First College Shopping Trip

First College Shopping Trip

What You Will Need Moving In

Moving into your first college dorm room or apartment will be a unique experience for you. The move-in process can be quite daunting, however here are some helpful tips to make your time in your new home both comforting and enjoyable.

Things You Will Need When You Arrive

The first thing that you will definitely need from day one is linen and towels. When you arrive at CSU, all that you will have in your bedroom is your bare mattress, a desk, chair and a bedside cabinet. Rest assured, the first thing you will want to do after you fly into Denver on an international flight is to have a shower and sleep!

Linen Package
Linen Package that is sent to your dorm

CSU partners with an external company to create an easily accessible Linen Program that you can organize before you leave home. When you arrive here in Fort Collins, your linen will be in your room ready to use.

Not only does the linen package come with a set of sheets, but you can also choose a college starter pack that will include pillows, towels, a laundry hamper and a blanket.

You are also able to choose the color of the sheets, which will also allow you to personalize your room right from the start. The linen program is a very affordable and stress-free way in which you can purchase necessities for your college dorm room. 

Another very important to note; the mattress dimensions of the beds used in CSU’s residence halls is not the same as a king single dimensions or bed dimensions from other countries. As a result, you cannot bring bedding from home and expect it to fit. It is better to purchase your bedding from over here in the U.S. as the dimensions are correct for the dorm beds.

Colorado State also provides new students with access to a complete move-in guide for the residence halls. It is highly recommended that you look at this guide before you leave your home country to learn more about the facilities available in the residence halls.

Things You May Not Think To Bring With You:

Bathroom Towel

Another thing that you should remember to bring with you is shower products. You will arrive via shuttle and there will be no time to stop and buy such things so we suggest you bring this with you in your checked in luggage. If you do not purchase bath towels in your linen package, we recommend you pack a bath towel as well.

 When you first walk into your room your bed may be lofted. This means that your mattress level can be adjusted to different heights (this should be done by dorm staff only). So do not be alarmed if your bed is lofted either too high or too low because it can be adjusted at any time.

There are also a number of items that you may not realize that you will need to buy, and these items include:

  • Hangers
  • Binder clips
  • Dish-washing liquids
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Electric Blanket
  • Decorations – fairy lights
  • Organizational items – crates, trays and magazine holders
  • School-related items – pens, pencils, paper
  • Cutlery/mugs and plates
  • Bath mat
  • Hair dryer

A vast majority of the items listed above can and should be purchased once you have arrived. Below we have listed some stores that are located in Fort Collins that sell all these items. This is not the only places you can shop we definitely encourage you to explore Fort Collins and see what else is out there!


 Places to Shop

Here are some of the most popular and affordable stores.

Amazon is one of the best resources for college students because it doesn’t require any travel and they will deliver everything from dorm accessories to snacks. They are especially useful to students traveling abroad because

Shopping online to get items to study abroad at CSU

You can buy your items before you leave so that all you need to do is pick them up at your dorm’s front desk when you arrive.

Using your CSU email, you can even sign up for Amazon Prime Student account. It has a six-month free trial and gets you free shipping among other perks.


Walmart is your best choice for getting the most assorted items for the best price. If you only want to take one trip, Walmart is the place to go. There you can buy everything from groceries to dorm supplies.

The one downside to Walmart is that it’s not the closest option, its located 3.5 miles away and is approximately 10-minute drive from campus. 

King Soopers 

King Soopers is your best option if you want to get cheap

Tomatoes at a fort collins grocery store

groceries quickly. It is only about two miles away and a three-minute drive from campus.

If you sign up for a  King Soopers card (its a free rewards program), you get great deals and gas points. If you don’t have a car sharing these points with a friend is a great way to thank them for giving you a ride.


Dollar Tree 

The Dollar Tree is a fantastic resource for students on a tight budget. For those unfamiliar with American dollar stores its precisely what the name suggests a store where everything inside is only a dollar. The Dollar Tree is great for getting things like soap, dishes, cleaning supplies, holiday decorations, candy and other random items.

Located less than a mile from campus, it’s only a one minute drive away.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Bed Bath & Beyond is one of the best places to stylishly furnish your room. They have a very convenient service where you can pick out items online and then just pick up a box of your already purchased items in the store. They also are known for carrying the sheet size the fits the oddly sized dorm room beds.

Big Lots

Big Lots is great for cheap dorm furnishings especially if you want furniture. It also has very reasonably priced appliances if you are looking for a microwave or a toaster.

It shares a parking lot with Bed Bath and Beyond so it would be a good idea to plan your shopping trip with enough time to check out both.

Target/Super Target

Target is one of the more popular shopping places for college students in Fort Collins. Like Walmart, it carries a variety of

Clothing display in a fort collins target

items but some of its items are often more fashionable, so you have a slightly higher price (these prices are still well in the range of affordable for college students).

SuperTarget is a regular Target, but it has a full grocery section including meats and produce where regular Target has less of a selection of food.

Regular Target is located near Bed Bath & Beyond and is approximately 3 miles, and about an eight minutes drive away. Super Target is slightly farther at 6 miles and 11 minutes.  

*Please keep in mind that the travel times and distances will change depending on where from campus you are located. We suggest you check out google maps to get the best time estimate and fastest routes to your destinations.

Insider tip: Do all your shopping before freshman move-in starts!!!

If you move in early, we definitely suggest you shop before the freshman arrive, once freshman move-in starts the stores (especially Walmart, Bed Bath & Beyond and both Targets) are super crowded. and start running out of things.


Traveling Around Fort Collins

One of the many benefits of living in Fort Collins is all the transportation options – it is such a bike-friendly community, there is plenty within walking distance of CSU, numerous bus routes that can take you all over the city, as well as different taxi options.

Feet Walking on a Road

Because there is so much to do here and choices for getting there, below are some examples and information on how to get around The Fort.


Walking From Campus

While living on campus does not require typically grocery shopping, there will be times you need to make a run to the store. The closest grocery store to CSU’s campus is King Soopers. It is about a 30-minute walk – here are the directions from the dorms.

Walking Directions from CSU Dorms to Kings Soopers on Taft Hill
Walking Directions From The CSU Dorms to Kings Soopers – Google Maps


Renting a Bike

CSU is known for its bike-friendly campus and FoCo for its bike-friendly roads. Traveling internationally will not allow you to bring a bike with you, so CSU provides rental options for its students. The site to get more information on bike rentals is here.

Bicycle Gears
Bicycle Gears

CSU also has provided a website that covers all things to know about bikes – anything from where you can get one, where you can park it, maps, and safety.


Taxi Services

One of the best things to use when you don’t have a car available is either Uber or Lyft. These are both forms of taxis that use apps to get you a ride anywhere, anytime. It uses location services to determine your location, and after you enter your destination, cars arrive quickly and take you where you need to go.


Public Transportation

Fort Collins has a large system of public transportation available, reaching all around the city. CSU has a transit center where buses make frequent stops to allow for students to travel around. Transfort offers a route that stops on the CSU campus and to Kings Soopers for those needing to get in some shopping – Route 3.

For more specific information about Transport and their services throughout Fort Collins, please visit their site.   

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