Packing list for Indian students going abroad: What all to get?

Packing list for Indian students going abroad

The joy of receiving an admission confirmation from your dream college is immense. But soon after receiving the enrollment, the next step, which is preparing a packing list, can be a daunting task. While it can be overwhelming to carefully pick what to bring along and what to avoid, choosing wisely and having a practical approach towards utility of items can prove beneficial. The packing list for Indian students going abroad is going to 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 or any other country is very important, and every international student must pay attention to this. There are both personal and professional items that students need to carry as the immigration process is very strict in a foreign land.

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. There are various things to cover, and especially for students traveling during the COVID-19 time, packing should be a little different. Priority should be given to sanitizers, masks, and digital thermometers. 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:

Read More: Study Abroad Checklist

Before you start packing

1. Stay informed about the rules and regulations based on the current travel restrictions and protocols by various countries. COVID-19 has complicated travel, so make sure to prepare for study, travel and accommodation while adhering to the guidelines.

2. Get a COVID-19 test done. Prepare the checklist for 14 days of quarantine, as there are countries like Canada that focus on a 14-day self-isolation.  

3. Verify your luggage restrictions with your airline.

4. Arrange travel and accommodation.

5. Prepare a packing list.

Steps to packing the right essentials

1. 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 to keep the weight off your hands.

2. 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, it is essential to organize and plan all the essentials before you move out. Some important checklists while organizing your packing should be: 

a) Use a pen drive or Google drive to store all the documents and information.

b) Arrange airport transfers in advance.

c)  Book a temporary accommodation.

d) Match 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 and 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.

3. Know the difference between checked-in and carry-on luggage. International students need to understand the difference so that they pack correctly. Various items cannot be carried in the checked-in baggage. To avoid any misunderstanding, make sure the baggage restrictions are read properly. A well-planned study abroad guide for Indian students will help in deciding the things to consider and things to avoid.

Read More: Study abroad after 12th or graduation

Important packing checklist

Once you get your visa and admission confirmation, it is time to know the essentials that you need to 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:

1. Travel documents

2. Clothing

3. Medicine

4. Electronic gadgets

5. Mobile applications

6. Personal documents

7. Toiletries

8. Miscellaneous

9. Luggage

10. Contact abroad

11. Travel

Travel documents

The most essential are your travel documents. Documents will be very important for students to successfully fly, conduct immigration check-ins, board, and undergo post-departure formalities. Also, keep a photocopy of each of your documents separately so that you can have an alternative in case it gets misplaced. This will make the process of acquiring duplicate or replacement documents easier for the immigration services. Here are all the important travel documents:

1. Passport

2. Credit cards

3. Student visa

4. College admission proof

5. Train tickets

6. Flight ticket

7. Boarding pass

8. Student card

9. Accommodation proof

10. Enrollment confirmation

11. Health insurance proof

Read More: Study abroad from India with great affordability and efficiency


International students need to keep medicines handy. Especially when the students are undergoing treatment. For any prescribed medication, make sure you carry it in a good quantity. It might be possible that the same medicine brand is not available in the host country. For any such emergencies, the international students will get help from the local medical assistance team. Carry the prescription for any future reference. Some common or general medicines that should be carried along for safe travel are:

1. Paracetamol

2. Antacids

3. Painkillers

4. Anti-allergies

5. Antiseptic

6. Bandages

7. Cough syrup

8. Dettol

Local currency

It is very important to have some local currency in the country that you are moving to. Nowadays, Visa and Master Cards are easily accepted in every country. It is easy to get local currency from foreign exchange centers, airport kiosks, and currency exchange offices. Avoid any kind of trouble related to the fake currencies offered by various false agencies. Read a little about the basics of the currency of the country to get a good idea. Carry enough cash for easy access to necessities and expenses on the way.


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

Read More: Reduce cost of master’s abroad by 20 lakhs

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 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

Read More: Study abroad for free – Everything you need to know


International students should carry as many clothes as they can from their homes. This will save a lot of money. Carry clothes that can be used for various climatic conditions. Check the weather updates for the country that you are traveling to. Carry cotton, durable, easily drip-dried and comfortable clothes. If there is any uniform needed for colleges or universities, make sure it is available when you visit the campus. Here are some of the clothing essentials that you must carry:

1. Jeans

2. Hoodies

3. Pajamas

4. Sweater

5. Jackets

6. Workout clothes

7. Activewear

8. Accessories

9. Flip flops

10. Running shoes

11. Heels

12. Formals

13. Scarves

14. Mufflers

15. Caps or hats

Before leaving home, do the below

1. Check the passport expiry date

2. Arrange a contact number for the new country

3. Have a new email address

4. Empty the fridge

5. Lock the doors and windows

6. Unplug the electrical gadgets

7. Photocopy of all essential documents

8. Communication with the respective educational institutions

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

Read More: Cheapest countries to study abroad for Indian students

Carry on essential for traveling abroad

1. Documents (Visa, passport, valid IDs, university admission proof)

2. Currency

3. Phones, chargers, headphones

4. COVID-19 test report (Applicable for the pandemic phase)

5. Masks and sanitizers

6. Diary

7. Pen

8. Medicine

9. Cash

10. Credit cards

Checked-in essentials for traveling abroad

 1. Clothes

2. Toiletries

3. Documents

4. Medicine

5. Electronic gadgets

6. Shoes

7. Everything else that students need

Read More: Reduce cost of bachelor’s abroad by 20 lakhs

Things not to carry while traveling abroad

Flights to foreign countries have their own rules and regulations about things that can be carried from one country to another. There are a few things that should not be carried for a hassle-free traveling experience. For best guidance, speak with the upGrad Abroad counselors today to find out the things to bring when traveling abroad. Here are some of the things that should not be carried while traveling abroad:

1. Heavy bottles of liquid

Liquid is not allowed on flights. If you are planning to keep yourself hydrated while traveling, get water or drinks from the airport. Large bottles of drinks, sanitizers, oil, or shampoo will not be allowed to be carried while traveling. Carry the small-sized ones, as that will be sufficient for a week’s time.

2. Books

Books always add a lot of weight. It will take up space. Books are easily available in the college library or students can buy them as well. Carrying books from one country to another will occupy unnecessary space. Rather, space should be utilized for other essentials.

3. Snacks

Carrying snacks takes up a lot of space. A good idea could be to taste the food of the host country instead of carrying food from the home country. Do not use the space for anything that will not be allowed in the host country. Food is good in foreign countries and trying out the food of the host country helps the students get accustomed to the new culture.

4. Expensive jewelry

Expensive phones and laptops are a necessity. It is okay for students to carry their expensive gadgets, but one must avoid expensive jewelry. It is not recommended for any student traveling abroad to carry costly jewelry. This is a strict no.

5. Inappropriate clothes

Studying abroad involves a lot of dos and don’ts. One such don’t is to pack any inappropriate clothing. If any student is traveling to a country that is conservative in nature, clothing should be appropriate. Pack according to the host country’s culture, and students must abide by the rules of the host country.

A planned packing list for Indian students going abroad will help them manage and organize all the essentials and documents in the right order. A focus on your objective behind travelling abroad can simplify this otherwise challenging task.   

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