The Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

study abroad packing list

So you decided to take the plunge: you applied to study abroad and you got accepted! This is definitely an exciting moment, but getting prepared to go abroad can also be quite nerve-racking. There are so many things you must prepare for before you study abroad, and honestly, it can feel pretty overwhelming. If you were already nervous about packing to go away for college, this is like twice as insane because you’re going to be in another country (unless you were already going away to college in another country. In this case, you probably already experienced all the insane nervousness).

As I’m packing to go on my study abroad trip in a few days, I want to triple check and then quadruple check that I remembered everything. So I’ve basically been researching all the things I need to take with me. My professor also emailed my group a packing list for the country we’re going to, and I’ve been thinking a lot about which items I personally need while I’m abroad. So I created this ultimate list of all the things you need to pack for your study abroad adventure to take some of the stress out of your packing! I think that sometimes people overpack and then they’re in trouble on the return flight because they purchased a bunch of gifts and things from the other country to bring back for family and friends, so they end up with overstuffed, overweight luggage and they have to pay extra money because of it. So without further ado, here’s what you should pack!


  • 3 pairs of pants
  • Sweaters/t-shirts (as you see fit)
  • Pajama tops + bottoms
  • Camis/tank tops
  • Underwear (enough underwear)
  • Bras
  • Socks
  • 2 party/formal outfits
  • Stockings
  • 1 pair of tights
  • Weatherproof/all-weather jacket
  • Waterproof boots
  • Sneakers
  • 1 pair of flip-flops + shower shoes
  • 1 pair of fancy shoes (flats, heels, etc.)
  • Touchscreen gloves
  • A hat and scarf


  • Face wash
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste + toothbrush holder
  • Face towel
  • Bath towel
  • Sunscreen
  • Shampoo + conditioner + body wash (in travel bottles)
  • Razor
  • Pads/underwear liners
  • Comb + brush
  • Dry shampoo
  • Hair ties
  • Sunscreen
  • Deodorant
  • Lotion
  • Makeup

School supplies: 

  • Tablet
  • Notebook
  • Pens + pencils
  • Textbook(s)
  • Journal


  • Plug + voltage adapters
  • Chargers for phone/tablet/laptop
  • Earbuds
  • Camera + SD Card
  • Portable charger


  • Travel Tylenol
  • Allergy medicine
  • Prescription medicine
  • Band-aids
  • Q-tips
  • Eyeglasses/contacts


  • Tide-to-Go pen
  • Wristlet/crossbody
  • Umbrella (unless an umbrella is no use against the weather)

Don’t leave without: 

  • Passport + passport holder (Visa if needed)
  • Boarding pass
  • Exchanged currency
  • State ID
  • School ID
  • Debit/Credit card
  • Insurance card
  • Emailed copies of important documents

Notice how I mentioned a “weatherproof” jacket and “waterproof” boots. I think people tend to go crazy with jackets and shoes and things — they spend money and use up space on different jackets for different weather changes, whereas buying one jacket that’s good for rain, snow, wind and even has a lighter detachable inner jacket is a much better investment. You don’t need to pack a raincoat, a winter jacket, and a spring jacket when you can get one jacket that does it all. This is the North Face 3-in-1 waterproof jacket that I bought for my trip to Ireland. I was told that bringing an umbrella is optional because they don’t stand a chance against the rain in Ireland, so I made sure I bought something that would keep me dry and warm.

If you’re only going away for a mini session (3-4 weeks) avoid bringing nail polish and nail polish remover. Nail polish remover is flammable (whether or not it contains acetone) and the TSA prohibits flammable liquids. Get a mani before you leave for trip and hope that it lasts! Also, I highly doubt you’d even want to stay inside and paint your nails when you could be exploring the city, meeting locals, and making memories. For a list of what you can and can’t bring on flights, check out the TSA’s website here.

Related Posts: 9 Things You Must Consider Before You Leave For Study Abroad, The Collegiate’s Ultimate College Packing List, 13 Things Not Allowed In Dorm Rooms + What To Bring Instead 

What’s on your study abroad packing list? 



Jasmin - Macarons & Mascara