How to Pack for a Semester Abroad


I’ve never been so overwhelmed packing for a trip as I did last week when I began to pack for my semester abroad. How am I supposed to pack for four months in one checked bag under 50 lbs and one carry-on bag?

Well, I managed to do it and so can you!

The trick is to bring the must-haves with you, and then pack a box or two that your family can send to you if you need more space. That’s what I did and it worked out really well.

First things first, the travel essentials:

  • Passport & Visa
  • Printed out copies of flight itineraries (including the return flight)
  • Copies of your passport
  • Printed out copies of your official letter from University
  • Directions to find transportation after landing in your destination



Beginning with tops, it’s important to pack for the weather. Will your country be warm? Cold? Rainy? Make sure you research ahead of time so you know what to pack. Studying in Germany, I’m going to experience weather very similar to the midwest, if not a little bit more rainy.

This is what I’ve deemed as the essentials.

  • Tops:
    4-5 Short Sleeve
    2-3 3/4 Sleeve
    7-9 Long Sleeve
  • Bottoms:
    4-5 “Teacher pants” (This is specifically for people completing Student Teaching abroad)
    3-4 Pairs of Jeans
    2-3 Pairs of Shorts
  • Dresses
    4-5 Dresses
    2-3 Skirts
  • Outerwear
    3-4 Cardigans
    2 Fall Jackets (Jean & Raincoat for me!)
  • Pajamas
    1 Pair pajama shorts
    2 Pair leggings
    2 T-shirts
    1 Long-sleeve T-shirt
  • Shoes
    1 Pair Sandals
    2-3 Flats/Loafers
    1 Pair Rainboots
    1 Pair Sneakers
  • Undergarments
    Anything you think you’ll need!
    & Don’t forget socks
  • Toiletries
    Essential face wash
    Toothbrush & toothpaste
    Essential makeup

Travel Tip: I managed to bring more clothes because I waited to buy things like shampoo and razors until I got here! They are heavy and non-essential, so just wait. I even waited and picked up a towel and two wash cloths until I got here and it worked out great.


I don’t know about you, but I’m a shopper, so I know I’ll pick a few things up while I’m traveling this fall. I’m more worried about getting everything home!


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