[Lifestyle] Study Aboard Starting Kit
Updated: Sep 1, 2021
Moving country and studying aboard is challenging, where you need to start from scratch and with your friends and family so far away. This is a list of items that I think would help you go through the initial transition smoothly. Remember, suitcase spaces is very limited. There are always more things you want to bring than you actually can. Therefore it's important to choose wisely what you pack with you.
What to bring with you
2 weeks worth of clothing. This is to get you started. You want to make sure you have something to wear and change before you have time to buy more. You will need about 14 pairs of socks and undergarments, 2-3 tops, 2 pairs of jeans and/or trousers, 1-2 skirts/ dresses (for the ladies), 1 summer jacket, 1 winter coat, 1 set of formal outfit (suitable for interviews/ formal events), 1 set of workout clothes, 1 scarf, 1 pair of gloves, 1 pair of trainers, 1 pair of casual shoes and 1 pair of formal shoes. Also bring with you 1 set of PJs and a raincoat if you're going to somewhere rainy. Remember, you can always buy more aboard when you need them. You can also bring some accessories if you want, just make sure you only bring a few and don't bring the expensive ones.
Bags Bring a backpack for days when you have a lot to carry, a cross-body bag for sightseeing and night outs (ideally something that has a detachable strap so you can use it as a clutch on formal occasions), and an everyday bag for your day-to-day activities.
1 week worth of personal care products and toiletries To save you time and effort, bring a week worth of personal goods that works well for you. Things like skincare and makeup that you know you like are good to have, before you have the time to go shop for more. You would also want to bring your toothbrush, a travel size toothpaste, feminine products and contact lenses shall you require them.
Medications and prescriptions Bring any medications you're currently taking with you; as well as the prescription shall you have any. If there's any medication you're currently taking you'd want to inform your local GPs, to help them keep track of your medical history. Also, have a mini first aid kit on hand in case you need it during your first weeks of arrival.
Electronics I probably wouldn't have to remind you this, but make sure to pack your phone, laptop, tablets and/or any other devices you'll need. Also make sure you have the corresponding chargers and power converters shall they be required. A small power bank would also be a nice touch if you can fit it into your suitcase.
Couple of items that remind you of home. I would not lie, starting fresh alone in an unfamiliar country could be difficult. Therefore, I do encourage you to bring couple of items that help you cope with home sickness. If that means having a plush doll that means a lot to you, by all means bring it. All I'm going to say here is please make sure you have some self-control (it's hard, I know!) and try not to bring your whole bedroom with you.
Your travel documents and adequate cash. Finally, you do not want to leave your travel documents at home. Make sure you bring your passport, visa and any necessary documents to ensure you can actually get into your destination country. Do not bring all the money you will need for your duration of study. Bank transfer is a safer and more efficient option. However, do make sure you have enough cash to last you through the first 2-3 weeks, so you would have sufficient funds before you can get your hands on a bank account.
What to Buy When You Arrived
I cannot tell you how many times I've seen a huge rice cooker in someone's suitcase when they're only studying overseas for a year. Ladies and gentlemen, it's 2019 and we now live in a highly globalized world. The truth is, whatever gigantic appliances you're considering bringing is available at your destination country, especially if you're moving to a big city like London or Toronto. Believe it or not, in the case of things like a rice cooker, it is possible that it's cheaper get aboard than to ship it across the world. I have actually seen people bringing a mop with them during their overseas studies. Now let me tell you this, when I first moved to London as a MSc student, a survival kit (called the 'dig-in box') was given to me on the very first day I moved into my student accommodation. Inside that box, was a coupon that gives me 6 months of free Amazon student prime access. I have ordered all my pots and pans, cleaning products and other household essentials from Amazon. Most if not all of them arrived within 48 hours. My point is, there really is no need to bring all these household items with you; not only they eat up your suitcase space really quickly, you will also regret doing so once you realized how easy it was to get them at your destination. This is a list of items that I'd suggest you get the during the first week of arrival:
Kitchen Appliances and Cooking Essentials
Pots and pans, you will need at least one saucepan and one frying pan to cover your basic cooking needs (I got my 8-piece set from Amazon)
A water carafe or jug (I used a whisky decanter for this purpose, which also came with 6 glasses)
Cooking utensils (a spatula, a ladle and a pair of tongs are essential, I got mine from IKEA)
Knife set and a sharpener (a chef knife for raw foods, a fruit knife for fruits and cooked items, and a bread knife), I got all of mine from IKEA.
Chopping boards, one for raw food and another for cooked ones. (Mine were from IKEA)
Dining set (Per person you will need 1 bowl, 1 plate, 1 set of cutlery, and 1 cup that is suitable for hot drinks, an all-purpose wine glass for wine drinkers, I got all of mine from IKEA)
A blender for all the smoothie drinkers and nut butter makers out there (I got mine from Amazon)
Dish sponge and washing liquid (I got both from a pound store)
Pillows and cover
Duvet and cover
(Optional) a throw
Toilet papers (I got some nice and affordable ones from Amazon that would literally last me for a whole year.)
Squeegee (if you live in a hard water area, I got mine from IKEA)
Body wash, shampoo and conditioner
Broom and mop (I got a convertible one that could be used with dry or wet wipes from Amazon)
A duster (mine was form a pound store)
Gloves for cleaning (you can easily find one in a supermarket or any pound stores near you)
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