As your departure nears, you are sure to be a bundle of nerves and energy packing in this state is bound to make you forget something essential. Forgetting something back home means either you will have to find a store at the earliest or get it shipped from home, both of which will cost you; and you will have to find a store and go shopping after a hectic flight and most probably while fighting a jet lag. Having a checklist handy can save you all these hassles and make packing a little less frenetic. Starting to pack a bit earlier is always a good idea as it reduces anxiety and gives you time to recheck what you have packed. Be sure to pack light; otherwise, you would end up with a lot of stuff you do not need or would not use, shipping the household stuff you would require is a right choice rather than carrying it yourself. Here’s a checklist for what to take to uni.


documents, what to take to uni
  • Passport
  • Driver’s license
  • All official university correspondence
  • All student loan correspondence
  • Details of accommodation
  • Bank account details
  • Bank card
  • National insurance card
  • Student discount cards
  • Insurance documents (for global students, may be required to take out health insurance)

Note: Keep all these either in your wallet or in a safe within your room. If you keep all your documents together, it’s easier to find.


electronics, what to take to uni
  • Extension cable/s (handier than you might imagine)
  • USB memory stick (for backing up essential assignments)
  • iPod or MP3 player
  • Games console
  • Camera
  • Speakers

Note:  Bring only the electrical item that you know you’ll use for sure. For example, having your own printer can be convenient, but most university libraries provide student printing services. Ensure your reasoning for bringing game consoles and television them is well justified. Why not try to survive the first term without all those home comforts before making up your mind. If the worth of your electrical products is more than you can afford to lose, you should take out insurance before going to university. Some student housings are covered by external contents insurance already but never assume this.


  • Pens and pencils
  • A4 lined notepad(s)
  • A4 binder(s)
  • Highlighters
  • Post-it notes
  • Calendar/diary
  • Paper clips
  • Stapler
  • Sticky tape
  • Course readers and other study books

Note: Don’t be tempted to spend on overly expensive stationery when you decide what to take to university. You’ll be going through paper and pens like a mouse through cheese, so stick to a limited budget!


  • Cutlery (teaspoons, tablespoons, knives and forks) 
  • Crockery (plates, bowls and mugs)
  • Other utensils (e.g. chopping board and a sharp knife, wooden spoon, spatula, cheese grater, potato masher, colander, bottle opener, tin opener)
  • Saucepan and frying pan
  • Scissors 
  • Baking tray
  • Oven gloves
  • Tupperware container(s)
  • Washing up liquid and sponge
  • Recipe book
  • Snacks 

Note: If living in halls or other shared accommodation, you will be provided with a toaster and a kettle, as well as some cutlery and crockery. 


bedroom, what to take to uni
  • Mattress protector
  • Duvet and pillows
  • Duvet cover and pillow covers
  • Blankets
  • Laundry bin
  • Clothes hangers
  • Alarm clock
  • Desk lamp
  • Earplugs

Note: Most residence halls will provide students with standard single-size beds in their first year, but check with your university’s residential services before shopping for any bedding. Buy extra blankets if you get cold easily. 


  • Casual clothes (t-shirts, jumpers, trousers)
  • Underwear (pants, socks, bras)
  • Dressing gown and slippers
  • Winter coat and jacket
  • Gloves, hat and scarf
  • Shoes (trainers, smart shoes, casual shoes)
  • Chic office outfit (for possible part-time job interviews)
  • Sportswear/swimwear
  • Fancy dress


  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Washbag (especially useful if you’re sharing a bathroom which is a short walk away from your bedroom)
  • Soap
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Shower gel
  • Deodorant
  • Razor/ shaving foam
  • Towel (x2)
  • Hand towel
  • Washcloth
  • Hairbrush
  • Toilet roll
  • Tampons/sanitary towels


  • Any personal medications and prescriptions
  • Basic first aid kit (e.g. pain relief tablets, plasters, cold and flu remedy, allergy tablets, antibacterial lotion or spray)
  • Details of current GP and doctor’s surgery
  • Glasses and prescription
  • Multivitamins
  • Birth control pills and/or condoms


  • Sturdy bag
  • Photographs of friends and family
  • Small sewing kit
  • Matches or a lighter
  • Books for personal reading
  • Films/TV series boxsets
  • Board/card games 
  • Hairdryer/ hair straighteners etc.
  • Bike (plus helmet and a sturdy lock)

If you are still uncertain of what to take to university and whether you need to buy anything beforehand, consider going to university with just a very light load. It will be easy to buy what you need once you’re settled in, either on your own or as a group with your new fellow flatmates.

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