What to pack for university?

The lovely time of packing for university. Books, clothes, and a few pairs of shoes.. oh, no! I forgot the toothpaste! Does that sound familiar? In packing suitcases, there are extremes, in all fairness, like with everything else in life. The really relaxed ones that pack next to nothing and then the ones that pack half of their house. Afraid I was part of the latter category.

So let’s do this methodically and completely disorganized:

  • Clothes of all kinds. A warm overcoat does the job for cold / rainy / windy. Jeans. And some tops / shirts/ cardigans. Remember you’ll not live in the middle of nowhere and you can always buy the extra pair of jeans, another comfy pair of trainers, or a few more blouses. Plus there’s no point in over-crowding your case with that now.  Don’t forget socks and undies! Plenty of those…
  • I know I focused on comfy – which is the all-season style for uni, but do pack some nice formal wear, for that job-interview coming up
  • Shoes – go for comfy and (if you’re a girl) one pair of heels for now, will suffice… You can buy more of those too.
  • Some room decorations (nothing that means extensive DIY, but something to give  a nice touch) – a few pictures, little gifts that remind you of home. No, the cat does not count as room ornament.

Documents – anything that can prove who you are in case you ever misplace the passport

  • Passport
  • Passport photos
  • Driving licence
  • Medical insurance (European students)
  • Birth certificate
  • Exam certificates




  • iPod
  • Laptop
  • Speakers
  • Preferably a printer
  • Straighteners & Hair dryer
  • Socket converters (European / international students)

A small portable pharmacy (the very minimum and nothing illegal!)


  • Paracetamol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Throat lozenges
  • Antiseptic cream



Must I say it? Yes, you do need to pack some essentials (make up does class as essential). If you want to make life easier buy them on the first round of shopping when you arrive.

What not to take?

Searching the web I cam across a whole load of things that gave me a good laugh! For the sake of my own amusement, please allow me:

  • Spare tyres – while we’re on that, I’d advise against dragging your car with you in your first year  (unless you really need it, obviously). But if you need to come with a spare tyre… by all means, do. I am sure someone will turn it into a swing, pretty quickly.
  • High-vis jacket (???) Really? If you’re that fascinated with owning one, I am sure the uni can find a spare…
  • No saucepans, frying pans or any other kind of pans…  It takes space in your case. You can buy them from here and you’ll have some of those in your accommodation flat anyway.
  • Furniture of any kind – I won’t even comment on that.
  • A poster with your name and course to go on the door – err… I understand friendly ,  but surely when you move somewhere you don’t advertise your name, job and… bank details on the front door, do you?
  • If you want to know what not to do check out this link: http://bit.ly/qxwaoR. The article speaks of some Mexican Throws and antiques… that I sincerely never ever seen in a student room!
  • Food. I do not understand the fascination with getting food, in your suitcase. You can find food here too. Plenty. No need to put that in a suitcase.