What you need to bring with you to university

Written by: UPSU

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Packing to move to your new university accommodation is a big task and not one to take lightly! Many students will be travelling great distances to get to Plymouth, and it might not be so easy to pop back home and pick up some things you forgot to pack! We highly recommend that you plan out what you are bringing with you to university in advance and make a checklist of all the important things you need to remember. 

Here are just some of the essentials you might want to think about...  


1. Tech! Think laptops, phones, chargers and any another tech you might need for your academic studies. 

You will have access to the Charles Seale-Hayne Library located on campus which offers computers that students can access 24/7 during term times, however, these are subject to availability, and you are unable to book in advance to use these (however, you can book study rooms which contain one computer each). If you have a laptop or a computer, we recommend you bring it for your academic work so that you can use it in your student accommodation and to study in other areas on campus, such as the SU Lounge, and not just in the library. 

Please remember to bring chargers for all your tech and consider purchasing protective items such as a laptop cases to keep your expensive equipment as safe as possible. 


2. Cards, ID, passports, and important documents. 

Remember your debit/credit cards or another way of accessing your money. You will also need to bring photo and age ID, such as passports, drivers, or provisional licences, particularly if you want to access 18+ events and be served alcohol either at the SU Bar or when out in Plymouth. 

Consider what important documents you will need to bring and where you will keep them safe. This might include documents sent to you by the University, or personal documents like hospital letters. If you are an international student, you may need to bring other documentation and it is essential you check with the University what you are required to have with you when you arrive.


3. All your toiletries. 

You may want to check if you student accommodation has shared bathroom facilities, or if you will have your own bathroom before you decide what you want to pack. 

Remember things like shampoos and conditioners, shower gel, razors, your toothbrush (and cables if it is an electic toothbrush!), soaps and towels. You may also want to bring bathroom cleaning products like bleach, toilet brushes and air fresheners. A big one a lot of students don’t think to pack is toilet rolls! It could be a funny first introduction to your new house mates asking to borrow loo roll but in case you don’t fancy that, remember to bring a couple! You also might want to consider bringing your own bathmat if one is not provided.

If you do forget any toiletries, you can always pop to the SU Shop located in the centre of the University of Plymouth campus to pick up some bathroom essentials, as well stationary, food and snacks, university clothing, gifts and more!

Please also remember to pack any medication you need.


4. Some cupboard essentials: tea and coffee, tinned food, and pasta.

There are plenty of supermarkets within walking distance of the University in Plymouth, including student, budget friendly supermarkets like Aldi. However, you may want to pack a few bits for your cupboards just to get your started for the first couple of days while you settle in and get to know your surroundings. 

Cupboard essentials include things like tea and coffee, long-life milk, pasta and rice, sauces, tinned goods, and seasonings. You may also want to think about bringing items such as cling film, tin foil, sandwich bags, bin bags and kitchen roll.

If you are planning to do a shopping trip just before arriving to your student accommodation, you could consider getting some frozen goods, however, be aware that freezer space may be limited, and your housemates may also bring frozen food unaware of the lack of space. If you already know the people you will be living with, it may be worth checking what they are planning to do. 

You might also want to bring some kitchen cleaning products like washing up liquid and surface sprays as well as washing machine detergent and fabric softener. 


5. Kitchen bits and bobs!

If you are moving into student halls, many provide you with a toaster and a kettle, and sometimes a microwave, but not all of them. It is worth checking with your student accommodation what will be provided and what you may want to purchase in advance. Once you become more settled and meet your new house mates, you may want to all pitch in for new kitchen equipment, but make sure you are all in agreement with what happens to the items if you don’t all decide to live together the following year. 

If you are not moving into student halls and are going straight into shared student housing, it will vary on what is provided and what is not based on what your landlord decides. It is worth asking you accommodation agency to check with the landlord for you so you can plan in advance what you might need to take with you for your kitchen. 

Regardless of what is and is not provided, it is sometimes worth bringing a few spare mugs and glasses (it is not unusual for students to hoard these in their bedrooms), extra cutlery and some additional plates and bowls so you don’t end up chasing your flat mates to wash up after themselves every time you want a meal. You may also want to bring tupperware to store leftovers in the fridge and if you are an organised individual, you may even want to meal prep for the week ahead!


For more ideas and for a ready-made checklist of items you may want to pack when moving to your new Plymouth student accommodation, UCAS Advice has put together ‘A big list of absolutely everything you need to take to university’ which you can check out here.