Tips for Packing

Whether you are going abroad for a week or a semester, packing can be a daunting task. Here are some things to keep in mind as you get ready for your program:

Luggage limits

Most airlines have limits on how many bags you can take and how much each bag can weigh. You’ll want to check with your airline, but a general standard for international is one carry-on bag, one checked bag (up to 50 lbs), and one personal item (such as a purse or bookbag). Remember to leave space to bring back souvenirs! Some program may have luggage limits as well.

Toiletries

Pack some travel-size toiletries to last you the first few days of your program. Generally, we recommend against packing large bottles of shampoo, conditioner etc. as they take up weight and space and are likely leak in your bag.

Don’t Overpack

When you are packing, it is easy to think that you need to take every article of clothing you own. You don’t. As a general rule, it is good to lay everything you want to pack out on your bed and then put half of it away.

Pack for Your Destination

Every country has different standards of dress and cultural expectations. You’ll want to make sure that the clothes that you pack are both culturally and climate appropriate. Read “Land and People” and “Time Out” in your Culture Smart book for more information.

Personal Health Kit

Remember to pack items like bandages, first aid ointment, over-the-counter medications stomach like Pepto Bismol, a pain reliever, and sexual health supplies.

Sample Packing List:

Carry-On

  • Enough clothes to last you 2-3 days

  • Passport, visa (if required), and entry letters (if required)

  • Important documents (arrival instructions, foreign address, local contact information)

  • Airline tickets

  • Toiletries (Remember the 3-1-1 rule)

  • Laptop/tablet and charger (and adapters)

  • Cell phone and charger

  • Prescription medications in their original containers

  • Any over-the-counter medicines you might need

  • A pen and notepad

  • Headphones

  • Umbrella

  • Sunglasses

Checked Bag

  • Clothing (see “Land and People” and “Time Out” in your Culture Smart book for tips on what to pack for your country)

  • Footwear (comfortable and appropriate options)

  • Personal health kit (including but not limited to: bandages, first aid ointment, over-the-counter medications stomach like Pepto Bismol, a pain reliever, sexual health supplies)

  • Other program specific items (covered in your orientation)