Suggested 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.
- Passport - Make several photo copies, and be sure to leave one at home with your family. Also, an extra copy in your suitcase and/or wallet is wise.
- Your Oxford study abroad acceptance letter - You will need this to get through customs in London.
- International Student Identification Card (ISIC) - It is not mandatory that you get an ISIC card, but should you want one. They are available for purchase in the study abroad office for a fee of $22.
- Luggage that is lightweight, with sturdy handles, zippers, and/or latches. Locks are recommended if you are traveling around Europe. However, airline security does not allow luggage to be locked.
- Money - £200 or $300 cash, plus traveler’s cheques (in GBP is best).
- 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; however, these can weigh down your luggage. It is recommended that you purchase these upon your arrival in London.
- Medicine - (i.e. prescriptions, aspirin, vitamins, cold remedies, band-aids, anti-diarrhea pills, etc.)
- Washcloths and towels (2 sets) - Preferably older ones, so that you can leave them behind when the semester ends to make room in your luggage.
- Hygiene products (for women) because they are more expensive in England.
- Travel alarm clock
- Camera & film - If it’s digital, don’t forget your batteries/charger!
- Ziploc Bags - These are difficult to find in England.
- Travel Guide Book
- Backpack for use during travel breaks.
- EuRail Pass - If you have specific plans to travel. Bargains are available once in England.
- 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 any of these items are staples in your diet.
- Stationary/cards to send home to family/friends & for thank you’s to OPUS staff, tutors, and others.
- iPod - For those long walks and for blocking out distractions and noise while studying or sleeping.
- DVD’s to remind you of home when you need a break from studying. (DVDs in Europe are formatted differently than they are in the U.S. and therefore may not work with your personal computer.)
- Warm jacket or coat
- Walking/jogging shoes
- Some type of water-proof boot or shoe (Wellies are an English wardrobe staple)
- Scarves, hats and gloves (although 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 (An absolute necessity! Weather varies in England. Mornings are quite cool, but it can be warm in the afternoon. Layers are your key to success!).
- Warm clothing for layering.
- Athletic clothes for jogging/exercise and for college athletics.
- One set of business/evening wear - Although Oxford is casual, you may need slacks/skirt for college social events, church, and the end of term symposium. There is one black tie dinner.
- Musical instrument - be sure to check airline regulations if you plan to check an instrument.
- Dental floss
- Nail clippers
- Safety pins
- Sewing kit
- Contact lens solution
- Small pack weekend travel bag
- Some may want to bring chocolate chips for baking, a can of pumpkin pie, or a packet of Bisquick for pancakes (impossible to find in England, but they have other great pancake mixes).
- Web Cam - If your computer does not have one built in. It’s 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 they don’t. Better to purchase one on arrival. It is also an option to borrow these from the OPUS office.
- Sandals and high heels - They are not practical since the streets in Oxford are old/uneven, and the weather is cold. You will be much better off with one pair of sturdy, all-purpose tennis shoes than with several pairs of sandals that you may only wear once or twice.
- Electrical adapters for 220 watts, as they 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; BUT, if taken, should be packed in checked luggage.
- 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 & blankets) is provided. However, bath towels are not, so be sure to either pack a bath towel or purchase one when you arrive in Oxford.