The Ultimate Packing List for College Students Studying Abroad

Embarking on a study abroad adventure is an exhilarating experience that opens up a world of possibilities and cultural immersion. As a college student preparing to venture into unknown territory, packing efficiently and thoughtfully is critical to ensuring a smooth and successful journey. To help you navigate the packing process and ensure you have everything you need, we’ve compiled the ultimate packing list for college students studying abroad.

From travel essentials and academic supplies to clothing, toiletries, and beyond, this comprehensive guide will ensure you’re well-prepared for any destination, climate, or cultural experience that awaits you. So, get ready to pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable journey of learning, discovery, and personal growth!

The Ultimate Packing List for College Students Studying Abroad

Travel Documents:

  • Health insurance card with contact information
  • Emergency contact list (include phone numbers and addresses)
  • International driver’s license (if planning to drive)
  • International Student Identity Card (ISIC) for discounts and student benefits
  • Copy of your birth certificate
  • Global roaming plan for your mobile phone

Money and Banking:

  • Local currency for immediate expenses
  • Credit cards (inform your bank about your travel plans and inquire about international transaction fees)
  • Debit card(s) linked to your bank account(s)
  • Spare cash in your home currency (for emergencies)
  • Money belt or a secure wallet for carrying cash and important cards


  • Portable external hard drive for backing up files
  • USB flash drives for transferring documents
  • E-reader or tablet for reading and studying
  • Portable Bluetooth speaker for entertainment
  • Voltage converter or transformer (if your destination has a different voltage)

Clothing and Accessories:

  • Casual clothes for everyday wear
  • Formal attire for special events, dinners, or presentations
  • Lightweight and breathable clothing for hot climates
  • Warm clothing and layering options for colder climates
  • Sturdy and comfortable shoes for walking and exploring
  • Flip flops or sandals for warmer weather
  • Boots for colder climates
  • Hat or cap for sun protection and style
  • Sunglasses
  • Travel-sized sewing kit for quick repairs

Toiletries and Personal Care Items:

  • Toothbrush holder for travel
  • Travel-sized toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body wash, lotion, etc.)
  • Makeup and skincare products
  • Nail clippers and tweezers
  • Hairdryer or straightener (if needed, check voltage compatibility)
  • Compact mirror
  • Personal hygiene items (contact lens solution, menstrual products, etc.)

Bedding and Linens:

  • Travel-sized pillowcase
  • Bed sheets or sleeping bag liner
  • Lightweight blanket or sleep sack
  • Towels (bath and hand towels)
  • Earplugs and eye masks for better sleep in unfamiliar environments

Kitchen Essentials:

  • Reusable water bottle with a filter
  • Travel-sized cutlery set
  • Lightweight and collapsible food containers
  • Small cooking utensils (spatula, whisk, etc.)
  • Ziplock bags for storing snacks and leftovers
  • Portable coffee maker or French press (if desired)
  • Non-perishable food items from home (if allowed)

School Supplies:

  • Laptop or tablet (with charger and necessary software)
  • Notebooks, folders, and binders for organizing coursework
  • Pens, pencils, highlighters, and erasers
  • Sticky notes, paper clips, and binder clips
  • Scientific calculator or graphing calculator (if required)
  • USB hub or adapter for extra ports
  • Portable printer (if needed)
  • Planner or calendar for scheduling and deadlines

Miscellaneous Items:

  • Travel guidebooks or language phrasebooks
  • Travel-sized laundry detergent
  • Portable clothesline for drying clothes
  • Travel-sized iron or steamer (if desired)
  • Travel-sized first aid kit with essential medications
  • Mosquito repellent and sunscreen
  • Universal sink stopper for doing laundry
  • Travel-sized umbrella
  • Portable luggage scale for weighing bags before departure

Remember to research the destination country’s customs and regulations regarding items such as medications, electronics, and food. Packing a small bag or backpack as a carry-on with essential items is also advisable, in case your checked luggage is delayed or lost.

A well-organized and thoughtful packing list is crucial for a successful study abroad experience. By considering your destination’s requirements and culture, you can ensure you have everything you need while enjoying your semester. So, pack wisely, embrace the adventure, and get ready to make lifelong memories during your study abroad journey. Bon voyage!

How GradGuard Can Protect Studying While Studying Abroad

College students can benefit from GradGuard, which provides cost-effective insurance coverage that is customized to their specific requirements.

How GradGuard Can Protect You While Traveling Abroad:

  • Tailored coverage: GradGuard offers a variety of insurance products that can be customized to meet your specific needs.
  • Affordable rates: As a college student, you likely have a tight budget. GradGuard’s insurance products are designed to be affordable, with rates often lower than other insurance options.
  • Easy enrollment: GradGuard’s enrollment process is simple and straightforward, with online applications and quick approval times, without having to jump through many hoops.
  • Peace of mind: With GradGuard, you can have peace of mind knowing that you are protected from unexpected expenses that can derail your college experience. Whether it’s a stolen laptop, a medical emergency, or a sudden need to withdraw from school, GradGuard’s insurance products can help you recover and move forward.