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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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!

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!