Do you want to study in the US? Yes

When you plan to study abroad, your focus is mainly on selecting the right university, getting into it and finally, securing a visa so that you can actually begin studying at the university of your choice. These steps require your complete attention and as a result, packing is often left for the last minute. We’re compiling this checklist of travel necessities so that you won’t find yourself wanting for items you may not be able to get your hands on initially.

DOCUMENTS:

  • Letter of acceptance
  • Letter of enrollment
  • Student ID card
  • Flight tickets
  • Hard and soft copies of pay slips and fee receipts
  • Attested copies of academic certificates
  • A rental agreement (if you’ve already found a place) or other documents indicating where you will be staying
  • Bank statements, salary slips, and other documents that prove you have the funds to sustain yourself during the course of your program
  • Scholarship certificate (if you’ve earned a scholarship)
  • Copies of medical reports and history
  • Certificates confirming you’ve received all the necessary vaccinations
  • Blood group ID (not compulsory, but recommended)
  • Health insurance papers
  • Passport (with copies)
  • Visa (with copies)
  • Residence permit (with copies)
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Travel insurance
  • Driver’s license and other identification documents

FINANCE:

  • International credit card
  • Traveller’s cheque
  • Local currency

CLOTHING:

  • Underwear (two weeks’ worth)
  • Socks (two weeks’ worth plus a pair or two of woolen socks)
  • Undershirts
  • Thermal underwear
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt/ hoodie (2-3)
  • Sweaters
  • Jeans/ Khakis (2-3 pair)
  • Shorts
  • A belt or two
  • Skirts (for the girls)
  • A set or two of workout clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (for those going to warmer climates)
  • Coat/Jacket (I recommend at least 2 – one for cold weather, and one that is water resistant)
  • At least one nice outfit for formal occasions*
  • Flip flops/ sandals of some sort (good if you’re going to a warm climate, but also good for hostel showers)
  • Sneakers/ dress shoes/ boots/ rain boots*
  • Cold weather gear (i.e. gloves/ mittens, hat, scarf)

TOILETRIES:

  • TSA Compliant Toiletry Kit /1-quart zip-top Ziploc bags
  • Shampoo/ conditioner
  • Toothbrush/ toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products (one month’s worth)
  • Brush/ comb
  • Razors/ other shaving supplies
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Glasses
  • Nail clippers
  • Makeup
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Tissues/ toilet paper (You don’t want to be stuck in a bathroom with no TP!)
  • Medications (if any)

EXTRAS:

  • Backpack/ bag/ purse/ wallet
  • Outlet adapter
  • Sunglasses/ extra eye glasses/ contacts
  • Cell phone (you probably won’t be able to use it in your host country, but it’s invaluable if you’re stuck in domestic airports and need to contact someone for delayed flights, etc.)
  • Laptop and charger (remember, you may need an outlet adapter for the plug on your charger to work)
  • Camera w/cords and charger
  • Sheets/ bed linens
  • Bath towels
  • Enough prescription drugs for the length of your stay (Ensure that these drugs are allowed in your country and that you have the appropriate documentation – either the prescription or a doctor’s note)
  • MP3 Player/ iPod (for those long flights)
  • Sleep sack/ sleeping bag (most hostels will provide you with sheets, but some hostels require payment for these sheets)
  • Journal/ diary (Useful if you want to document all those interesting experiences)
  • 100 ml plastic bottles for toiletries necessary while traveling
  • Water bottle (plastic bottles are better in terms of security checks)
  • A few hangers
  • Passport-sized photographs

KITCHEN NECESSITIES:

  • Pressure cooker
  • Plastic containers
  • Frying pan
  • Peeler
  • Coffee mug
  • Spice rack
  • Dinner plate
  • Serving bowl
  • Half plate
  • Table spoons
  • Tea spoons
  • Knives
  • Forks
  • Cheese grater
  • Chopping board
  • Spatula
  • Kitchen napkins
  • Drinking glass

PACKING TIPS FROM OUR COUNSELORS:

Packing Tip #1: If you’re one of those people, who have been taught the importance of neatly packing your clothes before packing them, this may be the time to ignore the proper way to pack. Rolling your clothes can be a lot more space-efficient, so get rolling!

Packing Tip #2: Pack your socks (and maybe underwear) last. Small items can fit into smaller spaces left over after you’ve packed all those larger items.

Packing Tip #3: It would be wise to pack a change of underwear, basic toiletries and clothes, if possible, in your carry-on, just in case your luggage is misplaced by the airlines.

Packing Tip #4: Use Ziploc bags for your toiletries. They’re approved by the TSA and are great a great way of protecting other items in case of a leak.

Packing Tip #5: Do pack herbs and spices. You never how long it’ll take to source a shop that sells your favorite spice.

Packing Tip #6: Label your luggage.

Packing Tip #7: Carry a phrasebook of the local language (this is going to be very useful in European countries such as Spain, France, Italy and Germany).

 

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