One of the biggest stressors I faced in the week before flying to New Zealand was what I should bring with me. I thought about what types of activities I saw myself doing while abroad, and also looked up the seasonal weather reports in Christchurch. IES Abroad recommended that I try to pack everything into one suitcase and a carry on. I almost succeeded, but ended up taking a suitcase, duffel bag, and a backpacking backpack full of clothes, camping gear, GoPro accessories, and other random items that got chosen to come along for the journey. Overall I was happy with most of the choices I made while packing, but there were definitely a few areas where I went wrong.
It’s hard to create a New Zealand packing list that would be universal, because depending on what you want to be doing during your time abroad, your list may change. For example, I knew I wanted to do a lot of backpacking, so I chose to pack less clothing in order to fit my tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and hammock into my luggage. If you are more into experiencing the nightlife in different cities, you may want to pack clothing and shoes for that instead. With this in mind, here is my at attempt at an ultimate packing list to survive a semester in New Zealand:
-Heavy rain jacket. This is a must! Christchurch got a lot of rain, and anytime you go hike into the mountains there is a possibility of a rainstorm.
-Waterproof hiking boots
-Chacos, or hiking sandals. The sandals I brought were not up to par, and I was wishing I owned Chacos. There are so many river crossings when backpacking, and Chacos are the perfect solution to not getting your hiking boots and socks soaked.
-Winter wetsuit. If you plan on doing any kayaking or surfing, I would recommend bringing a wetsuit if you already own one. I used mine to surf, and also leant it to my friends who were in the kayaking club. It was required for one of there trips, and renting a wetsuit in Christchurch is pricey.
-Only your favorite shoes. This is where I over packed. I would recommend bringing a pair of casual sandals, casual tennis shoes, running shoes, hiking boots, and hiking sandals. For girls: If you think you are going to be going out to at night, maybe bring one pair of heels. Shoes are bulky so don’t waste luggage space by bringing your whole shoe collection.
-For IES Abroad purposes, bring 1-2 semi-formal dresses or skirt and blouse combos. There are a few occasions where we go to nicer restaurants, and when you travel to Raratonga we attend a church service.
The rest of your luggage space it up to you. Remember to pack for cold and warm weather. Fashion isn’t a big to do at UC Canterbury. You can pretty much wear whatever you want to class. Students dressed up a bit more than I was used to, but no one is going to judge you if you show up to class in work out gear.
Good luck packing, and I hope this helped.
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<p>I'm Caroline, a native to Southern California, and a student at Texas Christian University. I'm studying Social Work and hope to eventually work in the field of child welfare, where I'll give children who haven't had the best start to their lives a chance to be successful. I love to play soccer, surf, go on backpacking trips, and eat delicious, healthy food. I'm hoping to meet new people, explore as many places in New Zealand as I can, and gain cultural awareness through my experience abroad. I'm ready for some new adventures and in New Zealand, those aren't hard to find.</p>