So those of you who, like me, are generally very keen and maybe even a little type A may have started packing if you have a year abroad coming up. If you haven’t, I’m sure you still have plenty of time! So with that in mind, I decided to make my next blog post about what you shouldn’t take with you on your year abroad, so you can either take them out of your suitcase or avoid putting them in all together.
- A full suitcase – Ok, so the first one is pretty basic. Pack light, you’ll be surprised at how many things you’ll accumulate over the course of nine or ten months. Make sure to leave more than a little space to have the maximum chance of being able to get everything home.
- Full size toiletries – Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a good idea to take full size shampoos, shower gels, and even sun tan lotion with you. Save on some space and take the necessary travel size products in your hand luggage then stock up on the full size versions when you arrive.
- Unsuitable or old clothes – Moving to a foreign country for nine months is a good chance to have a clear out of your wardrobe. Avoid packing worn out clothes or items that don’t fit any more by having a clear out before you go, you can donate items in good condition to a charity shop or recycle any others. Make sure you research the climate of your new home, and pack accordingly too!
- Things that won’t be allowed in your accommodation – Your accommodation will likely have a list of things that aren’t allowed in your rooms, so make sure not to take anything you’ll just have to throw away when you get there! For example, I decided it would be a good idea to take an extension cord but it wasn’t allowed in my dorms.
- Food – I’d stocked up on British foods like chocolate, marmite, squash, and tea bags to pack in my suitcase. However, I worked out that I had over two kilos of such products. Two kilos out of an allowance of twenty-three is silly, so although it might be tempting to take foods you think you’ll miss it’s best to leave the British food in Britain or at least have a little restraint about it.
If anyone else who’s studied abroad, either as a student of the University of Leicester or an exchange student from another institution, has any advice about what to leave behind when going abroad do add to the comments!