Knowing what to take with you when going to university for the first time can be tricky.

For most students it is likely to be the first time living alone, so many people will not be totally aware of the things you need to live comfortably.

Cost and space may be the two biggest limiting factors on what you can bring – but plenty of people also end up bringing too much.

Here we look at what you should take when you go to university for the first time

Some teaching may be done online this year (Getty Images)


It’s important you take along the right documents on your first day of university. These could include your passport or your driving licence as a form of identity card.

You may also want to bring your university admission acceptance letter and course acceptance letter.

Take your contract for your housing, as well as student finance documents and letters supporting any scholarship or bursary you may have been awarded.

A college at Oxford University (Getty Images)

Kitchen utensils

If you are living with other people, it is likely that there will be more than one of certain items, like frying pans.

If you don’t already know, find out what kind of kitchen facilities you will have, as this will help you work out what to bring.

But don’t be complacent, as some people might not like sharing.

With this in mind, remember to bring cutlery, a plate, a bowl, a mug, a glass, a chopping board, a sharp knife, a frying pan, a saucepan, tupperware, a sieve or colander, a tin opener and a tea towel at a minimum.

You could also bring baking trays, a bottle opener, a cheese grater and more. It depends what your kitchen will look like, how big it is and how adventurous you’re planning to get with cooking.

Students enjoying a night out in a previous year (PA)

Electrical items

Again, this depends on what you want to do, but as a minimum you should bring a phone, phone charger, laptop, laptop charger and USB stick.

You might also want to bring headphones, an ethernet cable for faster internet and a printer (although these are expensive and you should have access to printers through your university).


This depends on what you’re studying, but pens, paper, a notepad and folders for each module are generally a good idea.

A rucksack big enough for your laptop would also be sensible.

Students graduating in a previous year (PA)


Check with your university about what is provided, but your room should already have at least a bed and a mattress, and may have more.

As a minimum, you should take a duvet, duvet cover, bedsheets, clothes hangers, a drying rack and a laundry basket.


Find out from your university if you will be sharing a bathroom with others or if you will have your own facilities.

You should take a toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, hand towel, shampoo, shower gel, soap, plasters, nail clippers, any medication you are on and any cosmetic items you use.

You could also take contraceptives, tweezers, and sliders for communal showers.

People studying at an Oxford University library (Getty Images)


Wear whatever you feel comfortable in – within limits – but also remember to bring at least one smart outfit if you plan on applying for any jobs.

Bring at least two pairs of shoes, and enough socks and underwear to last you at least a week. You should also take an umbrella, a raincoat and a warmer winter coat, as well as a warm hat.

Plenty of universities run fancy dress events, especially in Freshers Week, so it might be a good idea to bring a costume too.

What not to take

As outlined above, while it may be tempting to bring as much as possible, space or cost reasons could mean that you have to leave some things behind.

Don’t bring all of your clothes, because it’s unlikely you will have room to store all of them in halls.

You probably won’t need an iron either – or at least not regularly enough to bring your own.

Don’t bring your entire reading list with you. Books are likely to be available in the library, either physically or online, and the books will be heavy and take up a lot of space in your room.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here