It’s a dream come true to be given the opportunity to study abroad. Many students sit in their seminars at home wistfully daydreaming of a life overseas, living among real scholars, and drinking in every aspect of foreign culture. However, the majority of students dream of living among real people and drinking in every foreign beer is available.
Whether applying for a program, booking your tickets, debating suitcases, or about to board, you probably need some tips on what to pack for your adventure.
Fear not fellow virtuoso, help is at hand with this trusty guide to packing for study abroad:
1. First things first.
Check your airline’s baggage restrictions for size and weight before you even book flights. You need to make sure your luggage meets their specifications to the letter, otherwise you’re going nowhere. Carry your passport, money, cards, laptop, jewelry, and anything else valuable in your hand luggage too. This should really go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.
2. Pick a bag that’s large enough for all your luggage and then some.
You’ll probably be picking up all kinds of paraphernalia on your travels so leave room for them. Also, make sure your suitcase is strong and durable. No self-respecting scholar wants to stroll in to arrivals leaving a trail of pants and personables in their wake. Blithering idiot is hardly the impression you’re after.
3. Pack all your essential toiletries.
You can put them inside a plastic bag and keep an eye on particularly leaky bottles (see previous point but replace "pants and personables" with "slimy liquid"). Essentials like toothpaste and shampoo can be picked up wherever you’re heading, so do you really need them in your luggage anyway? They’re taking up room and weighing you down.
4. Make sure you remember your electrical adapters.
I always pack my trusty hair straighteners but end up resembling Diana Ross and the Supremes by my first day abroad thanks to those pesky foreign electrical sockets. Do not make my mistake. Keep your frizzy hair under control by considering your appliances.
5. Bubble wrap fragile items.
If you’re taking fragile items with you, it’s a good idea to wrap them safely in bubble wrap or surround them with softer things like bed linen or towels. If you’re studying abroad somewhere as far as Australia or New Zealand, something you might not have even thought about is cleaning your shoes, boots, and any sporting equipment.
6. Clean items before packing them.
Airport authorities often request that you wash your shoes, and it’s a nice idea to do that for them. Because ultimately, nobody wants spread disease and pests around the country and cause a major ecological disaster do they? If you give everything a thorough clean before you pack them, you’ll avoid any problems at customs.
Ok Young Traveller, you have the basics of packing under control, now you can go forth and study abroad. Remember; stay safe, its big world out there.