Traveling abroad, What should I pack?
Don’t pack too heavy. Here is a list of Pre Departure Briefing you need to take care.Before you begin packing, make sure you check your airline’s policy about luggage size, weight, allowable items and any other rules. Most airlines allow about 20 kilograms for luggage (check-in bags), plus 7 kilograms for any bags you carry onto the plane (cabin bags) but do check with your particular airline. For students traveling to the USA, most airlines allow two check-in bags.
If you need to carry medicines abroad, here’s what we recommend:
- Keep medicine in the original, labelled containers
- Carry an original prescription from your doctor along with information on what that medicine is for.
- The common names for the medicine – generic names or composition of medicines is good to know as they may not be available abroad under the same name.
Some medicines are illegal in some countries. The Customs staff at the airport may want information about any medicine you have with you. If you have any doubts that the medicine you take may not be legal in particular country, you should check with the Embassy in your home country before traveling.
Your luggage will need to go through security clearances during your journey. You and your bags may be searched when you arrive abroad. Be sure to pack your own bags and know the contents of your luggage. Label all your bags with your name and contact details.
Packing checklist – here’s a checklist to help you pack for Abroad.
- We recommend you carry a range of clothes – from formal to informal.
- A selection of general clothing, such as jeans, t-shirts, socks, shoes, handkerchiefs and underwear.
- Light clothes for summer, like shorts, skirts, caps and sandals.
- Warm clothes for winter – particularly if you want to go skiing – such as jerseys, jacket and hat. Don’t forget to pack thermals if you are going to a cold place to study.
- A windcheater, rain coat or an umbrella.
- A suit or smart clothing for job interviews and events.
- Casual clothing for outdoor recreation activities.
- Laptop or notebook computer
- Tablet or iPad
- Mobile phone
- Travel charger or power bank
- Adaptors for particular country’s electric sockets (if you are bringing electronic devices). You can also buy adapters when you get to your destination.
- Camera for capturing all your awesome experiences!
Things to remind you of home
- Recipes for your favorite dishes
- Familiar items from home, e.g. favourite music, books and DVDs
- Photos of your family and friends
- A book with photos and facts about your home country
- If you wear glasses or contact lens, pack an extra pair and bring your glasses or contact lens prescription
- A good dictionary (if English is not your first language)
- Souvenirs to gift to your new friends
- Traditional outfit (say for attending Pooja at temples or for a Garba or Diwali get-together)
For your cabin bag
- Passport and airline tickets (always carry a photo copy as well)
- Change of clothing (at least underwear), toothbrush and other personal items you might need if your luggage is delayed or lost or you are kept waiting for a flight
- Warm sweater or jacket
- Traveler’s cheques and/or bank cards
- Enough cash for your first week ($200-$300)
- Important personal documents (keep a copy of these in a separate bag)
- Contact details for your family and your institution
- Address of where you will be staying abroad
- A pen to fill out documents for arrival
What not to pack?
List of Pre Departure Briefing – You must not pack:
- Sharp objects like knives or scissors (you can put them in checked-in luggage)
- Explosives like crackers
- Any animals or insects (alive or dead)
- Fresh foods, including meat
- Some packaged goods, such as certain cheeses
- Liquids (permissible quantity varies, but ensure to pack such items in their original packaging only)
If you have any of the items that are not permitted, you must declare them to Customs when you arrive. All food items brought abroad, even the smallest amounts, need to be declared. Failure to declare could result in a fine or prosecution. There are also limits on quantities that you can carry.
Remember to tell friends and family about particular country’s strict laws if they are sending or bringing you parcels.
Deciding where to live
Finding accommodation where you feel safe, happy and secure is important. When deciding where to live, do your research – ask the accommodation manager/owner, campus staff or any students who live there, questions such as:
- Does the University have on-campus accommodation?
- If the accommodation is off-campus, how close is the accommodation to your place of study?
- How safe is the area?
- Are there good public transport links?
- Which facilities are shared with other students?
- Is it quiet enough for studying and sleeping?
- What do the accommodation costs include?
- If you need to pay for utilities (gas, electricity and water), how much do they usually cost per month?
- Will you need to bring your own kitchen equipment, bedding or any furniture?
When you are out with friends or by yourself, here are some simple things to consider:
- Always plan your trip home, especially at night. You may want to pre-book a taxi or arrange transport with a friend. Always make sure you have enough money to get home.
- Try to travel with a friend or in a group.
- Keep your bag and belongings close to your body and where you can always see them.
- Never hitch hike.
- If you don’t have a mobile phone, make sure you have a phone card or money to make a phone call.
- Where available, use pedestrian walkways and cross the street at pedestrian crossings or lights.
- Leave valuables at home if you don’t need to take them with you. This includes jewellery, electronic equipment such as iPad and your passport. If you’ve recently arrived and don’t have anywhere permanent to live yet, talk to your institution’s international student support staff about secure storage facilities on campus.
- Don’t carry large amounts of money with you. You can access your money at ATMs found in shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, shopping malls, bars, shop fronts and many other public places.
- Remember to save the phone numbers for emergency services, especially ambulance, fire and police. Emergency calls in most countries are free of charge.
Public transport is reliable and widely used in any country, particularly in metro and urban areas. A number of security measures have been implemented to maximize the safety of public transport users including security officers and guards, help points, good lighting and security cameras. However you should still use caution when travelling on public transport:
- Avoid isolated bus, rail and tram stops.
- Check transport timetables to avoid long waits, particularly at night.
- Train carriages nearest to the driver or guard are lit and safest at night.
- If you find yourself left in a train carriage on your own or with only one other person you may feel more comfortable moving to another carriage.
Some tips when using taxis abroad:
- Sit wherever you feel most comfortable – it is normal for passengers to sit in the front or the rear of the taxi.
- Always ensure you know the address of your destination before getting into the taxi.
- Tell the driver the route you would like to take to your destination, and don’t be afraid to speak up if the driver takes you a different route, particularly one you are unfamiliar with.
- If you don’t want the driver to know exactly where you live, get them to drop you off a short distance away.
When you are at your institution during the day or night, here are some tips to help keep you safe:
- Make sure you are aware of the security and emergency arrangements at your institution and in your local area. Your institution should provide you with this information either in your information pack or once you arrive.
- Some large institutions offer security escort services or bus shuttle services for out of office hours. Contact your institution directly to see if this is a service they offer.
- If you drive to your institution, try to park close to your destination and use well-lit car parks.
- When leaving your institution at night try to walk with a friend or a group, and take paths that are well lit and frequently used by other people.
Finding Work during studying abroad
There are plenty of ways to find work that suits you, including:
- Newspapers and online job sites.
- Some institutions provide job notice-boards on campus and online. Contact your institution’s international student support staff to find out what options your institution offers.
- Register your details at a recruitment firm; many of them help place people in casual or short-term work.
Tips for Saving Money
It is possible to save money by following some very simple tips :
- Share a flat/house instead of renting a whole unit.
- Stay close to public transport, i.e. near a bus stop that connects you conveniently to your place of study as well as other conveniences like a super market and the like.
- Carpool to your place of study or work if possible to share the cost.
- Shop at a super market rather than a mom-&-pop store as you will get better discount on everything.
- Sign up for community gyms or gym on your campus rather than a private facility.
- Rent books or utilize the library on campus rather than purchasing, especially for reference books.