Packing Tips

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?

We suggest:

  • 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
  • Journal/diary
  • 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: