Your Guide to Our Student Check List Essentials

Your Guide to Our Student Check List Essentials

Whether you’re heading off to university for the first time, or returning for another year of study, we’ve put together a guide to student essentials to get you started for the new academic year. Don't forget to sign up to our Student Club to get 10% off now and other offers throughout the year!

You can scroll to read the entire guide, or simply click the options on the menu below.


Arriving in Oxford Making Yourself At Home Bedding and Towels
Kitchen Essentials Space Saving Solutions Making It Your Own
On the Go Starting Your Studies Beating the Fresher’s Flu
  Enjoying Your Time in Oxford  


Arriving in Oxford

Bridge of Sighs Image

Arriving in a new place can be a bit daunting at first while you figure out how to get around and what to expect from your new location. Oxford has lots of exciting things to offer, from its iconic dreaming spires to its museums, restaurants, pubs and shops, but it’s also an old city with many an interesting sight to be found off little side streets and winding passages. If you’re new to the area we recommend picking up a copy of the Pitkin Oxford City Guide to get to know the area.

The guides are available in nine different languages, and offer a comprehensive guide to Oxford’s attractions, big and small, along with a map of the city centre and suggested walking routes. If this is your first time living in the UK then a visitor to the UK travel adaptor will allow you to run 240v mains devices, like your phone or tablet, and so we recommend this as must have item.

We think Oxford is a fantastic place to live, but it seems that Oxfordshire's clothes moth population does too. Although the moths are pretty harmless (except to clothing) we suggest investing in something to keep them at bay, which will protect your clothes and soft furnishings from getting munched. Zensect Moth Proofer is a good way to do this, as you can discreetly hide the lavender scented balls, and there’s no need to be spraying chemicals near your clothes.


Making Yourself At Home

One of the most important parts about settling into any new home, whether its student halls or a new flat, is making it your own. Partly this comes down to practical purchases, but also adding your own decorative flair to your new place.


Bedding and Towels

Bathroom ImageThe first things you’ll need are the more practical items—your bedding, towels and something to go in the kitchen. To get you started we highly recommend a bed bundle. The single duvet bundle comes with one hollowfibre 13.5 tog duvet (perfect for draughty college halls) and one free hollowfibre pillow.

The bundles are all non-allergenic, and great value as there’s no need to buy a separate pillow. Plus, the double and king size bundles each come with 2 free pillows! We suggest also taking a look at our low cost range of sheets and pillow cases to get you started.

When you buy your towels you can mix and match the colour to personalise your bathroom a little. We recommend our range of Bliss Pima towels by Deyongs, which are currently at a fantastic price, and are made from 100% cotton (so they’re nice and soft!). These towels are available as a face cloth, a hand towel, a bath towel and a bath sheet in a range of different colours.


Kitchen Essentials

Cooking ImageNext you’ll need to fill your kitchen with the essential implements to keep you well fed during your time at university. We highly recommend the 1.7L cordless kettle from Igenix, which has all the safety features you’d expect, like a locking lid and automatic shut off. The Igenix 2 slice toaster is also a fantastic buy, and a great idea for grabbing a quick piece of toast before your morning lecture!

For those of you with greater culinary ambitions than toast, we’re currently selling a good selection of low-cost saucepans and frying pans in our Cookshop. In particular we suggest taking a look at our range of stainless steel Royal Cuisine saucepans, which are sold individually at 16cm, 18cm and 20cm. They’re suitable for electric, gas, ceramic, halogen and induction hobs, and they’re fully dishwasher safe, which means that whatever facilities you have in your accommodation these pans should do the trick.

Our China & Glass department is stocked up with lots of glasses, plates, bowls and mugs, and there’s plenty to choose from within an affordable budget. 


Space Saving Solutions


Student housing can often mean getting a little creative with space, so we have some items to help you out there as well. We suggest checking out our range of clothes hangers—its hard to appreciate just how essential they are until you arrive to an empty wardrobe with no way of hanging up all of your clothes! The mix & match range have proven to be a favourite with our customers, probably because they’re available in 17 different shades, and come in a pack of 5.

A collapsible airer is also worth investing in so that you have somewhere to dry your washing that can also be packed away when you aren’t using it. We also do a pop up laundry basket, which can be stored away when not in use. And for those of you with awkwardly placed plug sockets, an extension lead will give you a bit more freedom as to where you can set up any tech you’ve brought with you!


Making It Your Own

Throw ImageOnce you’ve stocked up on the basics you may want to personalise your new place a little. We aren’t going to lie to you, fairy lights aren’t strictly speaking essential, but adding some fun touches to your accommodation can be a really important part of settling in to your new environment, especially if this is your first time away from home.

Other little flourishes that can make you feel more at home are things like throws and rugs. We highly recommend the Ultrasoft single throw as a great bargain. There are 7 colours to choose from, and they’re as soft as the name would suggest—just the thing for keeping warm during the Autumn/Winter, and just generally great for brightening the place up.


On the Go

Since you won’t be spending the entirety of your time at university in your room you may need a couple of items for when you’re out and about. A Kikkerland portable phone charger is pretty useful; it charges via the mains and can slip into a bag or a pocket as a way of topping up your phone or mp3 player over the course of the day. A small umbrella to keep to hand is also a sound investment—if you’re new to the UK, be prepared for unpredictable weather and rain that can start and stop with little warning. The Fulton Miniflat umbrella is ideal for unexpected rain showers as it fits easily in a bag, and won't cost you a fortune.


Starting Your Studies

Fresher’s week won’t last forever, soon lectures and seminars will begin in earnest and you will need a few scholarly supplies. Firstly, it’s a good idea to get hold of an academic diary. This will help you to keep track of your classes and deadlines, and the diary covers the entire academic year, so no need to buy a new one in January. We also have a good range of pens and notebooks in store at the moment to help you get ready for the start of term.

Morning classes can be a pain, and so it’s also wise to get an alarm clock to help you get out of bed on time (which inevitably gets harder as it gets colder).


Beating the Fresher’s Flu

Colds and flu spread through universities with ease and efficiency—and don’t let the name fool you, it isn’t only freshers that are at risk, fresher’s flu will find you whether you’re a first year undergraduate or a post-graduate veteran…even your lecturers aren’t exempt. We’re offering a walk in flu vaccination service in store over the Autumn and Winter, available from early October 2018.

If a cold or the flu do catch up with you though we also have a range of products in our pharmacy to help you manage your symptoms, not to mention tissues and throat lozenges. 


Enjoying Your Time in Oxford

There’s usually plenty going on in town, and the city has some great annual traditions that are worth keeping an eye out for. Don't forget to pop into Boswells or visit our website to take advantage of our student offers while they last, and to get 10% off with our Student Club! Finally, and most importantly, have fun, study hard, and make sure you make the most of your time in here in Oxford!

21st September 2019

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