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Packing for a Semester Abroad

Let’s talk packing.

I’m not sure anyone really loves packing. And if you do, well feel free to come visit me the next time I’m preparing to pack ;)

After a semester abroad, and traveling somewhere every weekend, I got prettyyyyy good at packing if I do say so myself. However, it’s a totally different game when you’re packing for 3 months. I’m used to packing for a year at school and through everything in bins and packing as much as I can in 2 cars. However, going abroad is a totally different game, you have to fit everything in 2 suitcases and 2 carry ons. It sounded like an impossible task.

As an obsessive over packer, it was a hard quest to conquer.


- I highly suggest bringing shower shoes, and not just to wear in your dorm/ housing. You're going to want to bring them when you go on weekend trips when you stay in hostels/hotels! 

- Bringing pictures and tape to hang on your walls always makes you feel a little closer to home! Print some walgreens before you leave! 

- Flashcards are something that I could not find anywhere. I use flashcards to study a lot so I really thankful to have brought some. Remember, it is called studying abroad!

- Bring more comfy clothes than you think! During the week when I was just attending classes I wore a lot of leggings and t-shirts! 

- A camera will be your best friend! Take more pictures than you think you should and make sure to get some pictures of you in them! I invested in a nice camera before college and I have used it more than I ever thought I would!

- My white converse were one of my favorite shoes. They go with everything, skirts, dresses, and jeans and were such a staple!

- Small plastic bottles (you can get them at target/drug stores) are perfect for weekend travels to put shampoo and conditioner in!

- I highly suggest limiting the hair straighteners or curlers you bring. I plugged in my straightener my first day and even though I had the right converters it burnt out! From then on out I never even used my straightener on most days. However, if you decide it's essential I suggest buying a cheap straightener or curler there! 

- Rain coat. Bring a rain coat. I've had the same one for 4 years now and I love it

- Small hand sanitizer (like the ones you can get at bath and body works) are perfect to throw in purses!

- favorite shoes for touring

- I love my large navy Long Champ for weekend trips. It's light, packable, and can fit a rain coat and my camera! 

What were some of your favorite things you brought abroad? 





  1. This post came at a perfect time! I leave to study abroad in Barcelona in a week and a half and I'm dreading packing. This post gave me the motivation to start tomorrow!

  2. These tips are great, Shannon! I am a over-packer as well and I will definitely save this tips for when I study abroad in college!