a woman sits in her suitcase tired of packing

The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

You've selected your program and paid your deposit. Before you say your goodbyes, you have some packing to do. It might be a little intimidating to pack enough for a month, let alone a whole semester. But don't worry just yet! Our Ultimate Packing List has everything you need to think about bringing with you. All you need to do is add in any specific items that you can't live without. Double check after you're done, and you won't panic about remembering if you brought the right thing along.


Unless you’ll be needing any on the plane, pack your toiletries in your checked luggage. They aren’t subject to the same TSA size rules as carry-on luggage. Do, however, pack the toiletries in plastic baggies. This will make it easier for TSA should they need to search your luggage as well as keep your clothes clean from any spills.

  • Soap/body wash
  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Toothbrush/ toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products (At least a month’s worth)
  • Brush/comb
  • Razors/shaving supplies
  • Contact lenses/solution
  • Makeup
  • Nail Clippers
  • Any medications you may need (Prescription or over-the-counter; Make sure you are allowed to bring your prescription into the country and have documentation or a doctor’s note)
  • A travel-size packet of tissues


Two weeks’ worth of clothing should give you plenty of room in your suitcase while also not causing you to spend all your extra cash paying for laundry. Depending on your destination, your clothing needs may vary greatly. Leave the fur coats at home if you’re headed to Brazil for the summer. Likewise, you might not use your shorts very often during a Russian winter:

  • Underwear (Thermals for the colder climates)
  • Socks
  • Undershirts
  • Shorts
  • Skirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • A couple Sweatshirts/ hoodies
  • Sweaters
  • A couple pairs of Jeans/ Khakis (Interestingly, jeans can be very expensive abroad)
  • Coat/Jacket (2: one for cold weather and one that is water resistant)
  • At least one nice outfit for formal occasions (More if you are going to be pursuing an internship)
  • A set of athletic clothes
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (For the warmer climates)
  • Flip flops (Regardless of climate, these can be used as shower shoes)
  • Shoes/boots
  • Accessories such as gloves, hats, scarves, belts, or sunglasses/prescription glasses

Important Extras

  • Around $500 in local currency (Less depending on the length of your stay; also make sure that you can use your credit cards abroad, and notify the companies of your travel plans)
  • Purse/ wallet
  • Important travel documents (Passport, visa, itinerary, plane tickets, etc.)
  • Cell phone (Depending on the network capabilities of your phone and your destination, you may be able to purchase a SIM card at your destination as well as refillable minutes/texts)
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Travel outlet adapter
  • Sheets/bed linens or a collapsible sleeping bag
  • Towels (though these can be easily bought abroad)
  • Small backpack (To carry your belongings while traveling; make sure it is not easily accessible to pickpockets)
  • Hard plastic travel water bottle
Last Updated: December 16, 2014