Tips on packing to study abroad

Dear World,

We understand that packing can be a difficult task, and it doesn’t get easier as your departure time gets closer. You probably wonder what you should pack for your big adventure. Here, we have made a video showing you what to bring, which is available with English, Chinese (Traditional), Chinese (Simplified) and Cantonese captions. We have also included a checklist below to help make this process a bit easier!

Checklist for Necessities

It’s important to make sure you bring all legal documentation with you, so you can go through customs without any issues. We highly recommend you also bring some U.S. dollars with you in case your credit/debit card from your home country does not work here. However, make sure you do not bring too much cash with you, otherwise you will have to report it to customs.

  • Enough U.S. Dollars
  • Important documents (passport, visa, itinerary, plane tickets, I-20, Immunization Records, etc.)
  • Outlet adapter – important because different countries have their own outlet designs
  • Cell phone (you probably won’t be able to use it in your host country, but it’s invaluable if you’re stuck in domestic airports and need to contact someone for delayed flights, etc.)
  • Laptop
  • Charger
  • Prescription drugs for the length of your stay; if you have to bring them, make sure you have a doctor’s notes with you. Additionally, make sure that the drugs you bring in are FDA-approved.

Checklist for Clothing

Denver weather fluctuates a lot during the day as well as around the year. We recommend that you wear standard summer clothes but also bring a jacket with you. This is not only because Denver weather changes dramatically, but also that you might need a jacket on the plane. We also recommend you bring at least 2-weeks worth of the following items as you might not have enough time to go shopping within the first 2 weeks.

  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Undershirts
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Short sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt/ hoodie
  • Sweaters
  • Jeans/ Khakis
  • Shorts
  • Pajamas
  • Coat/Jacket
  • At least one professional outfit
  • Shoes
  • Cold weather gear (i.e. gloves/ mittens, hat, scarf) – depending on your personal preference you can choose to buy them when you get here

 Checklist for Toiletries

If you prefer the products from your home country, you may want to bring these with you as well. Depending on your schedule, you should consider bringing a travel package of these with you if, as we discussed earlier, you don’t have time to buy them at the beginning.

  • Shampoo/conditioner
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Feminine products (one month’s worth)
  • Brush/comb
  • Razors/other shaving supplies
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Glasses
  • Nail clippers
  • Makeup
  • Tissues/toilet paper (you don’t want to be stuck in a bathroom when it’s run out)


International Student

#DearWorld is a blog series that our international student ambassadors at the University of Denver share their experience, tips, and advice to other students at DU and around the world.

Author: Olivia Kayang

Editor: Ronnie Cheng

Video Producers: Oliva Kayang, Jad Al Jabi, Ronnie Cheng

Video Editor: Ronnie Cheng

Learn more about other international student experiences at the University of Denver:

International student’s involvement on campus

What international students need to know about laptops and cell phones coming to DU

How do you register after you’re accepted to DU?

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