What to Pack for Study Abroad: The Essentials


The time has come, and you are ready to pack to start your new life at the University of Central Oklahoma. So excited for you!! This time may be stressful since you do not know what to bring to the USA, so here is a little packing list I created for you from me, a senior international college student. You must know how much weight you can put in your luggage, so be smart about it!

1) Starting, we have IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS. Remember those, please. Here is a list of what they are:

  • Passport and U.S. Student visa
  • Flight tickets
  • Form I-20
  • Acceptance letter from UCO
  • Proof of your financial support
  • Immunization, Vaccination Record
  • Contact list (they will ask you the address of where you will be staying, so make sure you have it.

2) Second, what to bring from home? I am grateful I brought little souvenirs from home, like keychains or ornaments. Also, I got a lot of pictures of my family and my dog, so I can hang them on the wall and see them every time I miss them, which is most of the time. Lastly, I brought snacks that can only be found in Peru (where I am from), and I am thankful that I did since those were the things I craved the most for the first months.Moving on to clothing, Oklahoma is a crazy state regarding weather. One day it can be sunny, and the other can be pouring rain. So, make sure you are prepared! You can find some things here, like towels, slippers, shower shoes, etc. Here is a list that worked for me.

  • Underwear and socks (2-3 weeks’ worth)
  • Pajamas
  • Swimsuit (sometimes they might be hard to find)
  • Rain jacket (you are going to need this)
  • Favorite pair of jeans and shorts
  • Sweatshirt/ hoodie (2-3)
  • Sneakers/ dress shoes/boots/rain boots
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Just a couple of shirts (You will get tons for free here!)
  • Coat/Jacket

3) Third, if you have electronics such as an iPad, earphones, or laptop that you want to bring, you are more than welcome. If you do not own a laptop, you can rent one here at UCO for the semester, as well as headphones and iPads! Just make sure you have enough space to bring them.
4) Fourth, you can buy toiletries and personal hygiene products here. However, I recommend you bring small quantities for immediate use. Toiletries include shampoo, soap, wash face, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, etc. In addition, you can get a towel for showering when you arrive, but you can buy additional towels when you settle in.
5) Fifth is medicine. Bring enough if you have prescription medications since you might not find them here. In this case, you should have a list of this prescribed medication signed by a doctor. In addition, make sure they are considered legal in the U.S. Medications such as ibuprofen or Tylenol can be bought in America. Still, bringing a small amount in case you need them immediately is okay. Also, get extra glasses or contact lenses if you wear them.
Welcome to UCO!! Lastly, make sure you do not overpack. I learned throughout the years that clothing is much cheaper here than in my home country. Also, you can wear your heavy clothing to the airport to save up space in your luggage. Finally, feel free to fit everything in. You can always ship it here or buy new stuff.