What to Pack for Your First Trip to the United States

by Jessica Stahl - Posts (449). Posted Thursday, August 18th, 2011 at 3:48 pm

In anticipation of the start of the new school year, bloggers from across the internet are sharing their tips for coming to the U.S. for the first time, and a lot of them are talking specifically about what to pack in your suitcases:

Here's one thing you definitely shouldn't pack (Creative Commons photo by Flickr user ClintJCL)

Here's one thing you definitely shouldn't pack (Creative Commons photo by Flickr user ClintJCL)

– Make sure you know the weight limit for checked bags on your flight, and stick to it if you don’t want to pay overage charges, says a contributor to Happy Schools Blog.

– Pack the clothes you feel comfortable in, not what you think is in style, said Senzeni based on her experience last year. And bring dressier clothes too, she suggested – you can’t always wear t-shirts and jeans.

– Bring some key things from home that won’t be available in America, said Tara in that same post. For Chinese students she recommended BB Cream and maybe a rice cooker.

– You can also buy a lot of things for your room once you arrive. Jose Navarro from Berkeley College Life recommends a trip to K-Mart, and Iishan from the MACEE blog mentions Bed, Bath & Beyond.

– Be sure you have the paperwork you need, and be ready to fill out a few forms upon arrival, Nareg told us last year.

But, according to Sebastian, what to pack isn’t the most important advice to be given:

When you’re traveling to another country, many people will give you advice on what to bring, where to visit in your new city, and other practicalities. But there is one thing no one told me that now I wish I heard before, and it’s as simple as this: make some friends. Making new friends may sound like something given, but don’t underestimate the importance of emotional support starting from day one.

One response to “What to Pack for Your First Trip to the United States”

  1. Kala Riordan says:

    I like to read your site a couple times a week for new readings. I was wondering if you have any other subjects you write about?

The Student Union is…

A place to hear stories about studying in the U.S. Our bloggers have come from all over the world to U.S. universities, and they'll be sharing their experiences, advice and more.

Learn more about this blog »

Share your own story!
Tell us about your experiences applying to the US, studying in America, or doing an exchange, and we may include it on the blog.


Glossary of Confusing Words

Find definitions of confusing words and terms about studying in the U.S. in our Glossary of Confusing Words.

All the words were submitted by YOU, so visit the glossary to see the words that have been defined already and to suggest your own.