1.Universal Adapter for Charging
The power outlets outside of America are different. A universal adapter can be very handy. I actually forgot about this and borrowed my roommate’s for first couple of days. I was lucky enough to find one from an Office Depot a few steps from my home in Paris.
2. Talk to a someone who has been there before or a local!
You will be surprised to find out insider tips and tricks about the culture and lifestyle. I knew of my family friends who are locals (born and raised in Paris). I also have relatives who live in London. They helped me acclimate to the new environment and this helped me to take my roommates around the new city! We had a great time exploring together!
3. Go Digital!
Print out a copy of all your official documents (Passport page, Visa page, State ID, True copy of your Birth Certificate). Best is to have a digital backup!
Download two of my favorite phone applications: Fever (Update on soo many events happening around you, you can book your tickets online too) and Citymapper (I like this navigation app better than Google maps. Trust me. It’s fantastic! It provides you options of all possible ways to get around, the costs associated and the best part is its accurate and up to date. If a particular metro line stops working suddenly, don’ t worry, Citymapper will keep you informed. Google translate is another very useful app to use when you are in a country that has a foreign language. Learn basic words such as Bonjour (Hello), Merci (Thank you), Au revoir (Goodbye)
4. Materials bag
Keep basic grooming materials such as shampoo, face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, nail cutter, a towel, band aids, Advil, an anti allergy, minimal jewelry and two lipsticks (for girls)
I reached Paris on July 1, late in the evening and while I was figuring out how to get to my apartment from the airport, I didn’t get a chance to go out to a store to get any necessities. You don’t have to worry about looking for such simple things on your first few days there.
5. Food from home
To feel less homesick, I took with me some food items such as homemade butter cake, crackers, snacks, instant noodles and some mutton curry. This helped me as I reached the first day and was too tired to step out to get food. I ate some home food miles away from home!
6. What to pack
Some important things to include would be:
Cross body bags with zips( to avoid pick-pocketing)
Tote bag ( for put your groceries, you need to pay for plastic bag at the store)
Book Bag( for your laptop)
Be RAIN ready-an umbrella, a rain coat, rain boots
Be SUN ready- sunglasses, hat
Be COLD ready- a light jacket or a cardigan
Comfortable shoes ( you will be walking a lot)
Business casual outfit (for class presentations and some tours)
7. A sim card
You can buy an Orange sim from Amazon before leaving or buy it at the Airport upon arrival. It’s very important that you have a phone that works right as you get here, it will make life much easier!
You can inform your family and friends immediately when you have arrived. This will give them peace of mind too!
My ATNT carrier had an issue of ‘locked phone’. I wasn’t able to insert another sim although it was supposed to be unlocked. I had to contact them to sort that out. It was as a real struggle to get around without my phone