Must-Haves While Studying Abroad

Jules Katz headshot
Jules Katz
December 29, 2023

Favorite specialty products - Since I have curly hair, I need to use specific hair products that I learned can only be bought in America. Because none of the shampoo, conditioner, or leave-in products were intended for my hair while I was in Italy, I had my parents bring it when they visited. So everything that is a small, non-international brand should be brought with you!

Universal adapter - Make sure you get a universal adapter that is not region-specific. I made the error of taking two plugs for Italy, one for the rest of Europe, and none for the UK. So choose the easiest and most efficient adaptor.

Fuzzy socks & accessories - On particularly chilly days, I found that fluffy socks were all I desired. A little additional comfort in the rain can make a bad day better. Plus any other fuzzy accessories like hats and gloves are much needed in the raw winter weather!

Universal purse/bag - Bring or buy a purse/small bag to carry with you everywhere! I carried my wallet, water bottle, and other essentials throughout the city in a black Baggu bag. This bag should be beneficial in as many situations as possible, whether you're going to the bar, the grocery store, or on a holiday.

Need to Layer - REMEMBER TO BRING LAYERABLE CLOTHES! Bring plenty of garments to layer and cover yourself in the cold rather than solely standout pieces. Long sleeve + short sleeve + sweatshirt + coat + scarf is my fave combination! All of that layering ensures warmth. Remember to pack clothing that you enjoy wearing and that you want to wear all the time. Packing only your favorite pieces will ensure that you wear all of the clothes. 

Shoes (boots) - I wished I had brought boots to wear in the cold during the end of my fall semester. When traveling abroad, I would definitely bring Uggs or a leather boot! Remember to only bring 2-4 pairs of shoes since you only need the necessities. 

Puffer Jacket - Remember to bring a heavy jacket! Although the summer was lengthy, the temperature rapidly turned chilly, requiring the use of a puffer jacket. Avoid the error of packing solely for one sort of weather since the seasons will change while you're there. So bring a heavy jacket and sandals!

Medications - Remember to carry any prescriptions you normally use with you when traveling abroad. I brought not just my medicines, but also over-the-counter meds such as Advil, Tylenol, Benadryl, and cold medicine. Because healthcare in Europe differs, it is better to be prepared!

Decor - Bring a poster, stuffed animal, blanket, or other comfort object with you to make your accommodation feel more like home. Having a familiar object could help with easing homesickness when getting used to a new country. I decorated my room with posters, jewelry, postcards, and everything else I thought should be on display. 

Documents - DOCUMENTS, MOST IMPORTANTLY! Keep all of your important documents together and bring them with you wherever you travel!! (Passport, Visa, ID, Insurance documents, acceptance letter)

More Blogs From This Author

My friends and I taking a selfie in Dublin
Jules Katz,

Bittersweet Goodbye

My thoughts and feelings throughout my final days in Milan and my first few days back in the United States.

View All Blogs
Jules Katz headshot

Jules Katz

I am a Gender Studies student at Skidmore College :) I'm a graphic designer for Lunchbox, a lovely school magazine incorporating fashion, art, and writing. I also love to bullet journal, listen to music, take photos, create art, and dance!

2023 Fall
Home University:
Skidmore College
Gender Studies
Explore Blogs