Moving your belongings abroad can end up more stressful than you first anticipated. Once the excitement of moving abroad settles, you need to plan exactly what you need to take with you and how you will get it there. Follow our advice to make this process as stress-free as possible.
Firstly, any student who is planning on studying at university needs to declutter and to sort through their belongings, regardless if they’re moving abroad! Once you have sorted through your belongings and removed the unnecessary clutter, you can start to plan what you’re going to take with you, it’s a good idea to create a university checklist!
You may think you need your entire belongings with you to avoid feeling homesick at university, however, unless it has sentimental value, is expensive or hard to come by, you should leave it at home as most things can be bought abroad as easily as they can in the UK. If you’re worried your local shops won’t stock a particular product, there is always online shopping to save the day, however, ensure the product isn’t restricted by customs beforehand.
Not only will reducing the amount you take with you help you to settle in better, but you also can never be entirely sure what your student accommodation will be like, and it might not be able to cater to your infinite boxes of ‘stuff’.
Ensure you think long and hard about what you’re taking with you abroad; we advise not taking big games consoles or expensive belongings as they could break during transit or be stolen, it’s worth viewing what university essentials we have mentioned to make sure you’re packing the right stuff! The same with sentimental belongings, if you feel that you can’t live without it, take it with you in your hand luggage or pay extra to ensure that it arrives safely. If you have breakable objects, choose a company that offers to take extra care or if moving it yourself, place it on top of other luggage, so it arrives safely.
There are many different ways depending on your situation and how much you can spend. From taking your belongings onto flights as baggage, filling up a car or taking it onto a train to paying a third party company to transport it for you, these are just one more cost of studying abroad.
There can be high costs associated with flying your luggage with you, and most airlines have baggage allowances and charge you for going over the limit. On flights where passengers exceed their limit, the costs can be extortionate so check beforehand if there is a deal or a specific package you can purchase to export your luggage this way.
Most students who are studying abroad won’t choose this option, unless they have a travelling companion or a friend that is attending the same university as them (learn more – Do you need to take your car to university?). The cost of petrol will be very, very high, and you need to see if it would be worth the long process of booking a third party. However, if you’re travelling to a country close by, or have a short journey, then this may be the best option for you.
If you are travelling to your new home via train, you are restricted by the amount of luggage you can physically carry. Too much luggage may require an extra price or set amount on top of your tickets, or you might find yourself sitting far away from all of your things in another carriage. If you are taking a suitcase and carry on luggage, ensure you lock the zips on the bags with a padlock and keep the key with you at all times.
There are many different companies out there that offer to take your parcels, bags or boxes for you for a fee, gap year agencies will be able to give advice on this too! Before you sign up to the first company that turns up through Google search, contact your university abroad to check if they have any trustable companies, and always read all of the reviews beforehand. Ask queries via phone and email and read the terms and conditions in full before confirming any payment or pick up/delivery date.
Students may be anxious about leaving their belongings behind at home or sending them away to another country. Only send the stuff that you need, and you can’t live without, that way you won’t be taking too much with you or paying money for things that you don’t need or can buy when you arrive. Also, remember that you’re not moving away forever and you undoubtedly will be back home at some point, you could always pick up the stuff you need on another trip back home.
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