3 Important Study Abroad Tips

3 Important Study Abroad Tips

Are you planning on studying abroad? You are going to have a fantastic experience!

Read these 3 Important Study Abroad Tips before you embark on your adventure.

3 Study Abroad Tips

The opportunity to study abroad is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you’ll remember forever. It’s totally normal to be super nervous (and excited) about this adventure!

Not sure what to buy before you leave? Here are 25 Things you Need to get Before you Study Abroad

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3 Important Study Abroad Tips

Through my study abroad experience, I found these 3 key (and often overlooked) tips essential to my success during my time studying abroad.

3 Study Abroad Tips

1. Spend Quality Time in your Study Abroad City.

Not spending much time in my study abroad city was the BIGGEST MISTAKE I made during my study abroad experience! Coming from America and studying abroad in the UK, the budget flights across Europe were like my own personal playground. Every weekend, I was off to explore another country.

3 Days Sahara Desert Tour

Remember that you likely will get to travel quite a bit more in the future, but this is probably the only time you’ll actually get to LIVE abroad somewhere.

Spend this time getting to know the locals. Join a community club, visit the farmers market, go to local events.

2. Join a Club at School.

Joining a club at your university abroad is a great way to meet new people. You’ll be surprised at the variety of clubs offered at most universities!

Fairytale City of England

I personally joined a Disney movie club. A few times a month we would watch a Disney movie and sometimes have dinners together and this allowed me to meet a lot of new friends.

3. Stock up on Medications Before you Leave.

This is probably the most important piece of advice I could give you! Be sure to stock up months worth of medications, contraceptives, favorite supplements, vitamins, etc. before you leave.

3 Study Abroad Tips

Don’t assume that you will have easy access to these things in your country abroad. Even if you do, the medication may be slightly different and it’s just NOT something you want to deal with while you’re enjoying your time abroad.

Also, something to consider is bringing vitamins and supplements with you, even if you don’t typically take them. Depression and seasonal depression can be super common during your first time abroad and away from your friends and family.

Enjoy your Study Abroad Adventure!

I could fill my whole blog with study abroad advice, but I figured I would narrow down my top 3 biggest tips! For more study abroad advice, check out my post Things to Consider Before You Study Abroad.

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Planning on studying abroad? Here are 3 key Study Abroad Tips you didnโ€™t know ๐Ÿค“โœˆ๏ธ #studyabroad #traveltipsz #tiktoktravel #fyp

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25 Essentials That Should Be on Your Study Abroad Packing List

25 Essentials That Should Be on Your Study Abroad Packing List

Looking for the ultimate study abroad packing list?

Studying abroad is more than just an educational experience; it’s a transformative journey that expands your horizons, challenges your comfort zone, and enriches your life,

Whether you’re gearing up for a semester in a European capital, an exchange program in Asia, or a cultural immersion in South America, one thing is certain: preparation is key!

Here are 25 study abroad essentials that I packed for my study abroad journey (or totally wish I would have!)

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This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure here.

Packing lists for study abroad experiences may vary slightly, especially depending on location and time.

This study abroad packing list will be perfect for anyone packing for 3 months – 1 year abroad.

If you’re just going for a couple of weeks, this list will still totally help, just consider what you will and will not need.

These 25 study abroad essentials will help you have a smoother transition into your educational journey abroad.

Click here for your FREE study abroad packing list so you don’t forget a single thing!

study abroad packing list

Here are 25 Study Abroad Essentials

1. Universal Travel Adapter

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This travel adapter is my favorite because it works in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US! If you can only buy one thing for your trip abroad, I would consider this the most essential for your study abroad adventure.

In fact, this is so important – I always travel with 2!

If you use something that blows it out (like a hairdryer or curling iron) then it can be a pain to replace, so I travel with backup.

I also love this adapter because it has 4 USB ports rather than the traditional two.

This can be very handy, especially if you plan on traveling around in hostels during your time abroad.

2. Quality Backpack + Day Bag

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During your study abroad experience, you will likely travel around a bit (especially if you are living somewhere)

Luggage fees on airlines can cost you a pretty penny if you aren’t careful. Using these two tried and true bags, I spent six months backpacking Europe and didn’t spend a dime on luggage fees.

Before I left for my backpacking trip, I knew I needed something that was completely functional and the highest of quality.

I did oodles of research on the best backpacks in the world.

The Osprey Backpacks fit on most airlines and worked perfectly for me to live out of for months.

I’m convinced that Travelon’s Anti Theft day bag is the most perfect travel day bag ever. It’s so spacious and features anti-theft clasps on every zipper.

3. School Bag

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Whether it’s a canvas bag or a traditional backpack, a school bag will be needed!

This Kate Spade canvas bag is perfect for holding a few books and a laptop.

Alternatively, canvas bags are a really fun souvenir if you want to wait until you’re abroad to purchase one.

4. Journal

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You will certainly want to document your exciting and new experience abroad.

I know a journal can be a bit old school, but you will be so happy once you’re older to look back on this experience.

5. Mini Sewing Kit

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Believe me, when my mom snuck this in my bag before I left, I actually rolled my eyes when I found it!

However, I was relieved to have it when a few of my favorite tops needed stitches.

A sewing kit is handy to have, and it’s so tiny it hardly takes up any room.

6. A Laptop

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If you are a student, you may already have this.

I’m sure you can always use your university’s library facilities if you don’t have a laptop.

However, with so many online courses these days, it certainly is more convenient to have one by your side.

The laptop that I’ve had forever is a Microsoft Surface Book.

The best thing about it is that it’s SO light, perfect for traveling.

7. Kindle

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Traveling is all about packing light. Having a kindle (or your preferred e-reading device) is going to save so much room rather than lugging thick books around.

Whether you’re an avid reader in your free time or you have a long list of books for your program, a kindle is definitely a study abroad essential.

8. Travel Bottles for Liquids

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Liquids overall are just such a pain to travel with. These bottles make things a little easier, especially if your favorite products don’t come in travel sizes.

9. Travel Credit Card

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A travel credit card is an often overlooked travel necessity.

When you use a debit card for a purchase or withdraw from an ATM in a foreign country, you are charged a fee every time you swipe that card.

I started with a Capital One Venture Card when I began traveling, and I highly recommend it.

Obviously, credit cards are a serious discussion among youth and I would encourage you to do your own research and consult with your friends and family before making any big decisions about your credit.

10. Headphones/earbuds

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Airpods are something I truly can’t live without! Whether it’s watching my favorite Netflix show or my morning run before class, my AirPods are in my ears constantly.

11. Water Bottle

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A student essential whether you’re abroad or at home! This sleek water bottle will keep you hydrated and stylish.

12. Extra Phone Chargers

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I would recommend traveling with 2 phone chargers.

Similar to the adapters, a phone charger is not something you want to be without – even for a day!

It’s best to have a couple of extras on you just to be prepared.

13. Swimsuit

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This may seem rather random but you never know when you’re going to take a dip.

Swimsuits are small and easy to stuff in your bag, it may be worth having one just in case. Even if you are studying somewhere cold and not tropical, you could find a super cheap flight to Lisbon or Morocco and want to go for a swim.

14. Tennis shoes

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Good pairs of shoes are a suitcase staple.

I typically pack my favorite running shoes, quality sandals, a cute pair of shoes to go out in, and cheap flip-flops for hostel showers and the beach.

15. Unlocked Cell Phone OR International Phone Plan

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Be sure to research your specific cell phone and how it will work in the country you’re going abroad to.

I have an iPhone and made sure to get it unlocked before I left.

An Unlocked Phone just means that your phone can be assigned to a different carrier abroad. This means you can easily buy a sim card in your study abroad country and use it in your phone.

Your phone carrier may also have international plans.

However, buying a sim card abroad is typically very easy and will be way cheaper than any international plan you sign up for. Also, half the time those international plans barely work!

If you aren’t careful, your phone plan can cost you thousands of dollars in extra international fees.

16. Travel Insurance

If you’re going abroad through a school, they should have insurance included within your fees (but always double-check!)

However, if you plan on traveling before or after your term, your school insurance likely will not cover it! Travel insurance is extremely important for your finances and your health.

17. Luggage Tags and Labels.

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I’m a big fan of labeling literally everything I own. My luggage has these luggage tags and valuables like my journal, backpack, etc. are labeled with scotch washi tape.

Include your first & last name so people can find you on Facebook.

Also, add your country code before your phone number, and your e-mail in case they can’t contact you via phone number.

18. A Small Variety of Clothing Options

study abroad things to get

Pack whatever clothing best fits your destination. Additionally, you’ll want to pack a few different seasonal options just to be extra prepared.

Don’t worry about having the perfect wardrobe.

You can buy clothes anywhere and you may even prefer to buy new stylish clothes in your study abroad destination.

19. Towels & Sheets

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Depending on your university abroad and the move-in packages they offer, it’s very possible you won’t have towels and sheets for your bed.

While every university is different, just communicate with the study abroad office to find out so you can arrive prepared.

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You could even get your roomies’ phone numbers from your study abroad office and see if any of them can keep an eye out for your package.

20. Extras of EVERYTHING! Medicine, Contacts, Retainers, Glasses, etc.

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It’s not that you can’t access these items in most countries, but it can just be a bit more difficult.

You’ll need to stock up on contacts, birth control, any special type of medication, and anything else that is particular for you and more tricky to get abroad.

21. Light Rain Gear

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Even if you are going somewhere warm, this packable jacket can be a lifesaver! I also always carry a small umbrella with me.

22. Luggage Locks

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Locks are good to have as a staple travel essential. You’ll especially need these if you take backpacking trips on the weekends where you’ll be staying in hostels.

I personally have both kinds of locks shown above. I travel with 2-3 in case I lose one.

23. Toiletry Bag

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This toiletry bag is one of my all-time favorite travel products.

As a woman, toiletries take up the most space in my bag. Face creams, hair products, feminine care, medications, etc. It’s always the little things that add up the most.

24. Sunglasses

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You’ll definitely want some sunnies for your adventures abroad!

25. Planner

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Call me old-fashion, but I’m still a paper planner girl!

The first week of my study abroad was loaded with so many mandatory meetings and events. I was so happy I brought my planner to keep track of my jam-packed schedule.

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Things to Consider Before You Study Abroad

Things to Consider Before You Study Abroad

Growing up, I had always dreamed to study abroad. The idea of living and studying in a foreign country was romanticized within me since day one of watching the iconic Lizzie McGuire movie. I was ready to go abroad, meet my Paolo, and become an Italian pop star!!

Embarking on a journey of studying abroad is a thrilling adventure filled with anticipation, new experiences, and the promise of personal growth. It’s a chance to immerse oneself in a foreign culture, broaden horizons, and create memories that last a lifetime. However, as with any grand voyage, there are bound to be twists and turns along the way.

Here are a few tips to consider before you study abroad.

1. Studying Abroad is a challenge

Living in a new city and studying abroad is a wonderful experience, but it’s not always easy.

Relocating to a foreign country for an extended period of time is a hard thing to do, but you can do it!

You’re leaving your friends, family, pets, and there will be many things you will miss out on. It’s a matter of missing out on some things and trading your home experiences for a new adventure.

2. Application Processes can be tricky.

There are several factors that go into the decision process of studying abroad, many of them being out of your control. Your age, school connections, costs, and what you’re studying are just to name a few.

These were certainly things I didn’t think about when I filled out my study abroad application.

You can have everything you think you need to study abroad, but could still get your application denied for not being a proper fit.

3. You may not get the top destination of your choice.

As I just mentioned, there are so many factors that go into the decision-making process of studying abroad.

Decisions are being made by you, your college, and your financial circumstances.

In the end, your study abroad location could likely be a compromise. Just be happy that you are going to experience an entirely different life and focus on what you will gain from it.

4. Go with an open mind.

Going into my study abroad program, my expectations were too high. Problems will arise during your time abroad and it won’t always be perfect. You will grow so much from this experience!

Try new foods, make new friends, and try not to compare things to your home country.

5. Spend time in your study abroad city.

This was one of my biggest mistakes! I’m an American, and flights are insanely expensive in the US. So what I was most excited about studying in the UK were the wicked cheap flights across Europe.

While I loved getting to explore new countries I had never been to before, I felt that I missed out a lot on the local life of my study-abroad city. Additionally, there were many times when I’d miss out on college outings because I opted to travel on the weekends, which in the end resulted in fewer friendships.

Before you Study Abroad: make a list of what you want to gain from this experience.

Are you wanting to live like a local? Try as many different foods and learn about the architecture? Visit as many neighboring countries as possible? The opportunities are endless!

If your university doesn’t offer study abroad opportunities, there are plenty of outside companies that offer educational trips. These trips may even transfer over as elective credit hours to your major – it never hurts to check!

IES Abroad

CIEE

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