Living and Working in Portsmouth – An Insiders Guide!

My Experience in Portsmouth

A while back Sandro Rogger came and studied and worked with us for a while – and wrote the following ;-).

I was given the opportunity to spend one month at LSI/IH Portsmouth. I attended classes for two weeks after which I joined the team and worked in the social programme office for another two weeks. I’d like to share my experience within the school and Portsmouth itself with you.

The Clock Tower – Southsea


Before you arrive

There are a few things you need to know before you arrive in Portsmouth.

  • Bring a variety of clothes for different temperatures because you never know how the weather’s going to be.
  • Get a good umbrella. Try to avoid purchasing a cheap umbrella because they’re going to break the first time it rains.
  • Don’t forget to bring the UK power adaptor. This is one thing that is forgotten very easily. You can also buy one at the airport.
  • Make sure to bring enough money, England is not a cheap country and you might spend more than you intended to.


On your first day, you’ll have to take a test to determine your English skills. Don’t worry, the test is not that bad. The purpose of the test is to make sure that you are being assigned in a class which suits your level.

There are many different courses to attend. You have General English, Business English, Cambridge Exam or IELTS Courses, depending on your goals.

The teachers at LSI/IH Portsmouth do a fantastic job at making the English language as easily accessible for you as possible.

There are different possibilities if you want to dive into the language even more intensely. You can always ask the teachers for additional material and use the study room after school to do your work in a relaxing and quiet atmosphere. There you can also ask for additional books. You can also access the university library with your student card to get access to a huge collection of books.

Even though you usually get homework, make sure that you don’t spend too much time doing it. The best way to learn a language is not sitting at home and studying grammar rules, but going out and actually using the language. This unique opportunity of a study abroad is there for you to make friends and talk to people. Make sure that you have enough time to see as much stuff as possible.



Working at LSI/IH Portsmouth was very exciting. I had a great variety of tasks to do which allowed me to get to know the school and the people in the school a lot better.

Most of the tasks were about redesigning stuff like posters from the school, which was very cool, although the software that is used doesn’t make one’s life too easy. The staff were very friendly and very good to work with. I already felt very comfortable at work after a short time.


Not only does the location make studying abroad such a unique experience, but also the people you meet. Trust me, at LSI/IH Portsmouth you’ll find friends for life. There are lots of Social Programme activities organised by the school which you can join to meet new people from around the globe.

It is also a great way to improve your speaking skills and not to mention the cultural aspects from which you can gain a great deal from. Knowing people from many different corners of the world shapes your personality in a very positive way, in my opinion.


Portsmouth is undeniably a beautiful city with loads of stuff to see and to visit. The heart of Portsmouth is Southsea. This is where the school is located and where the action happens. You have a great variety of pubs, bars and restaurants there. Most stuff is located on Albert Road or Elm Grove.

If you like to have some drinks, I can recommend going to The Vaults, The Honest Politician and the Emporium Bar. There are many other bars and pubs for you to explore too.


The V and A in Albert Road

If you like shopping, you ought to visit Gunwharf. This is a designer outlet with loads of big-name brands. Some of them offer student discount with your LSI/IH Portsmouth student card.

One of the most beautiful things to see is the Historic Dockyard with its many historic ships, museums and activities. You’ll have to get a one-year pass to enter, but it’s certainly worth it.




If you come to Portsmouth, you have different possibilities regarding accommodation. You can live in a student house, stay in a hotel or live with a host family. I chose the latter and I didn’t regret it at all. The family I was put in was very kind and we had lots of great chats.

If you prefer to be a little more independent, you can also choose to live in a student house. There are student houses located just a 3 minutes’ walk away from school where many other LSI/IH Portsmouth students live.


In summary, I can tell you that my stay in Portsmouth was absolutely amazing. After this one month, there’s nothing more I can do than regret that I can’t stay any longer.

If you’re thinking about going to the UK to study English or as an intern, I would definitely say that LSI/IH Portsmouth is one of the best choices you can make.

Thank you so much Sandro and for all the help you gave while you were here.