Study Abroad Packing List for International Students| Ultimate Guide

Study Abroad Packing List for International Students
Study Abroad Packing List for International Students

Study Abroad Packing List: Now that you’ve gotten that admission or scholarship to study abroad,

what’s next?

Get on the plane and fly right to your study destination. Well, if that’s what you have in mind, then you have to be schooled.

In this piece, we have put together the necessary information that will aid you to have a smooth study sail. What’s that you ask?

It’s the study abroad packing list. Now, whether you’re traveling to Italy, Europe, or Spain, the study abroad pack or packing list for each of these study destinations is unique.

As you’re anxiously counting down to the day of your departure, ensure you tick all the boxes in your packing list. Kindly note that it’s almost impossible to stuff your whole life into a suitcase. However, it’s possible to take the “necessities” along with you. Hence the need for this article. Let’s explore this possibility together!!!

Study Abroad Packing List is Beyond the Suitcase!!!

I don’t mean to burst your bubbles, but this packing list we are referring to is beyond you shoving some clothes into the box.

Just before you get to that part, you have to consider so many factors because there’s way more to checking your study abroad packing list than meets the eye. Here are the factors to consider before packing;

What Type of Region am I Headed?

Your region or country of study majorly determines what you pack. If you’re going to Iceland, you sure need surf gear.

Also, if you are going to Brazil, you need to ready your salsa dancing shoes. Therefore, your study abroad location e.g Europe is EVERYTHING when checking your packing list.

Rural or Urban

Before checking your study abroad packing list for Spain, Italy, Europe, or any other region, consider the level of urbanity.

Will there be stores for you to buy things upon arrival? Or do you have to come with everything for your period of study cos you’d be living in the jungle?

If you can get something there, there’s no need to pack your shampoo. (Of course, unless you love carrying luggage). Therefore, find out how close you’ll be to stores and then decide what will be on your study abroad packing list.

Conservative vs. Liberal

Quite an important aspect of packing. Ensure to find out of the country is conservative when it comes to dressings. Kindly note that most countries are culturally sensitive to clothing.

And in most cases, they segregate people, students inclusive to ensure they uphold this tradition.

This might likely sound like a joke until you have an art class inside a cathedral and you’re not allowed in because you only packed tank tops and shorts. Absolutely, sad. Avoid that in your study abroad packing list.

How’s the Weather and Climate Up there?

For students who experience four distinct seasons in their country, this might really be hard to adjust to. Because in some other countries, you study in just one climate.

In that regard, ensure you find out about the weather in Italy or India before checking your packing list to study abroad. Remember, if your study location is in a different hemisphere, the seasons are flipped.

What this insinuates is that you don’t roll up to Chile in July and expect much warmth. Also, just because it’s hot in Spain in the summer doesn’t mean it’ll be hot year-round.

Length of Time Abroad

If you’re going for a study abroad summer camp, you absolutely do not need luggage.

Also, you don’t have to worry about the weather, cos it’s summer. But on the other hand, if you’re studying for a while, an academic year or more, then you need to pack adequately.

With these factors in check. You’re on your what to start packing. Ensure you follow and tweak these basic guidelines to fit your needs/study abroad location. “What do I pack?” Find out below!!!

Official Study Abroad Packing List for International Students

Once you’ve considered all these, the next step is to pack right. Here’s a list of things you MUST pack to study abroad;


  • Bathing suit.
  • Plenty of underwear and socks.
  • Travel clothes (leggings, sweaters, etc.)
  • Standard shirts, pants, dresses, skirts, and other go-to clothes.
  • Workout clothes and shoes to keep fit (only necessary if you keep fit!!!)
  • Jacket or sweater for chillier weather – it gets cold even in the desert at night
  • At least one pair of nice shoes and comfy shoes for walking in the sun, rain, snow, etc, and flip-flops for showers in hostels. (Sums up to three footwear)

Toiletries to pack for Study Abroad in Spain, Italy, Europe, or any Destination

  • Medications, if any
  • Cosmetics and lotions
  • Over-the-counter medicines
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss
  • Travel-size shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (Mostly for the ladies)
  • Tissues/ toilet paper (you don’t want to be stuck in a bathroom when it runs out)


  • Power adapters
  • Mobile device and charger.
  • Laptop, charger and a bag for it.
  • Portable power bank (Very important!!!)
  • Camera to capture the moment. (Your phone can substitute for that)

Miscellaneous to add to your Study Abroad Pack list

  • Cash.
  • Your plane ticket.
  • Copies of Passport, visa, and ID cards.
  • A mini backpack for day trips and classes.
  • Cross-body purse or secure wristlet to prevent theft.
  • Scarves, accessories, and jewelry (leave the expensive stuff at home)
  • Travel medical insurance (FYI – some visas require proof of insurance)
  • Student ID, driver’s license, National ID card, and any other identifications

Now that you got all these set, pack in a portable box so as to meet the luggage scale. Whether you’re studying in USA or Australia, if your luggage is overweight, you will be charged more. Also, you can go for space bags, the no-vacuum-required ones precisely. Ensure you use a small lock for your zipper bags. Also, use a luggage tag or ribbon to help identify your suitcase at baggage claim.

What NOT to pack for study abroad

Study Abroad Pack or Packing List for  Students in Italy, Europe and Spain
Study Abroad Pack

Now that you know what to pack, it’s time to review what NOT to pack for study abroad. Most first-time “study abroaders” pack things we consider “totally unnecessary“. Therefore, this section will help you save as much space as possible in your luggage. Do not pack these;

  • Sweatpants: Sorry to burst your bubbles, but students abroad do not wear sweatpants to class. Other than that, pack something a bit nicer like leggings and a sweater.
  • Blow dryer and/or hair straightener: Trust me when I say that the abroad tools for straightening hair are better than yours. It’s totally unnecessary.
  • Brand New Clothes: As tempting as it might be to go on a shopping spree to refresh your wardrobe before galavanting around the world, it’s not needed. Ensure you Bring clothes you’re sure off over the years. Don’t get me wrong, new clothes are good but there’s nothing more horrible than heading out for a day of sightseeing only to get a blister from those super cute, brand-new sandals ten minutes into your day.
  • Also, do not pack clothes you will wear once. There will be enough time to wear them. Do not include them in your study abroad packing list for Spain or any other destination.
  • For the ladies, pack fewer heels. Walking on heels on cobblestone streets can be a lot of work. However, you can pack one or two so you can get that ultra-chic feeling when walking into that club in Las Vegas.
  • Here’s some piece of advice, do not pack anything that screams “I’m a foreigner!”. No country flag clothes, I love my country t-shirts and all. Kindly note that they’re not bad in themselves but you will be setting yourself as a target for pick-pocketing.

How Much Luggage Do I Need to Pack for my Studies Abroad?

The number or weight of luggage depends on the airline. Each airline has its baggage requirement.

Here’s what we think, once you have checked your study abroad packing list as listed above, visit the airline to be sure of their baggage requirement. Here’s some piece of advice, you do not need luggage.

Studying abroad is the best time to buy more things for yourself. So why bother yourself with more luggage than you wouldn’t come back with? Remember, that you can carry it doesn’t mean you should. Decide upfront how much stuff you really want to carry and then stick to it.

Here’s some advice, pack some of your essentials, underwear, valuables, and documents in your hand – just in case.

Prepare Yourself Mentally

Once you’re done packing, the next thing is to travel. Just like Celine Dion says, goodbye is the saddest word but you’re going to be needing a lot of it at this point.

Embrace yourself for the exciting and thrilling moment of your life. Therefore, prepare yourself.

While studying abroad you will definitely encounter people with different concepts of time and personal space.

Be ready to learn and observe these differences without being judgemental. It will be these very same differences that will undoubtedly enrich your understanding of your own culture.

When the goodbyes are side, then your study abroad packing list for Italy, Spain, or Europe is fully checked. Board your plane and off you go!!!



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