8 Standard Study Abroad Must-Haves for International Students

The top 8 must-haves for exchange students

Studying abroad is an excellent opportunity for college students who want to explore the world and enhance their experience in higher education. While figuring out which destination would make the best place for you to study, you’ll also have to think about what you’ll need to succeed. Check out these must-haves for international students to have an incredible travel experience without missing a beat in your classes.

1. International Electric Plug Adapter

You’ve likely never had a problem finding a plug for your laptop, phone or other electronic devices. That will change once you land in another country for a semester. Electrical sockets vary in different nations, so there are 15 types of plugs you could possibly need as a study abroad student. Once you know where you’ll attend school, get an international adapter that will fit into that nation’s electrical sockets. You can bring your chargers from home and save some money.

2. A Bilingual Dictionary

Unless you choose to study in a country that primarily speaks your native language, as an international student you’ll need a bilingual dictionary to translate phrases and sentences. There are also translation apps you can use to communicate better in real-time. Think of these essentials as an investment in your future. If you become more fluent in your second language, you could graduate from college faster. People who speak a second language well can take additional language courses to complete their credit hours with less stress because they won’t have to study as hard.

3. A Sleep Mask is a must-have

Living in a new country also means being in a new time zone. You could need help falling asleep at your new bedtime if there’s a significant time difference. A form-fitting sleep mask and comfortable ear plugs will ensure you can easily change your sleep schedule. Whether you study abroad in Argentina to explore the Andes mountains or fly to Japan to learn and enjoy the culture, you’ll have plenty of energy to earn excellent grades and see the world.

passport visa travel

4. Photocopies of Important Documents

You’ll have to bring important documents with you while studying abroad. You’ll need your passport at the airport, another form of identification and potentially printed tickets. Also, photocopies of everything are must-haves to study abroad as an international student. A copy of your passport makes it much easier to verify your identity and order a replacement if needed. You could also need a photocopy of your prescriptions to refill your medications at an international pharmacy without delays.

5. A Handheld Luggage Scale counts as a must-have

Airlines put weight limits on each passenger’s luggage because planes must be below a specific weight to fly. You’ll have to ensure that each of your bags is under or at the limit set by the airline that will take you to your study abroad destination. It’s much easier to do that with handheld luggage scales that attach to a handle and calculate the luggage’s weight as you pick it up. Don’t forget to bring the scale with you. You’ll need it when flying home with your new clothes, school supplies and travel mementos.

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6. Dry Snacks From Home

International flights take many hours, even between layovers. You’ll need snacks to help you get through each segment of your trip. Dry snacks get through security most easily, so think about healthy alternatives that will fuel your body without causing sugar crashes. You can also bring a few of your favorite packaged snacks that might not be available in your study abroad destination. You’ll save yourself later when you’re craving something that tastes like home.

7. Comfortable Walking Shoes

College students are often physically active. You’re likely used to walking across campus to your classes every day, but you may have to walk even more while studying abroad. Many overseas cities have everything within walking distance. You won’t need to drive a half hour or more to see movies, visit tourist attractions or go shopping. Bring a comfortable pair of shoes is a study abroad must-have to prevent potential blisters, muscle aches and joint pain.

8. Portable Phone Charger is a must-have

Map apps are beneficial while figuring out how to navigate a new city. Having a phone charger in your backpack, pocket or purse is a must-have as an international student. Location features and heavy data usage will drain your phone’s battery quickly, especially if you listen to music with Bluetooth headphones. You only have to remember to charge the external battery at night to use your phone continuously all day.

Prepare These Study Abroad Must-Haves

Students who get to study abroad will experience new things that shape their identities and time in college. Although you’ll have a great time in another country, you’ll also need a few things to make your experience great. Consider packing these study abroad must-haves as an international student. You’ll leave home with everything you need to study hard, have fun and get the most from your trip.

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Asia Exchange is a Finnish company providing study abroad opportunities in Asia Pacific for students from all around the world. Want to get travel tips and new blog posts straight to your inbox? Subscribe to our monthly newsletter! If you have any questions about studying abroad, feel free to contact usWe’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

The blog post was written by Carolina Jacobs, Managing Editor at Classrooms!