Simple Packing Advice for the International Student
What to pack for college...

What to pack for college. It’s a daunting question that every freshman has to face, especially those attending school in a different country. Most school’s offer a list of recommended items to pack, but they’re often excessive and leave students with a lot of junk they never use. So here’s a few helpful tips on what to pack for your first year of school in a new country.


You may be thinking, well obviously I’m bringing clothes. And you’d be right. But ask yourself these questions:

· How far is home?
· Will there be opportunities to visit home?
· What’s your destination’s climate like?
· Are there cultural restrictions on clothing?

Answering these questions will definitely influence the quantity and variety of clothes you pack.

If you’re planning on flying back home after the first semester, then pack the appropriate clothes for August through December. Depending on where you’re going, this could be as simple as packing your summer clothes and a couple light jackets (I’m looking at you California).

Of course, if you’re staying at school the whole year, you’ll want to go about this differently, especially if you’re destination experiences the extreme ups and downs of the seasons. From flip flops to snow boots, you’ll want to be ready for everything. And if this is too much to shove into your suitcases, pack light for the flight and send everything else via NowShip’s international moving service.

The last thing to consider is what kind of clothing may or may not be appropriate where you’re going. Some countries may be more conservative than what you’re used to, so maybe leave the short-shorts and graphic tees at home.


Comforters, pillows, and other linens can take up a lot of space in your luggage. That’s why it’s probably best to wait until you arrive at your destination and just buy your bedding there.

But say there aren’t any stores nearby school where you can buy bedding. Or maybe you can’t sleep without the unrivaled softness of your sheets back home. No problem. You can pack those sheets along with all of your clothes and send them off to school through NowShip.


Of course you’ll want to immerse yourself in the new and exciting culture around you, but that doesn’t mean you need to completely conform to it. You’ll want a sanctuary. Deck out your dorm room or apartment to fit your style or remind you of home.

Even if you’re an experienced traveler, every college student gets homesick eventually. Bring something that reminds you of your family or represents your homeland. Whether it’s a family photo, a distinctive piece of clothing, or an ornate tapestry, you’ll be happy to have it when the culture shock sets in.


Everything else you need to pack is common sense. We all know we need our laptops, textbooks, and general school supplies—these are fairly universal and shouldn’t vary much by country. The important thing is to think about where you’re going to school and ask how that’s going to affect A) What you need to pack, and B) How you’re going to pack it.

Author: Tanner Hackney

Author Bio: Mr. Hackney is a Junior Journalism and Marketing student at American University. His travels have taken him to England, France, Germany, Canada, Spain, and the Netherlands.