Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don’ts


In a matter of months, weeks, or maybe even days, you will be on your way to your study abroad destination. You will no doubt have an amazing time, but to get there easily, it’s best to follow these do’s and don’ts of packing before you leave.

Packing for Study Abroad

Do pack comfortable shoes

Your time spent abroad will consist of lots of walking. In order to get the most out of your exploring, opt for shoes that won’t leave you in pain at the end of the day. There are many fashionable and sturdy boots, flats, and sneakers that can allow you to stay in style without sacrificing comfort.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

Don’t pack too much season-specific clothing

Instead of packing for only one season, stick to clothing that can be easily layered. You may be traveling to a climate that is different than what you are used to. Be prepared with weather-appropriate jackets and pieces of clothing that can be easily removed or put back on. Figure out the weather in your destination and pack accordingly for both warmer and colder months.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

Do pack a camera

Don’t rely on your phone to take in the beautiful sights. You’re going to want to remember everything without running out of storage and battery on your phone. Instead find a compact camera that will best suit your needs and capture your memories.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

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Don’t pack any expensive clothing or jewelry

There’s no need to pack your most expensive items. They will just take up space as well as run a greater risk of getting lost or stolen. Leave these items at home, especially if they have sentimental value. This will allow you to avoid any worries or troubles.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

Do pack adapters

Pay attention to what countries you will be traveling to and find out what adapters will be needed. This will help you to avoid frying your electronics, and also not being able to post selfies next to Eiffel Tower because your phone is dead and can’t be charged.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

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Don’t pack too many “comfort objects”

Bringing pictures of your family, friends, and pets is a great way to have a piece of life back home while abroad. Just don’t go crazy and fill up your entire suitcase with reminders of home. Not only will they take up physical space, but they will also take up emotional space. Instead, save room to step outside your comfort zone and make new memories while abroad.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

Do save room for souvenirs

Whether you decide to start a new collection while abroad, or you find the perfect gift for a friend or family member, you’re going to want to bring back things that remind you of your time abroad. You may even want to bring a few things that you can’t get in the U.S. Make sure you have the necessary space for these items in your suitcase. If you can, leave your carry-on empty for fragile items, that way you can ensure everything is handled with care and you don’t go over the weight allowance.

Study Abroad Packing: The Dos and Don'ts

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By getting your packing done efficiently and smartly, you’ll leave more room for life-changing memories and adventures while abroad!

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MOIRA IS A 22-YEAR-OLD BALTIMORE NATIVE WHO IS CURRENTLY STUDYING PUBLIC RELATIONS AT ST. JOHN’S UNIVERSITY IN NEW YORK AND SOON TO BE GRADUATING. HER PASSIONS INCLUDE TRAVELING, FOOD, MUSIC, FASHION AND WRITING. SHE’S A POP CULTURE ENTHUSIAST AND SOCIAL MEDIA JUNKIE. YOU CAN FIND HER EXPLORING NEW YORK CITY IN SEARCH OF THE PERFECT INSTAGRAM SHOT.