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
Student Finance Documents (e.g., Bank Statement Letter)
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
Photos of Friends & Family
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
Toiletries (Soap, Shampoo, etc)
Personal Hygiene Goods
Small Basket (To keep your toiletries) *
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
Formal Wear (At least two sets)
Shorts for the Summer
For your Kitchen
Kitchen Equipment (e.g., Tongs, Ladle)
Plates & Bowls (Microwavable ones preferred) *
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).
Stationary (pen, pencils, notepads, highlighters)
PC/Laptop & Charger
Mobile Phone & Charger
Sim Cards (Purchase in the UK)
Small First-Aid Kit*
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
Apple Education Store
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
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
Global Chums Mentoring