“Your talent is a seed; cultivate it, and in no time, you will harvest successMatshona Dhliwayo, Zimbabwean philosopher

Everything happens so quickly. You have selected your university of choice, and your admission has been accepted. Similarly, you’ve received an acceptance to a fantastic study abroad program, and you’re eager to depart. 

Your visa is ready, and you have booked your plane ticket. You know where you will be living – accommodation is taken care of. 

But there is one more thing you must do, packing your bags! 

It sounds easy, like just picking a piece of cloth and throwing it in the suitcase. It’s an overwhelming task that seems quite daunting to many. You don’t have any idea of what to carry or what to leave behind.

Here, I will take you through some of the essentials you should pack for study before moving abroad to the USA. Read on!

Basic Clothes

Just because you’re moving into a new country doesn’t mean you won’t be wearing clothes – after all, you can’t travel naked!! Your study abroad packing list will always start with what you will be wearing on your way to the new endeavors – that’s your clothes.

It would help if you can study the culture of your host country. That way, you will know some of the clothes to carry to get accustomed to their culture. This helps you to avoid culture shock during your stay in the USA.

Before arriving in their new state, study abroad students should prepare by researching the state’s climate they’ll be studying in and packing the essential items they’ll need in that climate. That includes the weather condition of the region your university and accommodation quarter are located.

Warmer clothes will be better in the winter, while lighter clothing will be best in the summer.

Important Documents

There are some essential documents which you should carry whenever you’re traveling abroad. They include passports, official transcripts from universities or secondary schools, medical and dental records, etc.

Keeping all your passports and other travel documents in a water-resistant suitcase, ready to produce whenever needed, is always a good idea.

To minimize the possibility of facing problems at border control, you should always make paper photocopies of all your documents and digital copies while traveling. Additionally, you will need them to establish a bank account or get a student ID card during your first few weeks on campus. 

Some documents can also be stored online in digital copies that can be easily accessed whenever you want.


Local Currency

You’re moving to a new country, and your old currency won’t work anywhere. It would be best to exchange your old money at the bureaus located at the airport or a nearby local bank.

You should access foreign funds with an American credit or debit card nowadays, but you still ought to bring some foreign currency if you feel the need.

For instance, you may need to take a cab if no one is coming to pick you up. And that’s where the new currency comes in to pay for the mode of transport to your accommodation area. 

Alternatively, you may want to eat at a fast-food joint, and you’ve yet to acquire your U.S. credit or debit card, and that’s where the local currency of your host country comes in.

Prescription Medicine

Do you take some prescription medicine regularly? It would be best to bring sufficient quantities to use before you can learn where medical stores are located or how to get the same prescription in the USA.

Ensure you pack prescription medicines that are classified legal in your destination country. You can ask your doctor or even Google about it. To avoid unwanted conflicts at the airport, be sure to check the official website of your airline for a list of banned and restricted drugs.

Personal Hygiene and Toiletries Products 

Some of the everyday things you should pack are towels, hairdryers, tissues, toothpaste and toothbrush, lotion/cream, face wash/shampoo/soap, deodorant/perfume, and contact lens if needed.

As long as you have enough luggage space, you can include travel-size toiletries without having to overpack. 

It would be best if you packed in small quantities for immediate use when you reach your destination. Once they run out, you can always visit a supermarket to buy more of them.

Power Adaptors

You will find sockets in the USA are different from those in your home country. You can do research online and buy a power adaptor to use during the first day(s).

You will likely need a converter or perhaps an adapter on your journey to charge your phone, computer, or e-reader.

The USA usually operates on a 120V supply voltage. You might need a unique adaptor or power plug. But these are items that you can purchase at a local supermarket or electronic store.

You will need to know what adapters each device requires consistent with the country’s plugs and voltages you will be traveling to.

Ready to go?

By now, we bet you have decided what to pack for your study abroad in the USA. One thing to keep in mind is that you shouldn’t be in a hurry to pack everything. 

There are some items you may not need in your living abroad. Your bags or suitcases are subjected to weight restrictions, and they must fit in the overhead compartment. You can still purchase some of the items you couldn’t pack in your destination country. 

You’re now ready for the adventure of a lifetime – studying abroad in the USA!

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