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Packing Tips for Study Abroad Students

Packing Tips for Study Abroad Students

Your childhood dream becomes true and you get to enroll yourself in a program of your choice in a foreign university. You are very happy that in a few days, you will be in your dream college, the countdown starts to fly to your dream destination and finally, it is time to resolve the roughest part of this process; Packing!  What should I pack while moving to study abroad? 

The main hurdle is to decide what you should pack in two suitcases due to weight restrictions. Although it seems very easy to pack your stuff, there are many factors you need to take care of while you pack for study abroad. You have to consider the following things before you finalize your stuff for packing to study abroad:-

1. Check the weather in the host country – Your study abroad location and the weather of that place are very important for selecting stuff while packing. Like country, we extremely cold conditions do not carry summer clothes in large numbers similarly countries with extremely hot weather do not carry winter clothes.

2. Length of your stay- The length of your stay in a foreign country is also very important for selecting packing items.  If you are only studying abroad for a summer do not carry winter items while if you are there for the whole academic year make a list of items accordingly.

3. Know yourself and your lifestyle – You need to know yourself and your lifestyle which will help you tremendously to make the list of items you require during your stay abroad. 

4. How much luggage you can carry- Every airline allows different weights for domestic and international passengers, so be sure of it. if your airline allows two checked bags plus a carry-on, do you want to lug all of that around? Just because you can bring it doesn’t mean you should. Decide upfront how much stuff you want to carry and then stick to it. 

Packing List for Students Moving Abroad to Study

With all the above factors now it is time to start packing. These are suggested items list of all the items that need to be packed while you moving to study abroad.


This is one of the biggest stresses for students and rightfully so. You do not want to be cold, hot, under-dressed, overdressed, or simply without your favorite jackets, suits, and sweaters. We have some packing suggestions, but remember that even if you do forget something it can most often be purchased in the host country. Many times when students pack their bags they feel the need to take their entire collection of clothes. For your god's sake, avoid this ever-common trap! Gather what you think you need, and then try eliminating half of it which will ease your packing. You will be surprised by how much you do not need once you are in the host country.  You will find that you bring many such clothes which just have no need there.

List of Clothes to pack for study abroad

  • All of your standard shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, and other go-to clothes
  • More underwear + socks 
  • Bathing suit
  • Comfy but classy travel clothes 
  • At least one nice outfit and one pair of nice shoes
  • Comfortable shoes for walking in sun, rain, snow, etc.
  • Flip flops to use as shower shoes in hostels
  • Workout clothes and shoes to keep off the  
  • Jacket for chillier weather – it gets cold even in the desert at night

Toiletries Items

Most toiletries can be purchased by you in a foreign country if you accidentally forget something. But try to remember the things you use every day so that you can save your money and spend your money to sample local cuisine or take a day trip! It is also really important to remember your medication or prescriptions as those are very hard to obtain abroad and equally hard to have shipped to you from home. For Medical Prescriptions, you have to take a complete list of medicines from your physician as many countries check the list of medicines during customs checks, so keep it in mind and do your homework properly.

  • Medical Prescriptions
  • Contact Lenses (backup ones too) and solution
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Bandages
  • Pain Reliever
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Anti-diarrhea medication 
  • Insect repellent
  • Nail clippers
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  • Deodorant
  • Q-tips
  • Travel packets of tissues  
  • Sunscreen
  • Ziploc bags (surprisingly convenient) 
  • Any special medical or hygiene products that might be difficult to find abroad

Electronics Items

Different foreign countries have different outlets and voltages for their electronic appliances and gadgets; it means that there is a great chance of ruining your electronics should you plug them in abroad.  Taking into consideration this, it is a good idea to leave most of your electronic items at home.  Hair dryers and flat irons can be purchased rather cheaply in most countries. For your laptop, check which adapter you will need for your specific host country.  Sometimes students can get away with using internet cafes or computer labs by using a USB drive to transport their documents. If you bring electronic items like your iPod/mp3 player, camera, laptop, etc. remember to bring chargers and adaptors for each of them! You can consider taking insurance for your more valuable electronics (such as your laptop, camera, etc.) if they are damaged or stolen.

 Miscellaneous Items to pack for study abroad

  • Passport  and visa (if applicable)
  • Student ID, driver’s license, and any other identifications
  • Copies of your passport, visa and IDs
  • A gift from home for your host family
  • A small backpack for day trips
  • Cross-body purse or secure wristlet to prevent theft
  • Scarves, accessories, and jewelry (leave the expensive stuff at home)

Practice: Pack – Unpack-Pack—!

Pack your stuff in advance so that you have plenty of time to do it multiple times. By doing it you will be able to make the items fit in one bag or two bags very comfortably. You will also be able to sort out unnecessary items you are carrying, be sure that you will have to drop half of what you have packed. In this event, if the zipper breaks or the bag rips as you are packing, you will have enough time to get it repaired or purchase a new one. It is also advisable to keep some space in your cabin baggage, if at the airport your check-in luggage gets some extra weight the same can be placed in your cabin baggage. Different airlines allow different weights for cabin luggage…has a check on it. It is suggested that make a list of items packed in each suitcase or bag and keep a print of it with you.

 Packing your suitcase is the last thing you do before moving to a new destination or the country you selected for study. Now you can take a sigh of relief once you finish it. Now move on to your dream country…have a safe flight.

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