A Packing List for a Semester Abroad

If you are among the many college students who take a semester abroad each academic year, be careful about packing. While time will fly by once you arrive at the destination city, planning far ahead and working with a checklist are the two wisest moves you can make. Several months before departure, sit down and decide which devices you wish to pack for the term.

Additionally, consider applying for a student credit card so you won’t get caught in a cash bind while far from home. Don’t forget to bring a security wallet, the right clothes, and a high-quality digital camera. Everyone has different needs, but the following packing list includes five musts for any semester abroad.

Devices & Chargers

In the digital age, travelers should make careful decisions about which of their electronic devices to take along on extended trips. Avoid packing everything, as you’ll be more likely to lose something or just waste luggage space hauling unnecessary items back and forth. Instead, make a list of what you need. Consider packing a phone, a tablet, a laptop, and a digital camera. Don’t rely on a smartphone for taking pictures in circumstances where a high-end camera is a much better choice.

Credit Card

Having a student credit card is part of an effective strategy for preventing financial emergencies, particularly while living abroad. The good news is that there are several options for exchange students who already take care of their own budgeting. But it’s essential to choose your first card based on objective criteria. That’s where a comprehensive guide comes in handy. Use it to identify a card that works for you and offers features like low annual fees, excellent interest rates, and reasonable spending limits. It’s also wise to find cards that report to one or more credit bureaus. That way, by paying the monthly bill on time, you can build up a solid credit history.

Weather Appropriate Clothing

Avoid overpacking by checking the weather conditions for the months you’ll be abroad. The most common mistake people make when traveling is bringing too much stuff. Choose wardrobe items carefully, being certain to include at least one set of formal attire for business occasions and social outings. Don’t forget to make a written inventory of everything you pack, including every piece of clothing. Leave a small amount of empty space in at least two suitcases. You’ll need it to bring home a few souvenirs and gifts.

Security Wallet

For less than $50, you can acquire a special wallet that minimizes the chance of becoming a victim of pickpockets. Worn over the neck and close to the body or in a strap around the waist under clothing, security wallets are an inexpensive way to keep passports, cash, traveler’s checks, ID cards, and other valuables safe from criminals. It’s an unfortunate fact of overseas living that non-residents and academic guests are the targets of unsavory thieves who prefer to prey on anyone who is carrying money or things of value. Purchase a security wallet online about two months before you leave. That way, you can begin wearing it immediately and get used to carrying it.

*This is a guest post submitted on April 28, 2023.*

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