LSI/IH Portsmouth / IH Portsmouth is ranked the joint number one English language school in the UK, it is located in the lively and historic university city of Portsmouth, by the seaside. It has lots to suit different tastes and interests, making it a great city in which to learn English.
Our English language school is right in the heart of the vibrant university area. Portsmouth is also well-situated to visit London, which is just 90 minutes away by train, and is approximately 75 minutes from both Heathrow and Gatwick Airport and only 20 minutes from Southampton Eastleigh Airport.
Advantages of Living in Portsmouth
Life in Portsmouth has many advantages over larger cities in the UK. In 2016, it was announced by the NatWest Student Living Index, that Portsmouth was the most affordable city for students to live in!
LSI/IH Portsmouth is in the heart of the university area, with most of the city’s main attractions right on our doorstep. After classes, you’ll have ample opportunity to socialise with friends from around the world in nearby cafes, restaurants and parks.
For international students, one of the biggest advantages of living in Portsmouth is its size. Our students love that Portsmouth offers a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, while still providing all attractions and events to rival larger cities.
The Portsmouth locals are known around the world for their warm hospitality and sense of humour.
Portsmouth Events and Festivals
Portsmouth is a lively destination, filled with fun things to do, including festivals, events, gigs and a bustling nightlife. There are around 20,000 university students, making the city a hive of activity, whether you love art, music, science or just socialising.
On a smaller scale, Portsmouth’s many bars, cafes and nightclubs play host to countless comedy and music nights throughout the year. No matter what your taste, you’re bound to find an event which you’ll love.
Things to Do Outside in Portsmouth
Our students love that there are so many things to do outside in Portsmouth. From relaxing alfresco dining, to thrill seeking and adventure sports. We’re also lucky to enjoy some of the sunniest and driest weather in the UK.
Portsmouth is the UK’s only island city! Being a seaside, island-city you will enjoy life relaxing on the beach at the weekend or playing sport and having barbecues on the common (park area) by the sea.
Four of the most popular beaches in Hampshire are in Portsmouth, with the other six all being within easy reach. Lovers of water sports will have no shortage of things to do outside in Portsmouth.
The Isle of Wight, famous for its Zoo, the Needles, and Osborne House, is a short ferry ride away, if you’d like to go there for a day trip. The ferry is a popular attraction in its own right, with the chance to take in the stunning sea air and views.
For something a little bit more relaxing, Portsmouth has some of the best outdoor spaces of any UK city. Our students particularly enjoy a quiet walk around Southsea Marina, or settling down with friends beside Canoe Lake.
History, Culture and Museums in Portsmouth
Portsmouth first appeared in written history in 501AD. Since that time it has been involved in many crucial historic events such as:
- The Colonization of Australia: The first Europeans to settle a colony in Australia, left from Portsmouth! 
- The death of Lord Nelson. Lord Nelson set sail to the battle of Trafalgar, where he died, from Portsmouth.
- Famous writers. Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Rudyard Kipling, and H.G Wells all lived in Portsmouth.
- Other famous people who lived in Portsmouth include Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Why English people drink tea. The story is that Catherine of Braganza from Portugal who married King Charles in 1661 in Portsmouth, is the reason tea drinking is popular in England!
- Famous ships. Portsmouth is home to some of the world’s most famous ships: HMS Victory, the Mary Rose, HMS Warrior.
There are countless exhibitions and museums in Portsmouth to detail this rich history. Book lovers will adore the Charles Dickens Birthplace Museum, a recreation of the actual house where the famous author grew.
The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard tells the story of the city’s rich maritime heritage, from majestic warships, all the way up to modern vessels and submarines.
The many museums in Portsmouth also provide a rich tapestry of things to do for art lovers. The Portsmouth Museum and Art Gallery has a rich selection of permanent and rotating collections.
Nightlife and Entertainment in Portsmouth
As an international student, you’ll have extensive opportunities to enjoy the rich nightlife and entertainment in Portsmouth. Whether you enjoy shopping, or a night on the town, there is never a dull moment.
Gunwharf Quays is the perfect place to relax after a hard day of studying!
It’s filled with:
- Over 90 designer shopping outlets,
- Bowling alleys,
- A multi-screen cinema,
- More than 30 bars, cafes and restaurants as well as popular student nightclubs.
All of this is overlooked by the iconic Spinnaker Tower where, from the viewing deck, you can enjoy views across the whole city, including ‘Old Portsmouth’, which, as the name suggests, is the oldest part of the city.
Portsmouth is also famed for its theatres, including the New Royal and the Kings Theatres. With a range of national and international touring shows, they offer a vibrant calendar of performances and events.
We can’t talk about entertainment in Portsmouth without mentioning football. The local professional team, Portsmouth FC, play at the vast Fratton Park Stadium. There’s no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon than enjoying a home game with the local fans.
Things to Do in Southsea, Portsmouth
Portsmouth is home to some incredible music festivals throughout the year and, with a student population of over 20,000, there’s always something happening here. If you prefer something more cultural, there are several concert halls, theatres and a contemporary art gallery nearby.
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth and Conan Doyle wrote his first Sherlock Holmes stories here and there are two museums about them here in the city.
International students love taking advantage of the many things to do in Southsea.
Southsea is the cultural and social hub of Portsmouth and is where most of our homestay families are located. Southsea Common (the huge green park in the picture, by the sea) is perfect for playing football, enjoying barbecues with friends, walking or jogging by the seaside and is also home to our popular skate park.
Southsea also has a 500-year-old castle, with a café and restaurant inside, which hosts lots of parties and events throughout the year. Southsea has miles of pebble beaches and, in the summer, you’ll often find our students swimming in the sea!
Study English in Portsmouth
Portsmouth is one of the best cities in the UK to study and practice your English language skills. With a vibrant student population, and a wide range of things to do in your spare time, our students find life in Portsmouth to be truly unforgettable.
Of course, student life isn’t all fun and games.
LSI/IH Portsmouth is ranked joint first of all of the English language schools in the UK, owing to our incredible teaching quality and student satisfaction. Over the years, we’ve helped countless international students from around the world meet their English language goals.
From gaining a qualification to study at university, to sharpening your business English skills, we offer a diverse range of courses, suiting all goals, learning styles and experience levels.
Check out our courses page for more information.