Deciding what to take to college or university can seem daunting when faced with an empty suitcase or a pile of cardboard boxes. If this is your freshman/first year, you won’t really know what to expect from college/ university so won’t know exactly what you will need to take with you. Thoughts of being away home may tempt you to pack too much as you begin to realise there is really nothing you can live without. At Send My Bag we have been there, done that and are here to help you with our university and college packing checklist, which will help you identify the most important items to pack.
Use this uni checklist as a guide, but remember that you don't really need to pack just the bare minimum. Instead you can have that extra outfit, those notes you may or may not use, and that emergency supply of chocolate bars. Just stick them in a suitcase or box and have Send My Bag deliver it to your student accommodation/ dorm room. Visit our student page to find out about the service that thousands of students are using to help them recreate a home from home when moving to college/ university.
Make sure you pack what you need to participate in class and to complete assignments from the start. You will need:
Books from the reading list
Notes from related courses
Stationery kit – pen, pencil, eraser, ruler, etc.
Clothing and accessories
You will no doubt be able to do laundry in your hall of residence/ dorm, so don’t think you have to pack enough clothing to last the whole semester. The clothing you bring will depend on the climate you are moving to, but here is a sample packing list of travel essentials:
Underwear for at least a week
Socks for a week
7 t-shirts/ tops
4 pairs of jeans
2 pairs of shorts
Hat/ scarf/ gloves
Outfit for a formal occasion
Pack as many toiletries as you would when going on holiday/ vacation. Thereafter, you can purchase what you need once you arrive, when you need it.
Small shower gel
Small shampoo/ conditioner
Make up remover
Hair styling product
Contact lenses and solution
Bring any meds that you rely on in sufficient quantities to allow you time to register with a doctor in your university town/city, as well as a supply of off-the-shelf medication to combat the effect of long journeys and the change of environment. Pack these in your carry-on luggage:
Cold and flu meds
Plasters/ band aids
Make your dorm room feel like home and combat homesickness by packing a few much-loved home décor items with you, such as:
Photos of family and friends (plus Blu-tack)
Colourful cushion or throw
Favourite mug (carefully packed)
Read our helpful guide on turning your accommodation into a cosy home.
You will obviously buy food once you arrive at college/ uni but it can’t hurt to have a little something in your luggage to keep you going.
Food item specific to your home country
Having access to a laptop and a phone will mean you can stay in touch with home throughout the settling-in process, helping you to combat loneliness.
Laptop (with a few downloaded movies)
Mobile phone/ cell phone
Travel adapters if studying abroad
(Noise-cancelling) head phones
A couple of fiction books
Don’t be caught out by missing documentation. Research everything you need to bring to enrol at your institution. Make sure you pack these items in your carry-on luggage, in case your checked bag gets lost:
Letter of acceptance from the host institution
Other information provided by the institution, e.g. relating to student accommodation
Travel insurance details
If you think you will struggle to stick to this uni checklist, you can easily send your student luggage to your dorm room or halls of residence with Send My Bag.
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