Packing Priorities 2016

Via Noobs Guide to Clemson
Packing Priorities, based on costs in the US. Don’t bother getting electronics. The plug and voltage is different, its usually a pain to use most items.

Books. Super Super expensive. Ask your seniors (I’m looking at you, IE folks) what text books they used / needed and try to get the Eastern Economy Edition along with you. If you try to get them here, you’ll buy used on Amazon (still expensive), or get them from something like, which imports them from Delhi. Get the point?

Medicine: Over the counter medicines cost a BOMB. Prescription medicines will cost about 13 – 20 USD. Try getting what you can. Some medicines are patented in the US and may be seized just like other food items.

Kitchen Utensils

Indian Kitchen Utensils: Buying Something like a pressure cooker will make you cry here. Not like they are cheap in India though. Tawa / skillets can be bought here. If you know your room mates, you can split utensils between each other. Make sure everything is flat bottomed. Clemson doesn’t have gas in the kitchen, everything is electric. Suggested Items per household of 4 students (Red is important, rest you can find in Walmart if needed):

  1. 2 pressure cookers ( 2 or 3 lts) with spare gasket and valves
  2. 2 non-stick kadhais
  3. 1 or 2 pans( for chapatti/dosa)
  4. 1 or 2 fry pan ( for omelette etc)
  5. 2 steel pots/ sauce pans of small and medium size for tea/maggi etc
  6. 4 to 5 Cooking spoons and serving spoons for daal and things
  7. Cutting board
  8. 2 knives
  9. Rolling pin and board
  10. Misalnacha dabba ( 7 compartment tadka mix )
  11. Whisk
  12. Tea strainer
  13. Masher (The ones here are weird)
  14. Grater

Eye Glasses: Get two pairs or three. Or an years supply of contact lenses. This is what cheap is in the US (~50 – 80 USD). Usually $150.

Pens: Those pens you buy for 3 – 5 Rs here, cost about $3 in the US. Makes your heart bleed a bit every time you buy them. Do NOT get too many spare pencils/pens/erasers/rulers/ lead boxes. They lie unused for more than a year.

Personal kitchen stuff (Available in Walmart, approx prices mentioned). Try getting microwavable items.

  1. Spoons/forks/ knives (~$1 / 4 items)
  2. 2 plates ($1 ea)
  3. 2 bowls ($1 / 2 items)
  4. 1 or 2 Coffee mug ($1 ea)
  5. 1 Cereal bowl ($1 ea)
  6. 2 Glasses ($1 ea / free at job fairs)
  7. 1 Tiffin box ($4 / 2 items)

Extra Optional items

  1. Microwave Idli Maker
  2. Baking Tray

Food: Anything considered uncooked seed, fruit or meat cannot be imported into the US. Read notes from USDA. Huffpost blog. Get small quantities to last 15 days – 1 month

  1. Tea
  2. Coffee
  3. Cookies
  4. Dry Snacks
  5. Masalas your mom suggests. [Jeera is not allowed. Jeera powder is allowed.]
    1. Red Chilli Powder
    2. Haldi
    3. Coriander Powder
    4. Garam Masala
    5. Chole Masala
    6. Sambar Masala
    7. Rasam Powder
    8. Kitchen King
    9. etc
  6. Pickles (get lots if you’re into them. Pack them tightly in 3 – 4 layers of plastic. There’s nothing worse than your books and clothes covered in oil.)
  7. Ready to eat Items
    1. Maggi
    2. Upma
    3. Poha

Clothes. You get everything here. Check Amazon / Slickdeals / Kinja Deals for prices.

  1. 2 pairs of jeans (Most people wear shorts here, even some professors)
  2. Shorts and capris
  3. Tshirts and tops
  4. Gym / sports wear
  5. Formal wear (You will wear this only for interviews) [Suit, Shirt, Pants] (Job fair is on 10th September if you want summer internship)
  6. Indian formals (We celebrate festivals here)
    1. Sari / Dhoti / Lungi. Take your pick.
  7. 7 – 15 pairs of undergarments.
  8. Sunglasses / Cap / Hat /scarves
  9. Rain wear like a poncho or wind cheater
  10. Umbrella. Get a small foldable one from India, one which will fit in your bag, and you will be ready to share with your room mates because they never got one. A good umbrella costs ~$14.
  11. 1 Sports shoes
  12. 1 Floaters / sandals
  13. 4-5 pairs of socks
  14. Light jacket/sweatshirt for the cold ( just to last you for the flight) heavy winter wear MUST be purchased from US
  15. Towel
  16. Hand Napkins
  17. Handkerchiefs

Other Personal Items

  1. Toothbrush and paste
  2. 1 bar of soap
  3. 1 small bottle of shampoo/conditioner. Bigger bottles can be bought here.
  4. 1 small bottle of cold cream/moisturiser. Bigger bottles can be bought here
  5. Deodorant/perfum
  6. Safety pins (at-least half a dozen bunches
  7. Small Sewing Kit
  8. Nail cutter/file
  9. Peel and attach Wall hooks/ vacuum hooks
  10. Basic make up
  11. Hair accessories to last you for a year (Hair clips and hair ties are expensive here)
  12. Other personal use items



Don’t get Staplers. The size is different here. You won’t find pins.


  1. Personal medicines with prescription for each tablet you carry
  2. Fever/ common cold/body ache
  3. Anti-Allergy
  4. Stomach ailment
  5. Antacid
  6. Antiseptic cream
  7. Relispray/ pain relief gel
  8. Bandaid
  9. Eye drops/ ear drops
  10. Small bottle of contact lenses solution (if applicable)
  11. American equivalents for almost all of these are easily available at local pharmacy or Redfern health centre.

Documents: 3 folders each with

  1. Visa docs
  2. Academic docs
  3. Medical docs