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6 Tips on Packing for College

The big day is finally about to arrive. You are leaving home and heading off to college. You cannot take everything with you, because your new living space will be much smaller than your family home. The challenge is to pack everything you really need, and determine which items to leave behind. Here are some tips to consider when packing for college.

1. Gather Information
Before compiling a packing list, have a good understanding of the amount of space your dorm room provides. Check the size of the beds, so you know which sheets are required. Note the amount of closet space, and the size of the bathroom and kitchen area. Measure door widths and other narrow spaces to make sure your furniture is not too large to get into the room.

Read the policies of the college or university to learn whether any items are not allowed in the dorms. Most schools prohibit cooking, or using any device that could start a fire. Inquire whether the college provides moving services for incoming students.

Communicate with your roommate. Tell each other if you have any allergies. Coordinate on large items, because you probably don’t need two entertainment systems or a pair of couches in your room. This process becomes more complicated if more than two roommates are involved.

2. Clothing
The amount of clothing you pack depends partly on the size of your new closet and bedroom. You might be faced with some difficult decisions.

You are probably moving in the fall, so you won’t need most of your summer clothes for a while. You can get them when you go home for the holidays or during spring break. Remember that you can always buy clothes on or near near campus. You might find that you want to change your style. Save money by checking out second-hand clothing stores.

It has been recommended that you pack sufficient clothing to last a week. You probably don’t want to have to do laundry more often than that. Think in terms of having seven days’ worth of tops, bottoms, underwear, and socks.

You want school clothes, casual wear, and perhaps a formal outfit. Depending upon the activities you enjoy, pack a swimsuit, jogging gear, or other sports clothing. Don’t forget hats and footwear. Good shoes are important; you are going to be doing a lot of walking around campus, which is no fun on sore feet.

You likely will be doing your own laundry. For this chore, you will require powdered or liquid soap, a laundry basket, and maybe other stuff like bleach or dryer sheets. Roommates can share irons and ironing boards.

3. Bedroom and Bathroom Items
Pack pillows, including your favorite one, with extra pillowcases. You also might want two sets of sheets, a light blanket and a heavier cover, a mattress pad, and a mattress cover. Pack an alarm clock, a reading light, and perhaps a small television or DVD player for the bedroom. Don’t forget sleep clothes and slippers.

If you have inspected your dorm, you know the size of the bathroom. There may not be enough space there, and in your bedroom, for all the personal-care items you are accustomed to having. Take a hard look at what you really need for grooming and bathing. You can always buy things after the move. Your list may include a hair dryer, brush and comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair products, towels and washcloths, shaving materials, and toiletries.

4. Kitchen Items
When it comes to packing for the eating or cooking area of the dorm, coordination with roommates is vital. Otherwise, you could find yourselves with two microwaves and multiple refrigerators. Of course, you must first know what is provided in the room. There may already be a refrigerator.

Pack two forks, a large and small spoon, a butter knife and a cutting knife, two dinner plates and a pair of smaller plates, glasses and cups, water bottles, and bowls. If cooking is permitted and you use a microwave, take the appropriate cookware. You will need dish soap, dish towels, trash bags, a coffee pot and filters, pot holders, paper towels, food-storage containers, and plastic baggies.

5. Shared Space
Roommates need to discuss the sorts of furnishings and decorative items they want in their shared living space. Couches, chairs, coffee tables, and end tables are among the furniture options. Reach agreement on lighting and other issues. Consider a message board to hang on the wall.

This is your new home, so surround yourself with familiar items like photos and high school mementos. But make sure your roomy is OK with that picture or poster you want to put up on the living room wall.

6. Study Area
Whether it is in your bedroom or a in a corner of the shared living space, you need a quiet place to study. A comfortable chair that provides proper support, good lighting, and a large desk or table are recommended. You need space for your computer, books, and other school items.

As much as possible, you want your dorm room to feel like home. College life is stressful; your living area must be a comfortable place for you to relax. However, the limited space will force you to leave a lot things back home. Packing wisely, in conjunction with your roommates, can make the transition easier to handle.

4 Things to Check Before Traveling to Study Abroad

The thrill of studying abroad can be exciting but you’ve got to be careful when coming out to any part of the world. There are many things that you have to check before traveling somewhere far outside your home country.

What Travel Warnings Are There?

Travel warnings can vary by each country. You must be on alert with regards to any restrictions or other considerations that you must use while studying abroad.

What Health Rules Are There?

There are many rules about your health that must be followed in different countries that you can study in. Some places have water that is dangerous to consume while diseases may be more prevalent in certain parts of the world than in others.

You may also have to go through some vaccinations while at a place you are studying in. This is to protect you from certain illnesses that may not be common where you normally are. For instance, you will need a Hepatitis A shot when traveling into the Czech Republic or a typhoid vaccination if you are going to Hong Kong.

What Can You Bring?

Every country has its own rules on what you can and cannot bring into their borders. This is done with regards to preserving the natural habitat and lifeforms that are within a country.

Be sure to see what you are not allowed to bring into a country. For instance, you will more than likely not be allowed to bring any pets or other living items into Australia with you because that country has extremely straight rules on what it can and cannot take in.

What Resources Are There?

Look for resources in your area so you can at least be covered and protected where you are studying. Your school might have an office in the area that you can get in touch with. Try and see if there’s a national embassy in your area as well. Such an office can provide you with a contact back to your home country while keeping your papers under control.

Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into as you study abroad. Look to see what resources are in your area so you can be fully protected and cared for wherever you are.

Studying Abroad? Be prepared for these 5 challenges

Excited about migrating to another country in order to pursue your dreams regarding your education? Change always feels good. However, the transitory period is never easy. So while you pack your bags and fascinate about how it would be like in that foreign college, make sure you prepare yourself for a period of utter bewilderment as you try to adapt to the new surroundings.

Here are a few common challenges faced by most students who go abroad in order to pursue their college education. It will be a good idea to keep these in mind and develop your defenses against these issues before catching that flight into the unknown world.

Cultural Disparities

Every country has its own culture. So if you are headed off to a foreign university, be prepared to experience a wholly different set of values, customs and traditions that might be in total contradiction with your own. It is better to research about the cultural principles at your destination beforehand. This does not only inform you about what to expect during your stay there, it will also prevent you from making embarrassing blunders due to lack of knowledge.

The Freshman 15

Do you love food or try to experiment with it? A foreign land is the perfect opportunity to take your taste buds on a roller coaster ride.

Most foreign colleges offer buffet meals within its premises. If you are not accustomed to such an organization, this may prove to be quite intimidating for you. However, it has been observed that most people – regardless of their origin – tend to gain about fifteen pounds of weight in their first year at a foreign college. Blame the food or the freedom; unless you are going to be careful from the first day, you are more likely to end up in the same category as others experiencing “the Freshman 15 syndrome”.


Some people have good people skills, some do not. If you fall into the latter category, be prepared for the loneliest time of your life as you begin college!

In a country where you are already faced with numerous challenges while trying to adjust to the foreign climate, making new friends and socializing with others may contribute towards your problems – especially if you are an introvert. The best way to go about this problem is to practice talking to random people in your own country. This will make you a little less hesitant while interacting with people in a foreign land.

The Breathtaking Curricula

When you are done managing other factors, you are left with the core reason you are in a foreign college – academics. A foreign college automatically translates into a unique curriculum that you may never have imagined pursuing at any point in life.

New subjects, professors and projects multiply your stress by a considerable amount considering they all come in at the same time. There is no shortcut or an easy way out of this situation. You simply have to go with the flow and try to get the most out of it. This is where your mental preparation for pressure plays a role in delivering the desired results.


The first few days are always the trickiest. You may start to feel lonely, depressed, and homesick and a number of other emotions that emerge as a reflex to your stress. You may even question the sanity of your decision as you trudge along day and night in hope to find some support to get you through your gloomy days.
The best thing about it is it eventually does end. It may take a few days, weeks or months; but at some point you begin to feel at home. The only thing you can do is wait it out patiently and try to help yourself by making friends and socializing.
You will face problems only as long as you are in the learning phase. With time, it turns out to be better than expected!

How to Choose a Study Abroad Country

The excitement of studying abroad can be very thrilling. You will certainly enjoy traveling to another country as you will expand your horizons, explore new things and make lifelong connections with other people.

However, that does not mean that every country in the world is right for you. You must think about a few pointers when figuring out what country you would like to study abroad in.

Think About Your Budget

There are clearly going to be some limits as to where you can go. It’s certainly going to cost more to travel out to a more expensive place like Hong Kong or Singapore than it is to travel to the United Kingdom, for instance. Think about the costs associated with your study abroad plans and see if you can choose something that is easy for you to get into based on your budget.

What Are Your Interests?

Think about whatever you are interested in when choosing a place to study abroad in. What languages are you interested in studying, learning or speaking? Are there particularly cultural concepts in certain parts of the world that you are more interested in than others? Be sure to ask these and many other questions when thinking about what’s in the spot that you want to head out to. You might be surprised at what you can get into while studying abroad.

What Do You Want to Study?

There are many things that you can study all around the world. If you’re looking to study solar energy then maybe you can find a place in Africa where people are learning about this in order to help people. Meanwhile, if you are studying the arts then you can study abroad in a country that is rich in culture like France or Spain. Think carefully about what you want to study when choosing a place to head out to.

How Far Do You Want to Go?

Everyone has their own comfort zone that is based on what they are more interested in getting into. You must think carefully about what you want to do and if you are open to certain ideas relating to your mind, your faith and your attitudes towards health and living. Be advised that no matter where you go, the status quo in your life will certainly be tested.

The options for you to choose from when studying abroad are vast. Make sure you think twice when choosing a place that you want to study in. It’s all about having an experience that you are comfortable with while also expanding your horizons if possible.

Study Abroad

College can be a great experience for any student, but some people find it even more rewarding if they study abroad. Taking this step offers many advantages and can increase your ability to find a job. This is even more important in today’s global economy. This does not mean, however, that studying abroad is right for every student. You need to examine your own situation careful before deciding.

Making the Decision

No matter what your career choice is, you can find the right kind of training in a foreign country. You should also note that that studying abroad does not have to mean for the entire degree program. You have a variety of study options ranging from a few weeks to one year or more. Paying attention to the following tips will help you to make a decision about studying overseas:

Contact the schools you are interested in

This is an important first step in making the right decision. You need to learn all you can about these schools to see if they will offer what you need as a student. A few important points include financial aid for foreign students, the size of the campus and the length and types of courses offered. You also need to find out what kind of support is offered to foreign students.

Find out if the schools are accredited

Some employers do not accept degrees from schools outside the country without having the degree evaluated. Sometimes they feel that the degree just might not be good enough, but in most cases, they are concerned that the school might not have accreditation. Before you apply to any school abroad, you should check to make sure it is accredited. For this reason, you need to consider schools that are reputable and have a good international reputation.

The language spoken

If you speak the language of the country you are interested in going to, this will make the process of fitting in and learning easier. You will have no problems keeping up in class or moving around in the country. Of course some people study abroad to learn a new language and experience a different culture. If this is something that interests you, then you should consider studying abroad.

Do you like to travel?

Some people do not study or take jobs abroad simply because they do not enjoy traveling. If this is not a problem for you then you can consider going to school overseas. Just be sure to determine how often you will need to travel back and forth between your home country and the country where you are studying. You need to take into consideration the expense of airfare.

Can you handle living in a foreign country?

This is an important question for anyone who has never been away from home. Being in a different country for the first time can be difficult for anyone. When you add to that the pressure of being in college and trying to cope on your own, it becomes even more difficult. You must think seriously about whether being far from home is really for you.

No matter what anyone says, it is up to you to make this decision. You have to make sure that you are making the decision for the right reasons, and not because someone else wants you to. Many people who have studied abroad have said that it was the right move. You could open yourself up to new opportunities in life.

Top Study Abroad Programs

Studying abroad has become a norm for students hoping to travel the world, broaden their career goals, understand different cultures, develop their interpersonal skills, and gain newer skill sets for a successful career path ahead.

Globalize yourself by studying in a foreign setting. Expand your horizons and explore different cultures, world-views, and communities by immersing yourself in a study abroad program.

What Can Study Abroad Programs Offer?
The answer differs from program to program. Some study abroad programs are designed to directly immerse yourself in their foreign culture and language with various co-curricular activities; some employ hands on experience with activities that ease you into a culture shock; while others involve rigorous study of foreign history and visits to different communities and cultural monuments.

What Can You Gain From a Study Abroad Program?
By selecting the right program, one that fits your personality and which you believe will help you achieve your career goals, you can:

  • Broaden the scope of your career, its path, and goals.
  • Develop extensive interpersonal skills by interacting with people from diverse cultural backgrounds and belief systems
  • Forces you from your comfort zone. Studying abroad forces you to accept real life challenges of re-situating in a different country and environment, and as a result, significantly boosts your self-confidence.
  • Creates a sense of individuality —interacting with people from a different culture forces you see your culture and yourself in a different light.

Top Study Abroad Programs of the World
NOTE: Unless otherwise stated, the programs use English as their language of instruction

Program Name Located in Majors Offered Available Semesters(Fall, Summer, Spring, and Academic Year)
American College Dublin(Direct Enrollment & Exchange) Dublin , Ireland
  • History
  • Business management
  • Liberal Arts/Humanities
  • Acting
  • Dance
  • Hospitality management
  • English Literature
  • International Business
  • Finance/Accounting


Instruction language: French and English

Aix-en-Provence, France
  • Liberal Arts/Humanities
  • Communication Studies
  • Fine Arts
  • Social Science
  • Education
  • Business
  • Foreign Language
Fairfield University Florence, Itally
  • Liberal Arts/Humanities
Fall, Spring, and Academic.
Sol Education Abroad:  Latin University of Costa Rica


Instruction language: Spanish only

Heredia, Costa Rica
  • International Studies, Spanish
  • Communication Studies
  • Spanish
  • Liberal Arts/Humanities
  • Fine Arts
  • Psychology
  • Bilingual Education
  • Latin American Studies
  • Latin American Studies and Spanish
  • Business
ALL Plus,

  • Custom length semesters
  • January Terms
  • May-mester
  • Spring Break semesters


AMIDEAST Rabat, Morocco
  • International Development And Social Change
  • Political Science
  • International Affairs
  • International Politics
  • Anthropology/Sociology
  • Middle Eastern Studies
  • Religious Studies
  • African Studies
  • Foreign Language
Fall, Spring, and Academic
European Study Center, Heidelberg: EU Studies, European Business, and IR Heidelberg, Germany
  • International Relations
  • European Studies
  • International Business
AIRC Rome:Interdisciplinary Semesters


Instruction Language: Italian and English


Rome, Italy
  • Communication Studies
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Multimedia Journalism
  • Journalism
  • Liberal Arts/Humanities
  • Architecture
  • Film Studies
Fall, Summer, and  Spring
Semester at Sea: University of Virginia International Seas
  • Humanities and Global Affairs
Fall and Spring
Academic Programs International: University Autonoma of Barcelona Barcelona, Spain
  • Spanish
  • International Business & Marketing
  • International Business/Spanish
  • Economics and International Relations

Make the most of holidays at university

University is exhausting and most students want to do nothing more than sleep and party when they get the opportunity during the holidays. After frantically studying, finishing assignments and juggling with their extra-curricular activities throughout the year, the holidays are a welcome respite. However, this is also an excellent opportunity for students to extend themselves. Given below are a few suggestions that university students can consider to make the most of their holidays:

Think about your future

The holidays offer the perfect opportunity for students to think about their future and what they want to do in the long term. Think about whether you’re really enjoying your current course. If not, you can always learn more about what other opportunities are available. Think about graduate schemes or jobs that seem appealing. Consider traveling and studying abroad after graduation or as a part of your current course.


Once you start with your work life, you’ll rarely have the opportunity to simply sail off and explore a new destination at your own leisure. University life offers a lot of flexibility and time. For students, traveling offers a lot of value other than its social aspect. A well-traveled individual is well-rounded and worldlier. Traveling can teach students to be independent and provide them an understanding of different cultures. Employers too are more interested today in graduates that are well-traveled because it indicates that they are open to new experiences.


Holidays can make students complacent but to thrive in the competitive job market, students also need something special to stand apart from the competition. There are several paid and voluntary internship opportunities available in every industry today. For students, these opportunities can provide valuable work experience and can lead to a long term position with the organization in the future. Other than formal, advertised internships, students can also network and contact organizations directly to ask them about possible internships. Other than internships, students can also take up jobs during the holidays to save up some money and gain work experience.

Extra-curricular activities

University holidays offer students all the time they need to learn new skills. Broaden your horizons and try activities that stimulate and challenge you. Learn a new language, a new sport or even start a small scale business with friends. Extra-curricular activities will add some value to your resume and give you something to talk about during an interview. The experience can also teach you many valuable skills like innovation, communications, leadership and time management.


Use the extra time during the holidays and study for upcoming assessments and exams. This is the perfect time to address some of your weaknesses and look at the feedback you’ve received from tutors throughout the year. Putting in some extra studying hours during the holidays can improve the quality of your work and essays. You can also read books unrelated to your coursework to extend your knowledge base. Challenge yourself and try to read books on topics that you may not be first drawn towards because these may prove to be quite valuable later on.

It is also essential for students to devote enough time for leisure and relaxation. Use the time wisely and productively so you can return back to university fully rejuvenated and excited to study.

Why you should consider studying overseas

Being far from home is never easy, especially if it is for the first time, which is often the case for many college students. Each year, many people travel to different countries to pursue their career goals. For some this can be challenging. Apart from the fact that college education comes with its own set of difficulties, you will have additional factors to think about if planning to study abroad. Some of these include:

  • The cost of airfare
  •  Finding suitable accommodations if you will not be living on campus
  • Learning your way around a new country
  • Adapting to cultural differences

These are just a few of the issues you will likely face if you decide to study overseas. This is not an easy decision to make for many students and their families. However, studying is sometimes the best move not only for the educational factor, but also for your career prospects. Other reasons why you should consider studying overseas are:

Exposure to a Different Culture

This is one of the main reasons many prospective students choice to go to a college abroad. You may learn a new language, try cuisine you never even thought of trying, or you may find that you now like a different genre of music. Whatever the result, your outlook on life will change and you come away with a different view of the world.

Increased Networking Opportunities

Most people make vital, lifelong contacts while in college. Contacts in a foreign country could prove useful to you as you embark on your career path. This could also be good for any company you work for, especially if the job requires that you travel.

It Can Improve Your Marketability

In the global environment that exists today, experience in foreign countries is something many employers seek. This can boost the quality of your résumé significantly, making it easier to find a job when you leave school. Studying in a foreign country will show your prospective employer that you can adapt to change. The company may ask you to attend meetings or seminars abroad, or to represent it in some other capacity.

Other Benefits to Studying Overseas

One of the main things about this type of study is that it gives you the opportunity to travel. Sometimes being far away from your family might be the best thing for you. You will develop a sense of independence, while making new contacts and developing an international perspective. You will probably meet people from all over the world who could become lifelong friends.

Although you may have concerns about the quality of the training available in foreign countries, you can put these to rest. Many colleges around the world provide quality undergraduate and graduate programs. If you are thinking about studying in a foreign country, take the time to research different colleges before making a decision. In your research, pay attention to the following:

  • The types of facilities available
  • If financial aid is available for foreign students or even if your home country will fund your studies
  • Are there internship opportunities and will the school assist you in finding placements
  • What kinds of social clubs and activities are available
  • What kind of medical services are available and the cost

While college ranking is important, it should not be your main priority when researching and selecting a college overseas. These rankings alone will not offer the complete picture about a college. Some study abroad programs allows you to spend just a set number of semesters overseas and then you can transfer to your home country to complete your studies. For many students, this format gives them the best of two worlds.

Study Abroad Opportunities for American Students

Whether you just want to spend a few weeks in Europe, or you want to spend the entire year abroad, there are plenty of study abroad programs designed for American students wanting to travel. But first, you must decide how long and when you want to travel. Deciding how long you want to travel and when you want to travel will play a big role in determining which programs you can apply for.

Consider whether you want to earn your whole degree abroad or whether you want to just study abroad for a couple of semesters, or even just a summer. For students just wanting a taste of life abroad, studying abroad for just a summer or semester will afford one the opportunity to have many different experiences without having to face the daunting prospect of moving to a completely different country.

Then you must consider what country you will be going to and what you want to study. The country you choose will have a great effect on what you will be able to study. For instance, students wanting to take an English course abroad would most likely consider studying in the United Kingdom whereas students wanting to take Arabic would likely consider Morocco instead. One important thing to consider when studying abroad is the prospective safety of the country that you will be going to. Like it or not, America may not be liked by the rest of the world. American students wishing to travel abroad are strongly encouraged to check the state department website for travel alerts and warnings related to the countries that they are considering. The State Department issues a travel alert to a specific country when protracted issues within that country make travel to that country unsafe for American citizens.

After considering what you want to study we can then start to consider how you will fund your trip. Typical student abroad costs range from about 3500 USD for a summer program to 30,000 USD for a full year program. Keep in mind that this does not always include items such as airfare or living expenses. Airfare and living expenses often vary greatly depending on the country. For instance, we’ll go back to our Morocco example. The cost of living in Morocco would be significantly less than the cost of living in the United Kingdom, but Morocco does not have many of the conveniences that American students may be used to. In the United Kingdom, tourists and students can get adequate emergency treatment at local hospitals as part of the National Healthcare System. In Morocco most hospitals deliver a substandard level of care and many foreigners prefer private clinics, which are more expensive.

Most study abroad organizations offer special scholarships to American students. Also, one opportunity that American students can take advantage of is the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunities Grant (FSEOG). FSEOG is a grant available to poor students that show the most need. However, the requirements for FSEOG are very stringent. Most students will not be able to meet the income requirements and are better off seeking merit-based scholarships with the school or group that they are traveling with.

No matter who you are studying abroad with or where you go, studying abroad can be an awesome experience. At times it is a bit stressful but it can be rewarding, fun, and very challenging. Studying abroad affords you the opportunity to meet new people and take a trip outside your comfort zone. And as Mark Twain once said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”