Hello, welcome to the United Kingdom. If you are reading this, I believe you have made the right decision by choosing this university to do your studies. You should take care of yourself when you are travelling from your home country. You will have limited support outside of your home country, where a common thing is that your parents won’t be there to support you and it’s going to be you and the friends you choose here.
About this Story
This article is a first complete multi-part article that gets updated often and updates are notified in comments as well. So, if you are copying this article, please do add a link back so that once the article becomes outdated, I’ll make sure the article is updated with the latest of information possible and I will also be actively monitoring comments for questions and request to information.
This is the second part of the multi-part article:
- Welcome to Leicester - A dawn of an Awesome Journey.
- Thinking of pursuing Masters in the United Kingdom? Think Leicester.
- Things to bring before you start your journey.
- University Life when you are at Leicester.
- Accommodation & Stay in Leicester.
- Things to do at University of Leicester.
- Great places not to miss in University of Leicester.
- Benefits of studying at University of Leicester.
- Career Development when you are a student.
- Working in Social Enterprise - My Experience in University of Leicester.
- Serendipity - ParticiPoll, my first working experience during my study.
- Useful places to visit in Leicester and nearby cities.
- Interesting conversations with experts.
- Frequently asked questions before joining University of Leicester
Coming back to our article here, this is a comprehensive list of things that you need to pack and bring to Leicester. There are some allowed and abandoned goods. But before everything, please make sure you don’t bring these banned goods to the United Kingdom:
- Dairy and related products. There’s an ongoing debate on this, but if you are bringing something, please use the check-in baggage and it’s checked before entering your aircraft cabin.
- Cooking Oil and related products. I am not very sure about this restriction because I have been bringing pickles, hair oils and similar products, obviously in the checked baggage, and I haven’t got a problem yet.
- Rice more than 10 kg. Who needs more than tens of kilograms?
Apart from the above, these are the main things you need to pack up before you even start. They are your travel and medical documents.
- Passport with Visa Vignette
- Flight Tickets
- Statement of Purpose / Letter of Recommendation (copy)
- Confirmation of Acceptance of Studies (CAS) Statement
- United Kingdom Tuberculosis Screening Certificate (List of Hospitals and in India)
Make sure you first pack yours before getting others’ stuff. There will be a lot of requests asking you to bring goodies from India or your home country to the United Kingdom. It would be great if you could pair up with someone when you start from your home country and then share your luggage with them, as in, you can bring a few items of the list and the other person may bring the other stuff.
Okay, without further ado, let’s dive into what you need.
I would tell you, the pens here are too bad and they are only worth stabbing others or playing pen fights with them. So please bring these if you can’t manage with others’ stuff:
- Pens - Bring many sets of blue, and one set of black pens of your choice.
- Notebooks & Files - We get better GSM notebooks at a cheaper price in India or outside of England.
- Long Scale, Highlighters, Markers, Rubber Bands
- Pencil (Mechanical + Many Boxes of Refill) & Erasers
- Glue, Sticky Tape, Scissors, Punching Machine, Paper Clips
One thing I would like to say is, in India, we generally say “dresses”. In England, a dress is one-piece garment for a woman or girl that covers the body and extends down over the legs. So, refrain from using this word and safely say clothes. This is completely your choice and I can update this section with my friends, who can suggest me something about this for both guys and girls.
As a guy, I would prefer few jeans pants and formals along with tee shirts. It is better to take strong thermal and inner wears, considering the climatic change, if you are coming from a tropical or temperate country.
If you are a vegetarian like me, I bet you should be careful with this section. Make sure you bring most of the below mentioned generic utensils, either shared by your peers or individual, as this is needed, at least one set per household.
- Pressure Cooker & Milk Cooker
- Plates (one for eating, many small ones for covering)
- Spoons (normal) & Big Spoons, Ladles
- Cups (milk or tea cups)
- Pans + Spatula and Ladle
- Knives Set + Peelers (make sure you keep this in your check-in baggage)
- Soup Cup, Spoons & Saucers
- Tupperware Boxes - Very useful for storing condiments
- Water Bottles
As I told before, if you are a vegetarian or a South Indian, I would advise you to bring the best home-made condiments, so that you won’t be disappointed by the unavailability of our native products over here.
- Ready to Eat Rice Mix
- Tomato Mix
- Dhal & Garlic
- MTR "Ready to Eat" Series
- All Powders
- Garam masala
- Other powders
- All Dals
- Ginger Garlic Paste (Optional, can be bought here)
- Horlicks / Boost/ Complan
- Corn Flower (Optional, can be bought here)
I would generally advice against bringing any electronic items other than your very personal and internationally compatible devices like phones, tablets, and laptops. Try to get the travel adaptors from your home country, as the only travel adaptor you get is for the devices in the United Kingdom, European Union and United States.
- Laptop (bring travel adaptors for chargers)
- Mobile Phone / Watch / iPod / MP4 Player / Headphones
- Camera + Charger
- Calculator (Scientific)
- Electric Cooker (Optional, can be bought here)
- Mixer Grinder (Optional, can be bought here)
Not many of them are compatible with the western culture here. It is always better to bring your own favourite and compatible toiletries for your daily use, although people here seldom take bath due to the cold climate.
- Bathing & Washing Soap
- Brush (10) & Tooth Paste (2) (make sure you change it once every quarterly)
- Girls’ Make Up Kit and similar stuff
- Spectacles (Plus 2 Backup) and Contact Lens + Solution (if applicable)
You are obviously coming to a different country, where the ecosystem is completely different from your home country. You must take enough precautions for your health and safety here. Please make sure you bring the most common drugs, you generally consume or if you are under medication, get them packed. The following is just a suggestion and doesn’t consider any allergies to those medicines, if you have one. Please always consult a doctor before you start your journey.
- Iodex/ Moov / Volini
- Anti-septic Cream (Silverex)
- Plasters (Band-Aid)
- Cotton Rolls
- Dettol / Savlon
As far as I know, I have compiled everything I should say, and if there are anything more, I will make all the efforts possible to update this article.
It is essential to bring some initial funds. This will help you in getting settled with your initial basic necessities like accommodation, food, travel, etc. I would request everyone coming to Leicester from their home country to bring, not more than 200 £ in cash and something around 2500 £ in travel cards.
There are lots of Forex Services available other than using Thomas Cook, Western Union or Cox & Kings, where the exchange rate and fees are rocket high. Some of my favourite are listed below:
I have used all the above three. Weizmann Forex provides you a brokerage for ICICI Bank and Axis Bank and they are cheaper than the banks themselves. The Axis Bank travel card imposes lesser charge for cash transaction from Cash Points than ICICI Bank Travel Cards.
Mobile Phone Communication
When you come to a country that's totally different from your home, you definitely need to buy a SIM Card for your mobile phone and it should be in such a way that it is cheaper for you to talk to your home as well as talking with the locals. I have been in the United Kingdom for about four years and I am confident to tell, at least for Indian communities, I would go with:
The above two MVNO providers give you a service that's going to cost you free calls to their networks and a discounted rate to Indian Landline and Mobile phones at a penny per minute. Text messages are costlier than voice calls, but who uses it anyway. The other option that you can go for is to get a contract phone (you get an awesome phone for a small down-payment and you get to have a connection too). A notable few are:
Note: Please note that you have to be careful when you are getting a contract phone as most of the phones will be locked to their service provider.