Complete Study Abroad Packing List for International Students

Filed in Articles by on June 7, 2022

– Study Abroad Packing List –

Getting an opportunity to study abroad could be just about the best news you had received on checking your admission status. The little conflict comes with choosing your study abroad packing list, between what you want and what you really need.

Despite your urge to carry something you might tag as being important, you will really need to curtail and cut some excesses from your choice of things to pack.

A study abroad packing list can be exclusive for a particular country and can as well be general.

Just so you get inline, we will bring to you a general study abroad list of most relevant materials you will need to travel with while embarking on a study abroad trip as an international student.

This list will range from your clothing to your accessories, medication, electronics, and other useful materials which are??

1. Body Care Luggage


Your clothing will obviously depend on where you are going to be living for the next few months and the climate of the destination.

1. Underwear (two week’s worth)

2. Socks (two week’s worth plus a pair or two of wool socks)

3. Undershirts

4. Thermal underwear

5. Long sleeve shirts

6. Short sleeve shirts

7. Sweatshirt/ hoodie (2-3)

8. Sweaters

9. Jeans/ Khakis (2-3 pair)

10. Shorts

11. A belt or two

12. Skirts (for the girls)

13. A set or two of workout clothes

14. Pajamas

15. Swimsuit (for those going to warmer climates)

16. Coat/Jacket ( I recommend at least 2 – one for cold weather, and one that is water-resistant)

17. At least one nice outfit for formal occasions*

18. Flip flops/ sandals of some sort (good if you’re going to a warm climate, but also good for hostel showers)

19. Sneakers/ dress shoes/ boots/ rain boots*

20. Cold weather gear (i.e. gloves/ mittens, hat, scarf)

21. Sheets/ bed linens*

22. Bath towels*


1. TSA Compliant Toiletry Kit/ 1-quart zip-topZiploc bags

2. Shampoo/Conditioner

3. Toothbrush/toothpaste

4. Soap

5. Deodorant

6. Feminine Products (one month’s worth – should go without saying you don’t want to be stuck without those)

7. Brush/Comb

8. Razors/ other shaving supplies

9. Contact lenses and solution

10. Nail clippers

11. Makeup

12. Over-the-counter medicines

13. Contraceptives

14. Tissues/ toilet paper (you don’t want to be stuck in a bathroom when it runs out)


1. $300 in local currency

2. Purse/ wallet

3. Important documents (passport, visa, itinerary, plane tickets, ISIC card, etc.) in passport/document holder

4. Sunglasses/extra eyeglasses/contacts

5. Sleep sack/sleeping bag (most hostels have sheets, however, some do not, some will charge you for them, and for those people that don’t like sleeping in unfamiliar sheets,  a Cocoon Travel Sheets recommended for you.)

6. Journal/ diary (you’ll be taking plenty of pictures on your travels, but it’s always nice to have something to write in. Of course I recommend writing a blog, but you may not always have your laptop with you.)

7. Backpack (for daily use and as your carry while traveling)

8. Plastic bottles for toiletries for your carry-on or while traveling (the maximum is usually 100ml)

9. Travel water bottle

10. A few hangers

 Bras and Undies

Another area where sizes run small. Bring plenty so you also can avoid having to do laundry so often.

(There probably won’t be dryers were you go and you’ll have to line-dry your items after washing them yourself.

Much easier to bring extra undergarments and do the wash as little as possible in China.)

Stain Remover

I always have a 3oz bottle of liquid Shout in my carry-on. What happens if you arrive and, despite all of your best packing efforts, something leaks all over your favorite white shirt?

Or your blossoming chopsticks skills leave splash marks all over your front? Better to have the remedy on-hand from an American brand you can trust to get the stains out.

2. Medication Products

If you have to take medication regularly, you’ll have two options for when you study abroad–depending on the length of stay.

You can bring enough to last you the entire duration of your stay OR bring some for the beginning of your experience and research how you get more while in your host country (going to a doctor, etc.).

Regardless of what you take and what you bring with you, there are two pieces of advice that have been useful in recent years.

They are: always bring prescriptions for you in the original bottles and bring other meds in the original packaging/pill bottle.

3. Accessories

As with some of the other sections, try to limit yourself to the essentials here. You probably don’t use most of the accessories you have at home anyway, so try to only bring things you wear regularly.

a. Belt: Try to take one belt if you usually wear one–choose one that goes with pretty much all your clothes. If you rarely wear a belt, there is no need to bring one.

b. Jewelry: Only take a few basics–one to two pairs of earrings, a necklace, and a bracelet or ring. Depending on where you’re going to study, be careful with flashy jewelry, as unfortunately it can make you a target for pickpockets in some parts of the world.

c. Scarf: Depending on the time of the year and the temperature of your study destination, consider bringing a lightweight scarf. Eric had one for Edinburgh winter and it was great.

d. Seasonal Additions: If you know that you’ll study in Norway in the winter, it is pretty safe to assume that you’ll need a hat and gloves, etc.

Therefore, check the climate of your destination beforehand and then adjust the list accordingly. BUT don’t pack small things that you MIGHT (but most likely won’t) need.

These items just take up unnecessary room and you’ll most likely be able to buy them there if you really need them.

4. Electronics

Short travels nowadays rarely happen without bringing electronics– let alone moving abroad for a certain period.

1. Laptop + Charger: You probably use your laptop regularly in your free time anyway, but a laptop is obviously very useful for university tasks so we would definitely recommend bringing your own laptop.

Sometimes university libraries have computers available for students, but they are not always in great shape.

2. Phone + Charger: Depending on where you are moving to you can just use the same phone with the same number that you use at home (if you’re moving within the EU for example).

Other times, look into getting a new sim card. This is what Eric did in the UK. If your phone is locked to a certain provider in your home country, get it unlocked before you leave.

3. USB stick/External Hard Drive: Usually a USB stick is enough, but depending on how much extra storage space you need you should an external hard drive. A “junk drive” is also handy if you have to print out things at the university or print shop.

Eric didn’t have a printer in Edinburgh so he took documents on a data stick to the local print shop to print for cheap.

We believe this article was informative. Kindly share with friends and loved ones. Best regards!

CSN Team.

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