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6 Essentials to Pack for Study Abroad

With summer just around the corner, HCUO collegiettes™ are scrambling to finish off their term and begin their vacations! Some of us, however, are finishing this term while preparing for a summer abroad. And at this point in the term, the application process is over, the interviews have been conducted, the paperwork has been filed and the plane tickets have been purchased. Now, the hard part begins. What should you pack?

A limited amount of space and uncertainty about the final destination leaves many collegiettes™ frustrated. HCUO is here to suggest a few essential items for traveling abroad.

1. A comfy pair of walking shoes is a necessity in every country. No matter where you travel to, you will have sights to see and places to visit, so shoes that keep your feet pain-free are mandatory. Angela Allison, who traveled around Europe during fall term, suggested TOMS shoes. “[TOMS] shoes are so comfortable. They were perfect for walking, and I walked so much [in Europe],” she says.

2. Clothing that can be layered is perfect for all places. Countries in Africa will be extremely hot during the day, but chilly at night. Pack a long-sleeve shirt or sweater to ensure that you will be comfortable in all temperatures.

3. An “LBD” or “Little Black Dress.” The dress doesn’t necessarily need to be black, but the concept of a versatile dress that can be dressed up or down should be an addition to all suitcases.

4. Sunblock is a vital item. It’s summer! And sunny! So while you enjoy the perfect weather, keep yourself protected from skin cancer. Also, some countries suggest bringing mosquito repellent to deter the insects. Check with your program coordinator to see if you should pack bug spray or similar items.

5. Purchase a voltage converter or transformer, if you are packing electronics like a laptop or a hair dryer. In the United States, we operate on 110 Volts, while other countries, like France, operate on 220 Volts. Sometimes the sockets look different to prevent Americans from accidentally plugging in their electronics, but if they don’t, look out! DO NOT use the sockets without a converter/transformer. It will seriously ruin your stuff.

6. Bring a camera! Studying abroad is an incredible opportunity. It’s the time to see sights, learn new things and experience life. A camera will aid in preserving your memories and sharing them with your family and friends back home.

Packing can be stressful, especially for the upcoming months. Be careful not to overpack, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Study abroad is one of the best experiences you can have in college, so have fun and live it up. Happy traveling!

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