How to Pack For a Semester Abroad


Packing can be stressful, especially when you’re traveling for months at a time. You will experience different temperatures, seasons, events, and even cultures that impact what you will wear. If you’re spending a semester abroad or perhaps taking an extended trip to another country, then use this article as a packing guide.




  • Your cellphone and charger
  • Boarding Pass
  • Travel or student visa
  • Passport, State ID, and school ID
  • Cash in your currency and in the country you will be traveling to, and emergency money
  • Credit and debit card—also notify your bank of your travels
  • A physical or digital copy of your birth certificate and social security card
  • Health insurance card
  • Prescriptions and any medications that you take with refills
  • Deodorant
  • A good book
  • A list of emergency contacts
  • Face wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Gum or mints
  • Headphones
  • An extra outfit (in case your luggage gets lost or delayed)
  • Travel pillow and blanket



Make sure to check the weather in your host country before leaving and pack accordingly. Here’s a general list.


  • Running or athletic shoes
  • Boots
  • Flip-flops
  • Flats, nice sandals, or sensible heels
  • Everyday shoes
  • Bathing suits (1-2)
  • Boots (1-2)
  • Bras (2 sports bras, 2 regular bras, 1 strapless/convertible bras)
  • Casual dresses (2)
  • Formal outfits (1-2)
  • Gloves (if needed)
  • Going-out outfits (2-5)
  • Hat—fashionable or for cold weather
  • Heavier coat for colder weather
  • Jackets—a lighter and a warmer one. (2)
  • Jeans—1 pair black and 1 pair blue
  • Jewelry –nothing too valuable
  • Leggings (1-2)
  • Long-sleeve shirts—depending on weather (2-4)
  • Pajamas (2)
  • Pants (1 or 2 nice pairs)
  • Purse –small cross body and a larger tote.
  • Raincoat
  • Scarf
  • Sweaters (3-5)
  • Sweatshirt (2)
  • Short-sleeve shirts (5-7)
  • Shorts—depending on weather (2-4)
  • Skirts—depending on weather (1-2)
  • Socks (14)
  • T-shirts (3-5)
  • Tank tops (3-5)
  • Underwear (14)
  • Workout clothes—depending on you (2-5)





To save money, buy standard shampoo, conditioner, and soap in your host country. Also, since there are voltage differences in other countries, wait to buy a hair straightener or blow dryer, so that you don’t overheat yours in the outlets.


  • Acne medication or cream
  • Face lotion or moisturizer
  • Body lotion
  • Sunscreen
  • Makeup
  • Mini shampoo, conditioner, and soap for travel
  • A small bottle of mouthwash
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hairbrush and Comb
  • Contacts, case, and solution and case
  • Glasses and glasses case
  • Hair ties
  • Bobby pins
  • Headbands
  • Nail clippers
  • Razors
  • Sunglasses
  • Tampons and pads
  • Tweezers


Remember to leave room in your suitcase or have the option to check an extra bag for the inevitable purchases you make while abroad.

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