What to Bring
Specific information related to your site will be provided in the appendices; however, there are a few general packing tips that are applicable to all programs.
What to bring:
- If you wear glasses or contacts, bring an extra pair of glasses or contacts.
- Bring an extra set of passport photos along with a copy of other important travel documents.
- Take clothes that will help you blend in to the place you are staying. Avoid dressing in a way that could mark you as an affluent tourist. Dress conservatively throughout your stay. Consider the weather and bring clothes that are easily layered for various climate conditions, do not need ironing, dry quickly, and are comfortable and durable. Most importantly, make sure that all of your clothes are interchangeable, i.e. any of your shirts can go with any of your skirts/pants, etc.
- Travel light. Limit yourself to essentials. Remember you need less than you think you do and that you can get additional clothes and supplies while abroad.
- Bring a bag that you can store in a secure area that has your passport, extra cash, and an extra credit card.
What to leave behind:
- Valuable or expensive jewelry (even inexpensive jewelry can attract unwanted attention).
- Leave a copy of emergency phone numbers, your itinerary, copy of your passport and driver’s license, etc. with your family.
- Unnecessary electronics and gadgets like U.S. cell phones – most don’t work internationally and you will get a phone in country (if appropriate). Think about leaving laptops, ipods, etc. at home in the States. If you do bring them leave them in your dorm room or with your host family. These items may make you more of a target to be robbed. If you do bring electronics you may need a converter. If you bring a laptop, bring a flash drive that you can use to transport assignments to print and turn in.
- All unnecessary things in your wallet: library card, extra credit cards, social security card, etc.
As you pack for your trip consider the words of Steve Hanna after he completed a semester abroad: Most people say that you should pack light, but that doesn‘t go far enough. Bring only one bag, and bring it half-full. Not only should your pack be half-full, but you should be half-full as you come to another country to ―fill up.‖ Half-full means that by going to another country, you will inevitably fill up as you learn about yourself, your new friends, their culture, & your home in the US. A half-full student is a wise student, who comes to learn, not expecting what they already have at home. A half-full student is someone who comes to another country to experience that culture for what it is, not for what it lacks. You‘re not going to Asia or Africa or Europe to experience the same life you have at home, with washing and drying machines, fast food, cell phones, and picket fences, right? You‘re going abroad to learn as much as you can—to fill up your pack, if you will—and to return with much more than you had before.