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How to Pack

Traveling abroad means packing light and conservatively. You will want to leave space in your luggage for items to bring back upon your return. 

What to Bring

  • Don't take a lot of stuff, especially when you travel. Pack light. Even if you think to pack light, you'll over pack, so only take the essentials. You can usually buy anything you need.
  • Bring a large traveling or camping backpack. It's very convenient when traveling during school breaks. Take advantage of your holidays, whether through trips to another major city or excursions to nearby villages--but don’t forget to spend lots of time in your host city!
  • Bring several types of clothing. You never know if winter or summer will come a few weeks early.
  • Consider cultural differences of dress. Be sure to bring culturally appropriate wear (headcoverings, long sleeves). 
  • Bring pictures of home: family, friends, etc. You will get homesick and there will be times when you'll really enjoy looking at them.
  • Take extra passport photos. You'll need them for transportation passes, program or institution information, etc.
  • Bring gifts for host students and families. It doesn't have to be anything expensive or bulky. It's simply a small gesture and token of your appreciation. A gift that is connected to your hometown, culture, hobbies--even just something that you can tell a personal story about--can help break the ice and start a comfortable conversation.
  • Read up on the countries you plan to visit and bring a good travel guide.
  • Talk to former study abroad students who have gone through your program or have studied abroad. Talk to them before, during, and after your study abroad experience. It'll help speaking to someone who can relate and give you applicable advice.

Suggested Items to Pack

  • Flip flops for the shower
  • Toiletries (travel sizes)
  • Durable walking shoes or hiking boots
  • Backpack with a hip strap, sturdy stitching, padded shoulder straps, compartmental bag, waterproof bag (if not water resistant, look into sealer spray) especially on the bottom of the bag
  • Clothes: bring less and wash more often
    • Pack dark clothes that don’t wrinkle
    • Avoid delicates
    • Bring waterproof shoes
    • Think layers
    • Wear Polypropylene or other fast-drying material
    • Be attentive to local attire
  • Sample of what clothes to pack:
    • 5 shirts (long and short-sleeved)
    • 1 sweater
    • 2 pairs of pants
    • 1 pair of shorts (doubles as a swimsuit for guys)
    • Swimsuit (women)
    • Pajamas and/or warm-up suit
    • 5 pairs of underwear and socks
    • Walking shoes and/or hiking boots, depending on the locations of your travels
  • Small towel (super thin, quickly dries)
  • Ziplock bags
  • Camera
  • Phone with alarm or clock with alarm
  • First aid kit with Neosporin
  • Any medicines or pain killers: Be sure you have a doctor's prescription with you, on official letterhead.
  • Sunglasses
  • If you have contacts, bring extra pairs and extra solution, plus your glasses in a case
  • Reading material and music for the trains and waiting
  • Address list of contacts (International Office, family and friends)