Wondering What To Pack for College?

Ana-Maria Radu from NYU Abu Dhabi Class of 2023 shares what she has learned over the years on what to pack as a first year student.

I vividly remember this time two years ago, when I was excited and anxious to pack my bags and move into my new home at NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) to begin my college life. Over the past few years, I’ve collected a few tips that first year students may find useful when packing.  

Ana-Maria Radu from NYUAD Class of 2023 shares packing tips for first-year students.

1. Bring decorations for your new home

I am sure you will want to make your new room look like home, so don’t hesitate to bring any unique decoration that reminds you of your country or your family: a flag, a little statue, or a poster of your city. 

You will have the chance to go to Ikea during Marhaba and the first few weeks of classes, so save your luggage space and do not pack generic decorative items that you may be able to find in the UAE. 

If you enjoy being three steps ahead just like me, you can check the Ikea UAE website before coming to campus and plan the colors and theme of your room.

NYUAD Class of 2023 Ana-Maria Radu's first year room decoration.

2. Thrift shopping at NYUAD

Another resource available to help you not overpack is the wonderful campus community and the NYUAD Free and For Sale Facebook group. Here, current students regularly post pictures of things they have been collecting and giving away for free or at a very low price. You can find anything from clothes and books, to electronics or cooking supplies. Not only are these items in great condition, but they also all carry unique stories. You might even chance upon an item that is an NYUAD vintage which had been in existence back when the University was located at Sama Tower. 

3. Take all the snacks from home

Snacks from home are of great importance especially since you may not be able to get them in the UAE. Consider bringing more to share with friends and roommates. I can still remember when my Danish friend made me taste black licorice or when my Venezuelan friend cooked for us arepas using flour from home — divine!   

4. Traditional clothing

Depending on where you come from, you may want to bring a piece of your traditional clothing in your luggage. You will have the chance to wear them at different award ceremonies, small events, or they can simply be your lucky charm. Moreover, because of the unique student body, you get plenty of opportunities to attend a variety of student events including Diwali, Asian Pacific night, the Pakistani Mock wedding, Latino night, and more. 

The packing list may seem endless and there is no doubt that you may still have forgotten to pack something when you arrive, but don’t fret. You will always find a kind soul to lend you a charger, an ice pack, or a formal attire at any time of day and night via the Room of Requirement Facebook group too.