Preparing to travel can evoke many different emotions – anxiousness, nervousness, excitement, joy. Some of us are avid travelers, knowing the in’s and out’s of navigating international airports, knowing how to effectively sleep on an airplane (Come on, I cannot get comfortable to save my life. Kudos to those who can). But for some of us, studying abroad is our first real traveling experience.
When the date approaches that you finally get to embark on your journey, it is good to be prepared for whatever may come your way. I have faith that your experience will be ever so fulfilling, however, from personal experience, I have needed to pack certain items and mentally prepare.
- Packing the essentials in your carry on – Baby shampoos, conditioners, band aids, overnight/morning medications, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, etc. There have been instances where students lose their luggage and have needed to live out of what they packed in their carry-on. They made it work however it was not ideal.
- Making copies of your passport, ID, license, visas, and insurance cards. This is VERY important seeing how if you loose one of these – worst case scenario – you’ll be spending a little extra, and unwanted time, in that country.
- SNACKS – Whether that be an apple or a granola bar, it can make a huge difference on how you are feeling that day. Both food and water are important in traveling, especially staying hydrated for all the adventuring you will be doing!
- Comfortable walking shoes and backpack – You will be embarking on a Spring Break trip, hopefully to Russia, where 14 mile hikes through the city are NORMAL. Make sure you pack light and take a backpack that is capable of being lugged through airports, bus/train stations, etc.
- You’re not here to look fabulous all the time – Yes, I said it. Everyone is going to be in the same boat you are, rewearing clothing and shoes and livin’ it up with dry shampoo. It was humbling for me to realize that I am capable of surviving without my assortment of clothing back home and variety of show options. I encourage you to focus on what is in front of you, whether that be the lake outside of Neumann Hall or the Hermitage in Moscow.
- Expecting new experiences – I encourage you to go into the trip, wherever it may be, not expecting it to be ultimately the best experience of your life, but rather one in which will bring about new experiences, new people, new scenery, and new memories.
The pictures down below are some of the study abroad students’ luggage and carry-on’s! The majority of us brought a large suitcase, small carry-on suitcase, and a backpack as our personal item.
-Cameron, Messiah College