What should I bring in my bag?

Created by Kiran A, Modified on Tue, 11 Jul 2023 at 10:05 AM by Kiran A

Amidst the exhilaration of having secured an IIT seat, many would be curious about what they should pack to an institute like IIT. While IIT Madras has all facilities in place to cover major and minor needs of students, there are some things students can bring for home to make the first weeks of stay a bit easier since there would be a lot that needs to be addressed once they reach the campus.

Students can opt to buy good quality bags and trolleys on their first journey. It is advantageous to have sturdy luggage bags since they would be needed on every trip to and from home and most importantly to internships, semester exchanges or even casual trips with your friend group. One can opt to have one large check-in luggage bag, which fits all essentials to take on official trips and vacations. A large backpack or trolley that can be used to fit essentials for short trips extending up to a week or as a supplement to the large bag on longer trips. A small backpack for everyday use that can be taken to lectures, library or any study spot is necessary. Some people use their laptop bag for this purpose too, since not many books need to be taken to classes.

Official documents and their attested copies are something very crucial, especially for freshers. Birth certificates, grade cards of 10th and 12th standard, the Institute offer letter and Aadhar card would form the primary set of important documents. Next, students must go through the checklists to carry every document the administration has notified. Valid ID proofs like passport, PAN Card and driving license may also be included in the list.

IIT Madras has good convenience stores inside and outside the campus, to provide for all self care and sanitation products. However, freshers may opt to bring small size supplies of products they use regularly such as face wash, soap, detergent, haircare, perfumes, mosquito repellants, menstrual products, etc. Freshers should also remember to carry screen cleansers for their gadgets, spectacle cleaner, wipes, a mirror and things like toothpaste, brushes and a small pouch to carry all these while traveling. You may also carry a medicine kit with your regular medicines, some paracetamol and basic first aid if you wish, although we have a fully functioning hospital and pharmacy. All these can be bought on campus too if you don’t require them immediately on arrival.

Electronics and appliances that need to be brought would mainly include laptops, power banks and chargers for mobile and other devices like tablets, if you have one. Students from all branches, except HS would need a calculator for classes and exams and therefore it is feasible to buy one before coming. An extension cord may be carried, but is not necessary on many levels. Students need not fuss about irons or kettles since they are available in all hostels. Study lamps are optional, since all rooms are well-lit and many students choose to study in the library or other workspaces. Earphones or headphones would be helpful when you want to listen to lectures on your laptop/other digital devices. You could carry a Kindle for reading pdfs (and there will be a lot of pdfs) to avoid strain on the eyes. Air coolers, hair straighteners, dryers and similar high-voltage items are not allowed and will be confiscated by hostel authorities if found.

Clothes can be packed according to one’s needs and preferences but students should try to keep them light and airy, given Chennai’s hot weather. As you spend years at IIT Madras, you would practically have so much Institute merchandise to wear. A formal set of clothes for interviews, internships, placements or other events will come in handy, but these need not be acquired in your first year. IIT Madras has celebrations and events happening from time to time, so one can always pack ethnic and party wear. Accessories such as belts, caps, ornaments if you want, safety pins, sewing essentials, hair accessories can be brought.  Lab coats would be a must. Sweatshirts and pullovers would be needed towards the end of the odd semester, with umbrellas or raincoats for the rainy spells. Swimwear, jerseys and gymwear can be brought if you plan to be active in sports, swimming and similar activities. It would be advisable to bring at least one set of bedsheets, mattress covers and pillowcases at first. Mattress, pillows, buckets, soapboxes and such articles will be available on campus and need not be brought from home. 

Water bottles and flasks would be needed daily. You could also bring basic cutlery to eat in your room when you order from outside. Locks, keys, cycle locks and keychains can be bought on campus. Sports shoes, a pair of slippers, bath slippers and any other footwear you like would be necessary to pack from home. Labs require you to mandatorily wear covered shoes. You may bring any instrument you play, or equipment related to your hobbies - be it dancing, painting or singing or even nun-chacks! You can bring books to read. Stationery and things like snacks are available in plenty on campus and need not be brought.

All the aforementioned items are available on campus and outside too, except your documents. However, you would be bustling with official paperwork for a day or two and it would be good to pack a little to sustain you in the initial days. As you spend time, you become one with the campus that becomes your second home.

This content on this page is provided by a current student or an alumnus of IIT Madras. While we follow best practices, it is possible that there are errors, or the content is incomplete. When in doubt, always verify with an official source.

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