Here is a suggested packing overview put together by current MUWCI students & the Head of Admissions. The list below is general advice on what will be useful, especially for students from overseas who may not have a chance to return home for a while. Please keep in mind that you can buy most things in Pune! To get some idea of what things are available in India and their comparative costs, please visit Amazon India.
Note: We recognize students come to UWC Mahindra College from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds and have different budgets and ideas of what items are ‘essential’ and what are ‘luxuries’. Excessive displays of wealth and overly consumerist attitudes have no place at UWCs. When budgeting and packing for your UWC experience you are encouraged to think about what it will mean to live in a community with such differences.
Most students wear summer clothes that are light and breathable including cotton t-shirts, blouses, leggings, dresses, skirts, shorts and capris. Jeans, pants, and light sweaters are preferred in the evenings and in the cooler winter months (Dec – Jan). One set of formal clothes is nice to have on festive occasions, as well as a national costume for regional celebrations.
Clothes should be modest and make you comfortable to participate in activities on campus, in the villages or further afield. When going off campus it’s best to ensure clothing covers shoulders and knees, and that necklines and waistbands are not too low. Clothes should also be easy to self-launder in the washing machines without complicated fabric care instructions. Student Pro Tip: It is recommended to bring lots of underwear so you can go longer without having to do laundry! ☺
Open flat shoes are popular with many students in flip-flops or sandals. Closed shoes (e.g. sneakers or loafers) are optional but useful especially when traveling. Running shoes or other athletic shoes are necessary, depending on your preference of sports activities. Hiking shoes are also highly recommended, especially in the rain and during the Orientation Programme at the start of the year. (These shoes are also available for purchase in India). A pair of formal shoes to go along with clothes for special occasions is optional.
Student Pro Tip: A pair of sturdy rain-proof shoes (see: hiking shoes, OR rainboots or water-proof sandals/flats) will be indispensable during the monsoons (Aug – Sept).
Special Clothing & Accessories:
Toiletries & Medication:
Most big multinational cosmetic brands are available in India. Bring some toiletries to get you started for the first few days. Soap, shampoo, toothpaste, laundry detergent and other daily essentials can be purchased from Dukaan (campus shop). If applicable, bring sanitary products of your choice, though tampons (OB non-applicator type) and sanitary napkins are available in department stores.
Bring a basic first aid kit and a small amount of over-the-counter medication that you’re familiar with and use to treat everyday ailments like headaches, cuts, indigestion and so on. If you are on prescription medication(s) please bring your own supply or follow instructions about ensuring availability with the doctor for procuring these locally via the Medical Center.
The college provides bedsheets, pillowcases and blankets. You can bring a quilt or some familiar bedding to make your corner feel like home. You must bring towels or purchase your own here (bring a small one for the first few days which you can use for travel later). Also useful is a small blanket you can use on trains and buses.
Items like a laundry basket, shower caddy, decorative lights, desk organizers etc. can be bought in Pune. Some students also like to bring small portable speakers for music.
Student Pro Tip: Bring photos, mementos, wall hangings, flags, art work and so on to decorate your room and make it feel familiar and cozy.
Keep your valuable documents safe in your personal room safe. Carry photocopies of all your documents (passport, visa, national ID etc.) as well as digital scans stored in your email or in the cloud in case of loss. You should also keep details of any ATM/Debit cards you will bring including information to report loss.
The college requires every student at the college to have the following (if you are a scholarship student and unable to afford any of these items please contact the Admissions Office for details about items available on loan):
Bring special foods from your country that you won’t find in India! Non-perishable foodstuffs (tinned, dried or pickled) can be a wonderful treat to share with your friends. Do also bring any specialty cooking equipment or utensils (e.g. coffee press) that is specific to your part of the world. Basic cutlery, mugs and plates and pots can be procured in Pune.
Odds & Ends:
Other useful items -
What NOT to bring: large amounts of cash, fancy clothes or accessories (including jewelry), too many electronic devices, pets, items against the UWC Code of Conduct.