Top 5 Things You'll Need Abroad

Whether you are studying abroad for a summer or winter term, semester, or even an academic year, the thought of packing may seem daunting. Regardless of how much time you spend abroad, there are a few things you want to ensure make it into your suitcase.

1. Comfortable walking shoes

I cannot reiterate the importance of this enough!  I always wanted to have shoes that went with my outfit when I was taking pictures, but for the amount of walking you will be doing during tours, navigating public transportation, or general sightseeing, nothing will ruin your mood more than sore feet. Bringing comfortable, broken-in sneakers is a must with the amount of walking you will be doing.

2. A jacket

No matter what the weather will be, you will definitely want to have some sort of jacket/coat or sweatshirt. Even better if it is a color that will match any look. I would recommend a comfortable sweatshirt to lounge around in, and also a fancier coat for going out. Also, airports are cold! Jackets are a must no matter what season you go abroad during.

3. Extra chargers

This was something I wished I had thought of prior to my study abroad experience. With the amount of traveling, luggage, and transportation, I found myself plugging my phone cord into any available outlet. This being said, it was very easily left behind in a rush. I would advise bringing a minimum of two, one to always leave in your apartment/room, and one you can carry around with you. Taking photos uses a lot of battery life, so always having your electronics charged will be necessary.

4. A travel journal

My favorite souvenir from my trip was my journal. I wrote a few pages every day that discussed my daily activities, the names of sights I saw, restaurants I ate at, and people I met. Not only is it a wonderful momento of my trip and fun to read now that I have returned, but it is also beneficial when giving recommendations to others who are traveling to the city you went abroad in. Nothing is more fun than telling a friend to go visit the Tapas restaurant you and your roommates went to every day in Barcelona, or the delicious sandwich shop in Sitges.

5. Something from home

When traveling alone to a foreign country, it is not uncommon to feel homesick. Having an item to remind you of home can be very useful. For me, having my favorite fluffy blanket made my apartment in Spain that much more home-like.

Packing for any sort of trip is stressful, and it is unfortunately too easy to forget something essential. With these 5 items in your suitcase, you will be ready and able to make the most of your study abroad experience.