Packing to study abroad in another country can be very overwhelming. Whether you’re going for a few months or a whole year, there is a lot to think about. Even just going between home (NJ) and school (Nashville), I tend to pack almost everything I own every time I transition. Here are my tried and true tips for having everything you need for a semester abroad without overpacking.
One piece of advice that many people share is to pack less clothes than you think you should. I packed many clothes that I ended up not wearing during the semester. Part of this was because I packed for warm weather and it was colder than I expected. Make sure to look at the expected temperatures when packing! Another reason that this happened was because I, like many other students, bought clothes while I was there. You will also likely buy clothes, and if you anticipate this, you can pack less and save room for your way home.
Things You Might Forget
- Umbrella, Raincoat, and Rain Boots
On the topic of weather, it rained a bit more than I expected. Unless you are taking public transportation everywhere you go, you will likely be walking quite a bit and will want to be covered.
- Comfortable Walking Shoes
Since you will be doing a lot of walking, it is also really important to bring comfortable walking/running shoes in addition to any heels, sandals, or boots you might be packing.
- Foreign Currency (Cash)
A lot of people try to use the currency exchange in the airport right after landing, and bringing Euros with me saved me from the chaos of waiting in long lines and trying to exchange money immediately after arriving.
- Student ID
In many countries abroad, there are often student discounts for tours, museums, and other tourist attractions. Oftentimes, if you buy the student ticket, it has to be validated with an ID.
- Outlet Converter
The outlets in the United States are different from the ones in Spain, and the ones in Spain are different from the ones in England, and so on. If you do not have a converter, you will end up having to buy one in order to plug anything with a U.S. cable into the outlet.
Leave At Home
- Hairstyling tools!
Basically the U.S. and a number of other countries are on a different power strength than the rest of the world. If you plug your hairstyling tools into a plug in a country with a different voltage, like Spain or Italy, you can short out your electricity and cause damage. It is easy to find small and cheap hairstyling tools in Barcelona as an alternative.
Overall, packing for study abroad can often be one of the most difficult parts of the process! Just don’t forget some of these essential items if you’re packing for Barcelona, and you’ll be off to a great start!