Packing for College: International Students

Hi everyone! There’s some doubt when it comes to packing up for college, sometimes students ask me what to bring or what not to. Today I wanted to share with you some ideas of what to pack for college if you are an international student and you are wondering what kind of stuff will be necessary to bring with you to college. Let’s begin!

First things first, take into consideration that our university requires that all international students live on campus during their first year. So, it depends on what type of housing you choose whether it be traditional or suite-style rooms. Dorms are just blank cubes when you move in and usually you’re not gonna have more than a bed and mattress, a dresser and a desk. Also, keep in mind how many kilograms/pounds you are allowed to take with you since different airlines have different weight limit, I suggest doing research on that because it makes more sense to buy cheap items when you arrive.

My room when I just moved in vs. My room after one semester in a dorm room
  • So, first things to take, take all your important documents, these include:
    • passport with student visa
    • I-20, admission letter
    • flight information
    • academic documents such as diploma and transcripts
    • health insurance (if you have one)
    • medical records and prescriptions
    • contact lists just in case you forget;
  • Next, take important electronics (if applicable) such as:
    • phone
    • tablet
    • laptop
    • chargers
    • headphones
    • external hard drives
    • other important gadgets;
  • Next, buy a backpack if you don’t have one, don’t wait until you arrive because you will need it from day one!
  • The following is optional – take photographs, mementos, and items of personal significance.
  • Next up are clothes. Be practical when packing your clothes because based on my experience you are going to spend a lot of time in sweatpants and hoodies.
    • Pack one piece of formal clothing – a suit, because you will need it for various occasions like interviews, conferences, or banquets.
    • Also, take a bathrobe in case you will need to walk between the communal bathroom to your dorm room.
    • Remember that you can always buy any clothing that you forget such as socks and underwear. Therefore try to pack items that are pricier such as good brand boots or a good jacket for winter, take them if you think they are going to cost more in the US compared to your country’s prices.
  • Last but not least, the bathroom items. Take them in one quantity, what I mean by this is that you will eventually end up buying them in the US, so don’t take too much. Take a:
    • soap
    • shampoo
    • toothpaste
    • other necessary toiletries that you will need after your arrival.

Don’t stress too much about bringing a lot of stuff with you, as soon as you get there it will be way easier and you won’t even need some items because you might have them for free in your dorm or get them from your dorm mates.

Don’t worry, your almost empty dorm room will soon feel like home!

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