What to pack

If you are moving into accommodation, you have probably already started thinking about what to bring with you. Deciding what to pack can be tricky, but here are our top suggestions to help you get started.

This list has been written with undergraduate home and international students who will be living in University accommodation in mind, but will provide a useful reminder for any student moving into new accommodation

What is already included?

If you are going to be living in University-owned accommodation you can find out what will be provided in your accommodation by checking the inventories. If you are living in partner or private accommodation, check with your provider or landlord to find out what's included and what you need to bring.

Essentials

  • Confirmation of your arrival date and time, and the address (and directions) to your accommodation - you don't want to turn up at the wrong time or get lost on the way! For University-owned accommodation you will choose your arrival time in advance
  • Passport (and visa) - if you are travelling from abroad, then these are obviously essentials essential! Make sure these are in a safe place in your hand luggage. You should also make copies of these and pack them separately, in case anything happens to them. You should also bring any documentation you have from the University or about your visa.
  • Money - the first instalment of your student loan is not paid until teaching begins. If you do have a student loan, it is best to make sure you have the details of this with you. If you are an international student, make sure you have some British currency for your initial costs, but avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Bedding and towels - if you are in University-owned accommodation you can buy a bedding pack from your accommodation site, or you can of course bring your own.
  • Documents and personal details - have things like your National Insurance number, bank details, driving licence (if you have one), passport, and any University documents to hand in case you need them. Make sure to keep these in a safe place. If you are thinking of getting a part-time job, you will need to bring original copies of your documents (such as your passport) - this includes UK and ROI students!
  • Medications and medical information - if you take any medications, remember to bring these with you. Try to bring enough to last you until you will be able to register with a doctor here. If you have any medical conditions or disabilities you may find it helpful to bring information about these with you (GP or Consultants letters, copies of prescriptions etc.), particularly if you are an international student. If you wear glasses, a copy of your latest prescription might be a good idea too.
  • Student ID card - if your student ID card was sent to you in the post, remember to bring it with you! If it wasn't, you can collect it on campus.

Students living in University-owned accommodation have insurance included in their rent through Endsleigh. Make sure you understand what is and is not covered by the policy so that you can decide if it is sufficient for your needs. Find out more about your insurance cover.

What else to bring

There are a number of other things you will want to bring to help you feel at home and ready to study. Think about what you will need to bring with you, or what you might want to get when you arrive. There are a range of local shops selling homewares, including the nearby Selly Oak Shopping Park and you will be able to arrange online deliveries from most major retailers.

Settling in

  • Tea, coffee and extra mugs and snacks - offering someone a cup of tea and a biscuit is a fast way to make friends.
  • Phone - keep in touch with friends (new and old) and family, as well as getting those all important photos! Don't forget your charger, and a plug adaptor if you need one.
  • Pins - most rooms will have notice boards, and they always sell out on campus during Welcome! Check with your accommodation to find out if you can use Blu-Tac on the walls.
  • Something to make your room feel homely - whether it is photos, posters, your favourite cushion or something else, little bits and pieces can help you feel at home.
  • Post-it notes or a mini whiteboard - so you can leave messages for your flatmates. Let them know what you are up to or write something to make them smile.

Day-to-day living

  • A kettle, toaster and iron - check your inventory to see if these are provided for you. You might want to wait and get these with your flatmates, so you don't end up with five of everything!
  • Pans, kitchen utensils, plates and cutlery - again check what is already provided for you; how much you bring might depend on whether you are mainly cooking for yourself or will be on Meal Plan.
  • Washing-up liquid, tea towels and bin liners - don't be the flatmate who's known for leaving a pile of washing up! You might find it easier to buy these when you arrive.
  • Washing powder and a laundry bag - remember space in your room will be limited, so you might not want a bulky laundry basket. You can use our Accommodation App to check if a machine is available or if your laundry has finished.
  • Toiletries and a first aid kit - you may want to include some basic painkillers and medicines.
  • Face mask and hand sanitiser - be prepared when you are out and about on campus and in the local area.
  • A bag or rucksack to carry books and stationery on campus - and a sports bag if you plan on going to the gym.
  • Music, films and books - you'll want some time to relax. Headphones might be a good idea to avoid annoying your flatmates with loud music!
  • Blankets - your accommodation may be warmer or colder than you are used to at home, so layers are key.
  • Coat hangers - these are easy to forget.
  • Alarm clock - relying on your phone might not be the best idea!
  • Shaver plug adaptor - if you have an electric shaver or toothbrush you might need an adaptor for a normal plug socket. Check with your accommodation.
  • A water bottle and reusable cup - save money and plastic waste by taking water with you. Many buildings on campus have water fountains (and hot water points for tea and coffee) to fill up for free and tap water in the UK is safe to drink. You might also get a discount if you buy a coffee using your own cup!
  • Lunchbox - if you're self-catering, you might also find a lunchbox useful for taking lunch with you - Some study spaces, including the Aston Webb Student Hub and Alan Walters Building, have microwaves for you to use.
  • 16-25 Railcard - the University has its own train station and many students use trains to get into the city centre, or to travel home, so this can be a great way to save money. Full-time students over the age of 25 are also eligible.
  • TV Licence - if you want to watch or record live TV programmes on any channel, or download or watch BBC iPlayer programmes, you will need to be covered by a TV Licence. This includes watching TV on your phone, tablet, computer or games console. Make sure you understand the rules around TV Licences and whether you will need one.
  • Plug adaptors - if you are bringing electrical appliances from abroad make sure you have plug adaptors to fit the British three-pin sockets.
  • Warm clothes, a coat, and an umbrella - the Great British weather can get wet and windy very quickly. Snow is also possible during the winter months.

Studying

  • Your laptop - if you plan to use one, and don't forget to bring any chargers or cables. There is Wi-Fi access in all University-owned accommodation. Remember you can download Microsoft Office 365 for free on up to five devices.
  • A study lamp and desk accessories - as the nights get darker you might like having a lamp for your desk, and an organised desk will help you feel prepared for studying.
  • Paper, folders and notebooks - you'll need to provide your own stationery, so decide what works best for you. You might find it cheaper to buy these in bulk before you start, particularly folders.
  • Scissors and sellotape - it's surprising how often you'llend up using these!
  • Spare pens - these always seem to disappear, so lots of spare pens are a must.
  • Printer - some students prefer having their own printer, whilst others prefer to use printers on campus. Remember to factor in the cost of ink cartridges.
  • USB memory stick or access to a cloud service - to back up important assignments and transfer work from home to campus.

What not to bring

  • There are strict rules about what you can bring from overseas. See our information on arriving in the UK.
  • Your car - there is limited parking available both at student accommodation and on campus, and you will need a permit.
  • Pets - these are not allowed unfortunately, so leave the hamster at home!
  • Large amounts of cash - bring enough for your initial costs, but avoid carrying large amounts of cash. If you are an international student, you may want to bring travellers' cheques or a prepaid travel card to cover you until you are able to open a bank account.
  • Large electrical items and furniture - they can take up valuable space in your luggage and you will be able to source these locally or for delivery once you have arrived and know what you need.
  • Bulky suitcases - these can be difficult to store, you might find a soft-sided holdall or laundry bags easier to put under your bed.
  • Too much! - remember that space in your accommodation will be limited, so do not bring everything you own. There are plenty of shops in the local area and the city centre to pick up anything you need or anything you have forgotten, and your flatmates will be bringing things too. 

Bedding pack

If you are in University owned accommodation, you can purchase a bedding pack from your accommodation site. The packs include two pillows, a duvet, and a duvet cover. Please contact your site reception at The Vale, Pritchatts Park, or Selly Oak before you arrive if you would like to purchase one.

Looking for more?

If you are looking for more detailed suggestions of what to bring, The Student Room have produced a comprehensive packing list for students.

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