October 14, 2011

How to Pack for Studying Abroad

You’ve done the research, put in the time, taken the tests, secured the scholarships, gotten your passport and you’re on your way out the door and across the pond to a foreign country to study abroad. It’s romantic and daring and you’re almost completely ready to go except for one small detail… one minor issue that you haven’t even begun to tackle: packing. How on earth do you pack for a trip that is months long without taking your entire closet? Have no fear; there are a few different tips to help you pack sensibly for your upcoming adventure, and it doesn’t include every pair of shoes you own. 

1. Bring an extra bag
It’s just silly to think that you won’t be buying things to bring back home with you. So, prepare ahead of time by bringing an extra bag with you so that you aren’t trying to cram all those trinkets you just had to have into the same bag you have to pack full of your clothes and shoes. Otherwise you’re going to have to make some important decisions about what to take home with you and what you can live without…

2. Take enough clothing for a week
Obviously you need the essentials: a couple pairs of jeans, shorts, shirts, socks, undies and jackets. You’ll need clothes for different types of weather, but that suede jacket or sequined dress can probably stay at home. Bring good walking shoes so that you can tour the city and a nice outfit for special occasions, but don’t go overboard and bring three pairs of nice shoes, three pairs of sandals, and three pairs of walking shoes… you’re not putting on a fashion show, you’re simply visiting another country.

3. Medications
Don’t leave home without these!! If there are any medications you regularly take make sure you bring them with you and that you have enough to last you the duration of your trip. You don’t want to be stuck in a situation where you need your medicine and can’t find it anywhere in the country.

4. Choose your extras wisely
There’s no point in bringing 15 different books with you unless you want to get in an upper body workout. By packing tons of books, movies, etc. you’re just adding a lot of unnecessary weight to your luggage and you probably won’t end up reading half of it – after all, you’re going to a foreign country to learn not to hole up in your room and read books. And don’t forget a camera and a journal of sorts to write down things you’ll want to remember!

5. Toiletries
While you should probably bring some toiletries with you, you don’t need to bring a supply that will last you the duration of your trip (unless, of course, you’re taking a very short trip). More than likely the country you’re going to temporarily live in will have some sort of toiletries you can purchase there and if they don’t you may want to rethink where you’re going… (kidding!)

In short, just make sure you have what you need to survive, but don’t pack your entire life away. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times – less is more. And if you find you need more clothes or you forgot something, shopping is a great way to tour a new city!

Author Bio:
Kate Croston is a freelance writer, holds a bachelors degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. She writes guest posts for different sites and loves contributing cheap internet service related topics. Questions or comments can be sent to: katecroston.croston09 @ gmail.com.

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