American students tend to bring more luggage than they will actually need. A good rule of thumb for students travelling abroad is to pack “only the bare minimum” of what they think they will need and then to remove about half of what is there. Some study abroad advisers suggest that student pack their bags, then walk around the block with them to see how it feels to carry them (keeping in mind they will also want to purchase souvenirs, clothing, gifts, etc. while abroad). Also, remember that closet and storage space are significantly less than in the U.S., so think about ways to layer different articles of clothing in the packing process.
Students should pack what they cannot get along without (i.e. prescription medications, extra eyeglasses or contact lenses, sunscreen, textbooks, etc.) in their carry-on luggage. The type of clothing and incidental items that students need to pack will depend a great deal on their study abroad location. They may get good advice about this from returned students or can independently research the climate in the chosen destination.
As students begin to make the appropriate packing preparations for their time abroad, there are a few items that should definitely be left home since they can take up considerable luggage space. These include: any small appliance (flat irons, hair dryers as they typically do not work well with voltage converters), generic toiletries (i.e. large quantities of shampoo & conditioner), and linens.
The following link will help your student determine what kinds of voltage converters and adaptors are necessary for their study abroad location: www.voltageconverters.com/voltageguide.htm
Additional packing tip: Remember that students will, most likely, need to save some room in their suitcase for souvenirs purchased while abroad as shipping gifts back to the U.S. is very expensive. Additionally, many airlines now have weight limits for luggage, so be certail not to overpack at the outset. The charges for excess weight luggage are very high.
Women’s clothing abroad
In many parts of the world, the standards for proper dress in public (especially for women) are more conservative. Students can avoid a lot of undesirable attention by not bringing provocative clothing and dressing more modestly while abroad, taking cues from the way in which local female students dress.