Ever since I got back from Erasmus in Madrid in June I haven't stopped thinking (or talking) about it. From reminiscing with international friends to working as an Erasmus ambassador at my university, I haven't been able to stop! Recently my friend and I went to Germany for the weekend to visit our friend from Munich, and in a few weeks another friend from Valencia will be coming to see what Sheffield has to offer (hint: hills and sub-zero temperatures).
But all this Erasmus-talk has got me remembering how much of an amazing experience it was and how I long to go back and chill in that Spanish sun again, drinking sangria with friends or wandering around discovering new things wherever you go. So, for all you semester abroad goers heading off in January, here is a list of all the things you should take with you, to take that added stress away from what will be the most incredible experience...
1. Suitcase- First of all make sure you've got a decent heavy duty (but also light) case- this lil gem will be your lifesaver when trekking through the underground trying to find your way around.
2. Clothes- think about temperatures! Do some research about how the weather will change throughout your stay and pack accordingly. Remember you'll end up buying clothes when you're there anyway. (I remembered my fluffy dressing gown but forgot socks...)
3. Electronics- laptop, camera, iPad, GoPro, speakers...you name it, you'll probably want to take it- and remember the chargers! Also remember plug adapters and I found my extension lead super helpful!
4. Kitchen items- check with your landlord, but most study abroad accommodation
will come with enough pots and pans for you to share out with your housemates. If not, you can always buy them when you get there to save that valuable suitcase space.
5. Bedroom items- your room will probably be pretty bare (apart from a bed, desk and a lamp) so make sure you take plenty of photos, fairy lights, wall-hangings posters to make yourself feel at home. Most places will provide duvets and bed sheets.
6. For the hot/cold weather- sunglasses, sun cream, a hat/gloves, a scarf, woolly hat, plenty of layers!
7. Documents- passport (may seem obvious but my friend forgot hers as she travelled just with ID), Uni documentation, purse/wallet, bank details, European health card (you'll need a specific study abroad one)
8. Cosmetics- make up, perfume/aftershave, shower gel, toothbrush, retainers, nail clippers, (you can buy heavy things like hair products once you get there)
9. Stationary- pencil case, pens, a folder (for all that work you'll be doing...) I also write a diary which will be amazing to read back in the future!
10. Random bits- coat hangers, books/magazines, blue tac, flip flops, rucksack
Getting this all in to a 22kg case may seem like an impossible task but effective packing will get you through! Also, I always asked my visitors to bring a few bits for me (including pyjamas and tea bags!). Don't stress too much, most of the things you will take are replaceable elsewhere...just don't make my mistake and buy so many clothes that on your return your suitcase is 7kg over the limit!! And remember, no matter how much pre-Erasmus stress you may suffer from, you’ll have the most amazing time when you finally make it there.