What is it like to be a Nigerian Student at University of Portsmouth?

I’m certain I have been where you are right now. Excited, scared, happy, sad and just experiencing a rush of emotions. Let me tell you, I can relate to all of those feelings on every level because only a few years back I was exactly where you are.

Take it from me. It is not as scary as it seems now and you’ll get used to it with time.

Being Nigerian at the University of Portsmouth, 5 things you should know:




Sandwiches are great and all,  but not exactly the Nigerian idea of lunch

Portsmouth locals can be really sweet and the students and lecturers you meet are also nice. So within your first few weeks, there’s every chance you will get invited for lunch. Make sure you eat before you go. Unlike our definition of lunch in Nigeria, the British people eat very light and there’s that possibility that you’ll be having bread and sandwiches.

You really do not want to starve yourself the whole day and end up getting to dinner and seeing trays of sandwiches.


I imagine it will all be quite confusing at first. Looking at the maps, getting directions from people as they pass by and all that can be intimidating, but it does get familiar and easier with time.

Make sure you check all options for travel before choosing one because usually the buses would be cheaper than the train and taxis we’re really used too back in Nigeria cost a lot more here and isn’t the most used means of transportation.

Make using a taxi the last option. Especially when it is not an emergency because it’ll probably cost 3 times the amount using a bus or the train.

Check out our other blog “Travelling around Portsmouth” for more ideas and advice on this.




It can get cold in the UK, especially down by the sea in Winter

Whether summer or winter, come here with a jacket. A thick one. The heat in Nigeria is frustrating, I know, but you do not want to experience the cold and wind in the UK without a jacket.


Try not to be silent in your lectures. I know it seems like you’re the only one with a different accent but trust me, we all have this feeling and we all overcome it with time.

Be natural and be you. Speak the way you know how too.


There’s every chance you will meet another Nigerian in your first few weeks here but try to be open. Some people will of course be new just like you and also seeking someone to talk to, so strike up conversations when you have an opportunity and if you feel you’re not that confident, just smile when your eyes meet someone else’s. You’d be shocked how far that goes.

Hopefully these will get you going the first few weeks and help get you settled in smoothly!


By Rubie

I am currently in my 2nd year here in the University of Portsmouth studying Software Engineering.

If you want to contact me personally or just chat, email me, I would be glad to help!

Please also see more about my experience here at the University here