What to pack

When you are coming to the UK for a year or more, it is hard to decide what to pack. You will want to bring everything, ‘just in case’, but remember, you will have to carry your bags! 

Excess luggage charges can be very high. Most airlines allow 20–23 kg of checked luggage and there are strict size and weight restrictions on all hand luggage. Please check with your airline for up-to-date instructions before you fly.

Important Documents 

Make sure that when you pack, you bring the following important documents:

  • Your passport should have a one-month Entry Clearance (visa) stamp inside to allow you to enter the UK 
  • Your decision letter which will give the details of the length of visa you have been granted 
  • Remember to check your visa and decision letter carefully when you receive them to ensure that your visa has been granted for the correct period of time with the correct conditions, for example: working hours.


Britain has a fairly mild climate with temperatures reaching between 14°C and 30°C in the summer (June to August), when the days are long and it is light well into the evening and dropping to between 1°C to 5°C in the winter (December to February), when it gets dark early in the evening. The most important thing to note is that, whatever the season, the weather is variable and likely to change from day to day.

It is a good idea to bring a selection of light clothes that you can wear in layers as well as some warm outer clothing and a waterproof coat or umbrella. Hats, gloves and scarves, as well as thick socks, are essential in the winter but can be bought at a reasonable price in the UK. You can get an idea of the weather before you come.

You may find that your University accommodation has limited storage space, so do not bring too much clothing, especially if you are not familiar with the British climate.

For your room

If you wish, you can purchase a bedding pack prior to arrival. This will be delivered to your room and costs £28.50. The pack consists of a duvet, pillow, duvet cover, pillow case and sheet and can be ordered via our online shop.

Alternatively, you can bring your own bedding to fit a single 90cm-wide bed, unless you have booked a Band F room with double bed.

The kitchen is equipped with a cooker, a kettle, a toaster or grill, an iron, a microwave, a fridge/freezer and an ironing board, but you will need to provide your own cooking utensils, crockery and cutlery. You do not need to bring all these items with you as everything is available at a reasonable price in local supermarkets and department stores within walking distance of the campus.

You should not bring foodstuffs with you as most food can be found in the local area around Guildford, and there are customs restrictions on products brought into the UK. If you do miss certain foods from your own country, ask current students. There are several shops in Guildford selling ingredients from all over the world, including our own Students’ Union shop. You can also find most foods in London.

It is a good idea to bring a few small items for your room that will remind you of home, such as photographs of family and friends, books, posters and other mementos, as these will help you to settle in and adjust to your new life at the University.

The University celebrates various festivals during the year, including One World Week in March or April each year and it may be a good idea to bring an item of national costume or tradition so that you can share your culture with others.  

"I would also say don’t bring too much stuff. You will find that clothes and other utensils (rice cookers, kettles, etc.) are of good quality and are cheaper in the UK, so travel as light as you can!"

Isabelle Lavinya Van Huizen (Malaysia), BSc Food Science and Nutrition

What should I carry in my hand luggage: 10 top tips

  1. Valid passport (or national identity card if from the EU)
  2. Your mobile phone or tablet with access to your accommodation allocation, CAS email and pdf of our Pre Departure checklist!
  3. Evidence of funding for your tuition fees and living costs, including sponsor letter if appropriate
  4. Any other important correspondence from the University, either in hard or electronic copy
  5. Enough money (in pounds sterling) for the first couple of weeks at the University (including some small notes and coins, if possible)
  6. TB certificate if you need this for your visa application
  7. Health certificates, including vaccination records, plus X-ray reports if necessary
  8. Any travel insurance documents
  9. Any valuable items – but do check with the airline regarding current regulations on hand luggage
  10. Do not bring any sharp objects, such as scissors or a penknife, or liquids or gels as these will be confiscated by airport security