Are you the type of person that A. over packs B. has no clue what to pack or C. waits till the last minute to pack? If you relate with any of the options above then this Study Abroad Checklist was made for you.

Venturing off to a new country is an exciting time and the weeks leading up to your departure can be filled with family functions and last minute goodbyes, which leaves no time to think through what to bring. So, we made this list to help you breeze through the stressful packing phase.

What to pack

  • At least 2 nice/formal outfits
  • GOOD walking shoes (Europe is a lot of cities and cobblestone so flats are fine, but South America is filled with hiking/nature so think sneakers and hiking shoes. Be sure to bring winter boots for colder climates and sandals for the warmer areas.)
  • Purse/ backpack (use this as your carry on then as your everyday adventure bag)
  • 2-3 sweatshirts (one should be weather resistant)
  • 1 coat
  • 2-3 pair jeans, shorts etc. (whatever you feel comfortable in)
  • Ladies* 2-3 skirts or dresses
  • 2 workout outfits
  • Shower/ beach sandals (if applicable)
  • 1 swim suit
  • 10 days worth of undergarments and socks (the more you can take with you the less you will do laundry)
  • 4 shirts for layering (tanks, long sleeved shirts)
  • A good book
  • Camera (or phone)
  • 2 pairs of pajamas
  • Contact lenses (and then some extra)
  • Feminine products (you won’t find the ones you like everywhere)
  • Pictures (yes, you will miss your little brother)

*Pack what you are comfortable in, if you don’t wear it at home you won’t wear it abroad!

What not to pack

  • Toiletries that you can buy abroad because it’s unneeded weight (shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste)
  • A lot of appliances (blow dryer/straightener, hand held electronics→electrical current is different in different countries so you will need an adapter)
  • Sheets/towels


How to pack

First thing first, check with your airline on carrier restrictions i.e. how many bags are allowed and what’s the maximum weight?

  • Rolling clothes makes for more space and less wrinkles
  • Space bags are useful but be weary of how heavy your bag becomes


  • Check the local weather so you are bringing the correct type of clothing
  • Keep important documents, as well as a day or so worth of clothes in your carry on, so that you’re prepared in case your luggage is lost
  • If you are going with friends, arrange what misc. items they are bringing (card games, nail clippers/polish, accessories & shoes, hangers)
  • Remember you can always buy clothing and you always come back with more than you expect so pack light!
  • Call your banks if you are taking credit cards abroad and also wait to exchange money until you are abroad (exchange rate is always better)
  • Bring your host family gifts from your home country to show appreciation


See, packing doesn’t have to be a pain. Happy travels!!


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