Be sensible with what you pack. A good rule of thumb is to carry all of your luggage around the block; if you struggle, then you may need to reconsider what you have packed. The bottom line is that you are responsible for getting your luggage to your destination. Packing too much can be very inconvenient and can add a great deal of stress to your travels! 

Remember that you will be able to purchase items you need while abroad. While most products will be different from what you are used to, you will learn that this is an important part of your experience. 

You also may want to consider getting an ISIC card which offers travel insurance and student discounts worldwide. 

Packing Essentials:

  •  Passport (including appropriate visa stamp, if required)
  •  Original & Photocopies of all documents, IDs, prescriptions for medications, immunization card, and other important documents. Keep copies separate from originals.
  •  Letter of invitation from host institution abroad (if applicable)
  •  Airline tickets
  •  Travel guides
  •  Traveler's Checks & counterfoils (carried separately from checks)
  •  Credit and ATM Card
  •  Grammar/language text/dictionary

Consider including the following items on your packing list

  • Flip-flop or showers shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Shorts (if appropriate)
  • Skirts/pants
  • Shirts
  • Sweaters/Hoodies
  • Light jacket
  • One set of formal clothes
  • Hat / Cap
  • Good walking or hiking shoes
  • Backpack for short trips
  • Rain gear
  • Sheets & a pillow case
  • Travel Pillow 
  • Light Towel
  • Toiletries
  • Comb/brush


  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Instant hand sanitizer 
  • Favorite soap and deodorant
  • Suntan lotion/ sunglasses
  • Extra contact lenses, solution, and glasses
  • Small packs of tissues
  • Moist towelettes
  • Travel toilet paper
  • Contraceptives/condoms
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Aspirin or other pain reliever/antacid/cold medicine
  • Prescriptions
  • First aid kit
  • Insurance information
  • International Youth Hostel Card


  • Camera, film, batteries
  • I-pod, shuffle, MP3 of favorite music
  • Novels/Magazines
  • Calling card
  • Guide books/maps
  • Pictures of your loved ones
  • Luggage lock & tags
  • Flashlight/head lamps
  • Laptop with charger
  • International adapter/outlet converter
  • Pocket calculator
  • Address book
  • Travel journal
  • Battery alarm clock
  • Sewing kit



Many countries around the world offer public restrooms, but these facilities may not have toilet paper or mechanisms to dry your hands. You are encouraged to bring travel size tissue packets for convenience. 


Do not take anything with you that you cannot afford to lose. For those items that you would be devastated to lose, it is recommended that you leave them at home.


Electrical Items 
Since each country has different power outlets and voltages, you may want to consider leaving all electrical items at home. If you choose to take electrical items with you, you will need a voltage adapter and converter suitable for the locations in which you plan to travel. 




Page last modified March 20, 2013