Study Abroad Essentials: 10 Things to Pack Before Studying Abroad

August 18, 2021
Packed luggage

Packing for study abroad can be one of the most time-consuming and tricky things you will do before arriving at JCU. With limits on how much your suitcase can weigh, and not knowing exactly what you will be doing while abroad there are going to be a lot of things you want to throw in your suitcase just in case. If you are going to throw anything in your suitcase it should be these 10 items!

1. Extra Power Converter

If you are coming to JCU from a non-EU country, you will need a power converter. I packed one but had multiple devices like my phone, watch, computer, camera, and headphones that all needed to be charged throughout the day. If you are like me, bringing only one will make it hard to ensure that all your devices are charged and ready to use when you need them. I recommend packing 2 converters or buying one converter with multiple outlets.

2. Rain Jacket or Umbrella

When planning to go abroad, especially to a place as beautiful as Rome, it is easy to forget that it does occasionally rain. A rain jacket or umbrella is one of those items you may not always use while abroad but will make you happy when you need it and have one with you instead of getting caught in the rain without it.

3. A Variety of Bags

One of the best things about studying in Rome is the proximity to other cities, making it easy to go on day trips or go away for the weekend. For day trips, you may want to consider bringing a backpack or a duffel bag, so you do not have to carry a giant suitcase around for a weekend. You may also want to bring a smaller bag for walking around the city. If you have space, I also recommend bringing a tote bag because most of the grocery stores here will charge you for plastic bags, so if you bring your own, you will not have to pay for bags every time you go to the store. I brought a duffle bag, a tote bag, a small purse, and a fanny pack for 8 weeks abroad! 

4. Comfortable Shoes

This one seems like a given but I promise you it is the most important of all. If the shoes make you uncomfortable at home, imagine how they will feel on the classic cobblestone street of Rome…probably not good. I recommend bringing a few pairs of shoes with you and try to make sure that they are all comfortable, you will be walking a lot!

5. Mini First-Aid Kit

This one may seem funny to pack and you may think “oh I will just be more careful”…I’ve got one word for you and that is: blisters. After walking and exploring Italy you may rub a blister or two, this is typical and where the mini first aid kit will come in handy, but you also never know what can happen, so it is always good to be prepared.

6. A Travel Credit Card

Before going abroad make sure that your bank not only knows where you are going and for how long, but some banks also offer travel-specific credit cards. These travel cards can keep you from getting charged currency conversion fees, which are normally only a couple of cents but can add up.

7. Hat

This is one I always forget to pack but wish I had when studying abroad. Hats are best for days when you are outside to help keep the sun out of your eyes and keep you from getting sunburned.

8. Portable Phone Charger

I can not stress this one enough! After walking around all day taking pictures and using your maps, your battery will start to drain quickly. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a place you are not very familiar with, with no phone battery.

9. School Supplies

They have school supplies in Italy but if there is something specific you like to use, like a type of pen or journal, you should just go ahead and pack it with you.

10. Reusable Water Bottle

Bringing a reusable water bottle is essential because everyone needs to drink water. What is great about having a reusable water bottle with you is that all around Rome and the JCU campus there are water fountains where you can fill your bottle and then not have to pay for water when you get thirsty.

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