As David Mitchell once said, “Travel far enough, you meet yourself.”
I can firmly state that the making the decision to study abroad in Florence, Italy of spring 2017 was one of the best things I did during my time as a college student. I was able to make amazing new friends that I would not have otherwise made, experience a new culture’s fashion, food and language first-hand, visit many European cities I had never seen before and gained an entirely new sense of independence.
With that being said, here is your go-to guide for packing for your semester abroad.
- Passport and/or visa
- Driver’s license
- Plane tickets
- Proof of medical insurance
- Copies of passport, driver’s license and proof of medical insurance
- Local currency
- Credit/debit card
It is smart to bring travel-sized products for the first few days abroad and then stock up once you move in, especially because I struggled to find travel-size products in Europe. The small bottles are great to have on hand for weekend trips and are easy to refill.
Also, leave hairdryers/straighteners/curling irons because they are likely to fry in converters. Instead, pick up whatever you need after you arrive in your host country.
- Travel size shampoo and conditioner bottles
- Travel size toothpaste
- Glasses and contacts for length of semester
- Travel size bottle of contact solution
- Hair brush
- Makeup/hair products
- Medications for entire length of stay
- Emergency stock of ibuprofen, bandaids, and antibiotic ointment
- Feminine products
- Nail clippers
Definitely research the climate of your country before leaving, as this will heavily impact what you need. Italy does not get as cold as Ireland does, for example.
Also bring clothes that can be layered easily.
- Rain coat
- Gym clothes
- Bathing suit
- Winter jacket (If needed. I only wore mine a handful of times during the semester!)
- Underwear, bras and socks (2 weeks’ worth!)
- 1-2 nicer outfits
- 3-5 long sleeve shirts
- 5-7 short sleeve shorts
- Shower shoes/rubber flip-flops —Good for warm weather trips and for showering in hostels/Airbnbs
- Walking shoes – your go-to sneaker for long days of walking/traveling. Expect to toss these out by the end of the semester. I wore my Adidas Superstars as a stylish option and other people wore actual running sneakers. This is purely personal preference.
- Nicer pair of shoes — flats, booties or boots, etc.
- A few pairs of jeans
- Blanket scarf — Use as a way to elevate your outfit and as a blanket on airplanes
- Camera and extra memory card
- Any corresponding chargers, chords or batteries. These can be difficult to find abroad.
- Outlet converters/adaptors — this is something I definitely forgot and would struggle to find on trips
- Overnight bag for weekend trips (duffel or carry on suitcase)
- Backpack — great for weekend trips.
- Purse that zips — I brought my Longchamp bag and a crossbody purse to have options.
- Notebook and pen to write about your travels
- Portable charger — handy on weekend trips so you never have a dead phone
- Travel pillow