Written by Ayra
BA (Hons) Sociology & Social Anthropology
Hello! For today’s post, I will share with you fellow Malaysian and International students essential things that you can bring from home. I know packing is always the main issues whenever we’re about to go somewhere, so hopefully, these tips will be helpful!
Weather is the major trait in the UK. Before I came to the UK, I never thought it would rain so often ahah. So, unexpected rainy days are a common thing but it does get sunny from time to time especially around spring-summer. Since the usual intake would be around autumn-winter, here are several things that you can bring from home:
- Coats and jackets – I highly recommend Uniqlo as they are high quality and most of them are water repellent. Bring one or two.
- Pair of shoes – you will be walking a lot when you’re in the UK. So pack shoes for daily use that are comfortable. Boots are optional as you can also buy them in the UK.
- Choices of t-shirts, trousers, dresses, long-sleeved shirts, underwear and socks – you don’t have to bring much, possibly just bring those that you like. As you can always buy new clothes in the UK and you want to avoid overpacking!
I didn’t bring too much in terms of clothes as you can always get them everywhere in the UK. There are several cheap and affordable shops around and you can take some time to buy things that you need depending on your adaptability to the weather.
You don’t have to worry about adapters as the UK sockets are the same as Malaysia sockets (Type G). But if you’re from another country, it is advisable to bring the international adaptors plug.
Other things that you might need:
- Cell phone
- Laptop – I bought my laptop in the UK as they do student discounts in most shops
- Digital camera* (if you have them)
I put them all together in a mini bag so I won’t lose it.
One tip I learned from the seniors is to buy your stationary from Malaysia as it could get pretty expensive in the UK. So, I packed myself:
- Pens (blue, black, red and coloured) and pencils (with sharpeners) – I bought in bulk like 12 pieces in a box
- Sticky notes and label
- Rulers, erasers (or known as rubber in the UK), and glue
- Stapler and staples
- Envelopes (C6 and C4 sizes)
- Rubber bands, paper clips, and thumbtacks
- Mini hole punch
- Scissors (don’t put in hand-carry luggage)
- Sticky tape and packing tape
- Wall hooks
- Whiteboard markers (black, blue or coloured)
- USB memory sticks
- Some notebooks – I bought some from typo.
Again, I’d pack it and put everything in one bag before putting it in my big luggage. These stationaries are based on a student who’s studying Sociology and Social Anthropology. So, if you’re doing Engineering or Animation, feel free to bring more essentials for your stationery items.
Medicines could also be expensive but they could be quite restricted. So bring a reasonable amounts and just the essentials. If you have any medical conditions, you’re allowed to bring them too. Here is the list of what I brought when I came to the UK (for my first and second year):
- Essential medicines (if you have any medical conditions) e.g., inhaler.
- Cough syrups, flu medicines, paracetamol (panadol) and ibuprofen
- Plasters, bandages and safety pins
- Vitamins & Supplements
- Koolfever – this is a huge pain relief whenever I had a fever
- Pain reliefs for eyes (eye mo) and ears
- Inhaler for stuffy nose – I found this to be really useful around winter
- Vaporub (vicks) and minyak cap kapak
I’d buy everything in the same pharmacy. You’d feel like you’re spending quite a lot but these will last long for about a year.
Toiletries and personal items
You can buy toiletries from the UK but feel free if you want to bring any essentials that you’ve been using in your daily routines.
- Skincare – if you use Korean skincare, do bring more around 1-2 bottles extra (and don’t put them in hand-carry luggage)
- Soap and shampoo – would advise bringing the small size then buy the normal size in the UK
- Toothbrush, toothpaste and floss
- Nail clipper
- Blades and shaving lotions (blade not in hand luggage!)
- Cosmetics – makeups (would recommend bringing extra beauty blenders)
I would put them in other small bags then put them in my big luggage.
I would usually buy foods that are hard to find in Malaysia like TomYam paste, Nestum, Sup Bunjut, Kerisik, Ikan Bilis, Belacan and others. So make a list of your favourite foods where you can just buy from any supermarkets (and make sure it’s not restricted foods!). Maggi Kari and Ayam can be found in local asian supermarket and ASDA (shocking, I know).
Banned items you can’t bring from Malaysia* (for Malaysian students).
I remember that there is a certain amount of cash that you can bring. So I would personally advise you to not bring a lot of cash. Before coming to the UK, you might need to sort out your bank account. I recommend HSBC as there are branches in both Malaysia and the UK so ATM withdrawals won’t be too expensive. You can also open a new account in the UK under HSBC with ease if you already have an account in Malaysia.
Check out this link (Malaysian Custom) for more info on restricted items.
Banned items you can’t bring to the UK.
There are certain British Laws that compose the list of items/goods you’re not allowed to bring when entering the UK.
- Cold weapons like knife
- Self-defence spray like pepper spray
- Endangered animals or plant species
- Rough diamonds
- Obscene materials
- Meat or Dairy products from non-EU countries
For more info, you can check out this link (Bringing goods into the UK for personal goods).
Depending on which airlines you’re taking, but the general ones would be 30kg cargo luggage and 7kg hand-carry – I would usually bring a handbag, a backpack and a tote bag. There are also limits of 100ml liquid per bottle in hand-carry bags.
I hope you’ll find this post to be useful! If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to reach me at Unibuddy: Ayra Unibuddy.
I also wrote some posts for Malaysian students: Malaysian Student in Bournemouth: Top 5 experiences and made a vlog for Southeast Asian students: 5 Budgeting Tips.
Take care & safe travel to the UK!
– Ayra H.