Essentials Things to Buy Before Studying Abroad

Ginger Abbot

Jan 26, 2022
_Essentials to Add to Your Study Abroad Packing List

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Studying abroad is a fun opportunity to explore a new country! Packing for the trip can be one of the more overwhelming parts. Here are some essential things to buy before studying abroad. 

1. A Universal Travel Adapter 

When traveling abroad, the outlets in your dorm are likely to be different from those back home. So, having a universal adapter is key to plug in all your devices. You want to have fully charged electronics so you can complete your schoolwork. Plus, you’ll want to still keep in touch with family during your trip. 

When picking out an adapter, keep in mind voltage requirements which vary by country. Also, determine how many devices you want to use at once. If you plan on charging more than one device at a time, look for an adapter with multiple outlets. 


2. Your Favorite Snacks 

Trying new foods is one of the fun parts of traveling. However, it may take some time to get used to the new cuisine. Bringing some of your favorite snacks from home will help with the transition. 

Also, remember you can’t always find specific brands in other countries. So, be sure to plan and toss some granola bars into your suitcase. Look for other lightweight snacks that can easily fit in your carry-on, such as goldfish. 

3. A Windproof Umbrella 

You want to prepare for any weather, so be sure to include this item in your study abroad packing list. Having a travel-sized umbrella can protect you against both wind and rain. It’s also helpful to carry for outdoor excursions and can easily fit inside your backpack. 

When shopping, keep in mind, they come in multiple sizes and open differently. Some umbrellas you have to open manually, and others you just push a button. Consider your individual preferences and budget when making a decision. 

4. Your Favorite Brand of Toiletries 

Keep in mind you may not be able to find your specific brands within your new county. So, if you’re loyal to a particular brand of shampoo, stock up before you leave. Also, make sure to bring along deodorant for all your adventures. Before leaving, ensure your toiletries comply with TSA guidelines. Make sure your shampoo bottles are smaller than 3.4 ounces and stored in a resealable bag. 

5. A Good Pair of Walking Shoes 

Supportive sneakers are one of the essential things to buy before studying abroad. Many study abroad programs include excursions outside of the classroom. So, having comfortable shoes can make the experience much more enjoyable. 

Also, if walking is your primary form of transportation, a good pair of sneakers is essential. Plus, walking is cheaper and good for your health. If you end up buying new shows, be sure to break them in before leaving. 

6. Important Medications 

Trying to navigate a foreign pharmacy can be a little overwhelming. This is why you should bring along essential medications in case of emergencies. So, stock up on Nyquil, Advil, and cough drops. 

Also, if you take prescription medication, make sure you have enough to last the semester. Talk with your doctor at least four to six weeks before you leave. During the visit, also clarify the proper way to store the medication while abroad. 

7. Weather-Appropriate Clothing 

Instead of just throwing in clothes last minute, plan your outfits ahead of time. Make sure to research weather conditions in your school’s country. Make sure you’re checking the weather for around the time you’re making the trip. Consider downloading a weather app, such as WeatherBug, to check for updates. Also, pack a few weather-appropriate outfits for your flight home. 

When you’re abroad, it’s good to dress in layers, so pack a few lightweight sweatshirts. Also, research culturally appropriate clothing. You may also want to find out if your school has a specific dress code.

8. A Pair of Quality Headphones 

If you want to listen to your favorite music these are essential things to buy before studying abroad. You’ll also want headphones to entertain yourself during the long plane ride. Consider getting a pair of noise-canceling earphones. Also, look for ones that are more compact and can be easily stored in your carry-on. 

9. A Sturdy Back Pack 

Having a backpack is important to carry all your textbooks and notebooks. It can then double as a bag to take during your weekend adventures. This way, you can bring along essential items, like a water bottle, while exploring the city. Plus, it helps you keep your school supplies organized and in location. 

Consider looking for travel bags or duffel bags instead of rolling luggage. Also, look for a bag with plenty of space to bring home some souvenirs. A backpack with extra handles is also a bonus when reaching for your bag in a hurry. 

10. A Journal 

Journaling is a great way to commemorate your time abroad. It can also be something to look back on years later or share with family and friends. Plus, it can help you record memories from your point of view. Writing down memories can also help you to express your emotions positively. Homesickness is common when traveling abroad, so journaling is an excellent coping technique. 

Top Things to Buy Before Studying Abroad 

Many students chose to study abroad while in college. This can be a life-changing experience. So, make a note of these key things to buy before studying abroad. 


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