• Moving to America – Packing Advice for International Students

    Hurray! You have been accepted into an American college!  You are ready to start a new chapter in your life and study abroad in the US.  Hopefully you have already taken care of your immunizations and have figured out your accommodations, but now you might wonder: what do I need to pack in my suitcase?

    Rule of thumb: pack as little as possible.

    All you really need is:

    • Basic/casual clothing such as t-shirts, pants/jeans, and a few nicer outfits for going out or formal occasions.
    • Laptop and electronics: make sure you back up all of your files onto an external hard drive (which you should leave at home), in case your laptop gets stolen or develops a fatal error while traveling. You could even consider using a service like Dropbox so you don’t need any extra hardware.
    • Passport, visa and other important documents
    • A couple of sentimental memories such as photos of your family and friends that you can put up in your new bedroom – to ease your homesickness 🙂
    • Most importantly: do not forget your sense of humor, curiosity and adventure!

    Do not pack:

    • Excessive amounts of clothing: Wait until you arrive in your new home and take a look what fellow students are wearing and adjust to their dress code to better fit in both culturally and socially.
    • Don’t pack any kind of food, either dried or fresh: There are several restrictions on bringing foods into the US and you getting stuck at customs is not worth the pain. Either way, you are going to America not only for a great education, you are also there to try new foods and experience different customs. You will have plenty of time to eat your home country’s food when you go back.
    • Do not bring bed sheets, towels, blankets and pillow cases: They only take up valuable space in your suitcase. Buying new ones locally is likely just as cheap as shipping yours over.
    • Don’t pack family-size shampoo and toiletries: Only bring what you’ll need in the first few days of your arrival. You can, and will have to buy more during your time here eventually
    • School supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and pens
    • Stuffed animals and other space wasters


    Packing your suitcase:

    Bear in mind that there is nothing essential that you could possibly “forget” to bring. You will accumulate a lot of new things, experience great adventures, and probably take several suitcases back home

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