List of things to bring from India while going for your higher education

Hi! So, looks like you are going to the US in a few months and are looking out for things that are must to be carried. Everyone faces this concern when they travel for the very first time. Forgetting things is easy.

Here, is an extensive list of things that you should be carrying to the US, and it should serve the purpose for anyone who is going to the US for a long-term stay. Most of the below can be bought in the US as well, but it’s tough to purchase all of these as soon as you reach. Space and weight are a major concern when you fly, all airlines give students extra weight, make sure to avail it.

    Here is the Check List:

    What’s in my bag 01.05.2011

    Text Books: Carry all your essential textbooks with you. These are extremely important and useful but are very expensive in the US. Most students in the US borrow books from the library to cut down costs. But, having your copy surely works out very convenient and sometimes is necessary.

    Documents: Check all your relevant documents at least 5 times before leaving. Also, keep all your documents with you in your carry-on baggage. Maintain one photocopy of each set of documents in every baggage that you are carrying.

    Winter Jacket: Depending on where you are going, you need a warm winter jacket for sub-zero temperatures. Such jackets for bitter cold are difficult to find in India, but you do find sub-zero jackets that can provide you a great respite, pick a cheap one as you will find better options once you go. In the US, you may choose to buy another which ranges from 50$ to 80$.

    Gloves: Again depending on where you are going, you should consider buying a pair of waterproof gloves that will work in the bitter cold with rain.

    Mufflers: Buy a pair of mufflers to stay protected from sheer winters.

    Woollen Sweaters: Carrying two full sleeves sweaters are advisable. You may buy more as per the need from there. Consider buying a good quality one.

    Monkey cap: Buy one which is very warm.

    Windcheater: Buy one of these as soon as you land. Don’t buy them in India.

    T-Shirts: keep some casual t-shirts that you can wear on a daily basis on the campus. You can keep some 6 to 8 t-shirts. Remember that buying clothes in the US is cheap if you look in the right places, don’t over use your baggage weight on clothes.

    Jeans: Just buy one or two as you get cheaper jeans in the US. Good quality jeans may cost about 12$ to 15$ and are available everywhere. The jeans in the US are a little thicker as well.

    Shorts: Depending on where you are going carry a couple of pairs.

    Formal Shirts: Carry three to four cotton shirts as they are required only for presentation and interviews. Make you’re to take a crisp white shirt; you can never have too many of those.

    Formal Trousers: Keep one or two as these are rarely used on formal occasions. You should know that these are on the expensive side in the US.

    Ties: Just carry one or two, and that should serve the purpose.

    Socks: 8 to 10 pairs should be carried as laundry is usually done once in two weeks. Cotton socks are preferable over the nylon ones.

    Handkerchiefs: Carry about 10.

    Blazer: Carry one as it is needed only on formal occasions. Make sure to get it as a set with your formal pants. Get one that fits you well.

    One Air Pillow

    Formal wear for ladies: The formal skirt/trouser with formal shirt/blazer is a good option to carry. The fashion accessories won’t be of much use as the fashion sense is much different in the US than in India.

    Undergarments: You must carry at least 10 to 12 pairs as the laundry is usually done once in a week or once in 10 days or so.

    Thermal Wear: Carry two or more.

    Nightwear: Carry a few shorts or pyjamas and T-shirts.

    Traditional Wear: All major Indian festivals are celebrated in the US, and hence one pair of traditional dress should be carried.

    Formal Shoes: One pair of good leather shoes with very strong grip is recommended. You may have to walk over the snow sometimes, and for that, you need shoes with very good grip else you may end up breaking your bones.

    Sneakers: Good quality sturdy ones are needed for wearing on a daily basis. The cheap ones are available in the US for 10 to 15$, but it is advisable to buy good quality shoes as you must walk a lot. You should be able to get good ones in the US. Don’t waste space for this.

    Floaters: Carry one pair

    Chappals: Carry one pair

    Belts: Carry one formal and one or two casual ones.

    Track Suits/Shorts: If you are inclined towards sports than carry more than 1set, else one is enough.

    Kitchen Essentials

    Seek your mom’s help for this as she would be the best guide. If not, here is a complete checklist for you. These will be tough find in the US, so make sure you carry as many as you can

    Pressure Cooker: (3 or 5 litres) – Get one pressure cooker as it would be ideal for all cooking purposes. 5 litres is usually required when you are staying with 3 or 4 other friends or students. Almost all students end up buying a pressure pan or a rice cooker than can accommodate idli stand in it.

    Utensils: Buy some steel wares and most of the non-stick utensils. Take vessels of different sizes to cook and to store food. You can take 1 small or medium sized kadhai, microwavable melanin bowls, and plates – may be two each and tumblers, one non- stick tawa. Apart from this carry:

    Grip: 1,

    Chapatti fork or tong: 1

    Wooden Spatula: Carry 1 or 2

    Knife: Carry 2

    Peeler: Carry 1

    Serving spoons: Carry 2

    Knife and Fork: Carry 2

    Sauce pan: Carry 1

    Steel container with lid to heat food: Carry 1

    Rolling Pin or Belan: Carry 1

    Bowls: Carry 2

    Glass: Carry 2

    Cutting board: 1

    Eating knives: 2

    Small size plastic spoons for masala: 7 to 8

    Carry coffee mugs and tumbler too

    Food items

    Don’t overload yourself with too many food items as you find all Indian spices and ingredients in the US even in small cities. Also, carry more of instant ready to eat food as people don’t get much time to cook in the US. You should carry the following food items:

    • All Spices, masalas like haldi, red chilli, dhania, salt, pepper, Garam masala, jeera, mustard seed, ajwain etc.

    • Dals in small packs for initial use.

    • Hing powder

    • Elaichi, clove, cinnamon,

    • Tea and coffee power

    • Rice, Atta

    • Sugar and salt

    The rest of the things and even the ones mentioned here can easily be bought from Walmart or Dollar store in the US. If you are running short of space, then do not carry much of kitchen utensils.


     Comforter and blanket: One each is needed, and you must buy them in the US.

     Bed sheets: Carry two bedsheets, and that should be enough.

     Pillow Covers: Carry two to three pillow covers

     Towels: Carry two towels.

    Stationary list

     White Sheets: Carry 50 numbers

     Pencils: Carry 10 to 12

     Erasers: Carry 4

     Blade: Carry 2

     Stapler and Stapler pins: Carry one each

     Pens: Carry 12 blue and 12 black pens

    Scribbling pad: Carry 2

    Glue stick: Carry 1

    Pencil box: Carry 1

    Ruler: Carry 1 (Advanced)

    Stick on pads: Carry 2

    Cello tape: Carry 1

    Ink pen: Carry 1

    Needle and thread: Carry a few needles with reels of white, black, and blue colours.

    Safety pins: Carry a few

    Luggage: Now onwards, there will be a lot of travelling involved every year. So, make sure that good quality luggage is bought after understanding your needs.

    Bags: 2 large size suitcases need to be bought

    Back Pack: Carry one large back pack of good quality that is useful in carrying laptop and books to the campus. Each back pack of good quality costs around 15$ in the US.

    Scientific Calculator: Get a good scientific calculator if you think you would need it here. A good scientific calculator costs around 15$ here.

    Toiletries: You should carry ample stock of toiletries that should last for at least a few months. The following should be taken:

    Razors and blades: last for few months

    Tooth Brush: Carry 3 to 4

    Tooth Paste: Carry 2

    Scissors: Carry1 Pair

    Soaps: Carry 6 numbers.

    Shampoos: Carry 3 bottles

    Towels and Napkins: Carry 2 each

    Body Spray: Carry 3 to 4

    Perfumes: Carry 2

    After Shave: Carry 1

    Shaving tube: Carry 2

    Nail Cutter: Carry 1

    Rubber Band: Carry 1 packet

    Mirror: Medium size

    Soap Box: 1

    Torch Alarm Clock: It is very useful there

    Key Chains: Carry a few


    Spectacles: Get at least 2 pairs as the specs are highly exorbitantly priced here.

    Medicines: Carry all the basic medicines like antiallergic, antidiarrheal, paracetamol, analgesics, calcium, and multivitamin supplements, Dettol, cotton, and band-aids. Make sure to carry supporting prescriptions for all drugs that you are carrying.

    Passport and Stamp Sized photographs: Carry at least 30 to 40 photographs with you which are recently clicked.

    Sunglasses: Carrying one pair is necessary and two if you are habituated of stepping out with sunglasses on.

    Caps: Two caps must be carried as there is long distance walking required within the campus.

    Umbrella: Carry one

    Wallet: Carry the one with many pockets for carrying credit cards and ID cards.

    Music: It’s going to be a very long flight.

    Family photos: Carry a few as it will make you feel better if you are homesick.

    Camera and camera rolls: Carry one camera with a few camera rolls

    Phones: It is not advisable to carry your phones from India. The operational frequency of the phones varies in the US and hence your phone may not function in the US. Also, the prepaid plans in the US come very costly with limited options but the post-paid are cheaper, and some are also available for free.

    Some iPhone and Android phones surely work here, but it is still advisable to buy from the US for ease and convenience. You may buy one as soon as you have a credit history to show. So, soon after reaching you should take one credit card or else you can buy a phone on a senior’s or relative’s social security number. No deposit is needed to buy a phone here.

    How to make a phone call soon after reaching US airport?

    There are public telephones at different locations including airports. You need to have small coin US currency to make calls. If you have US currency notes, then the change can easily be arranged from any of the stores in the airport or any of the counters engaged in foreign currency exchange. For convenience, most airports in the US have machines mounted on the walls that give you coins if you feed in the currency notes.

    Also, it is advisable to arrange a calling card before leaving India through some friends and family. You also need to carry the details of the calling card with hard copies of the documents required. Make sure to carry sufficient hard copies with you.

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