You’re almost leaving for your exchange year, and you still haven’t started packing. What are you going to take with you and how is everything ever going to fit into your suitcase?
No worries, you’ll be fine! Here are 10 tips that will help you pack for your exchange.
1. Carry on luggage
Carry on luggage (usually) doesn’t have a weight limit, so it’s the perfect opportunity to fit some extra stuff. Just be careful not to put your liquids into your carry on luggage, but you can fit a loooooot of clothing in there.
2. Are you going to wear it?
If you never wear it in your home country, you’re not going to wear it in your host country. On the other hand, if you do wear it in your home country, you are going to wear it in your host country, so be sure to bring those items with you (so you don’t have to ask your mum to send it later on… 😉 )
3. Dress code
Depending on where you’re going, your school might have a dress code. My school did not allow us to wear shorts shorter than the knee, so I knew not to bring too many of those. Make sure to check if your school has a dress code before you start packing, this can save you a lot of room in your suitcase!
The dress code is usually listed on your school’s website, but you could always just contact your school or ask your host family!
4. Buy stuff there
You can buy a lot of stuff in your host country. Unless you have an introduction of any kind, you won’t have to pack shampoos, lotions, etc. If you do have some kind of introduction, just bring some travel sized products and that will be enough to get you through the introduction.
5. Think ahead
Are you going to be involved in any sports in your host country? Are you going to a cold area, or will you only be wearing shorts and tanks? Just keep things like that in mind while you’re packing and you might be able to leave some things out.
6. TSA locks
It’s always a good idea to lock your suitcase, but the airport staff might want to go through it. If you want to prevent them from breaking open your suitcase, you should buy a TSA lock, because a they will be able to open these!
Your host family decided to host because they are excited to learn something about your country, so it’s always a good idea to bring a little gift. A fun gift could be a book about your home country! Anything that represents your country will make them very happy.
8. Leave some empty space
No matter where you’re going, you are going to buy stuff once you get there. You will want to adjust to what people wear in your host country and by leaving some empty space in your suitcase, you will be able to fit in some of the stuff you buy.
9. Room decoration
After packing your clothes, you probably won’t have much room left in your suitcase, but it’s still a good idea to take something that will remind you of home. If you really don’t have any room left, you could just print some pictures to hang up in your room at your host family’s house.
10. Don’t stress
It’s okay if you can’t bring that one cute top, there’ll be plenty other cute tops to buy in your host country. You’re probably going to forget something in the stress of leaving for your exchange year, but that’s okay, you can buy almost anything once you get to your host country.
I know packing sounds impossible, but it’s really not all that hard and I’m sure you’ll be fine! Just have fun preparing for your exchange year, it will really be the time of your life!