In this blog, postgraduate student Priya Rawal (MBA) shares her essentials for any international student coming to study at the University of Stirling.
As you eagerly await this new and exciting journey of studying in Scotland, I’m sure you’re looking, eating, breathing and sleeping Google and social media.
You’ll be asking around, reading blogs and trying to contact your friends who’d been on this journey before for any tips on what to pack. But there’s so much out there that it’s so easy to get lost.
One year ago, I went through the same experience. I ended up bringing along anything and everything I could imagine (and paid for excess baggage weight) when I came to Scotland to study a Masters at the University of Stirling.
But in hindsight, after having lived here for a year I realise I brought things I’ve never even used.
That’s why I wanted to help other incoming international students by compiling this guide of the absolute essentials you should bring as you embark on your education journey.
I came up with the 10 items you must have (based on my own experience):
1. One weatherproof jacket
One jacket is enough to get you through the whole year.
Pro tip: Wear it when travelling to Scotland so that it doesn’t take up space in your luggage.
2. A pair of weatherproof shoes
I recommend ankle length shoes. That’s because it rains a lot during the winter, and so the roads can be slippery. Good shoes will also give you a sturdy grip when you go on hiking trips.
You’ll also want to bring a pair of shoes you can wear for sports – after all, the University of Stirling has the best sports facilities and has been recognized as the UK’s Sports University of the Year (National Student Survey 2020). If you’re into swimming, you should also think about a pair of slippers for getting in and out of the pool.
Pro tip: Again, wear your weatherproof shoes on your flight to save space to pack your other shoes.
3. A waterproof backpack
This is an essential to carry your books, laptop, chargers and also a cardigan or scarf from class to class (as the weather changes throughout the day here in Scotland).
4. A good pair of wireless headphones
These are great if you want to listen music or podcasts while you walk to and from university. The headphones will also help if you live with roommates and their noises bother you.
All of the university-managed accommodation here at Stirling has unlimited WIFI – and so you can sit in your room and enjoy browsing with steady streaming whenever you want to.
5. A laptop
Bring a laptop of your choice. I recommend investing in a lightweight and high speed processing laptop, as you’ll end up carrying it around everywhere you go.
Pro tip: Can’t afford a laptop? The library offers short loan laptops that you can borrow to do course work. Find out more.
6. An extra 10kg rucksack
This is an essential if you have any weekend sleepovers or spontaneous breaks with friends. Scotland is a stunning country, and so when you’re not studying you may want to explore the beautiful isles or the highlands.
Pro tip: An extra big bag is also great for carrying your sports gear to and from the University’s amazing sports facilities.
7. Five T-shirts
You should only need five shirts to get started. Depending on your course, you may have classes or go onto campus five times a week at maximum.
All major brands sell T-shirts in stores here for an average cost of £3-10 – and so if you want more options, you can buy clothes in Scotland.
Pro tip: Packing less will give you a reason to shop the latest trends here.
8. Three pairs of jeans
This will be plenty to get you started. Basic colors like black, grey and blue will go with any color T-shirt.
Pro tip: Students get up to a 15% discount on clothing in most leading stores.
9. Seven pairs of undergarments
If you bring seven pairs, that covers you with one for each day. If you do laundry once a week, that should be plenty.
10. One mug
Last (but not least), you should bring a mug for your toiletries during bathroom visits. This is essential if you live in a shared accommodation.
And that’s it.
Now: everything that is not on the list can be bought here – trust me. I’ve tried and tested it. You’ll be able to find sweaters, cardigans, any and every type of food item (yes spices included), toiletries, makeup, jackets, hats, sunglasses, perfumes, bags, bedsheets, duvets, other shoes and everything when you get here.
So, pack light and have a safe flight inwards and enjoy a wonderful year ahead at the University of Stirling.