study abroad

What You Need for a Semester Abroad

Congratulations on being accepted into a study abroad program! This exciting time means the next few months are going to be full of preparation for your semester abroad. Part of your study abroad preparation is making sure you have the essential items you need for a smooth trip and educational experience. Use a study abroad checklist to make sure you have everything you will need for the experience of a lifetime!

Documentation Required Before You Go:

  • Birth certificate
  • Valid photo ID
  • Passport/Visa
  • Study abroad information
  • Flight tickets
  • Emergency contact information card
  • Currency and Safety:
    • International credit card
    • Alert your current bank that you will be traveling out of the country so they do not place a hold on your account for suspicious activity
    • Local currency which you can get from your bank or at the airport prior to your flight
    • Travelers insurance
    • Map of study abroad location

During Your Semester Abroad:

  • Clothing appropriate for the climate where you will be staying. A good place to start no matter where you are traveling to is as follows:
  • 5 shirts
  • 2 pairs of pants/shorts
  • 2 pair of dress pants/skirts/dresses
  • 2 blouses or dress shirts for formal attire
  • 1 Bathing suit
  • 7 pairs of socks/underwear
  • 3 pairs of shoes: Running shoes, dress shoes, sandals/boots as per your location of travel
  • 1 pair of Pajamas
  • 1 jacket: can be heavy for cold areas or a light rain jacket for warmer areas


  • Converter
  • Cellphone with an international calling plan
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Camera
  • Toiletries
  • Tooth brush
  • Makeup
  • Medications
  • Deodorant
  • Glasses/contacts

Packing for a study abroad trip may make you feel like you need to pack everything you own, but remember you can make purchases once you’re at your destination. This will help keep your bag at an acceptable weight limit for your flight and ensure you only take the essential items you need. The VitalChek study abroad packing checklist will help take the stress out of your preparation. If you need any of your personal vital records prior to your semester abroad, simply order them online and quickly have them in your possession.


  1. I paid for a birth cirtifacate in Feb. and still have not recieved it. That order # ********. I would like the cirtificate or my money back, please. diane higgins. my e-mail is *******

    1. Thank you for your comment. We’ll have someone contact you as soon as possible regarding your question. Thank you.

  2. Least amount of help and convenience I have ever recieved from a web order. Actual takes less time for me just to drive 1.5 hours away and get my documentation in person. What a hassle trying to utilize vitalchecks “services”.

    1. Thank you for your comment. We’re sorry you experienced issues with your certificate order. If you’d like to email us at, we’ll be glad to look into the situation for you and provide any assistance possible. Thank you.

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