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.

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 do not 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. There will be a very high number of students arriving, so it is essential you arrive for your allocated time-slot.
  • Passport and visa - if you are travelling from abroad, then these are 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 the first week of term. 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 for £30-40, 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.
  • 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.

Students living in University-owned accommodation have insurance included in their rent through Endsleigh, which covers a range of belongings in your room including laptops, sports and electrical equipment, clothes, and frozen food. Laptops, tablets and phones are not covered outside of your room. Make sure you understand exactly what is covered and what is not, as you may need to extend it to cover all your possessions both inside and outside your room.

What else to bring

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 noticeboards, 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.
  • Fancy dress - if you've got any favourite costumes bring them along, unless you prefer to get creative with things you can find!

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 do not all bring the same things.
  • Pans, kitchen utensils, plates and cutlery - again check what's 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 - do not be the flatmate who is 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 large 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 - it is not unusual to catch a cold in the first few weeks at university (the famous 'freshers flu') so basic medicines and cold remedies, as well as things like plasters, can come in handy.
  • A bag or rucksack to carry books and stationery on campus - and a sports bag if you plan on going to the gym.
  • Music, DVDs and books - you will want some time to relax. Headphones might be a good idea to avoid annoying your flatmates with loud music!
  • 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.
  • 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 - save money by taking water with you, rather than buying it out and about. Many buildings on campus have water fountains to fill up for free. If you're self-catering, you might also find a lunchbox useful for taking lunch with you.
  • 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. You are not covered by your parents' TV Licence.

Studying

  • Your laptop - if you plan to use one, and don't forget to bring any chargers or cables. There is wifi access in all University-owned accommodation. Remember you can download Microsoft Office 365 for free on up to five devices.
  • 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 is surprising how often you will end up using these!
  • Spare pens - these always seem to disappear, so lots of cheap spare pens are a must.
  • A study lamp - as the nights draw in you might like having a lamp for your desk.
  • 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 - to back up important assignments and transfer work from home to campus.

What not to bring

  • Large amounts of food - there are plenty of shops in the local area to stock up on food after the first few days. It is best to see how much storage space you will have before buying lots of food in bulk.
  • 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 to cover you until you are able to open a bank account.
  • Bulky suitcases - these can be difficult to store, you might find a soft sided holdall easier to put under your bed.
  • The kitchen sink! - 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. It is also likely you will go home in the holidays or throughout the year to pick up things like summer clothes when you need them.

 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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