Were you given the opportunity to study abroad? If so, you are probably counting down the days until you leave.
Which now brings us to the question: What will you bring?
Trying to stuff all the things that you need into your suitcase or carry-on can probably be daunting, especially if you are unsure what is waiting for you the moment you step off the plane.
Fortunately, we have come up with six smart packing tips to make everything a lot easier:
Pack for the Weather
Make sure that you research first the usual climate in the new city or country you are moving to, then plan accordingly. We suggest that you bring a light raincoat, a warm jacket, and items that can be easily layered. Remember that the climate of your study abroad country will make or break what you pack.
Check Cultural Norms
If you are traveling to a country that is more conservative with how they dress, checking the cultural norms first will save you from packing items that will deem inappropriate in that country. This especially applies to clothes like shorts, dresses, and swimwear.
The last thing that you want to do is to wear culturally insensitive clothes. For instance, you will not be allowed inside spiritual areas like churches or temples if you are not all covered up properly.
Use the 12-Day Trick
We suggest that you pack outfits that are good for 12 days. That’s about two weeks worth of clothes. No matter how long you will be staying or studying abroad, chances are, packing outfits that are good for 12 days will be enough for you to attend class and explore the new place.
If you feel tempted to pack beyond 12 days, then you might consider that shopping abroad is also part of the experience.
Pack the Essential Documents
When studying abroad, you might need an extensive list of documentation. This list will often include:
- Passport: This is your first key to studying abroad. Without this, you cannot travel outside of the country.
- Visa: Depending on your country of origin, some countries won’t require you to have a visa. However, you might need to apply for a student visa since you’ll be studying abroad.
- Medical Certificate: This is proof that you took flu shots and that you are healthy enough to travel.
- Return Flight Details: Although not all, there are countries that require return flight details. This is to ensure that you won’t be overstaying.
- Student Finance Documentation: You might also be required to prove that you can financially support yourself while studying abroad. This includes a letter to prove the capability for financial support from your parents or guardians.
- University Letter of Acceptance: This is another proof that you are to stay in a country to study.
Don’t Pack Things You can Buy
So you might want to pack a certain brand of shampoo or lotion you are using. But the thing is, these can also weigh down your suitcase. To avoid excess baggage fees, leave some of these items behind. Instead, opt to buy local products at grocery stores or drugstores once you arrive.
But you should also consider bringing travel sizes of these essentials. That way, you will have plenty of time to settle in once you arrive where you are studying. You will not have to run to the nearest grocery or drugstore to buy these essentials.
Bring Your Gadgets
For most gadgets and appliances (curling irons, razors, and hair dryers), you might need a voltage converter. Usually, plugs from different countries are different, so is the amperage.
Make sure to check with the manufacturer; more than likely you will find information on their sites about travel. That way, you will know whether or not a certain device can work with a converter. If it is not, it could potentially become a fire hazard, and might even destroy your appliance.
Packing your stuff when you leave to study abroad can be challenging, but you can breathe in a sigh of relief once you are done. So, better get your suitcase ready, and prepare yourself as your educational adventure begins!