Schools Training

What to Pack To Study Abroad

9 AUG 2013
Career Path : Travel and Tourism

As a student preparing to spend a semester studying in one of the many colleges in Rome and Italy, the first step to ensuring your experience is a positive one is to decide what to take with you. Among the essentials any student should have are:

  • Local currency
  • Important documents (Passports, plane tickets, visa)
  • Adapters for electrical outlets (Outlets in Italy are 220 volt, American outlets are 110 volt.)
  • Prescription Drugs
  • Proper Attire

Spending Money in Italy

Even on study abroad scholarships, living in another country isn’t cheap. Financing your trip is extremely important. The local currency in Italy is the Euro, which is used in almost all European Union member states. Unlike in the United States, Italians rarely use debit cards for small purchases. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep paper currency on hand. Additionally, you will need to rely on ATMs to get Euros, but may not find one right away. Pack with you enough Euros to survive the first day without needing an ATM.

Important Documents and Identification

Passports, plane tickets and visas can be difficult to replace if they are lost or stolen. On the flight over, pack your documents in your carry-on baggage to prevent them from being lost as you arrive in Italy. Before you leave, make photocopies of your visa and passport. This allows you to replace them faster at an embassy if they are lost or stolen.

Protecting your Electronics

Studying in one of the colleges in Rome requires the use of a computer, cell phone and other electronics, just as it does in the US. However, the outlets in Italy are different than those in the US. You need a voltage adapter kit and plug adapter to be able to use these outlets. Without using a voltage adapter, plugging an American appliance into a Italian outlet will burn out the appliance and possibly electrocute you.

Fill your Prescriptions

Many students on study aboard scholarships need to take prescription drugs. Before you leave your home country, fill your prescriptions with enough medication to last your entire trip. Check with Italian law to make sure you are able to bring your medication into the country. Additionally, bring with you documentation, such as a doctor’s note, that states the drug is yours and why you need to take it.

Dressing for Italy

There are a few things to keep in mind when packing your clothes for your semester in Italy, whether you’ve got your heart set on colleges in Rome or Venice. Firstly, pack appropriate clothes for the season you will be staying there. Secondly, traveling abroad always has an element of culture shock. Clothes such as jeans, hoodies and casual attire will generally identify you as an American. While this is not a bad thing, dressing up will help you blend in with the local culture. Lastly, do not bring more clothes than necessary. Your accommodations may be small and cramped and taking too many clothes makes it difficult to travel to and from the airport.

Visit John Cabot University for more information on getting ready to study in Italy.