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What should you pack when studying abroad

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We have a full range of articles giving advice on studying abroad at, covering at all kinds of questions about studying abroad, but here’s one you may not think about until the last minute. What should you pack when studying abroad? It pays to be prepared, so take some time to read the tips in this article.

First things first, only book your travel when you have accepted an offer of a place on your course and have your funding and visa (if required) secured. When these are taken care of, it pays to book your travel as far in advance as possible to reduce the costs of your tickets.

How are you travelling?

If you are embarking on a trip abroad for your studies, what you can take with you is going to be limited by the volume of luggage you can take with you. Maybe your travel will involve flying, train journeys, taxis or even travel by boat.

Plan ahead and make sure you know how you are going to reach your destination. If you are travelling by plane, airlines will usually only allow luggage meeting certain weight and dimension restrictions. Make sure you check with your airline before you pack!

If you find that you are severely limited by luggage restrictions, consider asking a friend or relative to make the trip with you and share your luggage load.

Most universities operate airport pick-up services on certain dates near the start of academic years, and these can be free for first year students. These types of services will pick you up at your destination airport and take you to the correct campus. Make sure to check the with the International support section of your university web-site which dates are available and what airport you should arrive at. Be sure to book these services well in advance in you can!

What to bring

Although certain items may vary based on location and provider, there are a few essential items that you must remember to pack. These are:

  • Your passport. Clearly you need proof of your ID if you are travelling to a new country. Depending on Immigration rules and your destination you may also need items such as your offer letter from your university, CAS (confirmation of acceptance for studies) number & any other evidence required as proof of your student visa and evidence of both your finances and your accommodation.
  • Photocopies of any of your personal information that may be required and passport images that may be required upon enrolling.
  • Medical insurance. If you have medical insurance and if it is a necessity, make sure your bring evidence of yours.
  • Electrical gadgets. If you rely on your mobile phone as your address book as well as your communications device, it makes sense to bring it with you. Research your phones compatibility with your destination. Likewise if you are relying on your favourite laptop, you may want to bring that with you.
  • Address book/contacts list. If you prefer the physicality of a paper list for your contact information, bring it. At least it wont require charging!
  • Money. Some local currency will make it easier on your arrival to pay for essential items such as food or taxis. Also consider how you will access you bank account when you are there and research what options are available to you.

Don’t get stressed

It is important to take your time and remember that you don’t need to take everything with you. Bulkier items can be sent after your initial travels. Travelling light may save your arms the stress of carrying your luggage at points in your travel. Many items that you will require can be bought when you arrive and things such as bed linen are often supplied by halls of residence.

Your university will also be well prepared to help you co-ordinate your travel plans and to help you with your personal documentation.

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