Study Abroad: What to Pack
For a lot of students, getting ready for a study abroad program can be just as challenging as finding the right one in the first place. Between travel arrangements, academic preparation, and planning for in-country events, finding time to figure out just what supplies to bring can be a challenge. No matter what kind of study abroad program you’ve entered, you’ll want to make sure you pack a basic, balanced round of supplies. You will also want to make sure that you don’t over- or under-pack, because adding extra luggage is expensive and most students will want to have room to pick up a few things while they are in-country. Here’s how to find the balance:
- Pack with a plan to do laundry, but remember your environment. You’ll need enough clothes to have several days of any kind of climate that might occur during your program. For Prague in summer, this can range from shorts and shortsleeves to jackets and light sweaters. If you’re headed elsewhere, keep it in mind.
- If you know you want to shop abroad, bring less–chances are that you’ll find weather-appropriate clothes at your destination.
- Keep in mind the electric grid wherever you are going may be different from home. Research and purchase the power converters you’ll need.
- Check on your cell phone. Many newer smartphones come with a global compatibility package that you can enable, but sometimes you might need to purchase an inexpensive prepaid phone for use in-country.
- Remember, there are toiletries everywhere. Focus instead on the personal items, books, and devices you will need to keep yourself on-track academically.
It’s also important to keep in mind the length of your program. It might be worthwhile to check an extra bag if you are going out of the country for a whole semester, but for shorter programs, you will probably want to keep things down to one checked bag and your carry-on, just to keep your costs in check. See you next week!