SOAS University of London

International Students

Living in the UK (What to Pack)

It is hard knowing what to pack but do remember that you will have to carry your suitcases and that you may find your room does not have a lot of storage space.

Clothes and British weather

British weather is changeable and unpredictable! Temperatures in summer rarely go above 27°C and may go lower than -2°C in winter. London is always slightly warmer than the rest of the country and rarely gets bad winters but if you are planning to travel around the UK it can be very cold.

You may want to consider warm, waterproof outdoor clothing, warm indoor clothes (t-shirts, sweatshirts/fleeces), comfortable shoes, slippers, pyjamas/night-dresses, clothes that are easy to keep clean (dry cleaning can be expensive).
Although students in the UK dress informally for classes, there are some occasions when something more formal may be required - such as a suit or a dress, or national dress.

London is a shopper's paradise so you can, of course, buy anything you need here.

Electrical appliances

British voltage is 240 volts and appliances have a three pin plug. You can buy British appliances when you arrive if you prefer - they are quite reasonable (for example hair dryers cost around £10-20).

Household items

In student residences most things are provided. You will, however, need to buy bed-linen, towels and cooking utensils. Bed-linen and towels can be bought through the SOAS Accommodation Office by pre-booking:

Other things you may want to bring include laptop computer, battery alarm clock, backpack, torch (flashlight), clothes/laundry bag and sports equipment. It is also nice to bring some mementos from home such as photos.

Medical prescriptions

If you are being treated or have an on-going condition (eg diabetes), see your doctor before you leave to get photocopies of medical records to give to your doctor in London. Make sure you have the full name and address of your family doctor in your home country.

Contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses please see your optician before you leave to get advice on what solutions to use here. Solutions are expensive so you may like to bring some with you.