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Study Abroad Closet: Ten Tips to Make the Most of your Suitcase


Written by Jessica Shelburne

Studying abroad is a popular educational alternative amongst college students. The exposure to an unfamiliar culture comes with a priceless experience and unforgettable memories.

However, actions that must be taken in preparation for spending multiple months on another continent can be stressful, such as packing an entire semester worth of clothing into a suitcase.

Sophomore Alexandra Gautier recently returned to RC after studying abroad in Lyon, France. The following tips are what she considered the most important when packing for an extensive trip.

  1. Narrow down the amount of shoes (and clothes) you are bringing and be realistic about how much you’re actually going to wear them. 
  2. Wear your bulkiest and heaviest clothes on your flight.
  3. Bring clothes that you’d potentially be okay with ditching.
  4. Bring very versatile staple pieces, mixing and matching clothes is key.
  5. Interesting jewelry is a great way to enhance an outfit and doesn’t take up much of space in a suitcase.
  6. ROLL your clothes, don’t fold.
  7. Packing a suitcase and taking out half is a great way to really boil down what is a must-have and what is a want when packing.
  8. Do research about where you are traveling and pack for the climate.
  9. Pack your heaviest items, valuables and breakables in your carry on.
  10. Check specific airlines rules on baggage to avoid fines from exceeding the weight limit.