8 Packing Tips for Studying Abroad

Whether you’re going abroad this semester or planning a future trip, here are some tips for packing to make preparing for your semester simple and easy!

1. Do Your Research!

Check the weather trends for your study abroad city. The temperature in February may be drastically different than the temperature in May. Be prepared! If you’re studying in a particularly rainy city know to pack an umbrella and light jacket, or if the sun is strong where you are studying bring extra sunscreen. Also, be aware that the weather will be in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, so either convert the temperature (F = [C x 9/5] + 32) or look up the temperature in Fahrenheit.

2. Bring Comfortable Shoes        

You are going to be walking. A lot. Make sure the shoes you bring are comfortable! Some cities may have cobblestone streets, pavement, or may be unpaved, so make sure the shoes you wear to class will be comfortable. Some academic buildings may not be right near your dorm or apartment, so don’t regret your choice of footwear during the second week of classes.

3. Pack Versatile Clothing

You want to look cute going to class and traveling, but bring practical clothes. Bring clothes to go out and party in – but remember that most of your clothing with be worn to class and to wander around. Bring comfortable clothes that you know you are going to wear. Make sure you bring outfits that you can mix and match throughout the entire semester.

4. Bring One Good Jacket

A jacket will be needed for rain, wind, chilly air, etc. Jackets also take up a lot of suitcase space – so make sure you bring one jacket that can be worn on multiple occasions. A thin down jacket is great because it can be rolled up to fit in a suitcase or backpack, it’s water resistant, and it’s warm. A neutral color like black or brown is also a good choice.

5. Invest In Space Bags

Space bags are great because you can fill them with your clothes, suck out the air, and then fit them perfectly in your suitcase. They even make space bags just for suitcases and travel. They’re also good in case anything leaks inside of your suitcase because the bags are waterproof – keeping your clothes nice and dry.

6. Throw Away Your Clothes         

Yes, you read that correctly. Throw away your clothes! At the end of your semester your clothes will be much more worn then when you began. Instead of letting old clothes take up space in your luggage coming home, throw away socks, underwear, t-shirts, etc. that have seen better days. By doing this you will have more room in your suitcase for souveniers and you’re getting a head start on organizing it all back home!

7. You’re Not Moving There

When packing for your time abroad remember that you will only be staying there for a few months. You won’t need to pack up your entire room because remember, you’re in charge of all of your luggage. Decide what you absolutely need and don’t bring too much extra stuff. You don’t want your bags to be too heavy to carry or overweight because you’ll be penalized.

8. Don’t Forget Reminders Of Home

Make your home for the semester feel like home. Bring photos and postcards to hang on the walls in your new room. Whenever you feel homesick just look at all the smiling faces you brought with you, then go on Facebook and say hi! Postcards from home are also great things to hang on the walls so you can show your new friends where you are from and look at your favorite places.

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