Here are 10 study abroad essentials you NEED to take on your study abroad or exchange year journey!
Are you soon part of the exchange student community? Stay with me, because this is exactly for you!
In this post, I will be telling you my top 10 study abroad essentials you absolutely can’t leave at home! These are the ones I realized were important to take with me. If you have any ideas to add, please share them in the comment section!
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It is so much cheaper if you take adapters with you, rather than try to find some at the airport, where it’s 1. insanely expensive, and 2. you are nervous a*. You can also bring your own power strip and just get one adapter. That saves a lot of money and is easier to manage. You can get an international adapter here, or search for one for only your and your host country.
You absolutely need to take a journal with you! Whether it’s a private diary or a travel journal where you collect all the tickets and pictures you’ve taken, you need some kind of journal to collect it all and document the best time of your life. This is the one I have.
Maybe you already planned on taking a hand luggage sized suitcase on your study abroad journey, but just in case you didn’t, take one!
It gives you more space for your things and is good to have on your time abroad if you’ll go on smaller trips there (pretty sure you will). If you don’t take a smaller suitcase, you will end up having to take your huge suitcase and it’s gonna really suck. So just be prepared and take a small one too.
Only pack season adjusted clothes!
What that means? Well, if you know you will live in a hot place, then don’t take warm clothes but maybe one or two.
If you know you will spend your time abroad somewhere warm but occasionally cold, take a hat and gloves to save money abroad, but don’t take much more warm things.
Example: I was an exchange student in Georgia, USA. Georgia is pretty warm all year round, but winter can still get cold, just not for long. In that case, taking a stocking hat and gloves will save you lots of money because people aren’t that used to the cold and those items can get expensive. But you still won’t need many hoodies and other warm clothes. Got it?
A small bag can save you time and money and is just really useful, for example at the airport, when you need a place for all the travel documents you need to show every 2 minutes.
You will need a bag on site too, whenever you just need your purse and phone.
You NEED to have copies of all your important documents!
Make a copy of your passport, visa confirmation, health insurance, etc.
A good idea is to have copies for your host parents (or school) also, just in case. But keep in mind that those documents need to be stored safely.
This one is a lifesaver! Not just for the environment, but for your body.
We all know that liquids aren’t allowed to take through security. But empty bottles are. Just take one and fill it up wherever you can and need to.
You will need a bottle like that in school anyway, so it’s a total must-have. You can get one here.
This will get split opinions no matter what, but if you’re someone who has it all figured out with what products you like and use, I would totally recommend you to take your own products with you.
Yes, it takes up some space, but those female products (or how do you call those?) are a little different in other countries. For example, I heard of the US having tampons individually packed in plastic and having helping tools included. So I decided to take my own, and it was so much easier. I never had to shop for those products! yay.
What I would recommend, even more, is to just get a menstrual cup and have it all with that.
If you are going on exchange to a family, it’s best to bring them some gifts from your home country.
On your first Skype call, try to figure out what your family members like to do, to adjust your gifts accordingly.
I bought my hosts some local gifts, in my case Swiss chocolate and a German cookbook. Be creative and try not to gift things they can’t use.
If I could only share one tip with you on study abroad essentials, it would be to really take your favorites only.
I know, you think you might need this or that. But if you don’t truly like wearing or using it, you simply won’t!
Take your favorite dress, your favorite shirts, and some pants. A few underwear items. You really don’t need as much, considering other countries always have other styles, dress codes, and more. So just don’t take your whole dresser with you, okay?
READY FOR THE ADVENTURE?
If you have any questions, concerns or tips for others, share it in the comments below!
Also, Which country are you traveling to? Let’s chat!
For more travel tips, check out my recommendations page, where I included all my favorite Travel Tools!