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Packing List for Indian Students Going Abroad

Updated on 29 January, 2024

Bulbul Sharma

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

The joy of receiving an admission confirmation from your dream college is huge; however, the next step, which is preparing a packing list, can be a daunting task. While it can be overwhelming to carefully pick what to carry along and what to avoid, choosing wisely and having a practical approach towards the utility of items can prove beneficial. The packing list for Indian students going abroad can be exhaustive but a careful analysis of your basic needs can take you a long way.


It takes more than common sense to figure out all the things to carry while traveling abroad. Leaving a country and settling down abroad for some years is not an easy task. A pre-departure shopping list for students going to Canada, the UK, or any other country is very important, and every international student must pay attention to this. 

Packing is much more than shoving your entire life into a suitcase. Even though packing looks easy, for international travel with the purpose of staying for years, it is not that easy. Now, before you fall short of time, let us throw some light on all the packing essentials and bring you the perfect study abroad guide for Indian students:

Before You Start Packing:

1. Stay informed about the rules and regulations based on various countries' travel restrictions and protocols. 

2. Though COVID-19 test requirements are uplifted by most international countries, some may still require foreign students to possess a complete COVID-19 vaccination certificate. This documentation is mandatory for various sought-after international education hubs such as the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, and other popular destinations for studying abroad.

3. Verify your luggage restrictions with your airline.

4. Arrange travel and accommodation.

5. Prepare a packing list.

Steps To Pack Right Essentials When Going Abroad:

Step 1: Choose Your Luggage Bag

International flights allow 23kg for check-in luggage. Therefore, the idea should be to find a versatile and spacious bag to accommodate all the essentials. A four-wheel 360-degree rotating bag will be a good option. It will help in keeping the weight off your hands.

Step 2: Organize Before Packing

International students need to arrange and organize a complete checklist of essentials so that there are no miss-outs. When international students leave the country and travel to a foreign land, the chances of returning soon are low unless there is a semester-end break or an emergency. Thus, organizing and planning all the essentials before you move is essential. Some important checklists while organizing your packing should be: 

a) Use an online file storage service (like Google Drive, One Drive, etc.) to store all the documents.

b) Arrange airport transfers in advance.

c)  Book temporary accommodation.

d) Check the luggage weight restriction.

e) Check the items that are not allowed to be carried.

f) Use a luggage tag to identify your baggage and not get confused with someone else’s.

g) Upload the photos of all the important documents.

h) Find a suitable place to accommodate all your essentials before you pack them up.

i) Keep ticking off the checklist by matching the items and essentials.

Step 3: Separate the Items for Checked-in and Carry-on Luggage

It is important to understand there is a difference in the items for checked-in and carry-on luggage. Several items cannot be carried in the checked-in baggage and vice versa. Hence, the baggage restrictions should be read correctly to avoid any misunderstanding.

Carry-on luggage should have the following items on the packing list of Indian students going abroad:

  • Currency of host country
  • Important documents
  • Phone, charger, and other gadgets
  • Prescription medicines

The rest of the things should be packed in checked-in baggage.

Read More: Study abroad after 12th or graduation | Study Abroad With Pathway Programs

Important Packing Checklist:

Once you get your visa and admission confirmation, it is time to know the essentials that you must pack for safe travel and stay in a foreign country. Avoid last-minute undesirable situations and go through all the essentials that every international student must pack:

Important Scholarships to Study Abroad:

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Travel Documents:

Travel documents are essential to include in the packing list of students going abroad. Travel documents are important for students to successfully fly, pass immigration check-ins, board, and undergo post-departure formalities. Also, students must have photocopies of the documents in case the original gets stolen. The travel documents include the following: 

  • Passport
  • Student Visa
  • Credit cards
  • Travel Itinerary
  • Boarding Pass
  • Student Card
  • Health insurance card or copy of travel health insurance
  • Fee receipt for accommodation allotted


International students should carry as many clothes as they can from their homes. This will help them to save a lot of money. Check the weather and culture prevalent in the country you are moving to and pack your clothes accordingly. If the students are moving to countries like the USA, Canada, etc., pack warm clothes as it is cold there, whereas east-Asian and African countries have warmer weather, hence stay moderate and pack only basic outfits. There is no specific clothing packing list for Indian students going abroad. However, the following are some of the essential items that you can keep in your luggage:

  • T-shirts/tops
  • Two weeks' worth of socks
  • Shorts, pants, jeans, and skirts
  • Swimsuits
  • Pajamas
  • Sweaters and hoodies
  • Two coats or jackets (one that is water-resistant and one for the cold weather)
  • At least four outfits for formal occasions
  • Shoes (trainers, dress shoes, boots, wellies, flip-flops)
  • Clothing for cold weather, such as mittens, gloves, hats, or scarves (if appropriate in the host country)
  • A couple of sets of workout clothes
  • A couple of belts and other accessories 

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If the student is undergoing any treatment, they must carry the prescribed medicine with them in enough quantity. Carry the doctor's prescription, too, in case you run out of doses.

It would be best if you also take general medicines for headaches, colds & coughs. Ensure that the brand you use is legal in the country you are moving to. A few medications that should be included in the packing list for Indian students going abroad:

1. Paracetamol

2. Antacids

3. Painkillers

4. Anti-allergies

5. Antiseptic

6. Bandages

7. Cough syrup

8. Dettol

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Local currency

Keeping the local currency of the country handy when you are traveling is essential. Getting local currency from foreign exchange centers, airport kiosks, and currency exchange offices is effortless and avoids the trouble related to fake currencies. Read a little about the basics of the country's currency to get a fair idea. Carry enough cash for easy access to necessities and expenses on the way.

Note: Nowadays, Master Cards and Visa Cards are easily accepted in every country but carrying some cash is still advisable.


Miscellaneous items are not essentials. It is up to the students to choose whether to include them or not. Some of them are:

1. Essential jewelry

2. Bedsheets

3. Pillows

4. Sleeping bag

5. Educational supplies

6. Purse

7. Backpack

8. Towel

9. Water bottle

10. Sunglasses

11. Books

12. Journals

13. Watch

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Electronic devices

Electronic devices are essential today. One cannot travel without gadgets like mobile phones, laptops, headphones, and tablets. However, the most essential thing would be a universal adapter. This is because the outlets in hostels, accommodation and dormitories will not be the same as at home. It is better to purchase beforehand, as it will be difficult to locate anything as soon as you move to a new country. Here are some of the other essential electric gadgets that should be carried along:

1. Mobile phones

2. Headphones

3. Tablet

4. Charger

5. Laptop

6. USB cable

7. Anything that you use for daily convenience


Do not carry hair styling gadgets in your carry-on luggage. It is better to avoid hair styling gadgets because they consume a lot of power and electricity can be too costly in foreign countries. Some of the essentials you can carry in this segment:

1. Hairbrush

2. Hair comb

3. Toothbrush

4. Deodorant

5. Make-up

6. Contact lenses

7. Tissues

8. Razors (Carry them in your checked-in luggage)

9. Mask

10 Hand sanitizer

11. Toothpaste

12. Face wash

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Before leaving home, do the below:

1. Check the passport’s expiry date

2. Arrange a contact number for the new country

3. Create a new email address

4. Photocopy of all essential documents

5. Communication with the respective educational institutions

6. Fully charged batteries for phone, camera, and laptop

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Things Not to Carry While Traveling Abroad

Airlines have specific rules and regulations about the items one can carry in their check-in and carry-on luggage. Furthermore, several countries also have many products banned. Thus, several things should not be carried out for a hassle-free traveling experience. Given below is the list of some of the items that should not be carried while traveling abroad:

1.Heavy bottles of liquid

The liquid is not allowed on flights. If you plan to keep yourself hydrated while traveling, carry small water bottles or drinks from the airport. Large cans or bottles of oil, beverages, sanitizers, or shampoo are prohibited while traveling. 


Books always add a lot of weight, so avoid carrying books while packing your items. Books are easily available in the college library, or you can always buy them. Instead, utilize the space for other essentials.


Snacks or eatables take up a lot of space in your luggage. A good idea could be to taste the host country's food instead of carrying food from home. Food is good in foreign countries, and trying out the host country's food helps the students get accustomed to the new culture.

4.Expensive jewelry

Phones and laptops are necessary, but one must avoid carrying expensive jewelry. It is not advised for any student traveling abroad to take costly jewelry. 

How to Resist the Urge to Overpack

When packing, we tend to overpack and stuff our luggage bags with things we may never use during our stay. To decide what items to carry while traveling abroad, one can try the following tricks:

  1. Packing beforehand – Start planning and setting aside all the things you will need, as it will help you easily figure out what you may or may not need.
  2. Do your research – To avoid overpacking the stuff, you can talk with other Indian students already studying abroad. They can give you helpful guidance and tricks on what can be carried in the host country.
  3. Remove irrelevant items – You must avoid packing heavy items which may not be necessary. Instead, you should make a list and stick to it. 

Preparing a packing list before moving abroad is no doubt an extensive process. Students should focus on the main objective of going abroad, i.e., studies, and plan accordingly. A planned packing list for students moving abroad will help them organize and manage all the essentials and documents in the proper order.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not pack or bring along to study abroad?

Packing only the essentials and packing light is important given that you only have a certain weight limit you must adhere to. When traveling abroad, be strategic and avoid unnecessary electronics, bedding items, clothing and footwear not suited for the weather, books (opt for e-books), etc.

How much luggage is allowed in international flights for students?

For international flights, students are allowed to carry 2 to 3 pieces of baggage weighing 23 kgs each. Some airlines may allow extra baggage allowance for students traveling abroad.

What should international students bring to Canada?

Things to carry while travelling abroad from India include one’s passport, personal documents, prescription medicines if any, some local currency, toiletries, charger, adapter, and hand sanitizer. One should keep in mind the climatic conditions of Canada and not forget to pack essentials like warm clothing.

What to bring to the USA as a student?

Packing list for Indian students going abroad should include all electronic essentials like external HDD, charger, adapter, kitchen essentials that you may not find in the USA, prescription medicines if any, local currency along with essential clothing items depending on the weather conditions of the city you are traveling to.

What should students bring to Australia?

Things a student should bring to Australia include their OSHC card which is their health insurance, summer clothes, warm coat, travel adaptors, etc. in addition to all official documents and personal items.

What should you buy before studying abroad?

Before traveling to study abroad, one should positively purchase items such as a portable charger, travel adapters for one’s electronics, snacks for the duration of travel, and essential personal care products.

Bulbul Sharma

Manager- Content @upGrad

Bulbul is a self-driven professional and an expert writer & editor. She has been a part of the ed-tech industry for the past 2 years now and is motivated to provide study abroad aspirants with factually correct and relevant information. Her knack for impactful writing makes her blogs worth a read!

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