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What to bring

Last updated: 10/08/2023 12:22

Planning your trip to the UK can be stressful. Here are some tips on what to bring to make your arrival run smoothly.

Be aware that some items, including particular meat and dairy products, you cannot bring into the UK.

These documents are important and should be kept in your hand luggage:

  • Passport – remove it from the protective wallet before you present it to the immigration officer.
  • Offer letter or Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) email from Cardiff University detailing the course you are coming to study.
  • Financial information – evidence that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees and accommodate yourself while studying, a letter from your sponsor (if applicable) or photocopies of recent bank statements you submitted with your student visa application.
  • University residences agreement (if you have received it).
  • Originals (or certified true copies) of any degree certificate or other documents you submitted with your student visa application.
  • Copy of tuberculosis exemption certificate (if applicable).
  • Report of chest X-ray taken in the last three months (if applicable).
  • Vaccination certificate or doctor’s letter detailing your vaccinations
  • Completed landing card, either given to you on the plane or find them in the immigration hall.


You can bring your laptop and mobile phone, but you should check that they will work with the UK electricity supply (for laptops) and are not geo-locked (for mobiles). It is also important to ensure that your laptop and phone are insured for travel and your stay in Cardiff.


If you need to bring medicine into the UK, you must first check that it is licensed for use.

You should always carry medicines in a correctly labelled container issued by the pharmacist. If this is not possible, then you should bring a letter from your doctor or a personal health record card giving details of the drug prescribed in case it is queried by customs or if you require additional supplies.

Be aware that some medicines usually available over-the-counter in your home country might not be available in the UK.

For further information, please visit the HM Customs and Excise Advice Centre.


You should bring enough money to cover your costs for the first two weeks. You'll probably have to buy some basic essentials at the beginning of your stay, so we recommend you bring about £400. Do not bring large amounts of cash as it can easily be lost.

We recommend you bring travellers’ cheques as they are insured against loss and theft. Any bank or post office will cash travellers’ cheques.

Do not bring more than two suitcases; ensure you can lift and carry these suitcases.

Bring with you

Adaptors and electronics

Please only bring small items such as hair dryers and shavers. Before you bring an electrical item, you should make sure it is safe to use and compatible with the UK voltage system: 220V. You might need an international voltage converter and possibly a plug adapter that is British Standard compliant (BS1363). Usually, these converters and adapters are available in travel and luggage shops, electronic stores and airports.

Any expensive electronics or items with lithium batteries should be packed in your hand luggage.


Students dress very informally in the UK, wearing jeans, T-shirts and jumpers. You should bring a warm jumper, jacket and waterproof coat and shoes for the winter and wet weather. We recommend that you don't buy too many winter clothes until you get to Cardiff. Wearing layers works well in most of the UK due to the typically mild but variable weather.

You may want to bring formal clothes for special events such as a formal dinner, a ball or a job interview. You may also want to bring your national costume for international student events.

Don't bring with you


You do not need to bring bedding. If you're staying in university accommodation, you will have the option to order a bedding pack before you arrive. This contains a duvet and duvet cover, single sheet, pillow, pillow case, hand and bath towel.

Alternatively, you can buy bedding cheaply from most of the bigger supermarkets or large department stores when you arrive. Many of these offer delivery options, so you can order it in advance to be delivered on the day you arrive.


You do not need to bring cooking utensils. Do not bring rice cookers, crockpots or other electric kitchenware. You can buy saucepans, plates, other cooking utensils and electric kitchenware cheaply from supermarkets and stores close to university residences.


Do not bring any food into the UK. There are many food items that are illegal to bring into the UK, including all dairy, meat and potatoes. You'll find that Cardiff has many international food stores and large supermarkets where you'll be able to find many ingredients available in your home country.

Unfortunately, we cannot receive any of your luggage before you arrive in Cardiff. However, several companies offer services to transport excess luggage. They can arrange for your luggage to be put into storage until you arrive when it can be delivered to you.

We don't work with any specific shipping and storage companies, but popular companies include: