Preparing to travel to RGU – an Indian checklist

I remember July 2016 very vividly, as I was trying to jump ships from one degree to another. It was a matter of travelling halfway across the globe and my only source of information about life in the UK was the internet. I would like to use this post to share with you information I have gained and experienced about education and living in the UK.

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Cooking

The Admissions Office at RGU tells us that prospective Indian students have mostly food and cooking related queries before coming to the UK. We sure love our spicy food, and like most Indians moving abroad, I too brought a container full of spices for me to use for one year. But would I recommend bringing four years’ worth of spices? Certainly not. Like most UK cities, Aberdeen has an Indian store located close to the City Centre which will remind you of the ‘kirana’ stores typical of India. Here you will find all the Indian cooking ingredients you need. Moreover, some supermarkets also sell ready-to-eat mixes of popular Indian dishes such as Pav Bhaji and Mattar Paneer at a reasonable price.

Indian students also tend to carry a lot of vessels and utensils with them when moving abroad, thus taking up valuable luggage space. I certainly see why this is a requirement as cooking vessels are pretty expensive in Aberdeen. In the ten months I have been here, I have not seen a pressure cooker in sight. So if you do intend to carry these items with you, make sure they are compatible for use on an induction cooker (check with your accommodation what kind of cooker they have) as that seems to be the norm in the UK. If you know other students who are also moving to RGU, and if you intend to find accommodation together, you can split the costs of these kitchen items, saving you some more money.

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Winter Clothing

During my last few weeks in India, I read about the cold weather and intermittent rain in Aberdeen. I came across dealers who sold winter clothing ‘suited for living in the UK’ in a few Indian cities. However, a former student who studied in the UK explained how buying these winter jackets were of no use to him once he actually arrived, as they did not provide enough protection from the cold. Taking his advice, I decided to not buy these winter jackets in India that cost nearly 5000 INR.

In my first week in Aberdeen, I bought a good winter coat from Primark for just 2000 INR. Eventually I learned that most students at my university bought their winter wear from Primark. My jacket has protected me in the most severe temperature drops here in Aberdeen, and they are of good quality too. You will find winter clothing in Aberdeen that is cheaper than what you find in India, and better suited to the weather. You will find great deals on winter clothing around Black Friday (last week of November) and the week of Christmas.

The flight journey from India to Aberdeen is long and it gets cold too. For that, I would recommend carrying one thick sweater and good shoes that cover your feet.

These are just a few ideas off the top of my head, and ones that I consider most important. I hope these are of help to you, and you enjoy living here as much as I have.

Athira

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