The perfect packing list for studying abroad

Course offer? Check! Tickets? Check! Passport? Check! Visa? Check!

If you’ve got all of these, you are all set for your study abroad endeavour! And what better country to study in than Germany, which is ranked the No. 1 study destination in Europe by OFX. However, wherever you choose to study, it is important to consider what you should take with you before you get on a plane to the study destination!

Since you will be away from home for a long period of time and, if you are an international student, will probably only be able to visit home once or twice a year, it is important that you carefully prepare your packing list. For students going abroad for higher education, designing a packing list can be a daunting task. However, this blog will help you assemble the perfect study abroad packing list and help you to get set to board the flight to your study destination.

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Carry-on bag

  • Original and copies of your passport and visa;
  • Identity proof (Photo ID or Driver’s Licence);
  • Airline tickets;
  • Wallet;
  • Mobile phone and charger;
  • Laptop and charger;
  • Emergency clothes (in case your luggage is misplaced or delayed);
  • Portable power bank;
  • Hand sanitiser;
  • Snacks;
  • Earphones or headphones;
  • Cash (in the currency of the country you are travelling to as well as your own country’s currency);
  • Water bottle (empty and reusable).
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  • 2 weeks’ worth of underwear;
  • 2 weeks’ worth of socks;
  • T-shirts/tops;
  • Shorts, pants, jeans and/or skirts;
  • Swimsuit;
  • Pyjamas;
  • Sweaters and hoodies;
  • 2 coats or jackets (one that is water-resistant and one for the cold weather);
  • At least 4 outfits for formal occasions;
  • Shoes (trainers, dress shoes, boots, wellies, flip-flops);
  • Clothing for cold weather such as mittens, gloves, hats or scarves (if appropriate in the host country);
  • A couple of sets of workout clothes;
  • A couple of belts and other accessories.
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Additional Items

  • Overnight bag;
  • Sunglasses;
  • Umbrella;
  • Earplugs;
  • Sleeping bag;
  • Travel pillow;
  • Travel journal;
  • Lint roller;
  • A book (if you like reading).

What NOT to pack for studying abroad?

  • Uncomfortable footwear: As a student, chances are that you will be discovering most of the city on foot or via public transport. Hence, it is advisable that you carry footwear that you are comfortable walking in. Heels are a big no-no, especially since they are not feasible to walk around in.
  • Clothes that don’t go with anything: There might be that one article of clothing in your wardrobe that you absolutely love but doesn’t go with anything. If that is the case, don’t bother carrying it all the way to another country, only to increase the weight of your luggage. Carry clothes that you are comfortable in and can match with other articles of clothing easily.
  • New clothes: Though the idea is extremely tempting, do not go on a shopping spree before travelling to the host country. Take clothes that are tried and trusted, especially since there are high chances that you would want to shop for new clothes in the host country.
  • Expensive appliances: Hair tools are sensitive and need a particular voltage to work. There is no guarantee that you will find the right voltage converter and even if you do, there are still possibilities of the hair tool getting destroyed. Buy a blow dryer or hair straightener in your study abroad location to be sure that the appliance will work.

Study abroad packing tips

  • Ask your friends and acquaintances who have studied abroad about their packing list and take their recommendations.
  • Compare the packing list with your lifestyle. For example, a packing list might advise you to avoid carrying sweatpants, however, if you find them comfortable, then add them to your packing list;
  • Ensure that you have travel toiletries, especially if you are about to get on a long flight, ensure they’re under 100ml if you plan to take them in your carry-on luggage;
  • Take a travel journal with you. Since you will be travelling to another country with a different culture and lifestyle, you will want to write down what you have experienced.
  • Ensure that you have all your gadgets as well as the supporting devices (chargers, earphones) in place. Buying a gadget abroad could be an expensive affair for you.

Studying in Germany is an exciting experience, with new horizons and cultures to explore. If you are heading to Berlin, Hamburg or Hannover for your study abroad endeavour, GISMA Business School could be the perfect option. GISMA believes in delivering the best education to prepare students for the ever-evolving global business environment. To find out more about the programmes offered at GISMA Business School, click here.

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