water sports and sailing to be the most popular ways to keep fit. Portsmouth has all that and more.
Portsmouth is home to several parks and nature reserves, including Southsea Common and Farlington Marshes, which offer opportunities for hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities. The Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon, which takes place in December, follows a scenic route along the coast and attracts runners of all levels.
If you are in the mood for working out indoors, the Ravelin Sports Centre at the university is open to students, staff and members of the public. Its superb facilities in historic parkland include a 25m 8-lane swimming pool, a state-of-the-art gym, a climbing wall and much more.
Portsmouth FC, the city's professional football team, has a strong following, and there are many local leagues and amateur teams for those who want to play.
Students in Portsmouth have a range of career options, with opportunities in several industries and a growing startup scene.
Portsmouth has a long history as a naval base, and there are several companies and organisations in the marine and maritime industries located in the city. Students who study engineering, naval architecture, or related fields may find plenty of career opportunities in this industry. Other popular sectors are Technology, Healthcare and Tourism. Some of the companies that have offices or operations in Portsmouth include BAE Systems, IBM, Airbus and the Royal Navy.
Portsmouth has a diverse population, and the city is known for its friendly and inclusive atmosphere, making it an ideal place for students from all backgrounds. This coastal, vibrant city with its seaside charm will become the wind beneath your wings and help you fly high in life as a student.
Study in Portsmouth
Living and Studying in Portsmouth FAQ
Yes, Portsmouth is considered a good place for students. It is a vibrant and diverse city with a rich history, lively cultural scene, plenty of popular sights to explore and a welcoming atmosphere for students from all over the world.
Portsmouth has a thriving student community with a wide range of activities and events catering to student interests. The city offers various amenities such as affordable accommodation options, discounted student deals, and vibrant nightlife.
Most students in Portsmouth live in areas close to the University of Portsmouth or Portsmouth College. Popular areas for student accommodation include Southsea, Fratton, and Gunwharf Quays. These are all within walking distance or a short bus ride away from the main campus.
Yes, Portsmouth is considered a good place to live for international students. The city has a diverse and inclusive atmosphere, with a large international student community. The University of Portsmouth also provides some exclusive support services for international students, including assistance with visas, accommodation, and cultural integration.
Studying at Portsmouth comes with its own unique set of advantages. These include strong degree options, a coastal location that offers a rich maritime heritage to explore, services like student support, easy transport, affordable accommodation, and, most importantly, a better career prospect than many other cities in the UK.
The University of Portsmouth consistently receives positive feedback from students, with high student satisfaction ratings in various national and international rankings. According to the National Student Survey 2022, the University of Portsmouth is ranked 39th among all universities in England for full-time student satisfaction.