When I was getting ready to move to the UK I was looking at all sorts of posts and guides trying to find a university packing list. The only problem was that none of them were aimed at people moving overseas. I wouldn’t have access to my parents car to drive almost my entire bedroom to my dorm. Instead I was moving by myself and limited to two suitcases.
So when I was packing I focused on making sure I packed the essentials then a few extra things that were small enough to pack. For everything else like bedding and kitchen supplies I either ordered them ahead or just bought them when I arrived.
When you are deciding what you need to pack, start off with the absolute essentials, like your travel documents (passport, visa, proof of study), clothing and, toiletries. Then you can move onto electronics (don’t forget the chargers and adapters!). Then finally you can move onto things for your room like artwork.
Things to Pack
- Visa documents
- Proof of Study
- Student loan documentation
- Housing documents
- Everyday clothes
- Professional clothes (depending on your program)
- Athletic clothes
- Slippers/house shoes (accommodation floors can be gross)
- Travel sized shampoo/conditioner
- Medicine (ibuprofen, acetaminophen, contraceptive)
- Shower shoes
I brought I few things with me that I wanted to remind me of home.
- Favourite mug
- Small blanket
- Pictures of family/friends
- Snacks or tea/coffee that you can only get from home
Things You Don’t Need on your University Packing List
You are definitely going to be tempted to bring things that you don’t need or won’t use. These are some of the things that you can leave at home.
- Blowdryer – ok, yes you’ll probably need one but if you are moving from North America leave this at home. UK outlets use a different voltage than the US and Canada so unless you are also bringing a voltage adapter leave it at home. (I will note that some blowdryers and flatirons are rated for dual voltage which means you can use them in the UK but you will still need a plug adapter)
- Shampoo and Conditioner – You can bring a small travel sized for your first night but other than that you can buy when you arrive
- Google home – so I discovered this when I arrived but google homes purchased in North America will not function in the UK so don’t waste the space on one.
- A heavy winter coat – I brought one of my winter coats with me that separates into an outer shell and and inner puff jacket. I don’t think I have ever worn the two together so you definitely don’t need your normal winter coat.
Another good rule of thumb is that if you are buying something just to take with you, don’t get it. You either don’t really need it or you can get it when you arrive.