10 Feb Advice from a Romanian Student at the University of Portsmouth
My name is Razvan Titiu and I’m a student at the University of Portsmouth. I am currently studying business and human resources management and really enjoying it. I am from Romania, a medium sized town called Targu-Mures which is situated in the famous (or perhaps infamous) Transylvania.
What I’d like to share with you in this blog is some useful aspects about Britain and more specifically Portsmouth which would have helped me before I got here. So let’s get started!
“How are you?”
As soon as you get off the plane you may be greeted with the question “how are you?”. Do not start answering with any more than a cursory “ok, you?”. The reason for this is that in the UK, this question is basically a simple “hi”, not an actual question or an opening for you to tell the story of your life to someone.
Windy and Dry
Be prepared to be blown away, literally! Portsmouth is extremely windy because its by the sea. The thermometers might tell you it’s a decent temperature but because of the wind, it often feels like its freezing.
When it comes to the rain, I must admit I don’t really have an umbrella as it doesn’t really rain that much here. Portsmouth is well known for being a fairly sunny city compared to the rest of the UK, plus, the wind will likely tear your umbrella apart anyway.
Get involved with societies! Personally, I joined the Cuban Salsa Society and there I met some amazing people who are now my close friends!
Make sure you go home for Christmas. Cultural shock is something you really don’t see coming, so get ready to feel really uncomfortable without a specific reason. You will start missing home more and more which is completely normal for an international student and this is something a lot of people genuinely don’t consider. If you have the chance to go home and visit your family, make sure you grab that chance with both hands! You will feel so much better and far more energized when you get back to the UK.
Be aware of the importance of course work and presentations, if you come from a Romanian background, chances are you think that presentations are simply easy high marks and that exams are really hard. If that’s your mind set, you’re gonna have to change your thinking as it’s almost completely the other way around in the UK. High grades for coursework require solid teamwork and a lot of effort so be ready to give your best.
Ask for Help
Go ask for advice if you have any problem, the staff at University of Portsmouth are absolutely amazing. They are so dedicated to helping the students and offer advice for everything.
Your lecturers always have an open door for academic advice and when it comes to your personal life, there are advisers that can try and help you with any struggle you might have. It is as easy as just asking a question and you will be sent in the right direction.
Working in the UK
And finally, if you want to work a part-time job be aware that you require a national insurance number. The process is pretty straight forward, you just have to make an appointment and pay a visit to our neighbour city, Southampton. Here you can find the number to call.
If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me regarding any queries you might have about living in UK and studying at the University of Portsmouth.
I can also guide you in the right direction if you need advice with your application process or you have any questions about it.
Find my details here