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UVM Study Abroad Pre-Departure Guidebook

Section 1 Before You Go:

Packing Tips and Travel Advice

Packing Tips and Traveler Philosophy

  • Pack The Study Abroad Guidebook containing contact information and overseas addresses.
  • For more specific information, please review the packing list provided by your study abroad program.
  • Take any prescription medications you will need for your time abroad. Keep them in their original containers, clearly marked with official prescriptions from your physician(s); and in your carry-on bag. Take paper copies of your prescriptions with the generic names of drugs.
  • Take extra passport photos in case of the need or replacement in an emergency.
  • If you wear glasses or contact lenses, take a spare pair with you.
  • Bring gifts for your host family, if you have one (e.g. mugs, calendars with photos of the US, something representative of your home state. Note: Chocolate does not travel well.)
  • Leave jewelry and other expensive items at home. Assume that anything that is breakable will break, and anything that is expensive could get lost or stolen – this is not a reason to worry about safety. It’s travel common sense.
  • Everybody loves their ipods. But not only are they subject to theft and loss, they are also anti-social on long bus rides or when you’re just hanging around. If you bring one, don’t let it interfere with the possibility of interacting with other people.
  • Read up on the country you will be calling home for the next semester. Look at a map so you know where you will be in relation to other major cities and countries.
  • More than anything, BRING A SENSE OF ADVENTURE.
  • Leave your U.S. expectations at home, and don’t get uptight if things don’t work out as expected or on time – because they will not.
  • As you pack, please contact your air carrier for any luggage restrictions and costs for extra baggage.
  • Pack larger quantities of liquids and gels in your checked luggage.
  • As of April 2009, the Transportation and Security Administration (TSA) has ruled that liquids or gels are not allowed in your hand luggage except for the 3-1-1 rule for carry-ons. Liquids or gels must be in
    • 3-ounce containers or smaller, placed in a
    • 1 quart, clear, plastic, zip-top bag;
    • 1 bag per passenger placed in plastic bin for screening.
    • For updates and more information, go to the TSA website:

Items/Documents to leave with a parent or guardian at home:

  • Complete the emergency contact info on your passport. Photocopy your passport, and copy down numbers of credit cards and travelers checks.
  • Provide your family, guardian, friend with the contact information of your program or university.
  • Secure the address and contact information of your local embassy and leave a copy with your trustworthy someone in the U.S.
  • Provide your travel itinerary to your family/friend in the U.S. and contact them in the event a situation arises that would concern them.
  • Leave copies of your prescriptions from your physician(s), with the generic names of drugs


  • Carry on the plane: tickets, passport/visa, acceptance letter (you might have to prove you are a student), money/travelers checks, some changed currency for arrival in your host country, emergency contact information for family members/friends, and the contact information for your program/university.
  • Secure the address and contact information of your local embassy and carry it with you
  • Keep your money and passport in a safe place, such as in a money pouch
  • Carry your health insurance information with you, along with your SOS international ID card
  • Clearly tag your luggage with name, address and phone number both inside and out
  • Anticipate security checks of your baggage--be informed as to airline regulations regarding size and weight limits and content restrictions, and adhere closely to them.

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Last modified April 26 2012 10:20 AM

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