Hello! My name is Stella and I have been studying abroad in Paris for the last two months. I am so sad to leave and have had the best experience I could have imagined. As I am starting to pack to head home I wanted to do a review of all of the things I packed and make a list of what was helpful and what wasn’t. I did a lot of research before packing for the summer and thankfully most of it worked out perfectly.
I had never packed for a trip this long before and so I did a lot of planning and organizing beforehand. I was also moving out of my college apartment while packing (I don’t recommend) and this lead to me adding a bunch of random stuff I found and just throwing it in my bag. Below I have listed my top 5 items TO pack and my top 5 items NOT TO pack. I hope this helps those of you packing for your summer/semester abroad! It truly is an incredible time to find yourself and know that you will come back a more well-rounded person becasue of it!
Things to Pack!
- A rain jacket/umbrella! This is also a classic on our UA campus but, you truly never know what the weather will be like. I was in Paris for June & July and we had the full range of the weather spectrum.
- A GOOD pair of tennis shoes. I am a huge fan of a comfortable and stylish pair of tennis shoes and so is the rest of Europe! Wherever you are going to study you will probably be walking a lot more than you do at home — I highly recommend a goos solid pair. I got a pair of Veja’s right before my trip and have literally worn them every single day.
- Something that reminds you of home/a comfort item. This was a huge one for me — I am not one to get super homesick but 2 months is a long time away from home! Bring an item or two that reminds you of family and friends to keep you grounded.
- Outlet Adapters! This was a huge one for me as we all have a million devices to charge and keep organized. Make sure to get these before you leave the US as they will be very expensive to find/buy in whatever country you study in!
- Leave room in all suitcases! This one really isn’t a item to pack but a positive thing to leave out — you will want to buy so much stuff when ypu go abroad and will want to have room in your suitcase for it! I left space in both my checked bag and carryon before coming and it has already saved me tons of stress as I pack to return home.
Things NOT to pack!
- 5/6 Pairs of shoes. This is a huge one! I packed 5 pairs of shoes to come abroad. Which I have worn 2 of while being here. Having comfortable/walkable shoes is so important and you will not really need the extra pair of heels or random pair of sandals as much as you think.
- Toiletries! They are not worth the extra weight in your bag! Bring your favorites/essentials of course but buy most of the big stuff when you get there. I have found new brands that I love and its much easier to know that I don’t have to take it all home either.
- A bunch of purses/accessories. This one is for my girls. Keep it simple! Bring one purse you love and a littl bit of jewlery but I promise the only bag you will be using the whole time is a tote bag.
Now this list is not all encompassing but I thought it would be a good place to start! Happy packing!