You'll likely have a long list of questions about what to pack, what the residences are like, and how to check in after arrival! Read on to find out more!
WHAT DO I NEED TO PACK?
|IN YOUR CARRY ON:
Passport & Travel Documents
Keep your passport in a secure folder, together with other travel documents, such as your CAS statement/visa letter, insurance policy, emergency contact numbers and directions to your FIE residence
Wallet, Cash & Cards
You will never need to carry too much cash, as credit and debit cards are widely accepted forms of payment throughout Europe - you should however have a small amount to hand for arrival day expenses such as taxis and food
You must have a working cell phone that FIE can contact you on in case of emergencies - please submit your number under the "Contact Number While Abroad" questionnaire on the application portal and notify FIE of any updates.
FIE strongly advises all students have a working mobile phone for the duration of their program. Students are encouraged to get a local (UK/Irish) mobile number as this enables them in connecting with local venues, services such as restaurants and accommodation providers, and medical services without relying on data and/or WiFi access. Some FIE facilities are equipped with landline phones for internal calls, and FIE staff are available to connect students with emergency services if required.
It is important to note many service providers (including non-emergency medical assistance) will not call an international (US) number, and international numbers are often not accepted when placing orders for deliveries including groceries and food.
Laptop & Headphones
All students are required to bring a laptop and compatible headphones to use for any online learning – if you do not own a personal laptop, please contact your home institution as they may be able to loan one to you
Chargers & Power Banks
Don’t forget to bring the corresponding chargers and cables for your phone, laptop and other electrical devices – we also recommend bringing a power bank so that you can charge items, such as your phone, while you’re on-the-go
Travel Adapters & Power Converter
You will need travel adapters in order to charge your devices in the UK (look for the adapters with three rectangular prongs) – some electrical devices may also require a power converter as the European Current is 220v
If you take prescription medication, you should bring at least 3 month’s supply in the original containers – it is also advisable to bring a letter from your practitioner . Please see our FIE London Medication Guidance for further guidance on bringing medication to the UK.
|IN YOUR CHECKED BAG:
Coats & Jackets
The weather in the UK is variable, but generally mild throughout the year - we recommend that you bring a light jacket, a raincoat and, for colder weather or prolonged periods outside, a heavier winter coat
In London you’ll be warm one minute and chilly the next, so don’t forget your layers! You should bring a small selection of sweaters, cardigans, and hoodies for daily wear - we also love to see sweaters that represent your home institution!
Bring a selection of shirts, t-shirts, dresses, pants, jeans, skirts, shorts, joggers and/or leggings for daily wear - this is often where people overpack so be cautious that you don't pack too much!
Bring a selection of smart shirts, blazers, dresses, pants, and/or skirts to wear for occasions that require a smart/formal look – if you’re participating in an internship, our Experiential Education Team has put together a What to Wear Guide for your internship
Underwear & Sleepwear
Pack comfortable sleepwear that will keep you warm at night and is suitable to wear in front of your fellow residents if you pop to the kitchen for a midnight snack - don’t forget to also pack plenty of underwear and pairs of socks
We recommend bringing a few different pairs of shoes - you'll need smart shoes, causal shoes, sneakers, and sturdy walking shoes or boots – these will likely be the bulkiest items in your luggage so don't pack too many pairs!
It’s important to bring practical items such as hats, gloves, scarves, belts, and ties, but if you're someone who likes accessories, don't forget your jewelry and other add-ons - keep any expensive or sentimental items in your carry-on
If you’re a “sporty” person, or keen to try out a new activity while studying abroad in London, bring appropriate clothing e.g. gym shorts, swimwear – click here for more information on gyms and other fitness opportunities in London
Towels & Toiletries
Bath towels, hand towels and washclothes can go in your checked luggage, along with any soaps, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste and other toiletries that exceed the 3.4oz / 100ml liquid limit - don't forget your toothbrush!
WHAT SHOULD I NOT PACK?
The UK has different local laws than the USA. As such, common items that remain illegal in the UK that may be legal at your home university include:
- Pepper spray/mace (classed as a Section 5 Weapon in the UK and is only used by law enforcement)
- Marijuana (classed as a Class B drug, people found in possession of cannabis can face up to five years in prison, and an unlimited fine, or both)
- Weapons, including personal firearms and blades longer than 3 inches
WHEN WILL I FIND OUT ABOUT MY HOUSING PLACEMENT?
You will be notified of your housing allocation approximately one month prior to arrival via email
CAN I MOVE INTO HOUSING EARLY?
Your housing is available for the duration of your program only and FIE cannot cater for early arrivals or late checkouts
IS BED LINEN PROVIDED?
Yes - bed linen is provided (fitted sheet, duvet, duvet cover, pillowcase, and pillow) and you may choose to have your bedding changed once a week
WHAT KITCHEN ITEMS ARE PROVIDED?
Pots, pans, tableware, glassware, cups, cutlery, dish soap, dish clothes and dish towels are provided along with the necessary applicances (oven, microwave, electric kettle, refrigerator/freezer)
WHERE IS MY RESIDENCE?
Most of the residences are located in the borough of Kensington and Chelsea, within 10-15 minutes walk to Foundation House and at least one of the following tube stations: Gloucester Road, High Street Kensington, South Kensington, or Earl’s Court.
*Please note* that due to a significant increase in enrollment, some student groups may be placed in housing outside of the Kensington area. Just like students in FIE’s residential buildings, students in new accommodations will be notified within 30 days of the program start date and given details of their housing placements. These additional residences are of high quality and boast excellent locations in the city, with only a slightly longer commute to FIE’s Foundation House. Please contact our Assistant Director of Residence Life, Charley Dare, with any questions.
WHAT TIME CAN I CHECK IN TO MY RESIDENCE?
You will receive an email from our Residence Life Team approximately 30 days before your arrival in London. Our "standard" check-in time is 10:00 am on your arrival date. However, this is subject to availability and could be as late as 2:00 pm on the day of your arrival. Therefore, a "safe" time to ensure you can get into your room immediately is 2:00 pm. You should plan to arrive at the airport no later than 12:00 noon on the day of your arrival to get through customs and to be at your residence.
Can I ORDER GROCERIES TO MY RESIDENCE?
CAN I STORE MY LUGGAGE WITH FIE BEFORE OR AFTER MY PROGRAM DATES?
FIE will NOT store your luggage for you before or after your program dates. If you are planning on traveling before, during or after your stay in FIE’s residences, you may have luggage and/or items that you don’t really want to drag along with you. Most rail, airline and coach terminals in London offer some sort of storage for luggage (often called “left luggage”). These facilities are generally operated by businesses that are independent of the stations, airports or Transportation for London, so be sure to pay attention to their terms of storage and particularly their hours as they may be different from the stations’ or airports’ (as in not open 24 hours, 7 days a week!). Please read your email regarding your housing assignment from our Department of Residence Life approximately 30 days before arrival.