What to pack 

Whether you spend weeks packing or just throw everything in to a suitcase the night before, choosing what to bring to university isn’t always easy. 
Below you will find some ideas for what to bring - the list isn't exhaustive, but you can use it as a starting point.


  • Confirmation of your arrival date/time and address and directions. Please be aware that due to the high volume of arrivals it is essential you arrive for your allotted timeslot
  • Money - the first instalment of your student maintenance loan is not paid until the first week of term
  • Documents - passport, driving licence, national insurance number, bank details and cards, student loan documents
  • Towels and bed linen (including pillows and a quilt or duvet) - if you are in University accommodation, you can buy a bedding pack from your accommodation
    site office which includes a duvet, pillow, bed sheet, duvet cover and pillow
  • Any medications you need - and be sure to register with a doctor when you arrive
  • Medical evidence of any disabilities

Settling in

  • Post-it notes to leave messages on people's doors
  • Tea and coffee, extra mugs, and snacks for the first few days - offering someone biscuits and a cuppa is a fast way to make friends
  • Camera - to capture all the fun of Welcome
  • Posters and photographs (to make you feel more at home in your new surroundings!)
  • Blu-tac for putting up posters and pictures

Day-to-day living

  • 16 - 25  Railcard - with the University served by its own train station this can be a great way to save money
  • Your laptop - if you want to use one (don’t forget to bring your chargers and any cables)
  • Coat hangers (*)
  • Mobile phone (and charger)
  • Toiletries, (including remedies for any 'freshers' flu that might be going around). 
  • Washing powder/fabric conditioner
  • Basic cookbook or bring your favourite recipes - check out our Get Cooking! resource for our best recipes and budgeting tips!
  • Pots, pans, kitchen utensils, plates and cutlery - if you want to cook for yourself (*)
  • Other kitchen equipment including bin liners, washing up liquid and tea towels (*)
  • Kettle, iron, toaster (*)
  • Bag or rucksack to carry essentials to University
  • Shaver plug adaptor - if you have an electric shaver or toothbrush you may need one if shaver sockets are not available (*)
  • Entertainment, such as music, DVDs and books. Make sure to bring headphones for music, so as not to be the annoying flatmate with the loud music!

(*) Please check your accommodation’s inventory as these items may already be provided. And don't forget, there’s limited space in the kitchens and if you're living with other students they will most likely have different kitchen equipment to you. Why not wait and see what others already have before buying everything you think you'll need. Alternatively, you can use the Student Mentor Scheme’s Flatmate Finder app (available mid-August) to get in touch with your flatmates to talk about this before you arrive.


  • Stationery, including drawing pins (only to be used on the notice board provided!) (*)
  • Paper and lots of cheap pens - these can magically disappear in accommodation!
  • Buy lever arch folders beforehand, as they are likely to be cheaper bought in bulk
  • Study lamp
  • Having your own printer can be very helpful, but be prepared for lots of requests from others to use it!

(*) you may want to check with your accommodation provider that you can use these

International students

  • Electrical adaptor - to turn your plug into a British electrical plug
  • Pack your passport, travel documents and University documentation in a safe place in your hand luggage and also make copies of all of these documents and pack them separately
  • Some UK currency for initial costs (please do not carry large amounts of cash)
  • Enough money in travellers’ cheques to pay for your living costs, until you can open a bank account and have money transferred
  • Travel insurance for your journey to the UK
  • Any prescription medicine you are taking and a letter from your present doctor to explain any pre-existing medical conditions for your UK doctor
  • Warm clothes and an umbrella or waterproof coat

International students - illegal products

You should avoid bringing the following products, which it is against UK law to bring:

  • Milk and meat products - there are strict rules governing the import of milk, meat and their products from non-European countries
  • Other food items including fish, shellfish, honey, eggs and certain types of fruit and vegetables - there are strict limits that will depend on the country you are travelling from

Anyone found with illegal products in their possession when they are entering the UK could be fined or receive a prison sentence. Learn more from this Travelling to the UK Border Force guide.

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