5 Essentials to Pack While Studying Abroad in College

Even though it’s often stated that the world is your oyster, many people don’t take that as literally as they can. The world is filled with so many interesting countries, experiences, and cultures that it only makes sense to indulge in as many as possible. With the opportunity to study abroad, you’ll be able to experience

1. Passports

Your passport is the most important item you’ll carry because you cannot enter your country of origin without it. The process of getting a new passport is a lengthy task. Yes, you can get a passport expedited. Still, it’s better to do your due diligence and secure the passport in advance. Once you get it, keep it in a safe place so you’ll never lose it.

2. Essential Paperwork

While the world still grapples with the impact of a pandemic, it’s still possible to travel and enjoy other countries. However, most countries require you to prove your vaccination status. In addition to the Covid-19 vaccine, many countries require other vaccines in order to enter. Be intentional about honoring those requests because many countries use vaccine cards and paperwork to keep their numbers low. Keep paperwork nearby regarding the program you’re enrolled in, important people to contact, and itineraries so you’ll have clear plans for your program and your time abroad.

3. Necessary Electronics/Adapters

Depending on where you’re staying, you’ll want to call ahead to find out about the amenities. If they don’t have a portable fan that you can place by your nightstand, consider purchasing a mini-version so you don’t miss out on a beloved experience you’re used to. If you love sleeping with a sound machine by your bed, consider downloading a sound machine app in order to save space for other items. Your laptop, smartphone, and tablet are some of the most essential electronics to pack. For example, if you plan on studying abroad in Spain, to make sure you always have internet access when you want it, you should invest in portable WiFi in Spain so that you are always connected.

Outside of the work/productivity arena, remember to pack tools like your blow dryer and flat iron. As you pack these tools, don’t forget to pack adapters. In many countries, the adapters are completely different. By packing a universal adapter gadget, you’ll be able to plug items in without a hitch.

4. Medication/Vitamins/Toiletries

When you’re reliant on a particular medication for a health challenge like diabetes or high cholesterol, don’t expect to access it everywhere. In fact, it’d be best to order a batch to last as long as you’ll be overseas. Talk to your insurance company and physicians in order to get this request approved. Consider packing some of the standard over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, allergy medicine, and flu medication. If you ever come down with a cold while you’re overseas, you’ll have medication to nursing yourself back to health. Whether you take a daily multivitamin, nighttime melatonin gummy, or a beauty vitamin, pack enough vitamins to last the entire trip as well.

5. Clothing/Footwear/Linens

Consider where you’re traveling to. If you’re traveling to a climate that’s closer to the equator, you might not want to pack snow boots. Alternatively, warm climates can still be really cold at night. It’s just important to do your research in order to pack clothes, undergarments, and footwear that will match the lifestyle you plan to live as you study abroad. Try to avoid outfits that require dry-cleaning or other particular cleaning methods. It’s also wise to know where you’ll have access in order to wash and dry your laundry. Your linens matter as well. Simple items like fitted sheets, flat sheets, and pillowcases will allow you to customize your sleeping quarters. Pack at least two options to swap out each week. Items like blankets and pillows are easier to purchase when you’ve landed in the country you’re traveling to.

When you’re looking to study abroad, it’s always wise to remain safe rather than sorry. Always maintain access to a certain amount of capital at any given moment. If you have an emergency, it’s comforting to access at least $300 in the local currency. Keep a list of emergency contacts on your person at all times. When you implement certain safety precautions, maintain a thorough list of needs and include this list of items, you’ll be able to cover the essentials of your upcoming trip abroad.