Read this before you start packing
Pack lightly! You will have to carry your lugagge at many points along your journey, so it is important to make sure you can handle everything by yourself.
Related to packing lightly, know the airline's luggage allowance. How many bags are you allowed to bring? How much is each bag allowed to weigh? Is there a charge if my bag is overweight or if I have an extra bag?
Lugagge - Do you have luggage that will work, or is it time to go shopping? If you need to go shopping for luggage, consider the different styles of luggage (roller board, duffel, backpack) as well as what luggage needs you will have while abroad (bag for a day trip, long weekend trip, backpack for school work, etc.). Cobblestone streets do a number on roller board bags! Make sure all luggage you bring is strong and sturdy.
Weather - What is the climate of your destination? Doesn't it rain a lot in Ireland? What temperatures could you expect to have throughout your time abroad? Doing some research on the weather will help you decide what type of clothes and shoes you need. Of course you can always plan to buy clothing when you arrive as well.
Clothing - What is a style in your program location? What is culturally appropriate clothing?
Laundry - What is the laundry situation where you will be living? Will you have access to laundry whenever you want? Do you have a weekly laundry service? Knowing this will help determine how much clothes you should bring or plan to buy after arriving.
These generally are the items you should consider packing. Additional packing suggestions may be offered by your program coordinator/director:
- Glasses or contacts with a back up
- Electronics (you may not want or need to bring all of these)
- laptop with charger
- tablet with charger
- phone with charger
- camera with charger and memory cards
- headphones or earpods
- flash drive or access to cloud storage
- Prescription medication (pack in your carry on)
- Over the counter medication (allergy, cold, headache, upset stomach)
- visa if required before departure
- acceptance letter
- plane ticket itinerary with record locator
- housing information with address
- driver's license
- international student ID card
- phone numbers for your bank and credit card company
- currency of destination
- debit card
- credit card
- Nice to have, but not essential
- country guide (sights, culture, history, common words and phrases)
- gift for homestay
- TSA approved luggage locks
- locker lock for youth hostel stays
- packing cubes
- neck wallet or money belt
- compact umbrella
- reusable water bottle
- thin quick drying towel
- bed or travel sheet for youth hostel stays
- We do not suggest trying to pack your bedding. Some programs will provide your sheets, blankets, pillow cases to you, others will offer to rent you a "linen pack" with these items. Other students decide to purchase these items from a store while abroad and donate them at the end of their term.
Other packing tips
Leave valuables at home, especially if it cannot be replaced.
Take a picture of copy of important documents and credit cards. Make sure your family has access to this information, and make sure you do to! Best to keep it stored on a secure cloud setting so you can access the information in the event that your phone is lost or stolen.
For those that use hair dryers, straighteners, and/or curling irons, please note that your existing one may not work abroad, even with a electrical converter. Previously, students have reported the item breaking or stopped working while abroad due to the different electrical voltage. We suggest you do not pack these items, and instead plan to purchase them upon your arrival abroad.
Some people swear that rolling your clothes takes up less space.
Stuff socks into your packed shoes.
Start packing your luggage with the largest items and then pack smaller items around it.
Put leakable toiletries into a plastic bag before packing.