Guest blogger Written by

Nikki Mennen (Netherlands)

Hi, I’m Nikki. I’m originally from the Netherlands and came all the way to Bournemouth to study an MA in Creative Writing and Publishing. As I came to the UK by car, I could bring anything I need, but not everyone is as lucky. Let me tell you about the stuff that I felt was essential to have in my luggage and what things I think you should leave at home.

How much room do you have?

Of course, your choice of transport is directly related to the amount of luggage you can bring. If you’re coming by plane, you probably have to stick to one or two suitcases. If you’re driving here by car, like me, you can keep stacking up to the roof. It’s important to prioritise, start with the essentials and keep adding less important stuff until you’re running out of space.

What are the essentials?

After living here for a year, I have noticed that the following things were important:

First of all, you need to bring the appropriate documents, like your passport, health insurance card, and anything related to your BU application (diplomas etc.). If you don’t have one yet, it might come in handy to have a credit card or even open a UK bank account and get a debit card. Make sure your phone plan works abroad, or buy a UK sim card.

Secondly, think about the things that might be different from your home country. For example, I had to bring an adapter for my electrical appliances, and some nationalities might require an international driver’s licence or visa. Even though healthcare in the UK is excellent (and free!), some things might be a bit tricky to arrange abroad, like important medication or things like contact lenses. If you’re studying at BU for more than a year and you don’t want to bring a giant stock of these things, you might want to take the necessary precautions to buy / arrange them here before you arrive.  It might also be good to have any necessary medical checks before you come to the UK.

If you have any space left

If you packed or arranged all the above essentials and you still have room to spare you can start to look at other things you might want or need in the UK. For example, think about the weather. England has quite a lot of wet weather so things like a raincoat or an umbrella will come in handy, but it also gets very hot and sunny in the summer and with this incredible coastline you don’t want to forget your swimsuit!

If you are someone who misses home a lot think about taking some personal belongings. Maybe a photo of your friends or family, or your favourite stuffed animal (no judgement!) this will help to give you some comfort.

There are so many great outdoor activities in and around Bournemouth! So, if you’re excited about hiking, kayaking, biking, surfing, swimming and snorkelling remember to bring anything you need for those activities, such as a wetsuit, snorkelling gear, hiking shoes, etc. Don’t worry if you don’t own any of these things, you can buy them here as well. Do you have a camera or GoPro? Bring it!

Regarding your wardrobe, you should pack for multiple occasions. Bring your most comfy outfits for rainy days inside, and your best party outfit for a night out. Bring some great summer clothes for the sunny months, but a warm jacket and sweaters for the cold and snowy winter.

Last but not least, check to see what will be included in your accommodation. If you are coming by car, you might want to bring your own pillow and sheets, but you can always buy them at Asda if you don’t have the space. The same goes for hangers for your clothes, and kitchen stuff like plates, cups and cutlery.

Nikki Mennen, The Netherlands, MA in Creative Writing and Publishing 2017/18