Take it or leave it…packing for a study abroad experience is never easy. Our biggest tip? Pack light!
What’s the most important thing to think about when it comes to stuffing your suitcase? Be sure to pack light! There will be times when you must handle your own luggage. Make sure that your baggage is not too heavy for you to carry upstairs. Many residence hall rooms are on the second floor of the building, so wheels on luggage do not make things easier. Remember, New Jersey is resplendent with malls and shopping centers. There will be plenty of opportunities to shop once you arrive! Best of all, most international students are pleased to find that things they need to buy here are less expensive than they expected.
WHAT TO PACK
New Jersey experiences different weather patterns throughout the year. These include hot summers, crisp fall months, snowy winters, and rainy springtimes. This means that your clothes need to change along with the seasons. Summer can be very warm (between 20 and 34 degrees Celsius). Fall can be both warm and cool (between 20 and 4 degrees Celsius). Winter can be very cold (between –4 and 6 degrees Celsius). Bring a heavy coat or jacket along with gloves, socks, and boots for the colder weather. February is usually the coldest month. You can also expect rainy days, especially in April and May.
As an international student, you will probably want to explore your surroundings and do a little traveling. Therefore, it’s a good idea to bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes.
If you have anything that might be considered traditional clothing, think about bringing it with you! Some colleges and communities have special events that are made more interesting and enjoyable when international students wear traditional dress. This is a special opportunity for students from abroad to share their home culture. You may also want to pack formal or semi-formal attire in case your school holds a special event during the semester.
Bring a dictionary that translates your language into English, and English into your language. Although you may purchase these books here in the United States, this is something you may want to refer to immediately upon your arrival. Try to find a small one that is easy to carry around with you.
Jewelry and Other Valuables
Do not bring expensive jewelry and other valuable items that you do not NEED with you. American college campuses are generally safe, and most students are kind and trustworthy. However, it only takes one dishonest person to take something that you may be unable to replace.
SENDING PERSONAL BELONGINGS VIA AIR OR SHIP
If you plan on bringing a lot of possessions, you may want to ship a package to your college in advance. Send your package so that it does not arrive more than four weeks before you do. Make sure that you pack these items to be shipped in a strong box. Then, place a slip of paper with your name and home address inside the box, in case it is damaged in transit. You may be able to have your packages locked in the campus mailroom for safety for you to pick up when you arrive. Check with your host institution before you make these arrangements.