The Ultimate Checklist: What to Pack for University If You’re an Outstation Student

Leaving home and starting university soon? Don’t stress. We’ve curated a checklist of items you should pack here.

Updated 22 Sep 2020

What to Pack for University If You’re an Outstation Student - Feature-Image

Heading off to university soon?

We know it can get overwhelming to pack your life into a suitcase, especially when it’s your first time away from home for an extended period, but don’t fret.

Here’s a comprehensive list of things you will need to bring to university as an outstation student.

#1. Important documents

What to pack for university - 1 Important documents

Bring both hard and soft copies of your official documents. These records will be useful for your university admission.

Consider making 2 copies of the following (wherever relevant), to be safe:

Personal documents

  • Driver’s license and identification card
  • Your banking details (e.g. savings passbook, ATM card, etc.)
  • Passport-sized photos
  • Official transcripts or relevant exam certificates
  • Your detailed medical history, signed and stamped by your doctor
  • Insurance and health documents

University documents

  • University admission and acceptance letters
  • Student finance documents (e.g. loans, scholarships and bursary records)
  • Accommodation documents (e.g. proof of deposit, etc.)

#2. Electronic devices

Ultimate College Checklist-Electronic devices

Your university probably has a limited number of computers and workstations for you to use in the library and computer lab, so come prepared with your devices for those late-night cram sessions or to binge-watch TV series over the weekend.

Don’t forget to pack these with you:

  • Your laptop and charger
  • Earphones or headphones
  • Your phone, charger and a powerbank
  • Extension plugs or cables
  • An external hard drive and a USB thumb drive

#3. Clothing

What to pack for university - 3 Clothing

It helps to pack both casual and formal wear when you’re heading off to university as you’ll never know when you might need them.

Footwear for any occasion

  • Sneakers
  • Formal shoes

Formal wear

  • A blazer with matching trousers or skirt
  • Button-down shirts

Casual wear

  • Sweatpants or yoga pants
  • T-shirts
  • Pyjamas
  • At least 2-3 pairs of jeans
  • Blouses or shirts in long and short sleeves
  • Lightweight outerwear such as jumpers and cardigans
  • “Going out” clothes for events, parties and clubs
  • Traditional attire (e.g. baju Melayu, baju kebaya, cheongsam, saree, etc.)


  • Sportswear
  • Swimwear
  • At least 5 pairs of underwear and socks
  • All-purpose backpack
  • A hat
  • Sunglasses

#4. Laundry day

Ultimate College Checklist-Laundry day

Unless you live close to home, you’ll have to learn how to do your own laundry. Here are some of the things you will need:

  • Laundry basket
  • Mesh laundry bag (useful for socks and to protect delicate clothing)
  • Detergent and fabric softener
  • Bleach and blue dye
  • Drying rack
  • Hangers
  • Clothespins
  • Basic sewing kit
  • Iron and ironing board

#5. Stationery

What to pack for university - 4 Stationery

Books and stationery can take up a lot of precious weight and space in your luggage, so we recommend purchasing these items when you get to university. Most campuses will have a shop that provide essential stationery items every student needs.

However, these are a few things you may want to bring along:

  • A diary or planner
  • Calculator (especially if it’s a programmable one)
  • A designated bag for university


Be sure to stick to a budget when purchasing items from your university stationery shop. Only make necessary purchases such as notebooks, pens, pencils, highlighters, post-it notes and a stapler that will be used frequently.

#6. Kitchen staples

What to pack for university - 5 Kitchen staples

If you’re living in student halls or dormitories on-campus, you will likely have a communal kitchen, complete with a kettle, microwave oven, plates, bowls and utensils.

However, if you’re uncomfortable sharing utensils and crockery with your housemates due to dietary reasons, do bring along:

  • At least 2 sets of microwavable crockery (e.g. bowls, plates and mugs)
  • 2 sets of complete cutlery sets (e.g. teaspoons, knives, forks, tablespoons and chopsticks)
  • Food containers (useful if you have leftovers)
  • A flask (useful for storing hot drinks when you’re in class)
  • A pot, pan and / or wok (only if you plan to cook)
  • A spatula, a ladle, bottle or tin opener and a pair of kitchen scissors
  • Snacks and drinks (e.g. coffee and tea, biscuits, instant noodle)


Student housing will probably be a smaller place than you’re used to, so check what facilities and items are already provided (e.g. kettle, microwave, pots, etc.)before deciding what to bring.

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#7. Bedroom necessities

What to pack for university - 6 Bedroom necessities

Besides university buildings, you will be spending most of your time in your new home, so ensure your living quarters are equipped with the following items:

  • Pillows and / or bolster
  • Duvet
  • 2 sets of bed sheets, duvet cover, pillow and / or bolster cases
  • Mattress protector (if you’re uncomfortable with used mattresses or are a germaphobe)
  • Throw blankets
  • Mini electric fan
  • Reading lamp (check if this is provided)
  • Storage (e.g. storage bins, shoe rack)
  • Clothes rack and / or wall hooks (in case the provided wardrobe isn’t enough)
  • Security essentials (e.g. padlock for your locker and laptop lock)


Most student accommodations provide a single bed and mattress, but check with your student housing manager about your mattress size before bringing or purchasing wrong bed sheets.

#8. Toiletries and medication

Ultimate College Checklist-Toiletries and medication

Cleanliness is next to godliness, so don’t forget to bring along:

  • At least 2 bath towels and hand towels
  • A wash bag / shower basket (useful if you’ll be using a communal bathroom)
    • Soap
    • Body scrub
    • Shampoo
    • Conditioner
    • Loofah
    • Shower cap
  • Skincare products (e.g. moisturiser, face wash, toner, sunscreen, etc.)
  • Eye-care products (e.g. contact lens, contact lens solution, etc.)
  • Personal grooming
    • Toothbrush and toothpaste
    • Mouthwash
    • Dental floss
    • Comb / hair brush
    • Cotton buds
    • Nail clipper and nail file
  • Hygiene products (e.g. shaver, deodorant, sanitary pads, etc.)
  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Hairdryer
  • A basic first-aid kit that contains:
    • Plasters and bandages
    • Antiseptic cream
    • Antihistamine, paracetamol, anti-diarrhoea pills and basic cold and flu medicine
  • Personal medication


Purchase your toiletries (e.g. toothpaste, deodorant, sanitary products, razor, etc.) at convenience shops near your university to avoid lugging additional weight in your suitcase.

#9. Cleanliness

Ultimate College Checklist-Cleanliness

Your dorm room will be your living space for at least a year, probably more. So it’s important to keep it clean and tidy. To avoid adding more weight to your luggage, consider buying these from shops near your college.

  • Tissue and toilet paper
  • Broom and dustpan
  • Mop and pail
  • Hand soap
  • Sponges
  • Toilet bowl cleaner
  • Multipurpose cleaner
  • Rubbish bags
  • Vacuum cleaner
Note:  If you know who your future roommates will be, you can talk about dividing who will bring what so you won’t end up with 4 sets of brooms and dustpans.

#10. Miscellaneous items

What to pack for university - 8 Miscellaneous items

Consider bringing items under this category to university only if you have spare space in your luggage. After all, you’ll never know when they might be useful, especially if you have these items at home and don’t want to spend money purchasing them again.

  • Torchlight and candles
  • Spare batteries
  • Swiss army / multi-purpose knife
  • Spare change for washing machines, bus fares or vending machines
  • A door stopper (if you keep your bedroom door open, you’ll make friends with your new housemates easily!)
  • Reading material for your days off (e.g. novels, magazines, etc.)
  • Umbrella
  • A mini tool kit

Moving out from the comforts of home is challenging for anyone. However, arming yourself with a checklist will help you pack only the essentials. Rest assured, your material goods are next to nothing when it comes to obtaining that coveted degree.

There’s so much to learn outside your university classroom. Here are 9 unexpected lessons you will learn in your first week of university.

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    Natasha Sin

    Natasha Sin

    I went outside once. That was before Netflix.