Thursday, December 11, 2014

Top 5 Study Abroad Packing Tips

This time two years ago, I was getting ready to leave for a semester abroad at The University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. I could ramble for hours about how amazing my experience was there, but I will summarize it with one thought: If you get the opportunity to study abroad, DO IT! You will learn so much about not only the host country, but also about yourself. I grew so much as an individual living 10,000 miles from home.

study abroad australia melbourne

Packing was a huge struggle for me because I could only bring one suitcase under 50 pounds and one carry-on. 
My entire wardrobe, makeup, skincare, etc. was packed in these two suitcases...

packing light for study abroad

I learned a lot about what you should pack from this experience, so I have compiled a list of my top 5 tips about how to pack for study abroad...

Do your research.

Before you put anything in that suitcase, do your research. has a feature where they break down the average temperatures of a city by each month. Also, research if there are any social norms that you should be aware of in regards to how you dress. If you will be of drinking age and want to go out to bars or clubs, look up some of the popular places in that city and look through their pictures to determine what people usually wear. However, you still want to make sure you are true to your style.

Be honest with yourself.

If you never wear skirts, why would you wear them when you are abroad? If you haven't worn it in the past year, do not bring it. Save the limited space in your suitcase for pieces you will actually wear. Be brutally honest with yourself. I knew that I always reach for shorts in the summer, so I made sure to pack my favorite pair of jean shorts, and I never missed my cute skirts I left at home.

how to pack for study abroad

Comfort is key.

As a study abroad student in a new place, you will probably be doing a lot of walking. Pack comfortable walking shoes! (I opted for B.O.C. riding boots and Sperry's) I did not bring a single pair of heels and did not miss them at all. Also, you need some clothing that you feel comfortable just hanging out. Don’t just focus on the cute outfits you will wear on the weekend. Also pack functional clothing for everyday use.

fashion advice for study abroad
At the Rip Curl Pro, a surf competition for surfers from all over the world!

Prioritize Layering Pieces.

When I arrived in Melbourne, Australia, it was over 90 degrees, but when I left, it was around 40 degrees. So, I had to prepare for a lot of different weather conditions. I covered the bases by packing basic pieces that can be layered on top of each other. I brought one black and one brown cardigan that can be thrown on top of tanks and tees as well as dresses and skirts that can be paired with tights when the weather gets cold. 

Towards the end of my stay, when the weather was cooler, I LIVED in these boots, leggings, and jacket. (The B.O.C. boots were my go-to walking shoes!)

what to pack for study abroad

Plan for your return.

As a tourist, you will probably be buying souvenirs for yourself and your friends and family, which means you need space in your suitcase on your way home. It was easy for me to decide on a pile of clothing to donate before I returned home because I had worn my versatile items to the ground. This left me with more room in my suitcase for souvenirs!

Are you studying abroad soon? If so, where? Leave a comment below and make sure to follow me by email or on Bloglovin' to know when I post! 

xoxo Ava

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