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The Definitive Must-Haves of Packing for Study Abroad

Studying abroad is one of the greatest opportunities available to undergraduate student, and as a study abroad alumn I strongly encourage everyone to look at their options and take advantage of the multitude of programs that exist for anywhere your heart desires to go. Studying abroad, no matter where you go, will change your life, your mindset and maybe even your future. There’s nothing quite as inpsiring as discovering something for the first time. But before you can embark on your fabuluous adventure, you need to pack. And that, I promise you, is the absolute worst part. So we decided to compile your must-haves so you don’t forget.

WearSafe Button

The WearSafe button is the tiny little button attached to the neck of her shirt. It’s easy to clip onto any outfit or accessory and is barely noticeable. You can sync it to your phone via Bluetooth and it serves as your own personal Blue Light system wherever you are in the world. It can alert the police or your emergency contacts if you are in danger with the push of a button. It’s really useful and can keep your worried parents at bay while you’re traveling the world.

Passport/Passport holder

I think this one is slightly obvious, but bring your passport and keep it in a safe place. I strongly recommend getting a cute passport holder that’s identifiable and easy to pack away, this way you don’t have to rumage through your luggage at a security checkpoint on your way to Berlin.

Travel shampoos & toiletries 

It’s easier to buy your large shampoos, conditioners and soaps once abroad to keep in your aparment or dorm, but it’s smart to pack as many sample packets as you have hoarded in your home. They’re really great for travel and always pass the requirements at any airport so you won’t have to worry about getting travel size bottles every time. 

Birth control & mediciations

If you are prescribed to any mediciations, like a monthly birth control perscription, it is SO IMPORTANT to speak to your doctor sooner rather than later to work out how you can get your prescription while abroad. Most doctors office’s and insurance companies allow you to order birth control or mediciation in advance, although their may be some additional fees for the early purchase.


You’re going to need your laptop for school and your phone for obvious reasons, so make sure to pack all the necessary equipment that goes with it. Depending on the country you visit, you will need extension cords and different plug bases in order to use your laptop and phone without frying it. Make sure you look into all of this before you ruin your brand new laptop. Apple sells a set of plugs that include all countries in the world for around $30 which is useful if you plan on traveling a lot to different regions of the world.

Clothing & Accessories

No matter the temperature or climate of your new home, bring comfy sweatshirts and sweapants. You’ll want to wear them for flights and lounging activities. Always overpack on underwear and socks. You are going to want to overpack (and bring a million of your cutest outfits), but trust me – you won’t wear half of them. It’s hard to generalize how many of each article of clothing you should bring, but be realistic. Traveling requires comfortable clothes more than it does cute ones. Let me summarize some basic needs:

Athetlic clothes & shoes – you’ll be doing a lot of walking, if not hiking or climbing depending on where/what you’re visiting.

Sunglasses – you’ll probably see the sun 

Socks & underwear – duh 

2-3 pairs of jeans, leggings and shorts 

4-5 ‘going out’ outfits – I swear you won’t need more than this, especially if you can mix and match 

As for the rest, it’s really up to you. Shirts are sorta hard to nail down an exact number, seeing as you have to wear one everyday, but always assess the necessity of the items you pack. They will get you for an overcharge if you have so much as an ounce more than the regulation weight.

All in all, once you get past packing your bags, you’re going to get lost in an incredible adventure and forget this whole mess even happened.


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