Study Abroad Packing List: A Complete Guide

    Updated on: 22 May 2022


    Congratulations on finally being able to get admission to the coveted program of your dream foreign University! And double congratulations on getting a study visa for your study abroad dream! But before you get aboard the flight that will take you to your dream University, there is one last thing to do and that is to pack your things for going abroad. Well, this is no rocket science at all but needs careful planning, owing to the fact that you are about to move your entire life - lock, stock, and barrel- to a new country for the next couple of years. In this blog, let us throw some light on what should be the essentials in your study abroad packing list and what you should avoid packing.

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    Things To Pack 

    • Clothes - This is a no-brainer. Read about the climate of the city of your home University and their culture and accordingly pack your clothes. Pack only the basic clothes without going overboard. Remember to pack some basics such as a business suit, a weather-proof jacket, a raincoat, a few pairs of shoes, a few daily wear clothes, a couple of casual clothes, a towel, a couple of pairs of socks, and a couple of undergarments. The rest can be bought once you settle down and as and when you need them. 
    • Toiletries - You are surely not going shopping for toiletries as soon as you land in your new home. So better take a couple of weeks' toiletries too. This should include toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, bathing soap/shower gel, conditioner, comb, sunscreen, deodorants, perfumes, toilet papers, sanitary napkins, razor, shaving gel, shaver, your regular grooming kit, nail clippers, etc. 
    • Miscellaneous stuff- Some other miscellaneous stuff that you cannot forget to pack are important documents, your mobile phone charger, power adapter, laptop, and its charger, portable power bank, headphones, wallet/ purse, backpack, the currency of your host country, essential medicines and prescription for those medicines, reading glasses/ contact lenses, bedsheets, and pillowcases. Some other items that could come in handy depending on your preference are sunglasses, essential jewelry, a sleeping bag, a travel pillow, a camera with its charger, a music player, etc. 

    Things You Should Not Pack 

    • Culturally inappropriate clothing- As mentioned earlier, carry clothes that are accepted in your host country’s culture. Also, find out whether your University has any clothing guidelines on clothes and pack accordingly. 
    • Books - Books add weight to your luggage and also take up space. Why carry them from India when you can rent them from the library or buy them in your host country?
    • Too many snacks - Carry snacks that will last you a few weeks. We agree that you might miss home-cooked food but it is not worth carrying it in large quantities. Also, avoid carrying spices to avoid any customs issues. 
    • Anything that can be considered a weapon 
    • Pirated movies or things 
    • Hair straightener or blow dryer - This is because your host country might have a different adapter requirement. You are better off buying these locally if you need to use them. 
    • Do not carry expensive stuff with you. 

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    How to Pack Like a Pro 

    Now that you know what are some essentials that you must pack and what are things that you should never pack, let us also help you with tips that will help you pack like a pro. 

    • First and foremost, find out the baggage requirements of the airline you would be traveling with. 
    • Based on the above, choose your luggage with care. Your suitcase must be easy to maneuver and spacious enough to hold all your things.
    • Choose a four-wheeled stroller suitcase or a wheeled backpack that will be easy to carry at airports. Remember to add something - like a tag - to help identify your luggage easily. 
    • Organize, organize and organize. Keep all your essential documents, including the ones you will need on the day of your arrival, at one single place that is easy to reach. You can use vacuum bags to pack more things in the same space. Do not forget to lock all the zippers on your luggage with a small lock. 
    • Watch some smart-packing videos on the internet to learn how to use small spaces to pack more things. 
    • Use your carry-on bag to pack the things that you would need on the flight or your arrival at the host country. 
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    Follow the above tips to pack wisely before landing at your host university and avoid any unnecessary hassle on arrival. Remember that the above list is not complete. It only lists down the important things that you should carry and things that you should not carry. Get in touch with your host university for further guidance too. Going abroad for higher studies is the dream of hundreds of Indian students and you are one of the fortunate few to be able to make this dream come true. Make the most of your stay abroad by making the most of the program. And don't forget to enjoy every single moment of this life-changing experience that you will have! 

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