Image via Flickr creative commons from David McKelvey
As college and university students in the UK come to terms with the prospect of having to pay high tuition fees, many are wondering whether they should take the chance to get their degree or other equivalent qualification abroad – where they can, at the same time, gain some valuable experience of life in another country.
For those who take the plunge, the question of what to take with them is much more pertinent than for those who remain in their own country, as for their parents, sending extra supplies is not simply a matter of just putting a parcel in the post, and they might find that the shops near their place of study are much less well stocked than those they are used to at home.
But the subject of what home comforts to pack comes some way down the list of other essentials which will be needed for a trip abroad which could last for months at a time. For this article, the items are divided into two categories – essentials and those which are desirable to less important.
The first list should include:
– All your important documents, such as passport, visa, travel tickets, and address of where you will be staying
– Enough local currency to tide you over for the first few days until you can locate your nearest bank or cash machine
– Glasses and contact lenses, including spares
– Any prescription drugs you need for the length of your stay, along with a doctor’s note to verify your need for them to customs
– A rucksack – the lightest and easiest way of carrying essentials around at your destination
– Computer and charger
– Camera, again with charger, plus connecting leads
– Electric plug adapters
– Enough clothing to last at least your first week – but don’t overpack
– Sweatshirts or hoodies
– Thermal underwear
– Water-resistant coat
– Smart jacket and trousers or dress or skirt
– Mobile phone – this can double as an alarm clock
– small plastic bottles for toiletries while travelling and to get you started until you find local supplies
– wallet or purse
– MP3 player
– Travel guides for the area in which you’ll be based
– Playing cards
– Diary – not just to make note of important meetings etc, but to keep an account of your experiences
– A lightweight towel, and others if not provided by your accommodation – so check first
– The same goes for bed linen, but a sleeping bag is a good idea, as it could be useful for travelling
You’ll find packing easier if you take advantage of student shipping services, as you’ll often get a checklist which you can make use of.
This might seem an exhaustive list, but you should also try to leave some spare room in a case for trinkets and other items you’re bound to pick up as mementos of your experiences as you go.
You’re bound to also want to take several things to remind you of home – but don’t overdo these, as you don’t want them to make you homesick.
If you liaise with your travel company and the one responsible for shipping your luggage, you can take advantage of a great deal of experience of helping people in your position which should give you all the reassurance you need.