As a student, moving to London can be both exhilarating and overwhelming. It’s crucial to pack sensibly as you get ready for this life-altering journey to ensure a smooth transition. Here’s a list of essential items to bring from home to help you minimise packing stress and make your move to London as easy as possible.
- Important documents: This may seem like a no-brainer but with all the stress of packing for your university living, combined with the apprehension and excitement of moving to a new city, students may sometimes find themselves scrambling to have all the necessary paperwork in order at the last minute. As some of these documents are essential for campus enrolment, ensure that all important documents such as your passport and visa, CAS and LSE acceptance letter, accommodation and rent agreements, and so on, have been safely packed into your luggage. I recommend keeping this paperwork in a secure folder in your carry-on luggage, as you will not only need them after arriving in London but during the journey as well.
- Laptop and other gadgets: Since the majority of academic studies and tasks rely heavily on online platforms, a dependable laptop is essential for your time at LSE. Also, don’t forget your power banks, adapters and converters, chargers, and any other necessary technology to meet your needs both personally and academically.
- Clothing: Pack a range of clothing for all seasons because London’s weather can be quite unpredictable. The city’s frequent rain and winds will make raincoats, supportive shoes, and umbrellas useful. The amount of clothes you want to bring will depend on which country you will be arriving from. For example, students from hotter climates such as India will benefit from buying coats and jumpers from London itself, which offers a range of shopping spots for all styles and budgets, so there is no need to overpack. Also, don’t forget to bring some formal wear for interviews and campus events. Again, such attire is easily available in London, should you run out of luggage space!
- Beddings and linens: For comfort and familiarity, it’s a good idea to bring your bedsheets, pillowcases, and towels even though your accommodation may already have some basic furnishings. For international students, bedding can take up luggage space, so I recommend bringing bedsheets and pillowcases from home and purchasing larger items such as duvets and towels from London stores such as IKEA.
- Medications and toiletries: While you wait to be registered with a London GP, it is a good idea to pack a basic first-aid kit containing items such as prescription medication, bandages, antiseptic cream, painkillers, and any other necessary medical supplies. Because you might not immediately be able to buy the same brands in London, bring enough of your favourite personal care and toiletry items for the first few weeks.
- Kitchen essentials: If you are living in non-catered accommodation, cooking your own meals is a great way to save money. You can bring along kitchen essentials such as knives, pots and pans, and cutlery. Again, international students needn’t worry about bringing these items from home as they are readily available in London stores. However, I recommend bringing some spices and other ingredients from home, as they will help you in cooking your favourite comfort meals whenever you feel a little homesick.
- Sentimental items: Moving to a new place might be emotionally challenging, especially in the first weeks when homesickness might kick in. Little mementoes such as family photos and stuffed animals can serve as a reminder of the people you love and bring comfort during stressful times.
- Sturdy bag: You will frequently find yourself exploring the big bustling city of London. For carrying necessities on commutes to and from university and during city adventures, a reliable backpack or day bag is ideal.
Moving to London as a student is a transformative experience that is full of opportunities for growth and making memories. By packing these essentials, students can make the most of their time in this exciting city!