You always wanted to travel and continue your studies in the United States. That is no surprise. Thousands of students, from all around the world, migrate to the US in the hope of finishing their education in a top-notch American college or university. Finally, that day has come, you received your acceptance letter to the college of your choice. Congratulations, that is a huge accomplishment. You probably don’t even think about what to pack for your move to college overseas.
After the excitement has passed it is time to start planning your trip. Trust me when I say it is never to early to start planning this trip. You will experience many difficulties before you arrive at your new school. One of those difficulties will be packing. What to pack when there are so many things you need, and the air companies allow only one bag. Don’t worry, we are here to help. If you have everything that you need from the jump, you will adjust to college life in the United States much easier.
Check your airline baggage policy
You probably already bought your airline ticket. If you didn’t, do it immediately. Early booking can result in much cheaper airline tickets. On the contrary, when you purchase tickets close to your travel date, there is a big chance that the price will be much higher.
Make sure you get informed about the baggage policy. Usually, you will be allowed to bring one larger bag per person. For an additional bag, most likely you will be charged extra. Sometimes that extra bag is so expensive that it makes more sense to purchase some new stuff one you arrive at your destination. Also, make sure you know how much your bags weigh. There are additional fees if your luggage ends up being too heavy.
Do you have all the necessary documents?
When deciding what to pack, please make sure you first focus on the necessary documentation. There is a big possibility that you will need a student’s visa. Of course, all the details and rules vary from one country to another. So, make sure you do your research. Also, keep in mind that obtaining needed documentation takes a lot of time. Therefore, get started. Don’t wait to do this last minute, because you might put your trip in jeopardy. In addition to your visa, your passport must be valid with an expiration date in the future.
When thinking about what to pack, don’t forget about the sentimental stuff
I moved to the US twice. My first move was to Virginia. I moved there so I can finish my fourth year of high school. My second move was to New York, where I finished college. Therefore, I do consider myself an expert on homesickness. Don’t forget to pack some things that will help you get through the days when you are feeling down. For example, I packed a bunch of pictures. Since I have four younger brothers, it was the hardest to leave them behind. So, I packed many pictures and hung them on my dorm room wall.
What to pack depends on the region you are moving to
Unlike in many other countries, the climate in the United States is different from one region to another. The same goes for culture. It is not the same if your attending school in Iowa or in California. There are two things to keep in mind: local weather conditions and cultural differences.
Before you decide which pieces from your closet will accompany you on your trip, make sure you know what is the weather like at your final destination. Be smart when choosing pieces that you will pack. Make sure you bring clothing items that you can mix and match. That way you can bring a smaller number of items, but still, have plenty of different combinations. Also, during your first year of college, it is likely you will be coming home for the summer. Therefore, leave your summer clothes at home. Unless you are attending school in Florida or California. In that case, it will be summer for you all year long.
How do cultural differences influence what to pack?
Most students that move to the United States experience some type of cultural change. Some even go through a cultural shock. Give yourself time to adjust. So, depending on the state you are moving to decide what to pack. For example, when I lived in Virginia I noticed that people tend to be more conservative. My wardrobe was very basic and not flashy. Especially because I was attending a private school. Once I moved to New York I started wearing the regular stuff that I was used to wearing at home. New York was more liberal, and I felt freer to wear pieces that are my cup of tea.
What to pack from your electronics department
Of course, you will not forget your laptop, cell phone, and tablet. However, people often forget to pack chargers. In addition to the charges pack battery banks. They can be very handy. Especially during your trip. If you are to take a few layovers and a long overseas flight, it is always good to stay connected and have some additional entertainment.
Don’t go overboard with the toiletries
Toiletries tend to be heavy and they take up a lot of space. Go to your nearest store and by everything in travel size. Make sure you only buy stuff that you use daily. Once you get to school, you will stock up on your favorite stuff. This is much better than overloading your bag with toiletries. It is even worse if they break or burst in your bags.
We went through some basics that will help you pack for your college experience. Don’t let this process stress you out. What to pack shouldn’t be a question that haunts you. Focus on your documentation and remember, everything else can be replaced. Have a safe trip and enjoy yourself. During college, you will make beautiful memories that will last you a lifetime. That is what will you remember, instead of something you forgot to pack.