Study Abroad Move-In Essentials

Study Abroad Move-In Essentials

One of the most exciting – and terrifying – parts of going to study in the United States is the idea of living in a new place. Whether you’re living off campus in the heart of downtown or sharing a place with new roommates from other parts of the world, this is an exciting time in your life to explore, learn, grow and enjoy all that the United States education system has to offer! 

Before you pack up and board the plane, you will need to make a list of the key items you will need to make your transition to living and learning in the U.S. as easy and stress-free as possible. Some move-in essentials for every international student include:

Comforts of Home

  • Mementos and items of personal significance such as pictures, posters, and other things that remind you of home.
  • Bath towel and toiletries to get you through the very first day of your arrival, so have them ready! You can always replenish these items once you’re settled at school.
  • Cozy slippers to keep your feet warm if you are studying in a cooler climate.

Appropriate Clothing

  • Pack a reasonable amount of clothing that will prepare you for the typical weather wherever you’re going. Though you can always buy clothes upon arrival, they can be expensive and will have to fit in your already packed suitcase. 
  • If you are going to an area that sees a significant amount of rain throughout the year, consider making room for your rain jacket and boots. Also, consider bringing a waterproof backpack before your departure.
  • If snow is in your future, you’ll want to pack good snow boots to make walking to class easier. 

Necessary Electronics

  • Bring a travel adaptor appropriate for the US that works with your devices (or one adaptor for multiple devices, if possible).
  • Extension cords and multi-plug power strips are surprisingly useful, but you should check with your school first to see whether they are allowed before cramming them in your suitcase.
  • Pack your laptop, tablet, external hard drives, e-reader, and other important academic electronics.
  • Headphones will come in handy for blocking noise while studying.

Important Documents:

When attending university in the U.S., it is important to keep important documents organized in a folder and pack them on your carry-on bag and NOT your checked bag in case of an emergency. Make a photocopy of any originals and store the photocopies online (such as by emailing them to yourself). Also make sure your parents have copies of important papers, so they can send them to you, if necessary. These documents may include:

  • Passport, student visa, and/or required proof of identity. 
  • Health insurance documents, medical records, and any prescriptions you take.
  • A written contact list so you don’t have to rely on your stored contacts in your phone if it is lost or stolen.

Remember that you can always buy or rent items that you forget or need more of – such as bedding, towels, sheets, blankets, and pillows. Rental is ideal for students living off-campus because it provides the flexibility to choose furnishings and other necessary items for apartment living without the stress, hassle, and cost of buying these items. CORT, the leading provider of furniture rental in the U.S., furnishes thousands of student apartments with everything from beds and sofas to housewares and electronics – all with affordable rental package options.

Don’t stress too much about everything you’ll need to set up your new living space. Once you arrive, you’ll see what your new roommate has brought and can figure out what items you still need to either rent or purchase. Before you know it, your blank boring college apartment will feel like home!

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Rob Johnson is an experienced international traveler and Director of Higher Education Sales at Furniture Rental CORT, where he works directly with students and higher education institutions.


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