What to Pack?

The Essentials

  • Important documents (passport, visa, itinerary, plane tickets, etc.)
  •  200 in local currency (make sure you have enough cash for a few days until you can find an ATM)
  • Extra eye glasses/contacts
  • Enough prescription drugs for the length of your stay (You will need to check to make sure you can bring them into the country and that you have proper documentation, i.e. a doctor’s note)
  • Backpack (for day trips and daily use) – You should use this as your carry-on so you’ll have less luggage.
  • Gifts for your host family and others (try to get ones that are specific to the region where you live)
  • Computer w/charger
  • Camera w/cords and charger
  • Adapters (changes the shape of the electrical plug) /converter (reduces or increases the current’s voltage)

Clothing/Shoes (In general pack a week’s worth of clothing)

  • Jeans (2-3 pairs) [can substitute a pair or two with skirts or khakis if going to warmer climates]
  • Sweaters/Hoodies (2-3)
  • T-shirts
  • Long sleeve shirts (Make sure they are good for layering)
  • Underwear (one week’s worth)
  • Pajamas (2 pairs)
  • 1 or 2 Ethnic wear
  • Warm slippers
  • Socks (a week’s worth) (you should include a few pairs of wool socks if you’re going to colder climates)
  • Swimsuit
  • One set of workout clothes (if you plan to)
  • Thermal underwear (silk preferably for colder climates or the adventurous sort)
  • Coat/Jacket (water resistant with zip pockets and removable lining)
  • One nice outfit (dress pants/skirt/dress) for special/formal occasions
  • Decent walking shoes
  • Flip flops (especially for showering at hostels)
  • Warm hat, gloves, and scarf (for colder climates)

Toiletries (If you aren’t picky, a lot of these items can be found in your host country)

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothbrush/toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Disposable razors (and other shaving supplies)
  • Brush/Comb (and hair ties if you have long hair)
  • Tissues (highly recommended as many countries don’t keep toilet paper in stock in the bathrooms)
  • Feminine Products (one month’s worth)
  • Contraceptives
  • Contact lenses and solution
  • Over-the-counter medicines (aspirin, anti-diarrhea, anti-nausea, etc.)
  • Nail clippers and nail file
  • Suntan lotion (if going somewhere sunny)
  • Makeup


  • Alarm clock (though a cell phone works well too)
  • Small plastic bottles of toiletries for use in your carry-on or while traveling
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Purse
  • MP3 Player (especially for long plane/train rides)
  • Travel books for the region(s) you will visit (these can be found at the places you plan to visit too if you don’t want to haul them around)
  • Umbrella or rain coat
  • Watch
  • Sunglasses
  • Playing Cards (good for long train rides and lighter than a pile of books)
  • Journal (to write your memories in – journaling really helps students deal with culture shock – some people suggest writing online, but generally you won’t be able to do that/might not have internet access daily while you’re traveling so having something you can physically write in every day or night is a good idea)
  • Thin lightweight towel (preferably microfiber so that it will dry fast when you’re traveling)
  • Linens, bed sheets, and towels (Check with your program to see if these are provided, otherwise you may just want to buy them abroad because they tend to be heavy and take up a lot of room)
  • Sleepsack/sleeping bag (if you’re planning to do a lot of traveling you may want one, but most hostels either have sheets or let you rent a sleep sack for the night which is better than carrying one around constantly)

Cooking utensils:

Most of the things will be available in Germany with your furnished apartment but there are few Indian thing which may not be available or it make be problematic initially to buy one.

  • Pressure cooker:  Don’t for forget it’s whistle!
  • Frying Pan
  • Tava
  • Chakla
  • Belan
  • Tweezer (Chimta)
  • Tea filter (Chalni)
  • Masala (For first few days)
  • Ghee

VERY IMPORTANT – all your documents and 2 copies of each! with BIOMETRIC photos – at least 20 photos!!!