The Power of CI Workshops

I chose to study at the University of Greenwich because of its openness, diversity and its excellent quality of education and support for student. Also, the campus is one of the most beautiful sights in London! However, as a foreign student, it was quite daunting and scary jumping into student life. 

Through attending a variety of workshops and support from my teachers, I’ve gained the motivation to successfully overcome obstacles and find my place at the University. 

The cultural insight workshops:

They have taught me how to get out of my comfort zone, make new friends and overall made me feel very welcomed.

It was a great help for my personal growth: building my confidence and meeting new people, I otherwise would not have met.

Looking back to the beginning of the term, when these classes were introduced, I was very excited about them, and others in my group were also interested. However, not many people from my course have attended the workshops. Fast forward to where we are now, I can see what a tremendous help these classes have been to me. Now that I know more people at the campus and have the confidence to approach them, it is much easier for me to motivate them to join those types of workshops.

Looking back to the beginning of the term, when these classes were introduced, I was very excited about them, and others in my group were also interested. However, not many people from my course have attended the workshops. Fast forward to where we are now, I can see what a tremendous help these classes have been to me. Now that I know more people at the campus and have the confidence to approach them, it is much easier for me to motivate them to join those types of workshops.

Cultural Insight workshops were the most interactive and fun out of other workshops I have attended. They offered insightful information and tips on group work, building our self-esteem and student life dynamic in general. Also, each lesson came with a fun activity, which helped in remembering the details of the class itself.

Having gained so many new skills from these workshops, especially the interpersonal skills, I feel more prepared for the job market and working environment. The Cultural Insight workshops have helped me understand more about how to anticipate the needs of others. After reflecting on this experience, I noticed that I became more openminded, a better listener, and have more confidence. These skills make it easier for me to communicate with others.

I have also recognised that it is essential to take care of oneself and be mindful of other people. This brings great satisfaction, is very rewarding and can even create new relationships. Therefore, since, I have exercised my mind more in the angle of thoughtfulness and empathy. Sometimes it is harder than I thought it would be, but at the end of the day, it is absolutely worth it to take a moment and reflect.

If I had to describe the Cultural Insight project in just three words, they would be Inclusive, fun and mind-opening.

These workshops have been very educational and a lot of fun, so I would like to thank the Cultural Insight team for putting all of the materials together for us. I am looking forward to next year’s series of Cultural Insight Workshops.

Magdalena Rokosz, a student from a small town in Poland called Rzeszow who has just completed her 1st year of Human Resource Management. She has lived in many big cities but was charmed by London the most! She is excited about the endless opportunities the city has to offer and cannot wait to join the job market and further study a master’s degree. In her free time, she enjoys reading science fiction, watching documentaries and long walks.

Get Involved!

Studying in a country that is not the one where you come from can be both exciting and nervous: the only action of thinking about living in London can build up a lot of expectations in our mind that sometimes are satisfied but, they can also lead to other unexpected roads. In any case, it is good to always have faith on what life brings you up to and be ready with the plan B! (Get ready plan C as well, just to be sure). This is quite normal in a such a big city, as London, where things can constantly change. I would describe what I tended to follow during my first year, as a sort of Mantra: GET INVOLVED! 

Iris says GET INVOLVED has been her Mantra during her first year of study. She adds saying, one of the greatest roads she had taken when trying to GET INVOLVED, was to participate in many workshops, specifically Cultural Insight workshops.

It doesn’t really matter if you are a new or continuing student, I would strongly advice you to take the chance to know more about yourself and about specific topics. 

Especially during the cultural insight workshops, I had the opportunity to make many friends like Kristina, Djeylan, Abed, Magda and Vineeta, just to mention some, share my thoughts with them and get to know their opinions. It has to be underlined that not only first year students attended to the workshops but, all years were welcomed, and this made such a good environment as the plethora of experiences was even more vast!

What I really like of this general atmosphere is that I never ever felt judged by any of the tutors (which were different all the times) or from any of the students; this is something amazing. We build a relationship with individuals we never met before, by embracing each other with our inner versions of the selves. 


And, if you want to know some more benefits, please continue reading!

The first workshop was called ‘Your Voice-Your Community’. I have to admit it, I felt that I had to go just by reading the title and I did not regret my attendance. Via some tests and different types of games, we discovered our learning techniques and so, what we are good at and what we could do to improve ourselves. The only though that YOU matter, as an individual and/or as a friend is a powerful motivation that can actually change your mindset and the way you react to certain life situations. 

The first workshop was called ‘Your Voice-Your Community’. I have to admit it, I felt that I had to go just by reading the title and I did not regret my attendance. Via some tests and different types of games, we discovered our learning techniques and so, what we are good at and what we could do to improve ourselves. The only thought that YOU matter, as an individual and/or as a friend is a powerful motivation that can actually change your mindset and the way you react to certain life situations

I discovered that I am very good at learning via both interpersonal (interacting with others) and through the intrapersonal (own inner states) intelligences.

However, each person has different skills and yet everyone can improve and develop their learning style in different ways!

Moving forward, I remember the workshop that was on the day of my birthday and, yes, I did not care, I wanted to be there!!! It was named ‘Global Dexterity’

In 2020, when people meet others commonly on digital platforms, it is always a great opportunity to make a friend without any research from their Facebook or Instagram profiles but, just by looking and listening to them. This way we do not make opinions of a person from what they look like on their social media. 

After knowing the names of the participants, we were asked to choose a poem in our native language and read it aloud. At first, I could see some who were pretty confident and some other, like me, very scared to read in front of other people. We all made it and we did not even realize it.

Once again, something amazing happened: the choice of the poem, the intonations we gave to it while reading, the explanation we compose in order for others to understand our choice, everything together told others something about ourselves.  

I hope this can encourage everyone to GET INVOLVED! There are many opportunities ready to be taken, we just need a bit of courage to straight our hand and grab them. 

Iris Pirrigheddu is an Italian student doing the 1st year of Marketing Management. She is a very curious person and finds that the opportunity to explore London is amazing! She is delighted to share many more thoughts so she says feel free to dm her on instagram linked below

My Student Life at the University of Greenwich

My name is Xingyu, a sophomore from China. My major is Politics & International Relations. As most Chinese students choose to major in business, there are no other Chinese students in my study circle.

I initially knew little about western singers, movies or food, and so I found it difficult for me to fit in with Europeans because of cultural and language differences.

I do have some other good international friends, but they are not from China. I have realised that they all have their own families and jobs, so we seldom get to communicate with each other except for study purposes. However, as our major has a Mandarin course option, I have been able to make some friends who have chosen to study Mandarin. I’ve also created a Mandarin Group on WhatsApp to assist those wishing to study and improve their Mandarin, and also to help learn about Chinese culture.

In terms of study, when I first entered university, the difference in language and learning methods was a big challenge to me. I found it difficult to take notes, look up materials in the library, and write references and so on, despite my English language skills. However, after a year’s study, I feel I have adapted and relaxed into the British way of learning pretty well.

However, perhaps due to my natural introversion, I still find there are some problems in my communications. For example, I was also quite afraid of creating and participating in presentations. However, these problems have much improved since taking part in the Cultural Insight Workshops.

Cultural Insight Workshops

By chance, I found the project Cultural Insight and decided to participate in their workshops, with the significant purpose of making friends.

The aim of the project is to help foreign students integrate into British culture and improve their personal skills in study, work or social interaction and I have now attended three workshops altogether.

The first workshop was structured to help students understand British culture and life.

After taking part in the first activity, I was able to share this learning with one of my Italian classmates.

She has told me that she also found the workshop both interesting and useful.

The second workshop was designed to help students understand how to fit into a genuinely multicultural community.

It also taught ways to make friends quickly in a multicultural society.

The workshop also taught how to use LinkedIn to create our own social circles.

The third workshop was structured to help students improve their communication skills and how to fully and better express ideas.

These workshops were all interspersed with some interesting activities, such as teamwork with Lego, to make the workshops more interesting and engaging.

The programme of Cultural Insight workshops has been limited, but they have still enabled me to gain a lot of knowledge that I could not easily assimilate. It has definitely helped me improve my interpersonal and personal skills and also equip me to better adapt to and integrate into British culture.

In short, I have enjoyed and benefitted from the workshops on Cultural Insight.

Xingyu Liu is a Chinese international student pursuing an undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations. She came to London after graduating from high school. She is taking beginners, Spanish classes. During her free time, she likes learning and practising Latin Dance and Ballroom Dance for dance competitions. She is a proud owner of two cats and enjoys taking care of them. She plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Chinese Studies upon graduation.

My experience with Cultural Insight Workshops

If I had to describe Cultural Insight workshops in three words I would definitely choose – interesting, exceptional and valued. I must say I signed-up because my classmates, who later became my good friends suggested that we go all together to get GEP points and meet new people. It was less than a month while I was studying at university, but I’ve heard of GEP points a lot and decided it would be really good for my future to try something like this. I signed up and kinda forgot about it so when I got the reminder, I thought I do not want to go but because of my responsibility I went and was not disappointed at all. 


First things first, when I came into the room where the first workshop took place, it instantly felt so warm, as if I was back home and then it became even better. I must say I love attention and when one of our workshop tutors was talking with me and about me it felt even more better. I believe that the topics for these workshops were amazingly suitable for students and their individualities. The first one called ‘Your voice – Your community’ was one of my favourites. The idea that you matter as an individual just as much as society in whole is really important. Some people forget that they have right and voice and I believe that workshops like that could be provided for more students to show them that they matter. 

My most favourite topic was ‘Global Dexterity’ and that is because of only one thing. We were reading poems in our native languages. This was one of the most beautiful things I have ever experienced. Because I come from a small country, I could not hear many languages in my everyday life and there is it… You are sitting on a chair in a circle and people around you stand up and start reading some gorgeous pieces which are their favourites. You can understand them not even knowing the language.

Emotions, intonation, pauses, softer and louder moments, all this helps you truly understand the person on the whole new spiritual level. You understand that you live in this moment and it is beautiful.


The whole atmosphere of workshops was so good, and I could honestly see the interest of our tutors. It is exceptional when people are so interested in what they do. I want to thank them for making this project because I found a lot of new information and now can better understand myself and those people around me. It will definitely help me in achieving new amazing heights. Thank you!!! 

If I could return to October, I would probably tell everyone to come and join the Cultural Insight family. I found new people who became my friends, new information about different topics and new thoughts and views. If you read till the end, I strongly encourage you to sign up for all CI workshops in a new academic year, you will not regret it!

Kristina Pazekova (Tina) is from a small country Estonia. Her hometown is Tallinn and she always wanted to move to a bigger country.  This is the reason she chose London and the UK overall. Tina finished ballet school so she really enjoys dancing when she is free. Tina also enjoys cooking, reading and watching movies. Cinema world is her passion and this is why she and her classmate created a new society called ’Cinematheque’. Although Tina is studying Marketing management, she attempts to try herself as an actress in short movies. In the near future, she would love to create her personal Instagram blog and also try some modelling.

When communication at Greenwich is not just effective, but also poetic…

When I watched the new movie “Frozen II” last weekend, I most enjoyed Olaf Gets Poetic Scene.

Image result for frozen 2 poetic"

Anna: Enjoying your new permafrost, Olaf?
Olaf: I’m just living the dream, Anna. Oh, how I’d wish this could last forever.
Anna: Hm.
Olaf: And yet change mocks us with her beauty.
Anna: What’s that?
Olaf: Forgive me. Maturity is making me poetic.

Yes, Maturity is making all of us poetic. In our 3rd Cultural Insight workshop, we have not just discussed psychological theories and communication skills in global context. We have shared poems by reading them aloud in our first language.

What insights have we gained out it? Hmmm… We thought we would learn this…

Yet, we actually learnt that when we try to communicate something so beautiful and so deep in its meanings, what we say made us put our nerve down and just enjoy the joy of communicating such a beautiful thing to others.

Here are some poem sharing videos and some poems shared by our lovely attendees.

This 3rd workshop and the blog are both created and delivered by our project team member Dr. Yang Yang

Positive attitude and the importance of relationships

One of the significant topics of the workshop was the importance of connection. This includes external relationships with other people, and the personal connection with oneself.

 “Embracing community helps us live longer and happier”

It is necessary to meet other people to sustain a strong social life, and this workshop helps to do this. It offers conversational starters for any situation and the opportunity to meet a range of new people.

The workshop highlights the importance of those around us in helping to manage stress, and how vital it is to discuss our struggles with others. There is a key focus on community and projecting our voice, to connect to others and develop our own emotional intelligence.

The activities presented in the workshop help students to improve not only their interpersonal skills and confidence, but also their intrapersonal skills. To develop confidence in their own abilities and interests is essential in understanding oneself. In order to be confident, we must not only accept our own strengths and weaknesses but also those of others. The workshop encourages teamwork rather than competition between students to maintain a positive attitude and fulfilling relationships.


Leanne Pitt  (BA English Literature, Year 2)

The Cultural Insight Workshop Event 25th October 2019.

The cultural insight workshop includes a range of fun and interactive activities for all students to engage with. Students can meet others from different backgrounds and countries, spanning from Germany to China!

Whether it is expanding your knowledge of different cultures, making friends, learning how to advance your interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, or developing your LinkedIn account, the lecture slides and teamwork activities are incredibly useful in providing the tools to expand your social development and knowledge of oneself.

Wesley – “I found the workshop very helpful in meeting new friends.”

Over the course of the workshop students can participate in various activities including:

  • Minion Hugging – wherein a number is called out and the students must quickly make a team of that amount.
  • Speed Friending – wherein students talk to three separate partners and get to know each other within five minutes.
  •  A competition to find the most commonalities with your peers in as short a time as possible.

Sisi said: “I loved it! My favourite activity was definitely the speed friending, where you can speak to others one-to-one. It was amazing to meet so many people from different cultures!”

Overall, the workshop is a welcoming experience, helpful and supportive, building confidence in students both socially and in their own abilities.  All these activities help to improve confidence and social skills, as well as being fun!


Leanne Pitt  (BA English Literature, Year 2)

Cultural Insight rewards

In a Cultural Insight workshop, you participate in interactive group activities, learn to appreciate cultural differences and navigate yourself in a multicultural environment like University of Greenwich. After the workshop, you can enjoy a meal (worth £6) with your newly met friends.

Apart from the learning benefits mentioned above, we are pleased to introduce our attendance rewards system.

Cultural Insight Attendance Reward System

# of attendanceRewardsNote
110 GEP points​An attendance confirmation sent within one week of a workshop
210 GEP points X2​
A LinkedIn endorsement from Cultural Insight project team
An attendance confirmation sent within one week of a workshop
310 GEP points X3​
A LinkedIn endorsement from Cultural Insight project team
An attendance confirmation sent within one week of a workshop​
Viewed as 4 attendances​ if a blog post is submitted and published
4 +10 GEP points X4​
A LinkedIn endorsement from Cultural Insight project team​
DVC(A) certificate
An attendance confirmation sent within one week of a workshop

Want to earn free rewards? It is never too late to join our workshops!

Please find the coming workshops dates and locations below, for more information please see Cultural Insight 2019-20: Workshops to help you find success in Greenwich’s Global Village:

You can sign up for workshops by using this online form.

For any enquiries, please contact

Cultural Insight Team

Requirements for Cultural Insight Blog 


This blog is created to provide an insight into what life at Greenwich is really like. As University of Greenwich (UoG) is ranked as one of the top two most culturally diverse universities in the world (HotCourses Diversity Index 2016), we would like to collect stories written by the people who know UoG best: our students.  


Any topics are welcome here. For example:   

  • Insights into different aspects of life at University of Greenwich, so you know what to expect  
  • Stories about our students’ time at university  
  • Advice about topics relevant to you. That might be top tips for an interview, how to choose your programme and module, or some guidance on how to settle into university life.  
  • Stories about where you come from and ways of doing things back home  

We suggest that you do a bit of research to help you decide why you want to either start or write for a blog.

They key is to ask yourself: will it be useful to your audience? And will you benefit from the experience?  

When you prepare the content, you can consider whether you 

  • offer content in different formats like videos and podcasts.  
  • have an article with a length of at least 140 words. 
  • make sure you write good quality, well-researched content.  
    use subheadings for longer posts.  
    use eye-catching images optimised for web use that can be downloaded quickly, especially for mobile devices.   
    always write clearly with your readers in mind.   

We welcome images and/or video to accompany guest posts. Your images should:  

  • be directly relevant to the post content.  
  • in full color.  
  • reference the sources of authors/photographers 
  • be in the format of .jpg, .gif or .png and meet our size/quality requirements: 
    • Feature image (Required): width of 800px and a height of 450px.  
    • Large Image (Optional): 656px by 410px will fill entire width of the post.  
    • Medium Image (Optional): 300px by 199px will fill ½ the width of the post.  

If you use videos, note that: 

  • the length of a video is between 1 and 4 minutes.  
  • a video may be filmed in languages other than English. However, non-English language videos should have English subtitles.  

To submit your article,  

  • include your personal information, e.g., name, student ID, programme, and year of study   
  • save your article in Word (.doc or .docx) and send it to .   
  • your article will be reviewed by the Cultural Insight team and editing may be done if it is accepted for publication. Once published, you can take a screen shot of your blog post and use it as evidence for Greenwich Employability Passport Challenge submissions.  


  • You gain GEP points for up to 2 blog posts per year.  
  • Blogging provides an opportunity to network, learn, share and be part of a community.  
  • You will become a better reader and writer.  
    Through writing, you will be better able to express yourself, understand yourself and build up your confidence.   
    You can use your blog post(s) to showcase digital literacy and communication skills to a potential employer. 

Out and About: Explore Greenwich Global Village

On the 4th of October, 3 groups of Chinese international students from different subject areas (e.g. EIB and HPSS) walked around the Greenwich campus to investigate how vibrant and diverse our community is.  

On the campus, within 15 minutes, our Chinese student groups approached nearly twenty students and staff to interview them about their cultural backgrounds and life outside of the university.  

To develop a deeper insight of cultural diversity, our Chinese international students also asked questions about other students and staff’s views on how culturally diverse they think Greenwich community is and their views of the university of Greenwich. Note that University of Greenwich is ranked as one of the top two most culturally diverse universities in the world, according to Hotcourses Diversity Index in 2016

A key message drawn out of this outing is that we should all try to talk to people from different cultures and enjoy it. Here are some tips shared by one of our special attendants: 

The first workshop delivered by the Cultural Insight team “Student Life in the UK” is fun and thought-provoking. Our next workshop will be “Your Voice, Your Community” where you can join and enjoy making friends in a speed networking form:

2-5 pm, 16 October 2019Room 10_B006, Greenwich Campus
2-5pm , 23 October 2019G104, Avery Hill campus
10am – 1pm, 25 October 2019Room 10_B004, Greenwich Campus