*This is a two part blog. Stay tuned for more tips later in the week!*
About a month before traveling abroad, panic sets in. Will I get along with my host family? Are my language skills up to par? What was I thinking? I literally don’t know a single person in Florence?!
Before you know it, you’ll pack your life into a 70-pound suitcase and you’re off!
Relax. I’m here to help.
What to Pack: The Bare Necessities
– Prescriptions: Make sure you have a physicians note for every medication you carry.
– Makeup: I love Sephora as much as the next girl but while studying abroad, the last thing you need are 7 colors of blush you’ll never use. Cut it down to the basics: mascara, eyeliner, blush, eyeshadow, foundation, a lip color and brushes. This way, you can easily bring your makeup in your purse on weekend trips!
– Jeans: The idea of searching through ill-fitting jeans in unknown shopping territory is nauseating. Bring at least as many pairs as you’ll need for one week. After you’ve picked up on local style, hit the stores to shop for new bottoms.
– Cute, Comfortable Shoes: You will be doing a lot of walking – tours, to and from class, bar hopping etc… Comfortable footwear is KEY. Sure those 5” stilettos with a 1” platform look hot, but falling on your face is decidedly unsexy. Pack lower heels and cute flats. Also, bring clean, worn-in sneakers that you can give away before returning home (to make room for new purchases!).
– Underwear: Underwear styles (and materials) vary greatly by country. While it’s fun to try a new style every once in a while, don’t kid yourself. You’ll want the something familiar down there… Bring 10 days worth.
– Retainers: Your parents already shelled out thousands of dollars to straighten your teeth, the least you can do is bring your retainers.
– Layers: Pack tanks, tees, sweaters and jackets that coordinate so that you can add and peel layers as needed.
– Gifts: A gift goes a long way when it comes to first impressions. For your host family, bring a gift that offers a glimpse of your life at home. For other acquaintances, consider giving out small keychains, magnets, pins etc…
From Top: 1. American Eagle Raglan T-Shirt; 2. dELiAs Alexis V-Neck Tee; 3. Old Navy Long Perfect Tank; 4. USA Olympic Keychains, teamusashop.com; 5. Mulberry Potsman Look Tote in Coral; 6. Steve Madden Ballet Flat; 7. KAMILLE Beige Lace Up Brogues, topshop.com; 8. frye Carmen Harness Short Boot; 9. Hanky Panky Low Rise Thongs, $18 Nordstrom.com; 10. Levi’s Denim Lab Jeans; 11. NARS Fashion Icon Set, black eyeliner, volumizing mascara, Nordstrom.com; 12. Gift for Host Parents, Bronze Elephant, AnythingAnimals.com. IMAGES: Polyvore.com.
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