Keena Noble, student blogger currently studying abroad on our New Zealand program.
We all know that packing can be a headache. For me, it surely was. Trying to pack for 5 months seemed nearly impossible until I learned how to downsize. The trick is to pack for 2 to 3 weeks and purchase everything else when you reach your destination.
Because you’re going to buy stuff — it’s inevitable.
Yes, purchasing things abroad can be quite expensive (depending on the country), but I guarantee it will save you money and a headache in the end. Because I was studying abroad during two seasons, I packed about a week and a half’s worth of clothing for winter and the same for spring.
Once I arrived in my host country (New Zealand), I found nearby stores that had nice affordable clothing. Although this worked for me, this same method may not work for everyone. Tip: Do your research online and ask questions to advisors / alumni well ahead of time. If you pack lightly but don’t want the hassle of buying clothes from stores, you can always have them shipped. Just make sure you are already in the country when your family member/friend ships your items to you.
When traveling, make sure you bring all necessary medicine! If there is something you cannot live without, bring it. But remember, always check on the country’s website and consult with your study abroad advisor to make sure the medicine is legal and will be permitted in the country.
For me, I only brought the medicine I needed along with familiar cold medicine, antacid, and ibuprofen. Taking certain medicines like ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol (upset stomach reliever), etc. can be helpful because if you are in your host country and get sick, you are guaranteed to have a product that you know works well for you.
Last but not least, be sure to carry all of your heaviest items on you to minimize the fees at the airport! Things can get a little pricey if you try to put a lot in your checked baggage. If you need a coat or boots, carry it/wear it.
Well I hope this helped — happy packing!
— Keena Noble, New Zealand 2015