Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Packing and Preparing for your Study Abroad Adventure

If you are planning to take advantage of a study abroad opportunity in the near future, you have undoubtedly been quite busy preparing for your trip. This preparation process can be quite involved, requiring a number of tasks on your end to ensure everything goes off without a hitch. From scheduling your classes to setting up your flight to reserving your accommodations, the process can be stressful and time consuming, including all the steps you’ll need to take to obtain the required travel documents and student visa. Once you have completed all these “big” tasks associated with your study abroad program, it can seem like quite a relief, but you’re not quite finished yet. As the day of your flight approaches, there are a number of necessary duties that remain, including packing your suitcase (s) and a few other minor preparations you may not have considered. To help you be as prepared as possible for the big day, below we have listed a few crucial packing tips, along with some other suggestions to ensure your trip gets off to a great start.

Packing Tips for Your Study Abroad Experience

Whether you are planning to study for a semester, full academic year or longer, the question of what to pack is one every student abroad participant wrestles with. Here are some tips to ensure you pack everything you’ll need for your trip—and nothing you don’t.

• Consider the seasons. Consider the seasons in which your study abroad experience will take place and research the average weather conditions during those seasons. Then, pack accordingly.

• Think layers. Try to pack clothes that layer well together and can be mixed and matched. Hint: solid colors are usually ideal for this purpose. • Use travel-size toiletries. Most toiletry items can be purchased once you arrive in your host country, but you’ll want to bring just enough to allow you to get by until you have settled in. Keep in mind that many airlines have regulations about the types and quantity of items you can bring on the plane, so be sure to check with them before packing.

• Remember certain must-bring items. There are a number of must-bring items for students who plan to study abroad. In many countries this will include a raincoat and an umbrella for the rainy seasons. A scarf is also essential when studying in colder climates and is an ideal accessory for offsetting solid-colored and layered clothing. Handy wipes and/or antibacterial creams are also a must and will do in a pinch when you cannot locate a sink.

• Don’t overdo it. Many students who plan to study abroad have the tendency to over-pack, but this is something you’ll want to resist. Laundry facilities will be available where you are staying, and you will more than likely be buying some clothing items when you’re in the host country. You will also want to save room in your suitcase to bring back souvenirs you accumulate along the way.

Other Preparation Tips for Study Abroad Participants As a study abroad participant there are certain steps you should take to prepare for life in your host country—steps you can start before you arrive. In the days leading up to your flight, make sure you are well-rested, well-fed and fully hydrated, which you can accomplish by drinking plenty of water and by avoiding caffeine and alcohol. When you are on the plane, set your watch to the proper time in your host country, and try to get some sleep as you make your way to your destination. This small step will allow you to stay awake until a normal bedtime on your first night in the country, which in turn will help you to adjust to the new time zone more rapidly.


sabkon wells said...

hi. thanks for such nice tips. they are a must. DO keep sharing more updates.

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