Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Mari on recommended things to bring in your luggage to Sheffield

Hi, my name is Mari, International Office Ambassador for Japan. Please visit my profile to find more information about me and my course.

It is always a headache to think about what to pack in your luggage before flying to Sheffield, especially for international students. It was unfortunate for me that I was allowed to check in only one luggage. So, it was nightmare for me to prepare my luggage, as I needed to pack everything in one suitcase. Obviously, it was impossible. What I did was, I packed some boxes and asked my parents to send them directly to my accommodation later. I think it was good strategy to reduce the amount of stuff you bring in one journey.

Shown below is, a list of things which turned out to be useful or things that I now regret not bringing.  I won’t include essential stuff here, such as computer and clothes, but something that would be useful if you bring it.  I am writing this from a Japanese point of view, so I am sorry if this does not apply to everyone.

  • 1.    Unlocked smart phone

It was quite useful to bring my smart phone from Japan, which I was quite familiar with. I unlocked my Sim card in Japan, and bought a SIM card in the U.K to replace the old one. The tricky thing was, I needed to unlock the sim card first (because it is usually locked in Japan), to make my phone able to read SIM cards outside of Japan. Depending on the brand you use, you may not be able to unlock the SIM lock. In such cases, it is also possible to purchase a cheap phone here, for tethering to access to the internet. University also provides wifi in most (if not all) buildings, so I assume you won’t need much cellular data.

  • 2.       Knife

Boxes delivered from Japan
Knife is essential in cooking. I can’t blame the quality of knife purchased here, but it would be great idea if you can bring it from Japan. I bought a cheap knife here in the U.K., and it was more than dangerous and time-consuming to use when I was cutting carrots and potatoes. (I almost cut myself!) I asked my parents to send one from Japan at the end.

  • 3.       Dresses (formal clothes)

There will be some occasions for sure, where you need to wear something formal at parties. Of course, you can buy some dresses here in Sheffield, but usually there is no time to go for shopping and you might not find your favourite dress on the spot. I recommend bringing your favourite dress, so that you can avoid unnecessary shopping and ending up buying a so-so dress.

  • 4.       Umbrella

As you may already know, it rains a lot in the UK, and it is quite unpredictable. Some people live without using an umbrella, which is possible if you don’t mind getting wet. (It actually dries very quickly). Personally, I recommend bringing one from Japan, as it may have better quality. However, Sheffield has strong wind most of the time, so it is likely that umbrella break down very quickly. (Mine is already broken, so bring a strong one)

  • 5.       Some food from home

Of course, there are markets, which sell Japanese ingredients, but the price is relatively high. You will probably need the first few weeks to familiarise yourself with the area, so I recommend bringing a few basic ingredients from home, if there is enough space in the suitcase. 

Chinese chili sauce
lunch box and water bottle brought from Japan


  • 6.       Stationaries


Actually, you can get any stationaries here for your study, such as pens, highlighters and notebooks. I would say quality is not bad, but if you are accustomed to using specific ones, it would be nice bringing some for you. Depending on how you study, but I take lots of notes during class, so comfortable pens are very valuable for me.

Stationary bought in Sheffield
Books are mostly available in the library



Birthday gifts from Japan (mostly stationary and snacks!)


Basically, you can get anything you need here in Sheffield, but there are some items that would be useful if you bring them from home. It can be annoying to think what to bring, and what to leave home, but it is worth taking time to think about it.

By Mari Kusachi
International Office Ambassador for Japan

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