International Student Medical Insurance

The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

Studying abroad is an exciting experience, but it’s natural to feel a little nervous. You might be traveling abroad for the first time and already concerned about learning a new language and culture. On top of all of that, you have to remember what to pack when you study abroad. What do you absolutely need to bring, and what can you leave at home?

We can help with the ultimate study abroad packing list. In this article we’ll explain how to pack for study abroad trips, the essentials to take, and the items you can leave out of your suitcase.  

Key Information

  • Travel documents like your passport, visa, birth certificate, school ID, etc. are essential and difficult to replace.
  • Electronics can be essential as well, but you’ll want to avoid bringing redundant items.
  • Travel-size toiletries are all you need unless you’re studying in a place where you can’t easily buy replacements.
  • It’s important to research the climate of your study abroad destination prior to packing your clothes. 

What to pack for study abroad: Essentials

What to pack for study abroad: Essentials

How to pack for study abroad

Getting your study abroad essentials together can seem daunting enough. But now it’s time to actually pack your study abroad suitcases. Follow these tips to be sure you’ve packed correctly. 

  1. Don’t pack anything new. It’s important to test out everything from shoes to electronics before you pack them. If you’ve never tried wearing something before, don’t bring it.
  2. Don’t pack “just in case” items. If you don’t know for sure if you’ll need it, leave it at home. And if you really do, you can probably buy it abroad.
  3. Stick to single color palettes, and clothing items that all go together. This way you get maximum versatility out of the clothes you bring. 
  4. Use packing cubes to maximize space and use plastic bags to keep small items organized. 
  5. Pack heavy to light. Putting the heaviest items at the bottom of the bag will make it easier to carry and more balanced. 

What not to pack for study abroad

Trust us, you’re going to pack too much when you study abroad. But to help keep things from being too over the top, here are few things you should never bring along.

  • Food – Other than a few snacks for travel, leave food at home. It’s perishable, bulky, and you’re going to have to get used to the dining options of your study abroad destination anyway, so don’t pack it. 
  • Cookware – You may feel like you need your rice cooker or toaster, but trust us, you’ll be able to buy what you need once you arrive. Only bring the essentials. 
  • An iron – You may like your clothes wrinkle-free, but guess what? We’re willing to bet there will be irons available to use or buy near your school. 
  • A pillow – Pillows are extremely bulky, and it’s guaranteed that there will be one available to use or buy for your dorm or apartment.
  • Books – Besides anything essential for your schoolwork, leave your books behind. Instead, use an e-reader or simply go to the library available on your campus.

Packing hacks for first-time travelers

  • Lay out all of your items together and separate out any items you know you’ll need while traveling. This includes cash/cards, travel documents, headphones, etc. Place these items in a carryon bag to keep with you at all times during the trip.
  • Put shower caps on your shoes. This will keep the soles from soiling any clothing. 
  • Remember that you don’t need to bring everything. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to buy other things you need on or near campus.

Want to get Student health insurance?

Whether or not your school will provide you with health insurance is completely dependent on the college or university. If they do not, it’s essential to purchase study abroad travel insurance. Getting sick or hurt while studying in a foreign country can bankrupt you if you do not have proper health insurance coverage, so make sure it’s in place before you jet off to study abroad.

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Visiting USA?

Healthcare costs are very high in the U.S.

Buy U.S. based visitors insurance and enjoy your trip.

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Did you know that your insurance may not cover you abroad or that it may only provide limited coverage?

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You are not eligible to enroll in Medicare for the first 5 years.

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You could lose your non-refundable trip costs if you had to cancel your trip.

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The U.S. Department of State requires all J visa holders to purchase compliant insurance.

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Schengen countries require most non-US citizens to purchase Schengen visa insurance.

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Traveling frequently throughout the year?

You don't need to purchase travel insurance for every trip.

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International student in the U.S.?

Most schools require international students to purchase health insurance.

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