Whether you are studying abroad for a week, month, semester or year, packing can be a daunting activity. To make the whole process a little easier, here are some tips on how to pack for study abroad like a pro.
1. If you are planning on studying abroad in Europe do not bother packing sweatpants. Maybe pack one pair to lounge around your apartment or dorm room in but I promise you NO ONE in Europe wears them and if you do you will be stared at. Do not waste the space.
2. Beware of cobble stones! Many streets and sidewalks in major cities throughout the world are made of cobblestones. If you are planning on bringing high heels abroad, make sure they are not expensive because these cobblestones will destroy them.
3. Jackets and Sweatshirts take up a lot of room but if you are studying abroad in a cold climate you will definitely need them! Try to limit yourself to a jacket or two – pick versatile ones that you can wear to class during the day and out at night.
4. Because you will be exploring your new home, it is essential that you bring thick soled boots, sneakers or other shoes. If not, your feet will be in more pain than you thought possible by the end of the day.
5. Make SURE to bring many copies of your passport with you! I kept one in my backpack, one in my dorm room, one in a suitcase, etc in case something happened to my passport and I needed to get a new one asap!
6. Many beauty and hygiene products that may be your go to in the US will not be available abroad. However, the stuff they have abroad is very similar and you really won’t be able to tell the difference. BUT if there is a hair conditioner you can’t do without or a deodorant you need to get you through your day, you might want to make some room for extra.
7. You will buy things while you’re there, so leave extra space in your bags! You will inevitably shop while you are abroad – whether you buy souvenirs for your frat bros or a great Parisian jacket you just needed.
8. You know those electronics you cannot live without? iPod? Cell phone? Lap top? Hair dryer?! Well none of them will work abroad if you do not bring the right power adapters/surge protectors. While you can usually find them abroad, I found it much easier to buy them state side and then not have to worry about it once I got there. They also do not take up very much room!
9. Love to read? Chances are you’re going to have some down time abroad and are going to want to pick up a book or two while you’re there. There are two things to consider – First, books are heavy so packing a bunch is definitely not a good idea and second, books in English tend to be very expensive in non-english speaking countries so don’t waste your money on something you won’t read!
10. Leave the expensive jewelry, watches and fur coats at home. Chances are you won’t have a guaranteed safe place to store your valuables. Don’t risk loosing them or having them stolen!
I hope these tips help you while you’re attempting to pack for an amazing time away!