Oxford Packing List

The best piece of advice we can give about packing is this: travel light! Try to limit what you take with you, as you will accumulate additional items while in England! Be aware of the maximum airline weight limits, since the overweight baggage fees can be costly. Also keep in mind that whatever you pack, you have to take with you during your pre-term and/or post-term travels. The less you bring, the better off you’ll be!

It is a good idea to carry at least one change of clothes in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost or your flight delayed. Also, place your camera, other valuables, and a good book for reading on the plane in your carry-on, and you may want to wear or carry a warm jacket or coat on board the plane, as the temperature may be cold upon arrival in London.

The List

  • Passport (Make photo copies. Leave one with your family. And carry an extra copy with you.)
  • Your Oxford study abroad acceptance letter. You will need this to get through customs in London.
  • Luggage that is lightweight, with sturdy handles, zippers and/or latches. Locks are recommended if you are traveling around Europe. Airline security does not allow luggage to be locked.
  • Money (£200 or $300 cash); an ATM debit card (with major credit card logo) provides the best exchange rate and/or credit card (PIN should be four digits).
  • Laptop computer and CD-Rs or flash drive memory stick. [Do not bring computer paper, as size is different in UK, i.e. A4]
  • Toiletries
  • Medicine (i.e. prescriptions, aspirin, vitamins, cold remedies, Band-Aids, anti-diarrhea pills, etc.)
  • Washcloths and towels (2 sets). Preferably older ones, so that they may be left when you leave, making room in luggage.
  • Hygiene products (for women), which are more expensive in England.
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Camera and battery charger
  • Ziploc bags (difficult to find in England)
  • Backpack for use during travel breaks
  • Padlock for lockers in hostels, if you plan to travel.
  • Hefty lock, if you plan to purchase or rent a bicycle.
  • Peanut Butter, Macaroni n’ Cheese, Oreo cookies and/or Hershey’s chocolate, if these are staples in your life. (Altered versions exist in the UK.)
  • Some may want to bring Ranch dressing, chocolate chips for baking, a can of pumpkin pie, or a packet of Bisquick for pancakes. (All impossible to find in England.)
  • Stationary/cards to send home to family/friends and for thank you notes to OPUS staff, tutors, and others
  • iPod – for those long walks and for blocking out distractions and noise while studying or sleeping.
  • DVDs to remind you of home when you need a break from studying. (English DVDs are in a different format.)


  • Warm jacket or trench coat
  • Windbreaker
  • Walking/jogging shoes (good shoes are necessary because you will walk a lot)
  • Some type of water-proof boot or shoe (Wellies are an English wardrobe staple)
  • Scarves, hats and gloves (you may wish to purchase these in England)
  • Umbrella (at least one; strong winds often break these)
  • Robe and slippers (bathrooms are shared)
  • Sweatshirts and sweaters for layering (A necessity! Weather varies in England. Mornings are quite cool, but it can be warm in the afternoon. Layers are your key to success.)
  • Athletic clothes for jogging and/or for college athletics
  • At least two sets of business/evening wear (Although Oxford is casual, you will need slacks/skirt for college social events [balls/dances require evening gowns aka prom dresses, coat and tie], church, and the end of term symposium. There is also one black-tie dinner). Men: Bring a nice coat because they are often required for dressy events. There are stores in Oxford that you can buy some of these things for fairly reasonable prices


  • Musical instrument
  • Dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Safety pins
  • Sewing kit
  • Contact lens solution
  • Small pack weekend travel bag
  • Web cam: the cheapest way to connect with home.

Do NOT pack or purchase in advance

  • Computer paper, as size is different in England (A4)
  • Hair appliances (blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons): students have had trouble with these in the past; sometimes they work with an adapter, sometimes not. Better to purchase one on arrival. It is also an option for some to borrow one from the OPUS office.
  • Electrical adapters for 220 watts. These can be purchased in an Oxford hardware store or borrowed from the OPUS office.
  • Phone cards (pre-paid) can be bought in England for best rate.
  • Pepper spray and Mace are not advisable possessions.
  • Laundry detergent and other household items which may be purchased once in Oxford.
  • Loud or bold American-labeled clothing (for example, an American flag T-shirt).

Special Note: Again, Bedding (sheets, pillow cases, and blankets) are provided. However bath towels are not. Be sure to either pack a bath towel or purchase one when you arrive in Oxford.