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These articles were created by the students participating in the UMD Study in England Programme for the 2013-2014 school year. The program is over, but the experience will never fade. If you have any questions or want to get in touch, send an email to the UMD International Education Office!

Friday, 23 May 2014

Packing ProTips™

As departure time draws nearer, here are some tips on how to pack for your year abroad:
  1. You get a carry-on, a second smaller carry-on (such as a purse or backpack), and a checked bag that must weigh under 50 pounds. Make sure to double check these requirements as it may change between now and September.
  2. Bring a towel. It seems like a silly and simple idea, but you will get to Worcester and feel gross and want to shower and most stores in Worcester close by 5 PM and you won't know where to find them.
  3. If you're attached to your regular stick deodorant-pack it! Spray deodorant is all the rage here.
  4. Pack lots of socks and underwear. Laundry costs money and while you can rewear pants and shirts, most would prefer you do not do this with your undergarments. Besides, socks and underwear are small and easy to fit in a suitcase.
  5. Put heavier things in your carry on. There is a weight limit, but they are much less likely to double check.
  6. Wear as many clothes as you can on your flight. This means tank tops, shirts, sweaters, jackets, whatever you can fit. Also wear your heaviest shoes, even if they aren't fun to take on and off. Trust us.
  7. Bring something small that will remind you of home. Whether that be a stuffed animal, pictures, or a smaller blanket. It will spruce up your room and remind you of America.
  8. Start off with just travel sizes of toiletries. Shampoo, conditioner, and toothpaste are all fairly cheap here.
  9. How many clothes you bring depends on the person. We would recommend, though, bringing simple things you can mix and match. And never underestimate comfortable clothes. Yes, you will want to look nice most of the time, but there will be days when all you want is sweatpants.
  10. Bring multiple converters, or one converter with multiple plugins. You will probably want to charge more than one thing at a time (for most things you need something like this, but double check before you buy anything).
  11. Bring an Ethernet cable for your computer, as not all rooms have wireless access.
  12. We will be leaving behind a bunch of random stuff for a lottery. We have been a lovely and fairly clean group who will be leaving behind many things in good condition. Take advantage of the opportunity of free bedding and blankets.
  13. Pack snacks in your carry on to eat on the plane. Nine hours with nothing to do and you will want to kill the stranger next to you for their Snickers.
  14. Think about packing things you can leave behind---old clothes and towels can be thrown out at the end of the year, and you probably won't be bringing toiletries back. This just makes packing to go home that much easier.
  15. Bring your pharmaceuticals! Even things such as ibuprofen and cold medicines are expensive (and Americans are used to higher doses of medicines, so they won't always work as well). And don't forget your prescriptions! You need a written prescription if you are going to be renewing it in England.

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