What should you, as a new Malaysian student, bring to Leeds during your first year here? Here is a list that’s been curated for you on items that you wouldn’t find in Leeds, or items that we wouldn’t recommend you to purchase here (as it’s more expensive compared to back home!) along with a general list of things you should bring!
We have a separate article for clothes to bring over here!
Things like cups, cutlery, plates, knives, dishwashing detergent/sponges, pots and pans can easily be found here at Leeds at pretty low prices. It isn’t worth bringing from home as they can be pretty heavy and consume a lot of space (and they may be prone to breaking!)
However, one thing you’d have a hard time finding here is a rice cooker. It’s totally possible to cook rice without one, but if you’d like to, bringing a small travel rice cooker from home can be handy!
Unfortunately, you may not find your favourite Malaysian foods here in the UK! It can be useful to bring some of your favourite snacks, sauces and seasonings from home as it might be really difficult to find a similar alternative here. I’ve conducted a questionnaire with other Malaysian students who study/have studied at Leeds, and here are some of the most popular food essentials I’ve gotten as answers!
Chilli sauce (it’s surprisingly extremely difficult to find good chilli sauce here…)
Your favourite instant seasoning (e.g for fried rice and noodles)
Your favourite pastes (such as curry and tom yam pastes, or even your own homemade one that you can put in a little bag to freeze!)
Milo (or other alternative powder drinks of your choice)
Instant noodles (such as Indomie, Mee Sedap or Maggi. Some brands can be found here at particular Asian shops, but they do tend to be a bit pricier compared to at home!)
And just any of your favourite Malaysian snacks in bulk! It’s good to bring a taste of home with you (and maybe to share with your new non-Malaysian friends!)
Other foodstuffs such as rice, noodles, meat, snacks and so on can be found at the many supermarkets we have at Leeds. There are lots of halal butchers and halal restaurants as well if you’d like to eat out!
HOUSEHOLD & PERSONAL ITEMS
If you’re planning to live in university-provided accommodation in your first year, you’ll have the option to purchase an ‘essentials starters pack’ which comes with items such as bedsheets/pillows, hangers, and even kitchen essentials. You can look at your specific accommodation page for more details. You can also choose to buy your household essentials yourself, as the city centre has lots of places where you can purchase them from (such as from shops in the Merrion Centre or in Trinity (like Primark) or even IKEA!)
Here’s a general checklist of some household items you might need:
Cleaning tools (for your bathroom and for your room)
Toiletries (hygiene essentials and personal/self-care items)
Things you should bring from home:
Leeds has tons of places where you can buy stationery from. However, buying stationery from home can probably save you some money. The same pen bought in the UK can be triple or even quadruple the price compared to buying it from home. The same thing goes for notebooks and file holders!
Things you should buy in the UK instead:
All the other items can be found here in the UK; you could probably use your luggage space for other things. However, if you use a certain brand for your toiletries/care products, it’s useful to check if the brand is sold in the UK, or if there is a large price difference. If it’s much more affordable to purchase from home, it may be useful to bring that particular product in bulk when you come here!
Also, it may be worth mentioning that UK bathrooms (or most of them, at least) don’t have bidets…You might find it useful to bring your own gayung from home (or you can use the other popular alternative that lots of Malaysians have opted for here — which is a measuring jug!)
Electronic devices such as phones, laptops, USBs, headphones and so on are items that you will use often at university, and are definitely worth bringing from home/purchasing at home if you don’t own them already, as the prices back home tend to be a lot more affordable than here in the UK!
You’re going to need internet access while you’re in the UK, especially in the first few weeks while you’re settling down and getting to know the city. We recommend getting a pre-paid SIM card so you can start using your phone as soon as your arrive. The university also provides a free SIM card to you in the ‘international student pack’ (given to you during the international student welcome week - details regarding this particular week will be given to you by the university!). However, if you’re going to be arriving a lot earlier, we’d definitely recommend getting your own SIM card first!
Areas all around the university, as well as your accommodation, will provide you with free wifi!
SOME THINGS FROM HOME
And one of the most important things to bring from home — personal items that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world! It’s completely normal to feel homesick, especially during the first few days/weeks of your arrival. Thus, we believe it’s important that you bring a few things with you that will remind you of home — like a few photos that you can use to decorate your new room!