Study Abroad Packing List – What To Pack For Study Abroad?

So you’ve gotten the green light to go study overseas (or just study abroad). You’ve landed your dream student exchange program, all the paperwork is ready and now you’re just counting the days until takeoff. Thus, all that’s left is to come up with a study abroad packing list…

And this is normally the point where most first-time travelers (or study-abroad) end up curled on the floor in the fetal position. Where do you start? What do you really need? And what are the things you think you need but are only going to take up space and never come in handy?

Deep breaths. We’ve got your back.


Consider WHERE you’re going to study abroad

First of all, before you can start compiling your study abroad packing list, you’ll need to assess your host country. Seems fairly obvious, doesn’t it? Well, you’d be surprised how often people tend to overlook what’s in plain sight.

And the first thing you want to consider is the climate you’re traveling to, as well as the length of your stay. Is it someplace north with generally cooler temperatures? Furthermore, is it going to just be for the summer, or for an entire year?

The next thing you should think about is the local culture, especially as a female traveler. Certain cultures might require more modest clothing, and that’s definitely something you should take into account when packing your clothes. With that in mind, be sure to also think about whether you will be in an urban or more of a rural environment. This will determine whether you’ll be able to buy certain things when you arrive, instead of bringing them with you.


The type of luggage to bring for your study abroad

Nowadays, there’s an insane amount of fashionable luggage options to choose from. But trust us when we say this: nothing will ever beat the good ol’ backpack.

Note: think big backpack. You don’t want any of those tiny packs that will only have room for your shoes. Instead, go for a heavy-duty camping backpack with around 60-70l of volume. That should be plenty of room for you to fit everything you need.

Of course, it won’t look as stylish. But you will certainly be grateful you aren’t dragging a 65lb suitcase with you on public transportation, up the stairs, and on crowded streets.

Behold, your very own study abroad packing list

Without further ado, let’s get to the part we’ve all been waiting for – the study abroad packing list. To make it easier, we have split it up by category for you.


  • Phone and charger
  • Headphones
  • Laptop and charger
  • Power bank
  • Power adapter (if applicable)
  • E-reader (ideal in case it’s a long trip)


  • Travel-size shampoo, shower gel (throw in conditioner if you use it)
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Feminine products
  • Deforestation gear (razors, epilator, wax strips – whatever your preference)
  • Hairbrush/comb
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • Prescriptions/medication
  • Nail clippers

Clothes (depending on the region and length of your stay, as well as whether you’re a boy or girl, you might not need a lot of these)

  • Socks and underwear
  • Your regular everyday clothing (skirts, dresses, shirts, pants, etc., but make sure you can mix and match these)
  • Workout clothes
  • Bathing suit
  • Flip-flops (ideal for hot climates, but double as shower shoes)
  • 1 pair of comfortable and versatile shoes
  • 1 pair of nice shoes
  • A formal outfit or two
  • Accessories (keep them to a minimum, though)
  • Pajamas
  • Jacket
  • Gloves, hat, scarf

Other important things

  • Passport/ID, visa, driver’s license, other relevant forms of identification
  • Plane/bus/boat/train/etc. tickets
  • Credit cards
  • Cash (aim for $2-300 in local currency)
  • Pen/pencil (to fill out a possible surprise form)
  • Sunglasses


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here