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Shop ‘Till You Drop: 5 Things You Need For Study Abroad

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCLA chapter.

Summer is just around the corner, and with that comes internships, traveling, and having fun. For some of us, that might be spending time at home with friends, doing a summer internship in a big city, or studying abroad in another country. For me, I am planning on studying abroad, which I am so excited for. However, I have been filling out dozens of forms, planning flights, meeting other students in my program, and, maybe most importantly, buying clothes and essentials for my travels. I have been scouring TikTok, Instagram, and online clothing stores for weeks trying to figure out what exactly I need for my program, and I think I have found five items that are crucial for any study abroad program to make it less stressful and more fun.

Travel backpack

If you are planning on doing any weekend travel, it is recommended that you buy a good, sturdy backpack for traveling. Bringing a huge duffel bag or suitcase that is hard to transport will not be great for walking around a new city, so you should bring a travel backpack to take from a train to your hostel to ensure easy transport. If you are worried about pickpockets, however, you can wear your backpack backwards or bring a larger travel tote bag instead. 

Scarf or long sleeve dress

Many churches, museums, and sites require women to cover their knees and shoulders, especially catholic ones, so you need to buy a scarf and wear a dress that covers your knees. Many European women opt for a sweater or light jacket to wear with their maxi dresses or skirts instead of a scarf, as this automatically says that you are a tourist. So, if you want to fit in with fellow Europeans, a sweater, jacket, or light long sleeve maxi dress may work the best for you.

portable charger

No one likes it when their phone dies, and especially in a foreign country where communication may not be great and directions may not be clear, you need to keep your phone charged and ready to go at all times. I would recommend one you can easily plug into your phone, so you do not have to worry about additional cords. This little one below is so cute and definitely will do the trick! 

The Lalacell Phone Charger The Lala
Her Campus Media
medicine & supplements

Not all medicines in the US are widely available, so you should bring over the counter medicines like Ibuprofen, Advil, and cough syrup in small containers that you know will last you during your travels. Many travel influencers have also said that cheap supplements like Vitamin C are also pretty expensive, so you may want to also load up on those beforehand just in case you have a vitamin deficiency or mild illness that doesn’t require serious medical attention. 

comfy shoes

You will do a ton of walking, and to avoid overpacking, you should bring three pairs of shoes (maybe four, if you are an overpacker like me). They should be easy to walk in for long distances and travel well, like flat sandals and versatile sneakers. I would recommend 2 pairs of sandals (one nice pair and one not), a pair of sneakers, and maybe flip flops or another pair of fancier shoes. 

Overall, getting ready for you study abroad program is a very stressful experience, but it’s going to be worth it. So, if it’s your first time going abroad, just enjoy it. You will undoubtedly forget something, so don’t stress yourself out making sure that you have absolutely everything, as it will take away from you being excited to go abroad and your trip itself. So, have fun, make memories, and just pick up anything you missed when you get there!

Calina is a second year Communication Studies major and Global Studies minor at UCLA from Santa Cruz, California. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, going to the beach, exploring new places, and spending time with friends.