Brussels, Pre-Departure: The Packing

I scoured the internet high and low for every study abroad packing tip I could find before I left for Brussels then made a Frankenstein personal list with all the tips. If you’re too lazy to do that, though, HerCampus has a pretty solid one. No one can tell you what to pack beyond the basics. When I was packing, I felt like I had way too much. When I got here, I felt like I had way too little. Here are some of the tips I’ve gathered for packing for this program:

 

  1. Brussels is way colder than Philadelphia

Even though I first arrived in August, it quickly became chilly before just becoming downright cold. I packed a lot of warm weather clothes that saw almost no action the entire trip. Pack a few basics but you can safely leave most of your summer clothes at home!

  1. You will simultaneously have too much and too little

Just accept that you will never bring everything you want but also bring way too much at the same time. A lot of packing lists try to make you feel like you either need bring your entire closet or three shirts. What I did was go through my closet and identify the pieces that I wear constantly when in Philly. Those were the ones that I knew wouldn’t waste space in my bag.

  1. Dress to impress

I feel like I’ve said this a million times over the course of this trip but people here, on average, dress really nicely. I wouldn’t say I have bad fashion sense but I definitely have my slump days at Drexel. Even in the throes of midterm week, my classmates still showed up in nice outfits. So another tip I’d throw in is try to bring fashionable, versatile pieces.

  1. Think about the souvenirs!

As I am packing to leave, I look over at the corner that I dedicated to the knick knacks and gifts I’ve accumulated over the course of four months. The idea of getting all of them into one suitcase gives me a headache. A friend of mine was smart and packed an empty bag when coming here. That way, you can use it for your travels and then stuff it full of goodies to take back home. Definitely a recommended travel tip.

  1. You will always forget something

This kind of goes hand in hand with number two but still. Don’t worry about buying every little thing you use in your day to day life before leaving. Chances are you will still forget something anyway! Focus on the stuff you need to be comfortable for at least a week while you settle, then pick up whatever you need later. Save yourself the stress and possibly some money! Remember, you don’t need sheets or towels, as that is provided by the program.

At the end of the day, just stay calm! You will have a good time no matter what is in your suitcase.

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