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Creating a packing list for studying abroad

Even the most experienced traveler can sometimes forget and leave something behind; it’s important to create a packing list for each trip you are going on.  While your packing list will be different for every trip, there are some important things to consider no matter where you go:

The Essentials

Before you step out of your house, make sure you have your passport and any tickets that you will need, this should be the on the top of your list. It’s never fun having to drive home from the airport to get your passport with the risk of missing your flight.

Make sure you have some cash in the local currency with you before leave; you don’t want to be stuck in a pinch somewhere that doesn’t take a credit card. Call your credit card and ATM card provider to let them know that you will be using your card in another country and check if there are any fees for using them abroad. An ATM card may be a good way to take out cash while abroad since they often give you better exchange rate than a currency exchange kiosk found at the airport or other tourist spot.

Bring your study abroad insurance documents with you, including your ID card. You should also make copies of your important documents like your passport, and keep the copy separate from you original just in case they get lost or stolen.


Know the climate of the country you are going to. It make sense that if you are traveling from a warm tropical location to a cold climate that you would need to pack something warm; but don’t just pack it all in your suitcase, put it in your carry on as well! If your suitcase is delayed or lost, you will be stepping off the plane with just a t-shirt at the airport while it’s freezing outside.

Since you will be studying abroad, consider how much shopping you will be doing during the months you are living in your host country. It’s almost inevitable that you would be picking out souvenirs and new shirts or shoes in the months that you are there. You don’t want to pack too much that you don’t have room for your new purchases, unless you’re willing to throw them away or pay to have them shipped separately. However, there may be certain things you don’t want to buy while abroad. For example, if you know you will be attending events where you would have to dress up, you may want to bring your expensive 3-piece suit and leather shoes with you.


You will need to also bring your electronics including your camera, laptop, iPod/MP3 player, cell phone etc. Don’t forget the charger for each of them and the electrical plug adapter. Check if you will need a converter as well, an electric toothbrush for a 110v will break if you plug it into a 220v socket.

If you will be using a cell phone abroad you may want to buy a prepaid phone or a sim card so you don’t have to pay for the expensive roaming charge.

There are many picking list available online, it is meant only to be a guide. When you have a packing list it will help protect you from leaving anything behind and at the very least give you a peace of mind that you really didn’t forget anything.

Posted by ahoontrakul

Originally from Thailand, Apinant grew up in the United States and has extensive international experience traveling throughout Asia, Australia, North America and Europe. He has lived, studied and worked abroad in China, England, Taiwan and Thailand. Apinant is a graduate of the University of Florida with a Masters in International Business and a Bachelors of Science in Business Management.

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