Study Abroad Preparation: What to Pack


If you ever want to study abroad or making preparation to move overseas (or any country away from home) to get an education, then this is a must read for you. In many cases students are often confused about what to pack amidst their Study Abroad Preparation, this article is a smart guide which tells exactly what items you really need to take along with you.

Packing is more than forcing your life into a suitcase; it could actually be fun and very easy.

Study Abroad Preparation - What to Pack When Traveling

Spending a few months or even years at a university abroad may seem intimidating and lonely, but it could also feel exciting, I guess that is what we call a mixed feeling. Are you just starting to think about a study abroad program in Europe or already deep into the planning process, whatever stage you are in, you are reading this now because you know how important it is to travel smart (which often begins with your study abroad packing list!). With our study abroad packing list you can be sure you won’t forget a thing. We have compiled all the essentials and adapted the list for both males and females. You certainly will not need all the things on the list, but you definitely will need some, so feel free to adjust it to your needs.

Trying to stuff your whole life into one or two suitcases can seem like an impossible task since you probably are uncertain about the country you are journeying to and what exactly awaits you when you step off the plane. If you fall a bit more on the Kevin McCallister (home alone) side of packing than you will like to admit, you have come to the right place, a list is what you need.


Even though it always seems easy, there are a lot of factors you need to take into consideration when packing for your study abroad;

Is the culture conservative or liberal?

Is your university located in a rural or urban community?

What type of weather will you be dealing with it should I say studying in?

Length of time abroad: how long will your study take?

How much should you pack; every airline has different baggage requirements, so be sure to check this carefully. Even if your airline allows two checked bags plus a carry-on, do you actually want to lug all of that around? Just because you can bring it doesn’t mean you should. Decide upfront how much stuff you really want to carry and then stick to it. Two 50-pound bags don’t sound like much until you’re sprinting through Heathrow with them!

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In this time of pandemic you must first remember your face masks, as these may be mandatory to wear in public or in shops in many countries. Ideally, bring cotton masks that you can wash, but disposable paper masks will also work. Now to the main items… In every study abroad preparation, these essentials items are a necessity.


If You Travel To A Cold Location:

* Hat

* Gloves or mittens

* Scarf

* Thermal underwear

* Woollen over-socks

* Flip-flops or rubber sandals

* Sports clothes for working out

* Jackets or coats (2 pairs)

* Belts

* Shoes (not a lot – 2pairs will be fine)

* Pajamas (it’s not a fashion parade just bring one along, you could always buy more)

* Swimming trunks or swimsuit

* Underwear (for 3 weeks)

* Sweaters, hoodies or sweatshirts (2or 3)

* Jeans, chinos or khakis (2 or 3 pairs)

* Shorts or skirts (4 pair each)

* Short-sleeved shirts or blouses

* Long-sleeved shirts or blouses

* Socks (2 weeks’ worth)


* Note and a pen

* Power bank

* Laptop

* Power outlet adapters in case your destination’s power outlets and voltages are different (ideally 2 or more)

* Flash drives, USB sticks, memory cards

Toiletries and Medicine:

The first thing you should do is to make sure you are allowed to bring medicine into the country; you could do this by contacting your new country’s embassy in your home country.

You should pack some essential medicine, especially if you need to take something on prescription. It may take a while to be in the healthcare system in your new country, so it’s better to be prepared.

Pack toiletries only for a few days since you could always buy them so you can have room in your luggage.

* Hand sanitizer (enough for two months)

* Anti-allergy medicine

* Prescription medicine

* Contraceptives

* Contact lenses and contact lenses liquid

* Bandages

* Tissues and toilet paper (for few days)

* Tampons or pads (a month’s worth)

* Makeup

* Comb or hairbrush

* Nail clippers

* Deodorant and perfumes

* Toothbrush

* Toothpaste

* Shower gel, soap

* Shampoo and conditioner

* Shaver, razors, shaving cream

* Also, have your hair made

Other Items:

Backpack/ handbag

Purse and/or wallet (optional because most people don’t carry one)

Glasses (mostly if they are medicated, it will take a while to settle down and get health care, so triple-check for it)


Sentimental jewelry you cannot live without

Sleeping bag, this will serve as a backup plan depending on where you will stay or what your travel plans are.


A dictionary for the local language

A unique gift from your home country, if you are staying with a host family: this is giving hospitality to gain hospitality.

Things Not To Pack:

Unrealistic expectations; have an open mind.

High heels

Every last piece of clothing in your closet

Hairdryers, strengtheners, and curling irons

Ridiculous accessories

Big cameras

See Also: Study Abroad: US Free and Cheap Tuition Universities 2020


Passport and Visa: you might be surprised to know how many times this has actually happened to a lot of people, so triple check before you leave for the airport, that you’ve got both documents with you, and keep them in a safe place during your travels.

Important documents: do not only take physical versions of your higher education institution documents but also make some copies and send the scans electronically to your personal email. Also, take documents for your accommodation and information about your health insurance and your health booklet. Important documents, such as your passport, student visa, credit card, travel itinerary, plane and train tickets, boarding passes, student card (ISIC), health insurance card or a copy of your travel health insurance, doctor’s note for prescription medicine, etc. – have all of these in your hand luggage or a place you can easily reach for them.

Local currency: you don’t want to arrive at a new place only to be at the mercy of strangers because you do not have the local currency to afford a meal and transportation. While it’s not advisable to carry around a large amount of cash, around 100-200 euro in cash for when you arrive (or the equivalent, if Euros are not the local currency) will do.

First aid items: This really is important mostly if you have allergies. There should be prescribed medication, plasters, pain-killers, bandages, and antiseptic.

Power bank: Different countries have different types of voltage, this means that your electronics are the same voltage as the country in which you bought them from; so if you take them to another country, they may not work. Your charger might not work in your host country, so regardless of how long your phone battery can last, do travel along with a power bank.

Phrasebook: You don’t know how important this is until you hit it off with a complete stranger, just because you could say a few local phrases, this could make your life in a strange country easier. But you might usually get by on Basic English.

Family photos: this is a good idea for helping with your Kevin McCallister (home alone) situation. Your family photo will also make your room more welcoming.

So let’s get started, you are about to become Alice in Wonderland or should I say, Ali…

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