What You’ll Need in Manipal

You’ve probably seen it in the movies. ‘The day’ arrives and your teary-eyed family bids you farewell as you drive away to your new home – to college. What the movies don’t show you, are the days of scrambling, packing and last minute shopping that go into deciding your college essentials.

The bravest of freshmen come fully prepared, armed with shoe racks and clothes stands, buckets and mugs. Although their enthusiasm is admirable, it’s probably a better idea to wait until you reach college before you splurge, as these things can be found in abundance on campus. Also, if you have a roommate, you can split the cost of some of the things you need to buy make them buy it.

Quick tip: Try travelling by train, bus or car to avoid the 15kg baggage limit for air travel.

Packing essentials:



Apart from ID proof and important documents, the most important thing you will be needing is an umbrella. Yes, an umbrella. Laugh all you want now – the rain will hide your tears once you reach Manipal, don’t worry.

Passport-sized photos:

You’re going to need these when you arrive here. Make sure to bring your most embarassing mugshot photographs. And bring in abundance.


While there is no particular dress code enforced, both girls and boys are required to wear full-length pants (trousers/jeans) in all of the academic buildings and during class hours. Girls may wear kurtis or churidars if they wish to, but they can just as easily breeze into class wearing Palazzos or a full-length skirt. Boys can wear trousers/jeans along with a shirt or a T-shirt.

Outside the academic areas, students are free to wear whatever they like. Don’t forget to bring shorts and skirts to beat the heat.


Two words: Flip-flops

Manipal rains are infamous for destroying the fanciest of footwear. Say goodbye to Steve Madden and Vero Moda and say hello to Crocs. Or the equivalent for sturdy rubber slippers. Don’t hesitate to bring other formal/party footwear but keep in mind your ‘chappals’ will be your best friend. After your umbrella, of course.


Don’t bother. You will find everything you need here. For those of you wondering if you should bring your high school books for reference, the college provides you with a laptop onto which you can download the necessary study material.

If you can, bring a 991 ES-PLUS scientific calculator (beacause 991 MS is for losers).


Apart from toothpaste and shampoo, make sure you get yourself a good sunscreen. Don’t be fooled by the whole ‘tans fade, memories don’t’ saying. Manipal will give you a tan that will haunt you for a good part of your college life. And then all the racists will crawl out from under the shade and judge you. Be afraid. Be very afraid.


Despite the medical care being a stone’s throw away, it’s probably a good idea to carry a first aid box and some tablets for the common cold, headaches and pregnancy. The temperature fluctuations might give way to a little feverish feels.

Dem feelz
Dem feels










Packing Non-Essentials:



This one’s almost a no-brainer, but you’re going to need something to store all the movies, TV shows and other videographic material that you use for academic purposes. 

Non-marking shoes:

If you plan to join Marena or use the recreational center, you need to bring a pair of non-marking shoes. You can, alternatively, buy a pair in Manipal.


Though you can get one in Manipal, it’s more convenient to have a lock on you so you’re not running around looking for one after you’ve just dumped your bags in the room.


If you’re like the majority of Manipal that uses the generic earphones that come with your phone, bring them. If you have your own hand-picked pair of audio delighting, then I don’t even need to tell you to bring them.


For spontaneous coffee cravings and midnight Maggi sessions, a kettle can be a little bundle of joy.

Sewing kit:

For those gods among us who know how to sew, a sewing kit can be useful in case you accidentally rip your clothes somewhere. It’s more convenient than taking the piece to a sewing shop or waiting for the cobbler to come to your hostel.

General Advice:


Swimming enthusiasts are advised to bring their gear as MIT offers an exceptional pool to swim in. Hostel rooms come equipped with a study table, chair, cupboard and bed. You can buy pillows, bedding, and curtains from Manipal/Udupi or you can bring them with you, depending on your preference and convenience. Though we’d consider you daft if you brought your pillows with you. Seriously.

Don’t forget to bring spare newspapers, polythene bags, dust cloths, naphthalene balls for the move-in day. Buy them in Manipal. They will be extremely handy. Keep in mind, you are coming to college. It never hurts to have a few formal and traditional outfits at your disposal as you never know what occasion will turn up when.

Happy Packing!

– Debleena Ganguly and Shravani Vyakarnam for MTTN

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