Freshers Week 2021

The Ultimate University Checklist for International Students

From Phyo, Economics student

First off, congratulations on nailing your ‘A’ Level/IB exams and receiving an offer from the University of Exeter! Now that you’re done with the key steps, let’s move on to the next stage - PACKING. Feeling unsure about what to bring to uni? Don’t worry, the welcome team at Exeter has compiled a list of essentials just for you.

The most important of all categories: your documentation. You’ll need this to be granted access into the UK. Please remember to double check that you’ve got everything on this list before your flight. Some of the documents listed below may or may not apply to you (e.g., Insurance Documents)

Documentation & Other Essentials

Valid passport and/or driving licence (ID)

University Admission Acceptance Letter

Course Acceptance Letter

Accommodation Contract

Student Finance Documents (e.g., Bank Statement Letter)

Scholarship/Bursary Letter

Insurance Documents

Passport Photos

Vaccination Records

Bank Card (Make sure it’s valid for use in the UK)

Cash (Try to get your hands on some British Pounds before your travel)

Next up, we have compiled the list of essentials and non-essential goods for your Bedroom, Bathroom, Wardrobe, Kitchen, and other Miscellaneous necessities. Feel free to tweak the packing list to your preference. As an international student coming into the UK, there is always limitations on what you can bring over to your new home. Focus on packing stuff that you can’t get easily in the UK (nothing illegal please). For instance, as an international student from Singapore, there are times when I miss homecooked food in the UK. To make myself comfortable settling into a new environment, I always make sure to pack a couple of sauce kits. This also provides you with the opportunity to introduce your unique cuisine to your new friends in Exeter! Pro tip 1: leave the bulky stuff out of your packing list (e.g., Mattress Protector) and prioritise, prioritise, and prioritise on your essentials!

*Especially Important for Shared Accommodations

For your Bedroom

Essentials

Photos of Friends & Family

Bed Sheet(s)

Duvet

Blanket

Pillow(s)

Pillowcase(s)

Mattress Protector*

Laundry Basket*

Non-Essentials

Plushies

Here is your second tip: get a pair of slippers! This is crucial for those staying in accommodation with shared toilets where you’ll need to travel to a separate shower area.

For your Bathroom

Essentials

Towel(s)

Toiletries (Soap, Shampoo, etc)

Personal Hygiene Goods

Sanitary Products

Flipflops/Slippers*

Non-Essentials

Small Basket (To keep your toiletries) *

Straightener

Dryer 

Tip number 3: pack for the seasons. If you’re staying for summer, make sure to pack enough clothes for the weather. Similarly, don’t forget to pack some winter clothing as well – nothing fancy, just a couple of jackets, hoodies or coats will do.

For your Wardrobe

Essentials

Home-wear (Pyjamas)

Formal Wear (At least two sets)

Smart Shoe(s)

Shorts for the Summer

Trousers

Jeans

Joggers

Jackets

T-shirts

Sweaters

Underwear

Socks

Trainer(s)

Flipflops/Slippers*

Non-Essentials

Coat hangers

Gym Kit

Gloves

Hats

For your Kitchen

Essentials

Saucepan(s)

Frying Pan(s)

Knives

Chopping Board

Cutlery

Tea Towels

Kitchen Equipment (e.g., Tongs, Ladle)

Glasses/Mugs

Plates & Bowls (Microwavable ones preferred) *

Containers*

Non-Essentials

Cling Film*

Kettle

Baking Tray

Whisk

Oven gloves

Corkscrew/Bottle Opener

Tin Opener

Peeler

Measuring Jug

Grater

Tin Foil

Blender

Toaster

Rice cooker

Sauce Kits

Pro tip 4: socket adaptors are a must. If most of your electronic goods and chargers are not UK-friendly, you’ll need adaptors. You’ll be expected to travel within the UK, which brings me to tip number 5: get a railcard. Depending on the type of railcard you get/are eligible for, you can obtain up to 1/3 off train travel. I would recommend getting the 3-year railcard at £70 (the 1-year railcard can be bought at £30).

Miscellaneous

Essentials

Socket Adaptor

Stationary (pen, pencils, notepads, highlighters)

PC/Laptop & Charger

Mobile Phone & Charger

Sim Cards (Purchase in the UK)

Umbrella

Small First-Aid Kit*

Rail Card

Non-Essentials

Extension Lead*

USB Stick

Notepads/Post-it notes

Washing Detergent

Desk fan

Desk lamp

Music Speakers

Bicycle

Rucksack

Weekend bag

Water bottle

Musical instruments

Religious text

Essential furniture and amenities (e.g., Bed, Study Table) will be provided for you in university halls and private student accommodations, so you won’t have to worry purchasing these. Don’t forget that accommodation is guaranteed by the university for first-year students (given that you apply by the university’s guarantee deadline of 31st July) so be sure to apply for one if you haven’t. The university offers quality printing services at minimal costs – save some money by using these services. Lastly, avoid buying candles and incense. They may provide a sense of tranquillity but don’t forget that these are fire hazards. The last thing you’d want is to trigger the fire alarm and be faced with a group of angry students.

What You Won’t Need

Old study book(s)

ALL your clothes

Too much stationary

Printer & Ink

Candles & Incense

Here are some places that offers good prices, wide choices, and helpful customer service. Some of these places even offer delivery service (some are free if you purchase up to a certain limit) so there’s the added benefit of convenience. 

Recommended Shopping Spots

Amazon

Argos

Wilko

Asos

Apple Education Store

Superdrug

Boots

Ikea

Supermarkets

Tesco Metro  | 223-226 High St, Exeter EX4 3RH, United Kingdom | 7am-10pm

Sainsburys  | Guildhall Shopping Centre, Exeter EX4 3HH, United Kingdom | 8am-7pm

Marks & Spencer | 211, 219 High St, Exeter EX4 3QA, United Kingdom | 8am-6.30pm

Waitrose  | 2 Gladstone Rd, Exeter EX1 2ED, United Kingdom  | 7.30am-9pm

The Market Place |University of Exeter Forum, Exeter EX4 4SZ, United Kingdom | 8am-8pm

Asian Marts

168 Oriental Supermarket |3 Summerland St, Exeter EX1 2AT, United Kingdom | 10am-8pm

BHL Oriental |King William St, Exeter EX4 6PD, United Kingdom | 10am-6pm

Top Apps to Download

Please note that these apps are not official partners of the Students' Guild. 

Just Eat |Food Delivery Service

Unidays |Discounts and Promos for Students

Apple Central Exeter |Ride-Hailing Service

Trainline |Train Ticket Booking Service

National Express |Coach Booking Service

Railcard |Discounts and Promos for Travel

Stagecoach |Exeter Bus Service

iExeter + Authenticator |The Official Uni App

Handshake | The Official Uni App for Career

Additional Guides for International Students

Pre-Arrival Guide

Post-Arrival Guide

Global Chums Mentoring


FAQs

Accessibility Tools

University of Exeter Students' Guild is a Charity and Company Limited by Guarantee. Registered Charity Number: 1136468 Company Number: 07217324; registered in England and Wales Registered office: Devonshire House, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4PZ