Bed linen

A duvet and pillows are provided but you need to bring duvet covers, sheets, and pillowcases. Also a warm blanket is good to have; it does get cold in Michaelmas term!

Smart clothes

Needed for Matriculation dinner and any formal halls. Girls usually wear a smart dress or skirt/trousers and a top; guys must wear a jacket with a tie. There are also a number of events throughout the year where you will be expected to wear black tie (for example society dinners, balls).

Fancy Dress

Themed events occur almost weekly around here, whether it is swaps, birthdays or bops. You’ll have a Back to School theme for your Freshers’ Week Bop (so don’t throw away the uniform too quickly!), and we can guarantee a well-prepared Halloween outfit will be worthwhile. Other favourites include: Beach, Tribal, Animals, Cocktails, Christmas, etc.

Cooking stuff

This really depends on how much cooking you intend to do. Hall is available for every meal but only at the allocated times, so it’s always worth having some essentials. We reckon a sharp knife, kettle, chopping board, tea towels, colander (you will cook so much pasta) and saucepan are the basics. If you’re planning on cooking a lot it might be worth investing in a wok, spatula/wooden spoon and can opener. You technically aren’t allowed any frying pans, and if you bring a toaster beware setting off the fire alarm and making everyone grumble.

Cutlery and crockery

This is not provided. We advise you bring enough for at least 3 people. Bring more if you’d like to wash up less… Cutlery thieves can strike at any time – so you may want to keep it in your room.

A laptop

VERY useful. There are many computer rooms in college fitted with printers and internet connections so it is easily possible to survive without one, but many people prefer to work in the privacy of their own room/favourite spot in the library. If you do decide to bring a laptop, make sure to source an Ethernet cable - you can buy these on arrival from the College Computer Department (K block). Getting an extra long cable (available from the IT office) can be good because you can then use the internet in bed… USB sticks and headphones are also a very good idea. If you plan on purchasing a laptop for university, make use of the student discounts in place at shops like Apple; it can save you a lot of money!


These are permitted but not essential – most people find that the JCR television is good enough. You will need to buy your own personal TV license if you decide to bring one.

Posters and poster hangers

Make your room feel like home! Each room has a large notice board which you can pin or blu-tac stuff to, but no blu-tac can be used on the walls.

Personal documentation

Things like passports, national insurance number, and medical card needed to register with a doctor as well, forms and letters from Student Finance, etc.

Washing stuff

A wash bin and/or huge bag to carry all your clothes down to the washroom is very useful. There is a “functional” iron and ironing board in the washroom, but you may want to bring your own nicer ones. Bring/buy your own tablets and powder too.


To keep you going until the student loan clears. If you have applied for this on time, this should come through a couple of days after you arrive.

A form of ID

This needs to be a driving licence or passport, but national ID from some countries works just as well – as long as everything is readable to an English-speaker! Cambridge has become very strict on this recently and most pubs and clubs will only accept a provisional/full driving licence or your passport as identification.


This is so vital for keeping up with all the activities, meetings, lectures and deadlines you’ll encounter throughout the year. A must-have.


As you’ll soon see, cycling is the major form of transport in Cambridge. It’s up to you whether to bring a bike or not. Your need for it will probably depend on where your Department is and how many sports/societies you intend to be involved in – talk to your college parents, they will know if you need one. If you do decide to bring one, remember a good bike lock, front and rear lights (compulsory after dark), a bell and a helmet. Never leave your bike anywhere unlocked – many people have learnt this lesson the hard way: the number one crime in Cambridge is bike theft.

Sports equipment & kit

If you’re keen to become involved in a particular sport bring any existing stuff you have along. E-mail the sports captains if you’re unsure on what you need or ask on the Facebook Freshers’ page.

Essential books for your course

Ask your college parents about this as it varies from subject to subject. Cambridge libraries are well equipped and your Supervisors will advise you too – we recommend you wait until you get here!

Warm clothes

Cambridge starts to get seriously cold and windy during your first term so remember the woolly jumpers and coats.

  • a camera
  • full-length mirror
  • hair dryer
  • home comforts
  • plastic cups
  • etc.