Study Abroad Packing List for the Career-Minded Student

Abby Baric
February 15, 2018

You want to study abroad. But is it worth it? Yes!

There are many study abroad career benefits, one of which is securing a great job out of college.

Make sure you’re ready to take full advantage of opportunities that come your way to advance your career by adding the following items to your suitcase before you go.


  • List of Personal & Professional GoalsMake a list of your goals, and prioritize them. This will help you decide what matters to you most, and how those goals can be supported through your study abroad experience.
  • Thank You Cards & a Good PenIt may seem old fashioned, but hand-written thank you cards go a long way. You never know who you may meet and want to thank while studying or interning abroad.
  • Small Souvenirs from HomeTo thank your host family, professors, or internship supervisor, bring some small souvenirs unique to your hometown or state, such as magnets, keychains, or candy to give as thank you gifts. It’s the little things that can mean a lot.
  • Your Résumé Print a few copies of your résumé just in case. Also, have a digital copy saved that you can access while abroad. You’ll thank us later.
  • Business CardsYou never know when you will have an opportunity to network! There are plenty of easy, inexpensive ways to make business cards online or on your own. Include things such as “B.A. Business Student, University of New York”, a link to your digital portfolio, and your LinkedIn profile.
  • Someway to Keep Track of ContactsRecord names, contact info, conversation notes, and interests of the friends, faculty members, host family members, and internship managers you meet. Whether it’s a physical notebook or a spreadsheet on your laptop - this will be your little black book and cheat sheet when you need to reach back out to them. Maybe one of them could be a job reference or write you a letter of recommendation?
  • Journal or BlogYou may not realize this while you’re there, but stories and experiences abroad will help you recall memories that can serve as relevant examples in job interviews, grad school essays, and job applications. Additionally, you’ll have a great portfolio of writing samples to share. Check out our IES Abroad Correspondent program to see how you can blog with us!
  • Professional ClothingWhether you’re planning on participating in an internship abroad or you are hoping to attend networking events in your host city, give some space for professional clothing in your suitcase. We know your bags may be pretty full already, so think of creative ways to mix-and-match these items into the rest of your wardrobe and consider carefully how many professional outfits you will need. Throw a small stain remover pen in your bag – it would be a bummer to ruin one of only a couple outfits you brought!

No matter your field or location, studying abroad or completing an internship abroad will increase your cultural understanding and help boost your career-readiness. Time to get packing!

So what are you waiting for? Choose a study abroad or internship program that will help you achieve your career goals!

Abby Baric

Director of Communications & Outreach

IES Abroad News

Read More

IES Abroad regularly publishes news stories, articles, student stories, and other helpful study abroad content. Stay up to date on the latest from IES Abroad by reading our recent posts.

View All IES Abroad News