Ultimate University Checklist: What to Pack        

The day is nearly here. You’ve invested a lot of time, research and money into choosing your university, applying to become a student there and finding somewhere to live.

Allianz Global Assistance Overseas Health - Ultimate University Checklist: What to Pack

Now, you’re almost at day one of your studies. But how do you know what to pack? The better prepared you are, the more likely you are to enjoy your first semester and settle in properly.

We bring you the ultimate university checklist.

Will you be living on or off campus?

If you’re going to be living on campus, you’ll need to take a range of items to help you feel comfortable. Your dorm room will be your home for some time so it’s important that you give it a few homey touches. Pictures in frames, favourite wall artwork and even a rug from home can do the trick. You’ll also need lots of essential practical items.

Charging your electrical devices

Be sure to pack international adaptors for your electrical appliances and devices. The Australian power plugs and sockets are ‘Type I’. You might also like to invest in some smart charging devices that include USB ports on them. Another clever idea is to buy multiple-socket power boards so you can plug that one item in and then use the board for 4, 6 or more electrical items.

Remember, you’ll have your smartphone, your tablet, PC, laptop, Bluetooth headphones and TV to keep powered up. Consider buying an extension lead because you don’t know how far away from the most convenient spot the power point will be.

Entertainment items

Naturally, you’ll have your electronic devices for some of your entertainment but you might also have favourite board games, sports and hobbies. Don’t forget to pack your games, cards, tennis racket, soccer ball, craft items, paints, crayons or other important materials.

Study items

Let’s not forget the main purpose of your stay … your studies! Again, you’ll have your electronic gadgets but you’ll still need some old-school items like pencils, notebooks, USB sticks, highlighters and sticky notes. You might also need a stapler and staples, tape, a diary or planner, and any course-specific materials.

Important documents

Don’t leave home without your essential documents like your driver’s license, student loan documents, insurance papers, visa and of course, your passport. You might also like to invest in a safe once you arrive so you can store all of these – and any other valuables – in it.

Bathroom essentials

You don’t need to be reminded to pack your toothbrush, toothpaste, hair brush and toiletries, but you may not think of some other items. Pack a free-standing mirror that you can use for your makeup or to do your hair away from the bathroom if it’s occupied.

Take a couple of towels, some face cloths and a laundry bag to put your dirty clothes into and take to the laundry or laundromat. Put together a first aid kit with painkillers, sticky bandages, tissues, mosquito bite cream, sunburn cream, allergy medications and any prescription items you usually need. Don’t forget your regular medications too! Then there are sanitary items, sunscreen, condoms, contraceptive pills and antibacterial hand gels. There’s a lot to pack, isn’t there?

Do you use a hair straightener or curler? A hair dryer? An electric shaver? They all need to be packed too.

Bedroom necessities

Pack everything you’ll need to make your bed comfy and cosy such as sheets, a mattress protector, pillow cases and a quilt or cover. You might like to take a hot water bottle if you’re going to a cooler climate but generally, uni starts in summer so there’s time to pick one up later. If you love to sleep on your own pillow, take that along too!

Miscellaneous items to pack

There are, of course, plenty of shops in Australia, but bringing things from home can make it easier to settle in because you won’t have to go out and buy them so soon. These items can come in very handy:

  • Blu Tack or similar, for hanging items on the wall.
  • A doorstop so you can wedge the door open or shut.
  • Coat hangers, because they may not be provided.
  • Foldable luggage such as a large nylon bag with reinforced handles can be very useful because when you arrive, you simply fold it up and store it in your main suitcase.
  • HDMI and ethernet cables.
  • External hard drive.
  • A small sewing kit for emergency repairs on your clothes.
  • Ear plugs, just in case there is unexpected noise around you.
  • An umbrella and/or a raincoat.
  • A torch.
  • A hand-held vacuum can be very useful for cleaning up small messes and to pick up hair from the floor.
  • A gym bag or duffel bag.


Aside from the essentials like underwear, socks, bras, shorts, pants, skirts, dresses, pyjamas, slippers and jackets, you might also like to pack a swimsuit, a bathrobe and workout gear. You’ll need comfortable walking shoes and a pair of ‘thongs’ (also called flip-flops in some countries). Pack a hat too.

Eating and cooking items

You’ll need to find out from your uni exactly what you’ll need to bring for your eating and cooking needs. The dorm kitchen may already have plates, cups, glasses, knives, forks and spoons, plus pots, pans and cooking utensils. If you have a favourite mug, take that.

You may be able to do light food prep in your room but be sure to ask your uni about rules around this. You could take a sandwich toaster, a toaster, a kettle, a coffee maker, a small microwave, a portable electric hotplate or a health grill.

Pack a few days’ worth of instant foods such as noodles, snacks, fruit cups, cereal and microwavable rice. Even if you don’t need them right away, they will be good to have around at some point. A can opener, water filter jug, tea towels and reusable storage containers will also be very useful.

Find out the rules if in doubt

There may be some items that are not allowed in your dorm room such as incense or candles. You will also have to be sensitive about items that may offend others such as music with explicit lyrics or artworks depicting sexual or violent imagery. If you are not sure, enquire before bringing any possessions that could be confiscated.

It’s an exciting time, and a busy one if you have to get all of the above together to take to university! Enjoy the journey and look forward to a happy life as you progress through the next phase of your education.


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