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Ncstate:Packing your Bags

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Preparing for the US
Before you leave
Packing your Bags
Traveling to the US
Arriving at NC State
Living at NC State
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In keeping with the new reduced weight guidelines for suitcases, you may carefully want to plan what you bring to the US. Somethings are available relatively cheaply here and you should not waste valuable baggage weight bringing them.

This information should be viewed jointly with the excellent information available at : http://www.ncsu.edu/stud_orgs/maitri/packing.htm

Food Items

Here are some of the things you should bring with you from India.

  • Basic Utensils - Bring 2 flat-bottomed hundis or pots, one non-stick frying pan, one non-stick tawa for making rotis and one steel kadhai or wok. Note that all your cooking vessels MUST be flat-bottomed as most houses have electric coil heating instead of a gas flame. You may want to bring copper-bottomed vessels to heat directly on the coil. Non-stick or steel/aluminium type vessels is entirely yours. Note that non-stick vessels require a wooden spatula to be used with them as steel implements damage the non-stick coating.
  • Basic Kitchen Essentials - Cutlery (spoons, forks, knives), strainer (for tea), colander, spatulas(should be of wooden/non-stick material for non-stick cookware), turners and ladles
  • Plate - Melamine/Ceramic/Porcelain plates are commonly used here. If you are comfortable with steel plates you used in India, you can bring them here. However you CANNOT PLACE STEEL PLATES IN MICROWAVE OVENS - you will damage the microwave and it may explode.
  • Pressure Cooker (one for each house) - get additional weights/gaskets/fusible seals if your pressure cooker has these available. You can rarely get spares here.
  • Special utensils: (If you ever miss home food and want to try something new) grater, smasher for Pav-bhaji, Idli-plates, spatula for dosas making etc.
  • Basic masalas and spices to get you started
    • Rye (Mustard seeds)
    • Jeera Seeds
    • Haldi Powder
    • Red Chilli Powder
    • Garam Masala Powder
    • Jeera (Cumin) Powder
    • Dhaniya (Coriander) Powder
    • Cloves, Elaichi, Cardamom, Bay leaves.
  • Speciality masalas,powders & spices
    • Sambhar & Rasam Powder
    • Chaat masala, Chhole masala, Biryani Masala etc.
    • Paanch Phoran
    • Goda Masala
  • NOTE: You get all these masalas and spices here in Indian Stores, but this is just to avoid the hassle of going to the Indian store in the first few weeks you are here


Here are some of the clothes we think are useful that you bring.

  • Jeans
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts (the formal kind)
  • Sweaters
  • Thick jacket
  • Hooded Pullovers(It will be very useful)
  • Thermals(Get one pair atleast)

Please do not buy a winter jacket from India. It will not protect you from the intense cold here. You will have to buy a jacket from here.

People tend to dress smart but generally casually around campus. A T-shirt, jeans and sneakers are acceptable for most college situations.

However, there are career fairs and formal occasions where you would be expected to wear a suit. If you are stitching a suit in India or buying one, make sure you get one in preferably grey,charcoal or black. The accepted style of suit here is single breasted, two or three buttons. The material is preferably wool or a blend, the polynosic fabric, popular in India, tends to be shiny and is not suitable for this weather.

Gizmos and Electronic Appliances

  • Please do not get any electrical appliances. The voltage, frequency and plug design is different here. Some electrical stores in India sell a 110V/220V adapter if you must bring something. Make sure you get the correct plug adapter design with the flat pins.
  • Anything that uses batteries is fine - digital cameras etc. You can buy a AA/AAA battery charger here for quite cheap.

Cell Phones

If you have a relatively new tri-band GSM cellphone in India, it will work just fine here. The Nokia Travel Charger adapts to any voltage so you do not need a transformer. Bring a flat pin adaptor for your cellphone charger.

See below for more information on cellphones.

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