How to Pack for a Semester in Paris

Max Amar-Olkus
August 27, 2017

The whole summer I’ve been waiting for this moment.

“You must be so excited!” everyone has been saying for months. “But what are you most excited about?” they usually follow up with.

I’m most excited to be somewhere completely new. I’m most excited to experience new things and meet new people. I’m most excited to get a break after a long summer filled with lots of work and very little play. After bartending all summer, I’m excited to be on the other side for a change.

I spent my last few days in the United States seeing friends and family and packing my bags. I tried my best to pack light– I wanted to take only a small roller board suitcase and a travel backpack. My first attempt at packing was unsuccessful, though, and I had to take everything out and repack sans a handful of items. My final packing list included:

Black t-shirts: 5 (A staple in my wardrobe)

Other t-shirts: 6 (Another staple in my wardrobe)

Long Sleeve shirts: 4 (For those days that are too cold for short sleeves, but too warm for a sweater)

Sweaters: 1 (One may not seem like enough, but remember you can always buy more in Paris.)

Shorts: 3 (For when the temperatures are still high during the first month or so of the semester)

Pants: 3 (Lightweight pants, particularly dark colored ones, will help you fit right in in Paris)

Jeans: 3 (Slightly heavier than pants)

Long Johns: 3 (Layering is the key to staying warm during the late fall/winter)

Bathing Suit: 1 (Just incase I have a weekend to getaway to the beaches of the South of France. )

Boxer Shorts: 9 (Underwear is a necessity, don’t forget to pack it)

Socks: 9 (It’s always good to have an abundance of socks­– you don’t want to get trench foot while studying abroad, trust me.)

Peacoat: 1 (For staying warm through the Paris nights in style)

Raincoat: 1 (Paris is known for its spontaneous rainstorms)

Windbreaker: 1 (For those windy days spent walking along the Seine)

Down Jacket: 1 (One of those super light, packable ones to keep warm on cold fall nights)

Camera/lenses/charger: 1 (A must pack for any trip of mine)

Laptop: 1 (This is for school, after all!)

Laptop Charger: 1 (This one should be obvious)

Pocket French-English Dictionary: 1 (Gotta have a small one when you’re on the go!)

Book for leisure reading: 1 (For time spent relaxing at a café or on a train)

Headphones: 2 (if you’re like me, and you always lose a pair, bring an extra one!)


I’m going to miss my family, my dog, and my beautiful girlfriend, but we’ll be able to stay in contact via Skype and Facebook. Stay tuned for photos from my travels once I arrive in Paris


Au Revoir!


Max Amar-Olkus

<p style="margin-bottom: 12pt;">I am a Philadelphia native currently majoring in History (and possibly minoring in Film) at Connecticut College. I've always enjoyed writing and photography and this past year I joined the editorial staff at my college's student-run newspaper in an effort to broaden the audience for my work. I'm considering pursuing a career in journalism because of my love of storytelling and connecting with others to produce socially relevant content. I am an avid reader, artist, and cook, both of my parents worked in the restaurant business, and I love to get to know people over a home-cooked meal.</p>

2017 Fall
Home University:
Connecticut College
Philadelphia, PA
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