Study abroad packing can make even the most organized person stress out and second guess themselves, whether it’s deciding on the right type of shoes to pack for the trip or how many pairs of underwear and socks to bring depending on the laundry situation. So to help make your life a little easier, check out our list on study abroad packing 101.
1. Pack The Essentials
For efficient study abroad packing, try only bringing things you know you will need and/or you won’t be able to find at your destination. Things like your passport, various other forms of valid ID, prescription medication, your phone and laptop with chargers and adapters (if needed), specialty beauty or personal care products and basic go-to clothing like tons of underwear, socks, a few pairs of jeans, pants, a few skirts, dresses, some t-shirts, a jacket and a good pair of comfy shoes.
Don’t overstuff your suitcase with hordes of useless crap like mismatched or sloppy clothing, brand new or inappropriate shoes, a hair straightener, curling iron, blow dryer or anything that will make you stand out as a foreigner and become a likely target such as sport jerseys or anything with patriotic connotations (looking at you American flag apparel).
2. Take Into Account Your Location
Your study abroad packing and planning will go a lot faster if you do some research on where you are headed for your studies. Take into account how long you will be staying and the type of whether you should be experiencing, starting with your arrival up until your departure (should you bring a jacket and boots, a swimsuit and sandals or all of the above?). This alone will help you decide on the most appropriate packing essentials.
Also, if you plan on traveling to a more conservative country or know that you will be visiting or having classes in sacred or spiritual places, be respectful of different cultures and customs by packing modest clothing options. Finally, don’t forget to look up if you are headed to a more rural or remote area that doesn’t allow access to any major stores or amenities. That’s when it is wise to stock your suitcase with your favorite shampoo, face wash, moisturizer or sunscreen.
3. Make A List And Check It Twice
Now that you know what your essentials are, where you are headed, how long you will be staying and what the weather is going to be like, make a list ahead of time of all the things you think you will need. Even though it can seem a bit over the top or annoying, this will undoubtedly help ease any of your stress while packing and get you organized so you don’t forget or double pack anything.
Try separating your list into different categories such as apparel, toiletries, electronics, documents/ID and miscellaneous. Here are some examples of study abroad packing list templates like this 12 month planning and packing timeline, this ultimate study abroad list for ladies, a “bring this not that” list or this extensive and thorough pack list.
4. Practice Makes Perfect
A final study abroad packing tip would be to practice loading and unloading your suitcase multiple times before you leave. This is a great way to find out if all the items you’ve laid out will fit into your allotted bags or if you need to rethink half of what you want to bring.
Also, this is definitely a great way to reduce any stress, avoid last minute accidents or emergencies and allows you to focus on other aspects of your trip and enjoy the feeling of excitement that comes with it.