Just because you’re excited about being an international student in the USA doesn’t mean you’re ready to leave your home country. First things first – you have to pack. 

What you should do to prep
Check the luggage allowance on your flight and the cost of paying extra for additional suitcases if necessary. It might be worth it, but it also might be worth leaving some shirts behind so you can instead stock up on new ones with the name of your school.  

Though you may plan to open an American bank account or credit card or link to your foreign accounts fairly soon after arriving, doing so may be time consuming or complicated. Make sure to bring enough cash with you to cover your first month’s expenses as a backup.

Take photos of important documents such as your passport, marriage certificates, medical records, and academic transcripts and their English translations and save them in your email so you can access them anytime. But also make photocopies (yes, with paper!) in case your phone battery dies, you don’t have internet access, or there’s some other technology failure. 

Critical documents, medicines, jewelry, and other important or expensive items should be carried in your carry-on luggage. Your carry-on bag should also include one change of clothing in case your flight is delayed or cancelled.

Label your luggage inside and out with your name and your school’s name and address. If your luggage is lost in transit, this will help the airline return it to you. 

When you arrive at your school, you’ll still be missing numerous items that we use in our daily lives, like towels, pens, and lightbulbs. They’re not worth bringing from your home country, but they will definitely be needed.

What you should actually pack