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Living away from homeSettling inStudent Life

Things I wish I had packed more of when coming to the UK from India

18 April 2023

When we finally leave our homes and move somewhere far away, a whole new segment of what we will need and what we won’t find comes to light. Being an international student, the hassle is a bit extra because we can never exactly predict just how much stuff we can pack within the limit and just how much stuff we will need. It does involve a lot of trial and error.

Coming to university, all the way from India, without a single granule of knowledge of what I could find in the UK and whatnot, was a worrisome task, to say the least. There is a whole list of items that I wish someone had told me to bring over from India when I was leaving in September. So here are a few things I wish I had brought over:

Spices and Tea

Yes, yes, I am aware that this will sound very ‘Indian’ of me but there are a lot of spices and teas that I miss not being able to find quickly (and if I find them, it is very expensive compared to India). So, definitely, carry a whole bunch of niche spices like Garam Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala, Chaat Masala and more when you come over. Don’t forget to pack your favourite chai packets as you will want a warm cup of tea when you are tired and want to feel at home. Tea is the ultimate comfort drink and sadly, finding the classic Indian tea can be a little too much work here.

Ready-to-eat food

This one is something I am not very proud of, to be honest. I genuinely had a lot of faith in my cooking skills so I left a carton of ready-to-cook meals and ready-to-eat packets of food that my parents could find just to fit in some extra clothes! Big mistake because after being here for the past few months, I have now started craving Indian food and just cannot be bothered to make some of it from scratch. Believe me, there is nothing better than ready made food when it is 2am and you have a deadline the next day. So, pack better, readers.

Hoodies and long-sleeved clothes

Well, this one is a bit different than what most people would recommend but personally, I underestimated just how much clothes cost here and how good Indian clothing is. In the UK, layering is how you survive anyways so get those extra hoodies and sweaters and save so much money. Not only that, Indian bodywarmers and pulls can be of great quality and can save you when you are freezing in the winter months.


There is something magical about Indian traditional, oxidised and hand-made jewellery. Not only is it extremely pretty but it also makes you feel more connected to your culture and heritage. Finding similar patterns and quality jewellery in Cardiff has been a bit of a hassle and when I finally found it, it was way more expensive than it was back home. So if you wish to wear jewellery, definitely would recommend getting it from India.