Packing List

CLOTHING (For men and women)

Important: The Clothing list mentioned below may vary according to the individual preferences. In US, usually we do the laundry twice a month. So make sure that you get sufficient clothes that would last for at least 15 days.


  • T-Shirt
  • Shirts(Formal/Casual)
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Coat and Suit (Any professional attire would work)
  • Ties -2
  • Shorts/3/4ths
  • Belts-3(2 casual 1 formal)
  • Formal Shoes
  • Sports Shoes-1 (Can buy in US if needed extra)
  • Slipper (Flip flops)-2 (1 for outside, 1 for inside)
  • Sandals
  • Winter wear – (get in US)
  • Wallet (With lots of card slots)
  • Towels -2
  • Socks – 5 pairs (ankle length and full)
  • Hand towels
  • Gloves and Beanie -US
  • Undergarments- 15 pairs
  • Traditional wear-2 pairs


  • Umbrella -1 (big)
  • Wrist Watch
  • Number lock
  • Screwdriver sets
  • Tooth brush (2-3)
  • Tooth paste -1
  • Razor and Blade/ Electric shaver
  • Scissors- 2
  • Nail cutter -1
  • Soap/body wash – 1
  • Comb -1
  • Shampoo -1
  • Shaving foam and brush -1
  • Lip Balm -1
  • Ear buds-1 box
  • Deodorant -1 (Get as much as you want. It’s expensive here. 1 Axe costs ~$6)
  • Spare spectacles (at least 2) (Bring the prescription as well)
  • Universal convertors (2-3)
  • Hangers- US
  • Safety pins
  • Blanket-2
  • Pillow-US
  • Pillow covers-2
  • Laundry bag-1 big
  • Comforters/Rajai – (get in US)
  • Backpack -1
  • Scientific calculator (991MS) and a normal calculator
  • Stationaries- all few, you get them for free here (if you want quality stuff, get it from India)
  • Lead pencil with extra lead
  • Whitener -1
  • Stapler with pins
  • Cellophane tape-2
  • Fevi quick-2(small)
  • Eraser 1
  • Towels : (Bath, Hand, Kitchen)
  • Night dress : 5 sets.
  • Sweater/Hooded Jacket: 1 (Do not invest in new ones in India)
  • Gloves : 1 no (you can come here and get it too)
  • Muffler, Cap (Woolen) 1 (you can come here and get it too)
  • Thermals : 2 no (only if you’re the extremely cold sensitive kind)
  • Bed sheets : 2 nos.
  • Pillow Covers : 2 nos.
  • Shower curtain with hooks – 1 no
  • Belts – as per your requirements


  • Napkins (It’s very costly in US)
  • Cosmetics (Only for 1-2 months. U can find something good here after that)
  • Tweezers or anything to do threading-( About $7 here)


Utensils (Try to split among roommates. Some things are heavy):
The following list can be very effectively shared if you already have decided the room-mates. In that case everyone doesn’t have to carry heavy utensils like pressure cooker / cooking pans. One can get utensils and others can concentrate on getting more food items.

  • Pressure cooker-1 (3-5 litres) with 2 extra valves, gaskets and weights
  • Tava -1
  • Frying pan -1
  • Plates (stainless steel) -1
  • Vessels (stainless steel) -3
  • Small vessels-3
  • Microwave plates, bowls and cups- (Get in US)
  • Knives -2
  • Spoons/forks – 2
  • Cutting Board-1
  • Vegetable peeler-1
  • Grater-1
  • Strainer-1
  • Chappathi pin -1
  • Kitchen tongs-1
  • Serving spoons-2
  • Scrubber- 1 or 2
  • Water bottles-2 (Liquid items aren’t allowed. Just empty bottles)
  • Small mixer (Get in US)
  • Bread toaster (Get in US)
  • Spice box – To store essential masalas.
  • Cook and serve (At least 1 in house)

NOTE: Most places have coil stoves. Stainless steel vessels won’t last long!


Do not bring rice or dal more than that is needed for 1 or 2 days
Essentials- Sambar, rasam powder, rice mix (Get at much you want), spices, Ghee (US), MAGGI. Most of the food items are available at all Indian stores. Vacuum pack, enclose in two plastic bags and label all the food items ( in English additionally in your own language if you prefer) .

VERY IMP: Many food items are banned to bring into the US from India.

 It is better to avoid getting the banned items because, if you don’t declare them in the customs, they will impose heavy fines. Refer to –



  • Important: Medicines are very expensive in US. Besides most of the medicines cannot be purchased without doctor’s prescription. So get most of the common medicines.
  • Important:Your family doctor is the best source of information. We cannot recommend you any medicines
  • Important: Get the vaccines mentioned in the medical form. There is a high fee for the vaccines here.
  • Important:The insurance plan does not cover dental treatment. Dental treatment is EXTREMELY expensive in US. So complete all the dental treatment before coming here.

Things NOT to get along

Electrical appliances, unless you are sure it works here (i.e. you have a AC/DC convertor). The electric supply here is 110V, 60Hz. Mostly all the electronic items are very cheap in US. So you can always get them here.

Also do not invest in an international driver’s license as they are not accepted by law in North Carolina, your regular DL is accepted.

Other Important Stuff

  • YOUR CERTIFICATES, TRANSCRIPTS. Laminate them in thin plastic if possible.
  • Your application material in case you wish to reactivate your applications at another place for the following quarter/year. Lot of passport size photos (13-14 per pair here!).
  • All important documents like medical records, letters of communication with the university, etc.


Keep the passport, I-20, all the certificates, Marklists (your folder), medical records etc. in your handbag. Very rarely airlines misplace your luggage. Ofcourse they refund you for the same but as you can see, some documents are too important for any refund.

You will complete your customs formalities at your first port of entry.(try to make RDU your port of entry). If not, ENSURE THAT YOU HAVE SUFFICIENT TIME (at least 4 hours, considering the queue) BETWEEN YOUR FLIGHTS AT THAT AIRPORT.

Carry a few quarters (25 cent coins) in case you have to call anyone from the airport.


Bring all textbooks you think you might need to keep your ‘fundae’ clear.These are very, very expensive here. Also, bring some stationery to get you started. You might want to bring the eBooks.

Hardware Stuff:

Toolkit (small screwdriver, spanner, scissors), sewing kit, safety pins, a good leather purse or wallet with sections for the bunch of credit cards/key cards/id s etc that you’ll accumulate in no time here.

Bring Your Smart Phone Along If You Already Got One. You get to use the free wifi all around the campus. Smart phones come in handy to communicate till you get yourself a new phone connection. Also, if it is compatible you do not need to invest in a new one here. Despite general perception, contract phones are not cheap (cost between $60-90/ month)


The one-time expenses that you will incur probably even before you get your first stipend include apartment deposit ++ renter’s insurance+  first month’s rent (about $400 in all per person), health insurance(about $709 per sem), Mobile phone connection ($30 Deposit + $33 a month), electrity deposit (about $100 shared among housemates) initial expenditure on house (foodstuff, kitchen stuff, furnishing about $200 shared among housemates) and/or buying cycle ($100-300). There are a lot of smaller expenses which add up faster than 2 and 2 add to 4. If you get your first stipend quite late, you must also include your living costs (see below). About $1200-1500 should suffice, $2000 should be comfortable. DO NOT BRING THOMAS COOK TRAVELER’S CHEQUES. There is some problem with processing them and it may even take more than a month for your money to be converted back. Get American Express Travellers Cheques if possible. Prefer to carry the FOREX cards or get a DD payable to yourself which you could encash once you open a bank account

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