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Packing Advice

Packing for your program: 
  • Pack lightly! You will have to carry your luggage at many points along your journey, so it is important to make sure you can handle everything by yourself.
  • Know the airline's luggage allowance. How many bags are you allowed to bring? How much is each bag allowed to weigh? Is there a charge if my bag is overweight or if I have an extra bag? 
    • "Capsule wardrobes" are wardrobes where you can pack two weeks' worth of clothes and mix and match it enough that you can create a number of outfits.
  • Do you have luggage that will work, or is it time to go shopping? If you need to go shopping for luggage, consider the different styles of luggage (roller board, duffel, backpack) as well as what luggage needs you will have while abroad (bag for a day trip, long weekend trip, backpack for school work, etc.). Cobblestone streets do a number on roller board bags! Make sure all luggage you bring is strong and sturdy. 
  • When deciding what clothes to bring keep in mind:
    • Weather - What is the climate of your destination? Doesn't it rain a lot in Ireland? What temperatures could you expect to have throughout your time abroad? Doing some research on the weather will help you decide what type of clothes and shoes you need. Of course you can always plan to buy clothing when you arrive as well. 
    • Clothing - What is a style in your program location? What is culturally appropriate clothing? 
      • It is also important to recognize that you may appear offensive to the host culture in some ways or make yourself look like a target.
      • Be mindful of what you are wearing and where you are wearing it to. If you are visiting a religious site, you may be required to dress respectfully to enter the site. For example, if you are visiting the Vatican, you would need to dress modestly and should review any clothing requirements for entry. 
    • Laundry - What is the laundry situation where you will be living? Will you have access to laundry whenever you want? Do you have a weekly laundry service? Knowing this will help determine how much clothes you should bring or plan to buy after arriving. 
  • Remember to pack a full supply of any prescription medication you may have in the original bottle for TSA. Pack medications in your carry-on
  • You can use vacuum seal bags – but be aware that they might clear space, but still weigh the same. And if you don't have access to a vacuum for your return then you don't have the same amount of space. 
  • You can also donate clothes when you're abroad or go shopping if you didn't pack enough. Do a little research to know what is available while abroad.
Carry on's: 
  • 3-1-1 is the general airline guidelines for Carry-on Luggage. That means that you are allowed 3-ounce bottles of liquids that fit into a 1 quart-sized bag, 1 bag per person. 
  • When packing your personal item, make sure to have your passport easily accessible, your visa papers/letter of acceptance to the program, contact and general information for your program and directors.
  • Keep a charger and adapter in your carry on so that you have a fully-charged electronics upon arrival. Many planes have outlets for your use. 
  • Tag all bags you are taking with your name/program address - tag even your carry-on and personal item