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Ultimate Study Abroad Packing List

Studying abroad for 4-5 months can be tough, and packing can be even tougher. I definitely packed some of the wrong things when I went, so I don’t want anyone else to make those mistakes too.

First things first- suitcases.

When I went, I took 2 big suitcases and a carry on backpack. I would say definitely take 2 suitcases because I bought a ton of stuff in Europe to bring home. I definitely wouldn’t want to be limited in terms of buying clothes, souvenirs, etc. so keep that in mind!


Whether you’re studying abroad in Sweden or Morocco, you’re going to need clothes for every type of weather. Remember that you won’t always be in your city, so you need to be prepared for your main city AND anywhere you plan on traveling to!

Definitely needed this winter jacket in Madrid

Here’s a list of clothing ESSENTIALS you’ll need to bring!

  • Winter jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Winter hat
  • Scarf
  • Sweaters- multiple & some thick ones
  • Jean or leather jacket
  • Bathing Suit
  • Vest
  • Sun Glasses
  • Sneakers
  • Birkenstocks and/or some cute sandals
  • Rain boots
  • Adidas or Fila sneakers
  • Jeans and Khakis for guys
  • Minimal pairs of athletic wear (most people in european countries strictly wear them for working out, never for casual wear)
  • T shirts
  • Going out clothes- Your college going out clothes may not be appropriate depending on the venue. Many clubs in Europe require a dress code and Europeans who go to bars dress casually (jeans and a nice shirt)
  • Socks- ankle and crew socks
  • Underwear
  • Sweatshirt
  • Shirts- long and short sleeve
  • A few dresses, skirts, and rompers for girls, nice shorts for guys
  • *Shorts*- In Europe, people don’t wear short shorts, so don’t do it. It’s inappropriate and you’ll stick out like a sore thumb
  • 1 Pair of sweatpants/joggers
  • Gloves
Hat, Gloves, Winter Coat= Happy Shana

Other Necessary Items:

There are a ton of other things that you’re going to need, some are obvious and some aren’t.

Bath products

  • One bottle of shampoo and conditioner
  • Razors
  • Tylenol and other medication like DayQuil, Allegra, Benadryl (its all different over there)
  • Mini liquid traveling carrying kit (for weekend trips)
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tweezers, Nail clippers
  • Hair brush, mini brush, and other hair essentials like hair ties and hair spray
  • Feminine Products (they’re different over there)
  • Ear plugs & sleep mask
  • Make up
  • Sun screen- it’s very expensive
This will be a lifesaver- aka you won’t get yelled at by TSA

Items for weekend trips, electronics, etc

  • Mini backpack for weekend trips
  • Chargers of all kinds- phone, laptop, camera
  • CONVERTER!! No sense in bringing a charger if you don’t have a converter
  • Mini portable steamer- clothes get wrinkled quick
  • Luggage locks
  • Notebook for class- you can get more there but just have one
  • Pens
  • Journal for writing down your travels
  • Portable Charger
  • Multiple phone charging cords
  • Satchel and other purses (for women)
  • Headphones
  • Memory cards
  • GoPro, camera, etc
  • Photos or some memory from home
  • Mac & cheese or other easy food from home (sounds dumb, but you’ll miss it eventually)
This mini backpack was a LIFESAVER!

What not to bring:

  • Tide Pods
  • Multiple pairs of sweatpants- you’ll only be wearing them around the house/apartment
  • A ton of shoes
  • Things you can buy there: soap, shampoo + conditioner, sheets, towels
  • Clothes that won’t match a ton of other clothes
Bring clothes and shoes that you can mix and match

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