Packing to Study Abroad

Tips for Packing for Study Abroad

Here’s how to prepare for a month of living abroad.

In many ways, what's in your suitcase will look a lot like what everyone else at the Academy is bringing (see our Packing List suggestions here). But there are a few items you'll want to keep in mind when traveling to another country and spending a month abroad. Please also see our student handbooks for a full packing list for each location.

Important Documents

Be sure you have the following with you and easily accessible prior to traveling:

  • Your Passport: Must be valid for 6 months after the last day of student’s program.
  • Your Visa (Beijing Academy): Students participating in the Beijing Academy must have a visa, which will be pasted inside of their passport. Instructions for obtaining a visa will be sent to students upon acceptance into the program. If you have any questions, please contact CET: 1-800-225-4262.
  • Medical information: Any documentation regarding medical conditions, allergies, and/or medications, and any medications they may need during flight.

It’s also advised that you make two to three copies of each of the above pieces of information and keep them separated in your possession.

Spending Money

You may wish to bring up to $500 in spending money for personal purchases and miscellaneous expenses during your travel to and from the Academy. Credit cards, debit cards and pre-paid debit cards designed for teens are recommended instead of cash. If you do bring cash, we recommend that you bring some money already in the local currency.

Make sure to contact your card or bank prior to leaving the country. Frequently, for fraud protection, banks will freeze access for credit or ATM cards used abroad without prior notice, so be sure to notify them ahead of time that you will be traveling abroad. In case of an emergency, we encourage you to leave a record of bank account and card numbers with family in the United States. It is also wise to keep a spare credit card stored in a safe place while abroad.

Electricity Adaptors

Electricity sockets' voltage and plug types in Spain, France, and China are different from those in the US. As such, if you are studying abroad in one of these countries and wish to bring electric devices, you should pack a plug adapter. We don’t recommend students bring voltage transformers. Many high-end electronics such as phones, computers, and cameras.are dual voltage already, and voltage transformers often do not work well with certain appliances such as hairdryers and curling irons. Students are advised to bring dual voltage or universal voltage appliances (or purchase them on-site).

Costa Rica uses 120-volts and Type A and Type B plugs, the same standard as in the US, so students traveling to Costa Rica will be able to use their electronics as they are. 

Photo courtesy of Craig Sunter on Flickr.