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What to bring to University

College room workspace

For many, this is the first time you’re living away from home. Therefore, one of the biggest jobs is deciding what to bring with you. It is worth mentioning that in order to determine how much or what items to take, consider first not only the mode of transport you are using to arrive at University but also what your accommodation already offers. This will be different not only between colleges but also within each college as there are different types of accommodation. Therefore, it is worth checking what’s already there to save money and space. Here are some useful things that I found were useful to bring to university.

Bright pillows and plaids, isolated on white


At least two sets, so that you can rotate them and allow them to dry between washes.


Similar to bedding, bring enough towels so that you are able to wash and dry them and have spares.


Now the amount of clothing you bring with you to University is going to be different for everybody, but here are some areas you may not have considered.

Get your stash here

All weathers – Durham is notorious for erratic weather, so it’s definitely worth packing that extra fluffy jumper or that big waterproof, especially for winter. Don’t forget a brolly!

Fancy dress – Although Durham has loads of charity shops and a few fancy dress shops, if you already have a fancy dress outfit, bring it along! You never know when it might come in handy, although Freshers’ week will be different this year it is likely to come in handy at some point.

Formal – These will still take place in College but will be a bit different this year, it is definitely worth having some formal outfits for these type of occasions.

Sport – Although the quantity of sportswear you bring will depend on how involved you wish to be in Durham sport, it’s worth bringing some casual sportswear with you, there are so many sports and activities you can get involved with especially at college and there are so many lovely routes around Durham for a brisk walk or run.

Cups, Crockery and Cutlery

Even if you are in a catered college, crockery and cutlery are always good for snacks between meals. Cups/mugs/glasses are definitely a must! If you’re living with a lot of people, marking these with nail polish might come in useful when you’re trying to decide which IKEA bowl belongs to who!

dishes, fork, knife and cup for dinner

Drying rack

If you want to save some money and the environment by not using a tumble dryer, bring along a drying rack. Easy to store as they fit right under your bed, and an easy way to dry off washing.

A good bag and a suitcase

You’re inevitably going to be carrying stuff around Durham, to lectures, to the library, to and from people’s accommodation – so you need a nice, comfortable, good-sized bag that will fir your laptop, books etc. A suitcase not only comes in useful for extra storage under your bed but is handy for weekends away visiting friends or family.

A bedside lamp

Some colleges may provide one but it’s really useful so you don’t have to get out of bed once you’ve finished your late-night reading!

An extension cable

Really useful to avoid complications from weirdly placed plug sockets.

Home Comforts

Pictures are perfect for jazzing up a dull room, they are a great conversation starter and nice reminders of home.

If you are unable to bring all of that with you, there are many shops you can purchase items you need or have forgotten. There are large retail parks on the outskirts of Durham Arnison Centre and Durham Retail Park which host big supermarkets and other well-known brands, these can easily be reached by public transport. Why not support the local economy and shop local. Read Lizzie’s blog where she gives you the lowdown on the markets in Durham

Check out the welcome and induction pages for lots of help and advice about coming to Durham.

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