Packing Preparation

When you travel abroad the consequences of over-packing can be great. TRAVEL LIGHT!!! Believe it or not, if you bring enough for a week or two, it will last the semester or a short term. Here are some tips and tricks to help!

Speak with Education Abroad Ambassadors about what was useful for them and decide what you can not live without. Remember, NEVER take anything with you that it would ruin your trip if you lost it. Consider reading a Study Abroad  article on Packing before studying abroad.  Leave family heirlooms and keepsakes at home.

Passport Pouch/Travel Wallet: These are essential items to keep your passport safe while traveling. You can lose almost anything while traveling and continue on, but you don't want to lose your passport.

Outlet adapters and electricity converters: Where ever you go, you will most likely encounter a different shape plug in the wall or a different electricity current.  Know what you will find in your country of study.

Clothing: The secret to success is versatility. The more you can mix and match the less you have to carry around.

There are several things to remember when selecting cloth­ing.

1.    Avoid bulky items.

2.    Clothes should be easy to wash, colorfast so they can be laundered together, and wrinkle‑free.

3.    Match: have some items you bring that are easy to mix & match so a few garments go a long way.

4.    Pack things that can be considered both casual and somewhat dressy.

5.    Be sensitive to the culture- Clothing should be flattering to you and acceptable to members of the culture you plan to visit. It should not be offensive or make you stand out.

**When visiting churches, mosques, synagogues, and temples, dress conservatively**

Laptop Computers:
When bringing your laptop, please consider the following:

• Check your parents' homeowner's insurance policy to see if your computer will be covered overseas. Laptops are not typically covered in basic property insurance, and usually require a separate rider, but it may be worth the extra expense if it is lost.

• Minimize the frequency of traveling with your laptop; we hear reports of students having them stolen. You will want to leave it in your housing when you go away for the weekend.

Past participants recommend the following items: 

  • Rain gear 
  • Athletic or active wear
  • Plenty of socks and underwear
  • Bath towels, hand towels and washcloths that dry quickly (if not provided)
  • Ziploc bags
  • A reusable water container
  • Bandanna, hat, umbrella
  • Passport pouch, money belt, or travel wallet
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Plenty of digital picture memory 
  • ALL prescription medications in their original containers. Carry a note from your doctor which includes the generic names of your medications. YOU DO NOT WANT TO TRY TO FILL/REFILL PRESCRIPTIONS WHILE ABROAD. Check with the foreign embassy of the country to make sure none of their required medications are considered to be illegal narcotics.
  • Non-prescription medications including Tylenol/Advil, cold/allergy medication, ointments
  • An extra pair of glasses/contact lens and con­tact lens solution
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Enough shampoo, conditioner, etc. to get you through the first week or two until you can buy more
  • Sleeping bag or sleep sack for staying in hostels.

Luggage: You will need sturdy luggage and/or a travel backpack and a carry-on.

  • You must be able to comfortably carry whatever you bring. Remember there will not be anyone to help you carry your luggage. Your trek from the airport to the group meeting point might be a long one.
  • The airlines will generally CHARGE you extra if you have more than one piece of checked baggage, if it is over-weight (for most carriers the weight cannot exceed 50 pounds per piece), or if it is over-sized.

As unbelievable as it may seem, students have been able to pack for their entire semester abroad in ONE piece of checked luggage and a carry-on.  This makes travel before and after the program significantly easier.

Check out the information on the Transportation Security Administration's website  for information on what you may pack in your check-in luggage, what you may pack in your carry-on luggage, locking your checked luggage and approved TSA lock.