What to Pack When Studying Abroad in Europe

Authored By:

College Study Abroad

If you’re beginning to pack for study abroad in Europe, then you’ll want to take a deep dive into our list of the top 10 must-pack items. Forgetting any one of these could seriously derail your plans or, at the very least, disrupt a day you could otherwise spend exploring your new stomping ground. 

Read on to learn what to pack when studying abroad in Europe. 

Essential Documents for Study Abroad in Europe

These are the items you must pack to even enter Europe in the first place. Consider these to be your carry-on essentials. Keep them safe. And you can learn even more about these required documents. 

Document #1: Passport 

You do have your passport in hand, right?   

If not, and you’ve never had a passport before, then you’ll need to apply in person. Bring with you a completed U.S. Department of State’s Form DS-11, proof of your U.S. citizenship (such as your birth certificate) plus a photocopy of this proof, a current ID (such as your driver’s license) plus a photocopy of the ID, and a passport photo. Find a passport acceptance facility near you today. 

If you’ve lost your passport, you will still need to submit a Form DS-11 in person as well. Do this sooner than later – you do not want someone stealing your identity! Learn more about replacing a lost or stolen passport. 

Document #2: Student Visa 

Every country has its own visa requirements for students, but generally, if you will be studying abroad for more than 90 days, you will likely need to apply for a student visa. We can help you through this process. Just know if your host country requires a visa, then you’ll want to have it accessible always. 

Document #3: Proof of CIEE Enrollment 

Your CIEE acceptance letter will serve as proof that you’ve been accepted to study abroad in Europe through a recognized NGO. 

paris study abroad eiffel tower

Document #4: Proof of Insurance 

Look, life happens. Luggage gets lost. Backpacks stolen. You catch the flu. Insurance means peace of mind. We include insurance as part of our program fee and tailor it to your destination and duration. And remember, if you require support for any reason, we’ve got your back 24/7. 

Document #5: Financial Documents 

In addition to proof of enrollment, countries typically like to see that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition and living expenses while living in their country. This could include bank statements, scholarship letters, or other financial documents. 

Essential Items for Study Abroad in Europe

With the right paperwork in hand, these are your other necessities for studying abroad. 

Item #1: Medications 

Obviously, if you have prescription medications, you cannot forget those. Just make sure you have the right amount.  

You may also want to pack your favorite over-the-counter medications, too – especially if you’re traveling to a non-English speaking country. There will always be someone who can help you find a quality NSAID for headaches or throat lozenges for sore throats. But sometimes it’s easier if you have your usual go-to pain reliever in your toiletries bag. 

Item #2: Digital Tools 

Cell phones and laptops are not nice-to-haves when you study abroad – they’re must-haves. We don’t need to tell you that. Don’t forget to pack them. And maybe load them up with a favorite book, movie, or podcast or two for the plane ride over the Atlantic. 

gardening abroad in rennes france

Item #3: International Adapter 

Your cell phone, laptop, and other digital devices are likely dual voltage, so you won’t need a voltage converter for these items. (Do double-check, though.) You will, however, likely need an adapter so you can plug your electronics into foreign outlets. That is essential. 

Item #4: Walking shoes 

No need to worry about taking 10,000 steps a day while abroad. You’ll get that and then some. After all, your European destination is part of your educational experience. You’ll be out and about a lot. Make sure your feet are well cared for. Pack comfortable (ideally waterproof) shoes. You can thank us later for this advice. 

Item #5: One nice outfit 

Pack as many as you like; just make sure you have at least one nicer outfit. You never know what opportunity may arise that calls for a little formality. Don’t let poor packing keep you from attending.  

madrid study abroad students visiting a windmill

Start packing! 

Now that you know what to pack for study abroad in Europe, do you know where in Europe you’re going? Figuring that out is the fun part. Get started today!