My List of Things to Bring when You Move Abroad to Study

To accompany this list and this list.

Will definitely format this nicely, but for now, this is exactly and literally a list. You can definitely buy, but my baggage allowance is 40 kg and I was planning to get stranded in a flat on top of the hill for a few days, let me push it until its limit. Case study for me in the UK.

I come prepared (

Bag and Suitcases

My motto is to bring anything you sure you can take everywhere by yourself. As I believe I’m pretty sturdy, I think 1 big suitcase, 1 big backpack, and 1 small laptop bag/backpack is OK for me. Check whether you can lug around 3 suitcases if you plan to bring 3 suitcases.

  • Big suitcase
  • Daypack
  • A cabin-safe backpack or suitcase (please do, I ended up bringing my hiking bag which is useful for AirAsia flight buy rather useless for Ryanair fight)
  • Shopping bags and plastic bags
  • Laptop bag (exchange this with other more useful bags)

Medicine (quite important, as you can’t just buy over-the-counter medicine as easily)

My basic medicine list is basically aromatherapy oil, allergy medicine, bioplasenton (burn cream), antimo (car sickness), ponstan (toothache). Sometimes over-the-counter medicine is rather easy to find, but these are rather small and quite cheap anyway, so…

(Please check your destination’s over-the-counter pharmacy’s website to know which can be bought over-the-counter and which can’t). Also remember to bring your prescription for prescribed medicine and read the custom information in case your medicine is not allowed to be brought inside the country.

Medicines I bring

  • Panadol (cold and influenza, you can buy paracetamol easily here)
  • Minyak tawon (wasp… oil? I need to read what’s inside the oil)
  • Aromatherapy oil (brought three of them!)
  • Multivitamin (over-the-counter here)
  • loperamide (for diarrhoea)
  • Dexteem (sometimes my seafood allergy appears)
  • Bioplasenton (burn. Also over-the-counter but quite expensive here)
  • Albotil (sprue)
  • Betadine (iodine)
  • Koyo (hot patches) (not cheap, but available)
  • Antimo (getting carsick very easily)
  • Sunscreen and V Crème 21 (apparently 1-Pound versions are widely available here)
  • Salisilat talc (for itches)
  • Ponstan (toothache)
  • Tolak angin (for “enter wind”, an unknown-to-the-world(?) sickness)
  • Lipbalm (not expensive here)


Clothes aren’t actually that expensive if you target shops like Primark, etc., especially if you are OK with 2nd hands, but still!

Rare find:

  • Batik shirts, bring batik shirts (as I usually use them for daily use, so no problemo)
  • Swimming gear (especially if you’re a hijab-wearing Muslimah. Actually you can buy them online or 2nd hand, but bringing them is cheaper for me. I don’t swim a lot but my lab has its own swimming pool so…)
  • Sarong (multipurpose gear, definitely bring. I should have brought two Sumatran Sarongs with me.) and batik cloth (for duvet)
  • Traditional costume (will definitely use them pretty scarcely)

Easy find:

  • Waterproof coat or winter coat (if you arrive in fall. Just foregone altogether and buy them here if you arrive in spring or summer. I have them at home already, so I wear a normal jacket and a winter coat on the flight and bring two winter coats.)
  • Suits or blazer (formal wear is rather expensive)
  • Socks (just buy three-for-a-pound)
  • t-shirts (not long-sleeved ones though. I brought a few long-sleeved t-shirt (not blouse))
  • jackets (especially for you who want to bring your school/ organisation identity jackets)
  • Trousers (As it’s rather hard to find comfortable pairs in my size, bring lots)
  • Weather-proof shoes (I do bring formal and one other shoe pairs)
  • Flipflop. It’s more than 1 GBP for nicer design here, so I def bring.
  • Leggings (or just buy long johns)
  • one long skirt (that will stay in the suitcase until it rots, not a fan of skirts myself)
  • Underwear (if you’re picky about them)

Basically just ready for casual wear every day.

Traditional (though until now they’re still sitting inside my suitcase)

  • Some souvenirs will be nice
  • Traditional clothes
  • Small flags and Indonesian brooches are nice too (especially if you want to have a culture night or support national team at competition)
  • I find bringing tea/coffee/sweet ginger tea advantageous

Religion and Hijab Stuff (as it’s not as easy to find)

  • Hijab (as I like the instant, ready-to-wear versions, bring a lotttt of them. Also bring the squares)
  • A lot of safety pins and bobby pins. Also brooches. (Available but 4x Indonesian price here)
  • Praying gowns (a.k.a. mukena. One is enough but I brought two) and praying mats (bring a light one for traveling purpose)
  • Al Quran (English translation is not too difficult to source)


I was quite wary of the no-meat no-herbs rule and my tastebuds are pretty international, so I don’t bring a lot of foodstuff. Be aware to bring packaged food, better to have the labels in English. Ah, if you like Indomie (available in a lot of places), my friend has a really good idea to just bring the packaged seasonings and leave your family at home with lots of Indomie packages. Indomie and ABC are the most common brands, so if you’re into niche variants of food, maybe bring some.

Food that I realised I should have brought but either ended up not or not even went across my mind:

  • Beef floss (Just ready to give them up at the airport, because you’re not supposed to bring meat product. Just tick everything you feel cautious of in the Custom ticklist. My mother makes a mean fish floss, that should be OK)
  • Spices: candlenuts (available but expensive), galangal (there are galangals sold, but not Indonesian galangal), bay leaves (okay, you can buy it here), lime leaves (also available here, thank God), palm sugar (available but expensive), lemongrass (also expensive), powdered clove (non-powder version are available)
  • Kremes (a.k.a. those crunchies on top of Ayam Kalasan. Made them my own here but the amount of OIL!)
  • Dried krupuk/ fried crackers
  • Muisjes (ended up grating chocolate, or buying some whenever someone I know visits the Netherland)
  • emping (craving this)

Things I bring (don’t ask. If I can risk knife, I will even bring a knife, haha): Basically you can buy them here.

  • Microwavable lunchboxes (almost there in the fridge every day). Use them to keep small things during your flight. (far cheaper in Indonesia, but the price here’s not bad)
  • Spoon + fork (if you buy here, you can buy a set to share with roommates)
  • Water bottles (one bigger than 500 ml is quite expensive here)
  • Cheese grater, ladle, tongs, parer (don’t ask. My flatmates use mine quite often too, I guess they’re pretty useful in the end?) (can buy in eBay, in Wilko they are also not that expensive)
  • Instant seasoning and spices (pretty expensive here. But I ended up not cooking Indonesian food much. I brought rendang, soto, gulai, and bacem. Better to bring basic white, red, yellow spices I think)
  • Powdered coconut milk (can be easily found here)
  • Spices: garlic powder, pepper, coriander (can be bought here as well actually. But bringing them definitely saving pretty penny)
  • Sweet soy sauce (Asian market, even Sainsbury’s. If you’re a non-ABC-brand fan, bring them as stores just stock ABC)
  • Ketchup (just small packets for the first days)
  • Margarine (also preparing for first days)
  • fried shallots (you can find in an Asian market, even Sainsbury’s)

Some friends bring canned gudeg (jackfruit stew), fine I guess for whenever you miss them (careful of the meat/ egg variant for custom), but not necessarily so.


  • Hangers (Can be easily found in 1-Pound store)
  • Foldable racks (can’t find a place to hang them as no-nail rule)
  • Foldable laundry bag (1-Pound store)
  • A set of bedding (including pillow and bolster cover, please notice the size)
  • Bolster without the filling (I think this is pretty clever! No one here uses bolsters even though I can’t live without them. Just buy three pillows. Do surgery. Voila, bolsters!)
  • Mat (because of the need to wudhu on the sink = wet everywhere. Not that cheap here but alright)
  • I was planning to bring potholders but ended up bringing a few more small towels
  • Wire hooks (I don’t bring this but I should. Ended up buying from eBay)

I ended up not bringing broomstick you usually use in your room. That will be useful actually.


  • Dipper (I did bring one with me. Can’t use a lot at the flat because of the flooring in the bathroom), just use a watering can, definitely watering can.
  • Two towels (big one for home use, a small one for travels. Reasonable price here). Also one swimming towel
  • Toiletries for first days
  • Toothbrushes
  • 50cm rubber tube will be useful too, I think

Electronics (pretty similar to my previous electronic lists)

You can just buy, everything’s available here, but generally, UK’s electronic prices are more expensive than USA’s. But the secondhand price though, I ended up upgrading all things on my list below!

  • Laptop
  • Smartphone
  • Headphone with microphone (I wanted to bring a microphone as well actually. I already bought second-hand one)
  • Powerbanks (with wireless charging)
  • International Adaptor (or UK-to-US ones. Rather expensive here, but cheap on eBay)
  • T-plug
  • Multiplug
  • fast charger (mine is 2 Ampere, 3 plug ones. You can have any, really)
  • 2 pairs Looong micro to USB 2.0 cable (if you can get 2m one, really. You will fell save to know that your electronics is nearby when you sleep. Mine is 1.5m long)
  • E-book reader (for those long bus rides, also for reading papers. Can easily find 2nd. I have bought new ones and sold my old ones.)
  • Mp3 player (for travelling times)
  • earphone (I like small ones with volume buttons. definitely need to bring a lot of spares. Can get one in 1-Pound stores, but lately can’t find one with volume buttons. Update: moving to Bluetooth earphones)
  • Rechargeable AA and AAA batteries (also readily available. Price is competitive) and charger
  • Indonesian multiplugs (I regret not bringing this. Converter is working but rather inconvenient)
  • My Wacom tablet (2nd hand’s easy find)
  • Soundcard
  • laser pointer (is pretty nifty to bring. Even the cheapest ones)
  • Wireless mouse (and spare. 1-Pound version is the saviour)
  • Watch (and spares. The watch prices are on the higher side, though understandable. The repairing fee though. The batteries aren’t that expensive. Buying 2nd hand is not too bad)
  • Micro USB and adaptors + cases
  • Spare phone case
  • External HDD (I even bring the 3.5” one. You can buy secondhand easily though)
  • Waterproof pouches
  • I also bring a selfie stick (but I find it useless)

Small Random items

You can actually buy most of them from China through Ebay cheaply (or buy in the area with mostly more expensive price range), but still.

  • cheap earring (I promised my mother to keep the holes open)
  • Glasses (and spares, wipes, also cases. Pretty expensive to buy. Don’t forget the prescription)
  • Sewing kit (Black thread, white thread, some other colours, needles. Repairing is expensive here. Sewing kit, however, is not)
  • Rubber bracelets (multifunction. 100 pieces is 1 GBP)
  • Nail clipper (because I’m fussy with mine)
  • big plastic bags
  • Raffia (sigh I didn’t bring this useful thing) or ropes
  • Bike key (just buy one in Poundland)
  • A few padlocks (for the suitcases, also for travelling)
  • Flashlight (keychain one is fine)
  • Umbrella (either bring very nice one or just buy one-pound one)
  • Raincoat (regret not bringing this, as I’m planning to use motorbike. Most people just wear waterproof jackets)
  • Cloth masker (also didn’t bring this)
  • Handkerchief
  • Moneybelt (or pocketed underwear)
  • A lot of paperclips (multifunction) or laundry clips
  • Cotton buds (very cheap)
  • Tissue (very cheap)
  • Small plastic for ices (pretty useful actually, price’s too much here, I’m sorry)


I’m quite invested in Stationery, so behold! The price difference is a bit larger than what I’m comfortable with.

  • Roll transparent stickers (I regret not bringing a roll. I usually use them to laminate my electronics, but the price, oh the price. I ended up varnishing them instead)
  • duct tape (brown one is easy to find but black one apparently isn’t)
  • DVD stickers and a few DVDs
  • A roll of plastic wrap (also expensive)
  • Pencil case
  • Sharpener
  • sellotape
  • A few envelopes
  • Printable stickers and labels
  • Lots of ziplock bags or manila folders(for safekeeping important paper)
  • Small stapler and paper clips
  • Small scissors
  • ballpoint pens (especially if you’re picky)
  • Cutter
  • Compasses (especially for travelling)
  • Paper puncher

Personal and IDs

  • Tickets (for the flight)
  • Passport. Don’t forget to bring the old ones if you have renewed yours. (Also don’t forget to leave photocopies of ID at home, and letter of authority)
  • Enrollment letter (ready to access for the flight: LoA, ATAS, CAS)
  • Wallet (but money here wider than Indonesia’s)
  • Business card (as printing is expensive here. But I do get one from my department)
  • ATM and Token (please recheck whether they can be used abroad or not)
  • Don’t forget to scan every ID cards
  • Vaccination history if there’s any will be nice, medical and dental records, prescription medication (so that the physician here can know and arrange substitutes)
  • Some GBP coins for first days
  • Passport sized photos, with white background (will be useful to prepare copies or at least digital version of it)
  • Driving license (please check whether you need to have an international driving license or not)
  • SKCK (ended up not bringing this. Still safe until now)
  • Your diploma and translated legal copies (especially for registration in the university). including transcripts
  • BRP
  • TB test result
  • IELTS result

About Ky

Currently Indonesian university student trying to submit more useful contents to share one's limited knowledge. Rather has wide, shallow interests, the writings will be as sporadic as it can be. Should write more scientific and field related topics, but writing muse says otherwise. Expect more on technical related writings especially softwares and apps, cultures, music, and random things.

Posted on September 24, 2015, in Travelling and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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