Getting ready for a study abroad adventure can seem daunting. What to pack? How much to pack? The general adage of: lay out everything you absolutely need, then only pack half, is a great rule.
But where to start?
- Comfortable shoes
- Comfortable, weather-appropriate clothes (enough for two weeks)
- Favorite pair of jeans
- A nice outfit for formal occasions
- Vaccination record (copy)
- Translation of medical conditions and/or allergies
- Emergency contact list
- Credit card numbers and their respective customer service phone numbers (remember to write down the international number!)
- Some cash in local currency and U.S. dollars
- Copies of passport (and visa, if applicable). Keep a hard copy and an electronic version
- Additional form(s) of identification (student ID or driver’s license)
- Prescription medication(s) and doctor’s contact information for refills while abroad
- Enough contacts to last the entire program. For glasses, bring a copy of the prescription in case they break.
- Copy of study abroad institution's Acceptance Letter to show the customs agent (if necessary)
- Enough toiletries (toothpaste, contact solution, tampons, deodorant, etc.) to last two weeks
- Small gifts that reflect the home culture to be given to professors, friends,
- A camera—kept in carry-on bags
- Outlet adapter/converter
- Chargers for any electronic devices. (But do not bring hair dryers or anything else that heats up; it will be safer to purchase these in-country.)
- Phrase book if going to non-English speaking country
- Map to get from the airport to the destination comfortably
- Use a backpack as a carry-on. Reuse it for day-outings or weekend trips.
Remember: students will purchase items while abroad. Allow luggage space to bring these items back.
Most importantly: Students are responsible for carrying their luggage until their final destination is reached. Make sure the luggage can be comfortably carried up stairs and for a long walk.
For additional ideas, check out the following resources: