Top Ten Things Not to Forget When You’re Studying Abroad in St Andrews or Elsewhere 

Anna Whytock
Monday 5 April 2021

Top Ten Things Not to Forget When You’re Studying Abroad in St Andrews or Elsewhere 


If you have ever studied abroad before or are currently planning your future trip, you know it is very difficult to manage your packing load. It’s bad enough that airplane companies charge absurd prices for excess bags, but you also only have so many hands to carry your belongings. I remember packing for my trip in August 2019 beginning in June 2019 and continued to pack and repack my bag for the following 2 months. Hopefully this list will help you decide what to bring and what to leave at home. 


What to bring: 


  1. Quite obviously, you’ll need your travel documents. Make sure you have your domestic ID (such as driver’s license), you passport, your Visa(s), a copy of your Visa application (if it’s your first time entering the country), and it is worth keeping a paper photocopy of your passport in a different bag just incase one were to get lost. 
  2. International electronic adapters. Buy 2 or even 3 for all of your electronic chargers. 
  3. Something from home. Maybe it’s your favourite stuffed animal or a letter from a loved one, but make sure to have something that makes you smile in your new room. Pictures of your friends from school are always a good choice. 
  4. Enough clothes to last you 14 days at a time. Usually as a rule of thumb, you don’t need to bring your entire wardrobe. Just enough underwear, socks, and t-shirts to last you two weeks. 
  5. Comfortable clothes! Don’t come to university with only your best garb. You won’t need to be dressed up all the time so make sure you have your favorite sweatpants too! 
  6. A small amount of business clothes (depending on your lifestyle and needs) and one black tie outfit. You never know when there may be a ball or an interview at your time during study abroad so you’ll want to have an outfit or two on hand. 
  7. Foreign currency in your possession before you arrive. You may find yourself needing an emergency cab or snack so it is best to have international cash on hand in advance of your travels. 
  8. Warm clothing (for Scotland)! Definitely invest in one really nice winter jacket that will keep you warm all season long before you arrive. 
  9. Comfortable walking shoes are a must. You’re going to want to explore your new town so you’ll want your most comfortable shoes to do so 
  10. A plan for getting your SIM card changed in your cell phone as well as an international ATM plan. When you study abroad, it is most likely that you will have difficulty using your phone or credit cards from home. 


What not to bring: 

  1. Don’t bring sheets and pillows. It may be worth it to bring your favorite travel neck pillow, but otherwise there will be plenty of opportunities to purchase sheets in your new town. Don’t waste your valuable luggage space on chunky pillows. 
  2. Don’t fill your bag with heavy grocery items from home…. I promise there will be food in your new town! You can bring your favourite crisps for a special occasion in the future though. 
  3. Don’t bring all of your 100 t-shirts that you probably got for free at events… they will still be there when you come back home for them. 
  4. Don’t bring every pair of shoes you own. It is best to bring one pair for each occasion such as black tie, business, running shoes/trainers, or sandals for example. 
  5. As a rule of thumb, if you are going back and forth for a long time on whether to bring it, you should probably leave it at home. Worst case scenario you can buy another version of it in your new town. 

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