what to pack for uni
As much as it’s exciting, packing to go to university can be incredibly stressful. Daniel Leal-Olivas / AFP

You’re getting ready to make the big move and set off on the adventure of your life. First, however, you need to decide on what to pack for uni.

As much as it’s exciting, packing to go to university can be incredibly stressful. It can be easy to spend too much money when thinking about what to take to university, especially if you want to ensure you’re prepared for anything.

No matter how good a packer you are, it always takes longer than you think. Start at least three weeks before moving day, so you can make sure you have everything you need. Travelling light is also going to save you a lot of hassle on check-in day. Plus, keep in mind your baggage allowance at all times — you don’t want to be removing stuff at the last minute in the middle of an airport.

Stick with these essentials:

what to pack

Don’t know what to pack for uni? Follow our guide. Source: Cindy Ord/AFP

Clothing and toiletries

If you are from a much warmer country, then be prepared for the rain and bipolar weather in countries with four seasons. Thermal wear and sweatpants are live savers in winter.

They keep you warm all year round, and they can be fashion statements. Rolling your tops and jumpers saves space over folding. Pro tip: Don’t do a big shop for new clothes beforehand; most people’s styles evolve at uni and you end up disliking a lot of things you had from before.

Depending on where you’ll be living, you may have a bathroom to yourself or share with other people; it’s best to have a set of your own toiletries. Tampons/sanitary pads, nail scissors, razors, comb/brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, shower gel and deodorant — these should be packed and placed within easy reach to make it easy to freshen up during your flight and when you just arrive.


Studying in certain countries entitles you to free healthcare once you sign up with your local General Practitioner (GP). As an international student, this may take some time to set up at the beginning of your university experience, which as a result may initially slow down your access to prescription medication.

While you’ll have access to pharmacies, it’s advisable to bring enough to last you at the start of term. Remember to bring some of your essential vitamins too. Note that some countries require a doctor’s note for prescription — it’s best to get your GP from home provide this.


You can’t get through university without your phones, laptops, chargers, power banks, cameras, ear/headphones, speakers. How else will you be able to procrastinate over unfinished essays and binge-watch Netflix with your new flatmates?

Plus these items might cost a lot more in the country you’re studying in, so it’s best to bring these items with you. It’s a long flight or drive — music and movies will help loads!