Keep Calm & Pack: 5 Simple Steps to Packing for Study Abroad

Amanda Sharon is a student at Saint Anselm College and an ISA Featured Blogger. Amanda will be studying abroad with ISA in Sevilla, Spain.

Accessories
Accessories

Since I am in the middle of packing for my semester in Seville, I know how challenging and stressful it can be. This post will show you my own 5 step strategy for packing and possibly help you plan for your own trip abroad!

Shoes
Shoes

1. Shoes
To begin, my biggest advice here is COMFORT. You will most likely be doing a lot of walking while abroad and it is important that you have comfortable, supportive shoes. I plan on wearing my tall boots on the plane to save room in my suitcase. I chose a nice pair of sneakers, Sperry’s and flats, all which are very comfortable to pack and look nice. The Sperry’s and flats are very versatile and can be dressed up or down. I am also bringing a pair of slippers to keep my feet warm around my host family’s house. Another good idea would be to pack a pair of flip-flops. This will be important for traveling, if you stay in a hostel you will want to wear them when showering.

Jeans and Jacket
Jeans and Jacket

2. Clothes
Seeing as I am still in the middle of packing, I am not entirely positive what clothes I will be bringing. Basically my plan includes bringing my favorite, most versatile items of clothing. I will be wearing my pea coat on the plane with me and that will be the warmest jacket I will bring. I also plan on bringing my three favorite pair of jeans (different shades) as well as some comfier pants to wear around the house/while traveling. I recommend bringing a few long sleeve shirts; some plain black/white stretchy t-shirts (good for travel because they keep their shape) and some nicer tops for warmer weather. I am going to try to pack one or two sun dresses for special occasions as well as some shorts.

Toiletries
Toiletries

3. Toiletries
I recommend only bringing small containers of shampoo and conditioner for the first week abroad, and then buying larger bottles when you get settled. I will be bringing my favorite makeup items that I wear each day. I also am bringing two nail polish colors to do my nails for special occasions. Aspirin is also very important to pack. I recommend packing allergy medicine as well, since the medication they sell abroad may be different from what you are used to. Keep in mind that any medication you bring should be packed in your carry on!

Carry On
Carry On

4. Carry-On Bag
It is good to bring more important things with you in your carry-on, such as your laptop, camera, prescriptions and other important paperwork. I will also be bringing my sunglasses, headphones, medicine for the flight and disposable toothbrushes. People have also suggested that I bring a change of clothing in my carry-on as well, in case my luggage gets lost or does not arrive on time.

5. Accessories (see photo above)
Lastly, for my accessories I will be bringing some scarves to dress up my simple long-sleeves and t-shirts, a watch and some nice headbands. I also am bringing this purse, since it can hang in front of me where I can see it, but also leaves my hands free to take pictures or shop!

In summary, the most important things to pack are those that are comfortable, versatile and your favorite! Happy packing!

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