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What Do I Wear There? Study Abroad – Part 1


What do I wear there? Study abroad

A few weeks ago, CF reader Katie commented:

“I just got accepted to a study abroad program in Europe for the spring semester, and the first thing I thought about was how do I pack to go abroad? And I thought… I should ask Colleen. So what do I wear there? I have no idea what the temperature will be like and how I should go about packing for all occasions that may come up when I can only bring two suitcases.

Please help and write a post about this!! I think a lot of people would benefit from it!!”

After reading all of your comments last week, I definitely think Katie was right. It seems like a lot of us, including myself, are going abroad next semester and are starting to worry about the thought of packing our lives up into only TWO suitcases for four or so months!


However, I realized that there is no way I can cover all of the clothes needed for studying abroad in just one article since we are all going to different places. Therefore, I decided to split this post up into multiple parts.

This week’s post is about study abroad clothing basics, pieces that will work most places that you will enter in cold weather and leave in spring. I have included some key must-bring pieces, as well as some study abroad tips and tricks!

For the next few installments, I’d like to personalize the articles for specific study abroad destinations CF readers are going to. So if you are planning on going abroad, tell me your planned study abroad location in the comments! Whichever sites are named the most will be the ones I highlight in the series.

Take-With-You Tops

Cute tops for studying abroad

Product Information: V-neck Tee: Forever 21, Sequin Front Top: TopShop, Black Cardigan:, Plaid Tunic: Charlotte Russe

The most important thing to think about when packing clothes for travel is versatility! Since you don’t have a lot of packing space, you want to make sure you can get a lot of wear out of all the pieces you bring.

This basic v-neck is great for the days you just want to be comfortable but still look cute. It would also be a good choice to wear on the plane since you definitely want something casual and easy. (For more tips on what to wear when traveling, check out What Do I Wear There? Airplane Outfits and Tips.) You can also change this up by adding a vest, cardigan, scarf, etc. when it is colder.

The next top I suggest bringing is your favorite going-out tank top. I love this gorgeous one from TopShop, which would be perfect for going out in cooler weather under a blazer or on its own in the spring. It is also a good versatile piece since it’s nice but not too fancy–if needed, you could pair it with a cardigan or sweater and wear it during the day.

Another necessary top is a basic cardigan in a neutral color. This will go with anything and can be worn under a coat in the winter or over a sundress as it gets warmer.

Finally, pack a tunic top that you can wear with jeans or with leggings to vary your look. This plaid one is especially useful because you can also wear it unbuttoned over a simple tank for yet another outfit!

Must-Bring Bottoms


Product Information: Bootcut Jeans, Black Leggings: TopShop, Colored Tights:, Black Skirt:

This area is slightly more personalized for each traveler. While I suggest that everyone bring at least one of the above, if you hate leggings or are not a fan of wearing tights, stock up on the other items instead (or suggest what you would bring instead in the comments)!

As far as bottoms go, the number one item to bring is your favorite pair of jeans! Wearable in most weather, jeans are ideal for class, weekend trips, and days spent simply exploring. Definitely only bring pairs you have broken in, as new jeans may prove to be uncomfortable and stiff.

Leggings are another great staple to pack with you, especially since they take up such little room! A simple black pair can be worn day or night under pretty much any color, layered under dresses, etc.

For slightly warmer nights, bring a couple pairs of tights. Basic black is always a smart choice, but since tights are so compact, feel free to also slip in some fun pairs (such as the colored ones seen above or patterned ones). Tights allow you to bring your spring dresses and skirts into winter, so they are definitely a smart choice!

While many people swear by the “little black dress,” I happen to be obsessed with the “little black skirt” instead! I have a plain one from American Apparel that I seriously wear everywhere–it’s great with tights and a flannel for class or with a fun top for a night out! I love the side panels on this one, as they ensure a flattering fit.

Other Outfit Essentials

What to bring for study abroad

Product Information: Lace Dress:, Stripe Dress, Blazer, Sweater: TopShop

As much as I love my black skirts, I definitely do not mean to diss the little black dress! This is a must-bring, especially if you find one with a pretty lace pattern like this. It can be worn anywhere from a dinner with some new foreign friends to a night time event to a night out on the (new) town!

I also suggest bringing a good “day” dress for days when you may be taking a trip with your classmates and want to look a little nicer. I am in love with the interesting construction of this striped dress–it’s totally fun and original! The simple design and coloring will also carry you through both winter and spring with appropriate accessories.

As I mentioned earlier, a blazer is a really smart piece to invest in this season and bring with you when you go abroad. It can be dressed down for class or dressed up for work or going out. Black is probably the best color to get this in, as that is the most acceptable color if you plan on wearing it for work.

Finally, in addition to the cardigan I suggested above, bring along a simple sweater. This is another great item you can easily throw on in the morning before class that will still keep you looking cute. A more lightweight sweater like this one is ideal since you can layer it over a heavier long-sleeved shirt in the winter for warmth or over a tank top on a chillier spring day.

Stuff-In-Your-Suitcase Shoes


Product Information: (Clockwise from top left) Bow Ballet Flat: TopShop, Gladiator Sandals, Nude Pumps:, Floral Sneakers: TopShop, Brown Boots:, Rain Boots: Banana Republic

Note: I know these may seem like a LOT of shoes to bring given luggage space issues, but I wanted to show a large array since this is a general post. Don’t feel like you have to pack all of these!

Going in the same order as the Product Information above, I’ll start with the ever-essential ballet flat. Great for work or nicer functions, a ballet flat will not take up much room in your suitcase and will add class to any outfit.

While it may seem crazy for many of us to think of wearing sandals with the weather we have right now, one of the tough parts of packing for study abroad is remembering to anticipate that warmer weather. Therefore, you’ll want to bring along a pair of your favorite sandals for when the spring weather comes!

Since you’ll undoubtedly want to go out at night to nicer places at least once, bring along a great–and comfortable!–pair of heels. Nude pumps are currently my favorite heels, as they go with everything and are unexpected compared to basic black pumps.

In contrast to the heels, you’ll want to bring along a pair of super comfy, flat sneakers for the days when you really want to go exploring and see all of the sights. Remember that just because they are sneakers does not mean they cannot be cute–printed sneakers are everywhere lately and are a great addition to a regular jeans and tee-shirt outfit!

For the weather right now, your favorite worn-in boots are a must! I suggest wearing these on the plane since they will take up the most room in your suitcase. Make sure to bring a pair that you can wear with jeans, tights, and leggings to get maximum use out of them.

Finally, if you happen to be going to a rainier climate, you’ll certainly want to be prepared with a pair of rain boots. These black and brown ones are super sleek and the rubbery material will even allow you to fold them when you go to pack!

Some Study Abroad Tips

  • Don’t bring anything you have never worn! The last thing you want is to waste space on something that ends up being uncomfortable, ill-fitting, or simply unnecessary. Try everything on before you go.
  • Be sure to stock up on your favorite brand name beauty products, as they may not be available overseas.
  • Look at fashion blogs from the place you are going for some outfit inspiration as you are packing. This will also help you see what is appropriate to wear there, as well as what is in style.
  • As I have mentioned throughout the article, don’t forget to look ahead! Just because it is cold now does not mean it will be when you leave in May.
  • On that note, try to pack lighter pieces that are easy to layer. These will take up less space than bulkier items and layering your clothes will give your outfits more diversity.
  • Bring along plenty of accessories: jewelry, scarves, hats, and hairpieces–since you cannot bring lots of clothes, these will allow you to add something new and different to your looks.
  • Leave space in your suitcase for all of the fabulous purchases you will make!

What Do You Think?

Have you gone abroad? If so, leave us some suggestions! Since I have not yet gone, I would absolutely love to hear the opinions of experienced travel abroad students on what is great to bring or any other tips you have!

And don’t forget to tell me where you are studying abroad in the comments if you would like your destination to be possibly featured in the upcoming week!

Posted on on November 13, 2009 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , ,

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128 Responses to “What Do I Wear There? Study Abroad – Part 1”

  1. 1
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I am currently abroad in Florence Italy right now, and I have to agree for the most part with the packing tips. Definitely bring a pair of skinny jeans, as that is the only kind of jean I have seen all over Italy (and Europe in general)

    It is also sooo important to bring a pair of extremely comfortable and durable shoes, the streets here are all cobblestone and you walk everywhere, within 2 weeks of being here the bottoms of my flats were destroyed!

    Don’t worry as much about tops because everywhere I’ve been they have markets and cheap stores with the latest fashions!

  2. 2
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    This post is really helpful and so so true! I did some study abroad in high school and Europe is very hard to pack for; you’re expected to look fabulous every single day, but you can only bring so much with you!

    I’d like to see a post on Senegal. That’s where I’m planning to go in a year or two, and my second major concern (behind not knowing enough French yet) is what to wear in an Islamic country with a tropical climate. How can I be modest without overheating and still keep it stylish? Help would be appreciated. :)

    Thanks for a great post!

  3. 3
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    My roommate and I are both going abroad next semester…myself to Lithuania and she’s going to France!!!
    Any ideas for these places would be great.
    But everything so far has been wonderful!

  4. 4
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    I´m an “abroad living” lo I´m from Brazil so I know what it is trying to dress locally. I´m going to NYC January and I´m crazy looking for winter tips. Actually that´s how I end up here :)

  5. 5
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    The only thing I would mention about boots is that leather tends to “shrink” on long airplane rides. My mom, dad, and I had an 8hr. flight coming back from Europe and my mom worse these cute leather clog-like shoes. By the time she got off the plane they were so tiny she had to walk off the plane with no shoes. This post is really helpful though all my friends studying abroad next semester are really loving it! Most of them are going to Spain.

  6. 6
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I’m brazilian and I’m studying abroad for 1 year here in Boston… I only brought two suitcases for the whole year, and it has been super fine!!
    The tip is to really work on basics. I’ll use a plaid large shirt over leggings and boots, or over a shirt with tights, jeans shorts and ballet flats. bring along a long, flowy white shirt that can be used with anything.
    My real best here is working tights and cool jeans shorts – it may sound strange, but it looks amazing and everyone in classes keep telling me they will steal my outfit.

  7. 7
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:40 pm

    Next Spring I’m going to study in Rome, Italy! I would love to see a segment on that–I know that a lot of people go to Italy for study abroad! Thanks =]

  8. 8
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:41 pm

    I’ll living abroad next summer (maybe longer?!) in China working as an archaeologist. Any advice for hot, hot, hot weather would be helpful! PS. I loveee your site! You always awesome fashion tips!

  9. 9
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks SOOO much for posting this! It’s so helpful since I’ll be going abroad next fall. I’m going to Venice =) Any tips for those of us heading to Italy for the fall semester? Again Thanks so much!!!!!!!

  10. 10
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    I guess i became addicted to this blog as i check t every hr or so…….i am going to have 2 internships next summer one in German and another in Dubai and i feel like thank god i am not going in winter cause boots take so much space.this post is really helpful for me so thnx!=)

  11. 11
    November 13th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Why not bring your personal style abroad? Especially here in Europe we appreciate the fact that people are different. Be fabulous and be yourself anywhere you go. With the Internet it is not hard to figure out the temperature of the country you’re going to, so pack your style and have an awesome stay!

  12. 12
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:02 pm


  13. 13
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    I did a semester abroad. I recommend packing light with just the basics (including a very comfortable pair of shoes for all that walking). Taking things you can layer is the best way to deal with the uncertainty ahead (a point well made by Colleen).

    Every location has it’s own clothes which are suitable for the climate and culture you are in and buying these items is fun and a good way to diversify what you wear.

    Remember you want to get the things you buy over their back home, so, if you can, leave lots of room for your new items in your suitcase you will have less of a headache packing to return home.

    One small thing, I’d personally be hesistant about stocking up on beauty products as a change of climate often means you change your daily care routine too.

    Great post!

  14. 14
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I will be doing an exchange in Sweden next semester, and I’ll also be spending some time in Finland and Denmark while I’m there. From what I’ve understood, nordic fashion is a bit different – so I’d love it if you wrote about that!

  15. 15
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I will be going to Italy for spring semester. I would love to know more about the accessories. Ive heard that longchamp bags are very much in style in Europe. Can anyone second that?

  16. 16
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    I’m from Italy, I live in Rome. A lot of you are coming to Italy girls! good luck, I think it’s a wonderful country :) Next fall I’m going to USA for a year, but I don’t know were I’m going yet. In USA in each part climate changes so much… and I don’t know how I’ll do with my suitecases! I’ll never be able to pack all I need in just two bags… and when I’ll come back I think I’ll have to buy another suitecase, for ALL my purchases =D

    I’ll buy everything in Abercrombie =D =D =D

  17. 17
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Well I won’t be going abroad until fall semester 2011, but it’s definitely down to London or Italy!

  18. 18
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    I totally agree about layering! I went to Norway this summer, and I expected it to be in the low 60s as usual, but they had record-setting high temperatures! I ended up using some of my thinner cardigans for night time, but I was glad I didn’t just bring heavy clothing.

    I know you didn’t mention jewelry (yet?), but I noticed that almost every girl in Norway had a HUGE pair of fake pearl earrings. I have some big fake ones, but there’s were HUGE! Haha! They also wear a lot of shoes that look like Keds with very flat bottoms.

  19. 19
    November 13th, 2009 at 4:58 pm

    I studied abroad in Paris :) The essentials that you haven’t yet covered:

    -Winter Coat. Classic peacoat or trench is the way to go.
    -Leather jacket. Chic, and good for the awkward in-between from winter to spring. Also can be worn on the plane ride back (airplanes get cooold) to save space for the winter coat.
    -scarves, a European essential
    -you can never have enough underwear. ever. I can’t emphasize this enough.
    -Travel Febreze is your best friend, and something no one really thinks of to pack. Unless you’re lucky you won’t be able to do laundry as often as you’d like (whether cost or time slots or whatever), so you will be re-wearing things often. This was a godsend.
    -while you want to be super prepared, leave room in your suitcase! You WILL go shopping and find lots of great things, so make allowances for a couple pairs of shoes (for instance in Europe boots are such a staple that you can usually find them for cheap- I found a pair for only 20 euro) and a few dresses or tops

  20. 20
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    Spain next fall! More specifically, Madrid.

    My boyfriend studied abroad in Spain in high school and said women usually wear dresses and skirts rather than shorts, and that its an easy way to spot an American. Keep that in mind!

  21. 21
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    If you intend to go sightseeing, particularly to churches, then bring at least one skirt or dress that is knee-length or longer. And a more conservative top, because Europeans, or at least the French that I’ve met, don’t appreciate people who walk into their cathedrals in jeans or short skirts.

  22. 22
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:14 pm

    I studied abroad in Ireland last year and if I learned one thing about packing, it is to pack lightly!! I was overweight in my luggage going over and let me tell you, it was a pain in the a**! I brought clothes that I didn’t wear.. no joke. Pack your favourites and make sure you save room for some of the cool pieces you’ll collect during your sojourn.
    If any of you are going to Ireland or the UK, bring an umbrella and a trench coat – I used and wore both religiously!

  23. 23
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    I am going to studying abroad in Ireland over the summer and in a couple years study in Spain.

  24. 24
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    I’m going to Scotland next fall!!! I’m really, really, really excited, but one of my biggest concerns is fitting in. I know it’s great to show your personal style (as Milana mentioned), but I’d rather not be blatantly American, and I know it’s easy to stick out in the UK, where typical color palates and style in general is sufficiently different from here. So I know a lot of people are going to Italy, but another feature on maybe the UK as a whole would be great!

    PS – no matter which areas you decide to do, this is an AWESOME idea!! Thanks so much!!


  25. 25
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    I’m so excited you’re blogging about study abroad fashion! Great post! I’m going to Florence next semester:)

  26. 26
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    These are some really good ideas, especially for a Europe trip. Any tips for Ecuador-appropriate clothing?

  27. 27
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    I’m planning on studying abroad in Paris! Parisian street style is so much fun – I’d love to see your interpretation of it. :)

  28. 28
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    Wow you guys are so lucky getting to travel so much:)

    One of your readers wrote this:

    14November 13th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    I will be doing an exchange in Sweden next semester, and I’ll also be spending some time in Finland and Denmark while I’m there. From what I’ve understood, nordic fashion is a bit different – so I’d love it if you wrote about that!

    I actually live in Denmark – I’d love to write a guest post about how women dress in Scandinavia.

    Contact me if it’s of interest to you!


  29. 29
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    For May and June, I’ll be studying in Cuba. I’m just not sure what to wear to keep cool in the really hot sun, without looking like a tourist.

  30. 30
    November 13th, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    I likely will be spending May and June in Belize… any ideas for super hot weather?? I think I’m the third person who posted they’re going to Central/South America, and I’m sure we’d all appreciate some advice on how to pack for tropical climates :)

  31. 31
    November 13th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    I’m not sure if I can swing it yet, but I’m attempting to go to Morocco and maybe Oxford or Cambridge in the next year. Some ideas for either of those areas would be fantastic!

  32. 32
    November 13th, 2009 at 6:09 pm

    I’m going to be studying in London next semester and I’m a little bit worried. I was told by friends in the past who studied there

    1) Not to wear rainboots (even though it rains all the time…)
    2) Not to wear heels (because of cobblestones, although honestly, I mess up my heels walking all the time in Boston)
    3) Not to wear my huge down winter coat (an essential for the Boston winter)


  33. 33
    November 13th, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    This is a really helpful topic to cover, from everyone here in the comments flying all over the place :) I’m still more unless in high school, as it were, so no possibly studying abroad for at least two more years, but it’ll be my turn before I know it :)

    Plus, I got a little kick from skimming the comments list and finding that Josie and Milana both live in denmark, like i do ;).

  34. 34
    November 13th, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Im going to JAPAN! YAY could you give me some tips for essentials in the cold climate please :)

  35. 35
    November 13th, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    I’m from the Netherlands and I already spent a semester in the US last spring. At the American university I went to, I was so surprised that most people wore sweatpants to class! That’s not acceptable here! Generally I think that in Europe it is expected to look nice, jeans are NOT formal wear. I usually wear a dress to class or jeans with a nice top. But because of the cobblestones it is not really advisable to wear heels that often.

    It rains all the time in the Netherlands, but nobody ever wears rain boots… you can buy cheap umbrellas everywhere, I own about 5 now in different colors and designs so they can match my outfit!

  36. 36
    November 13th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    Another excellent post!!! I never did study abroad while in college but the advice is very practical for traveling :)

  37. 37
    November 13th, 2009 at 8:22 pm

    this is great!

  38. 38
    November 13th, 2009 at 8:35 pm

    I studied abroad in Paris last summer and one thing I would say is, kind of like what Samantha said, Europeans tend to dress up more for everyday life than Americans. I go to college in LA, where people where yoga and sweatpants all the time and jeans can be considered dressy… this was not the case AT ALL in France. Things like big, hooded sweatshirts and athletic shoes worn outside the gym will make it completely obvious you are a tourist. Like, almost as obvious as if you wore a fanny pack. (At least in Paris, that was the only place I went in Europe so I don’t know if other cities are different). If you’re going to Europe, I would definately suggest packing a lot of skirts, cute flats, some heels, maybe flat/short-heeled boots, and light jackets. I guess it depends what time of year you’re going, but basically stuff that’s comfortable and easy to walk a lot in but also looks put together.

  39. 39
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    I am so happy you finally decided to do this post! My roommate and I have been talking and planning packing forever because she’ll be gone next semester and I’ll be gone in the fall. It’s hard to know what to pack but having ideas, like yours in your article, are so helpful to at least get ideas.

  40. 40
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    Hey! Could you PLEASE do an article on wearing denim with denim? I have an amazing denim vest and I know i could create thousands of new outfits with it, but I don’t have a clue how to wear it! So could you please do an article on “wearing denim with denim?” Thank you!

  41. 41
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    Perfect timing on this post! I’m interning abroad in London next summer and have already been researching what I’m going to wear. I’m definitely showing off my own style, but I’d love to see some ideas of what fashionable Londoners wear!

  42. 42
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    I like this post a lot because even though I’m unable to study abroad (I tried… but I started the process too late and it didn’t work out :( ), I still travel a lot for research and for visiting friends. Thank you for this!

  43. 43
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    This article could not come at a more perfect time for me. Im going to Germany for my winter break, and I have NO clue what to pack, and what I will need. Its going to be real cold, so I need to find a good cute warm jacket. Any ideas? Some thing about what and how to pack for weekend trips abroad and a cute warm new years eve outfit would be so helpful!!!! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!!

  44. 44
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    Athena, I’m no fashion expert, but I believe there’s no good way for wearing denim with denim. I think you could wear your denim vest with non-denim pants (or colored denim, with no denim texture), dresses (I love vests over summer dresses) or skirts. But I just don’t see it with denim.

    About the post, I think it’s good, but I also feel noone should make a suitcase for “any” weather, that’s just impossible. You should check the weather on the internet before picking up your clothes: even if you’re staying away more than one season, I live in Argentina and I know our winters might feel like Canadian springs (for example), for example, so you wouldn’t need a super warm jacket or super warm boots. But that’s just my opinion.

  45. 45
    November 13th, 2009 at 9:57 pm

    Ok I have a few words of wisdom to add. I studied abroad in Spain but I also had the chance to spend some time in Morocco (Muslim country for any of you traveling to one of those). For those going to Spain, the weather varies but I would definitely pack dresses. I agree with Colleen that layering pieces are huge! I studied in Madrid, chilly in January when I got there (winter coats are a must but not a Boston style winter coat), but it warmed up gradually. I took a lot of trip to the north and to the south so having a range of things is nice.

    For you girls going to muslim countries, it is really important that you see if your program can provide you with a past participant to talk to, they will let you know if you need to wear a hijab or head scarf. Morocco is less conservative, but you SHOULD NOT wear any tank tops (without something on top) or cap sleeve shirts, and nothing low cut. You should stick with pants and longer skirts. And interms of being stylish there, I looked a lot to the local girls, they knew how to cover up and be cute.

    I also second whoever said that the only pants I saw people wearing were skinny pants. I cannot rock the skinnies, but I never felt out of place in my bootleg cords or jeans.

    Hope I helped:)

  46. 46
    November 13th, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    Can you tell me which American Apparel skirt you mentioned in your post?


  47. 47
    November 13th, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    I’m going to Brussels next fall and even though I feel like I’m always dressed up compared to the parade of uggs and north faces at my college, I’m scared I won’t look fancy enough next to the chic european girls.

  48. 48
    November 13th, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    I will be traveling to India this Christmas (through the New Year) for a Medical School study abroad trip. I have read that certain clothing is more appropriate for the culture and more respectful. What could I wear that would be modest and professional while I am working in clinics?

  49. 49
    November 13th, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    I got so psyched when I saw this! I’m studying abroad in the spring (like so many others here, yay!) and I am flipping out trying to figure out what I should bring to Scotland. I’ll second the “please help us U.K. girls!” request!

    Like Samantha with the Netherlands, I’ve heard a lot of confusing advice — “it’s always rainy!” versus “never wear rain boots, it brands you as a tourist” ; “it’s never warm” versus “you don’t need a downy coat, ever” ; “jeans are a staple” versus “wear skirts every day” and it’s leaving me feeling so confused.

    Do I need to buy a whole new wardrobe or am I fine with everything I own for school in upstate NY? Help me, Colleen!!

  50. 50
    November 14th, 2009 at 12:11 am

    I’ve got it easy! I’m going back to Ometepe Island, Nicaragua. I work in medical clinics providing basic care to the people of the island, so when I’m working, it’s scrubs, and when I’m off, it’s whatever’s comfortable. Thank heavens…heat, humidity, rainy season, NOT worried about it!

  51. 51
    November 14th, 2009 at 12:25 am

    Wow, this is so awesome, especially since I’m studying abroad next year in England for half a year and New Zealand for the other half. However, for both I’ll be there from the end of their fall to the beginning of their winter seasons, so could you mention some tips for studying abroad in wetter countries during this time period? Thanks!

  52. 52
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Colleen I mean you no disrespect, but all of you with specific location questions should really consult someone who has been where you are going. They can give you the best advice on the fashion in those places. I think Colleen offers great packing tips, but ask an upperclassmen who has already been to your study abroad locale (and went there at the same time of year you are going) for advice.

  53. 53
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Although this is a very good idea for a series of posts, I do think the most important piece of advice anyone could take with them while traveling abroad is missing and that is to consider the cultural standards of the area. I love my summer skirts, but they’re not acceptable in a number of nations by cultural practice alone and it’s important to recognize and respect that.

  54. 54
    November 14th, 2009 at 2:02 am

    I have looked at the Topshop site for half an hour, I can’t find the adorable sequined tank top or the striped dress!

  55. 55
    November 14th, 2009 at 2:47 am

    This article made me so excited! I’m studying abroad in Madrid, Spain next semester, so I would love advice on what to wear there!!

  56. 56
    November 14th, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Not wearing rainboots in the rain because it’s not fashionable sounds very silly to me, have to say. Wet feet is horrible to live with! There are a lot of nice wellies around, please wear them instead of getting sick – or destroying your shoes, which rain is bound to do unless they’re plastic or something.

    For those of you going to Scandinavia, I can say that the wellies-on-the-town, or to class anyway, is perfectly acceptable and wide-spread in Finland anyway ;) Just wear enough socks in them, woolly socks or something, since they’re usually not warm at all (there are padded ones too though, looking for some right now myself!)

    And a big clue to dealing with cold wherever you go is layering – one heavy sweater with a t-shirt underneath won’t do as much good as several tops, etc. Learnt that one the hard way…
    Also I tend to prefer mittens to gloves, since your fingers will stay warmer in mittens.

  57. 57
    November 14th, 2009 at 6:16 am

    In an European and I have a friend whose father is living in the US. She visited him and spent some time studying at the NYU. Her style is rather casual, so she was really suprised when people had been costantly asking her “Why are you so dressed up?”. By “dressed up” they meant she had been accesorizing her outfits with scarves and jewellery or wearing a blezer. I know girls reading this site probably aren’t those wearing their sweatpants to classes, but if you ever do, please remember it’s a huge faux pas in Europe.

  58. 58
    November 14th, 2009 at 8:30 am

    this is amazing. :)

  59. 59
    November 14th, 2009 at 9:27 am

    Aww such cute tops. Weirdly I just brought that purse to put my train tickets in as well :)

  60. 60
    November 14th, 2009 at 9:35 am

    I guess it actually depends on which European country you are going to… Every country has a different sense of style. Besides climate is very different depending on the geographic area.

  61. 61
    November 14th, 2009 at 10:58 am

    Argggghh – it does depend on which European country you’re going to! You really can’t generalise on how “europeans” dress as it’s so different country to country. For example, I’m originally from Britain but am currently living in Austria, and I expected the style to be fairly similar, but my god, I was wrong! The fashion in the shops may be alike, but each place has its own sense of style (here, everyday wear = jeans, hairbands with updos and big earrings) and you really need to (if you want to, that is) just adapt as you get used to the country. I’m all for taking your own style with you, but it can get a little uncomfortable sometimes if it doesn’t mesh with the country you’re living in! I think that British girls dress up a lot more during the day and there’s a really broad range of styles around, so no one cares how you dress, whereas if I dressed the same here, people would think I was a complete freak! One tip though.. in Britain (though the south is apparently different) girls really dress up for nights out, whereas in Germany and Austria they tend to stick to jeans and more casual outfits. My tip is to take a lot of cute basics that go together and stock up on accessories and new clothes in your new home – you feel less like a tourist and it’s so much fun when you go home and you know no one else will have your new style, too.

    Good luck to those girls heading abroad! Hope you have an awesome time :)

  62. 62
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I just discovered this blog the other day and I am absolutely and completely obsessed with it!! Keep up the good work! =)

  63. 63
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:04 am

    I live in Dublin, Ireland so if anyone wants some advice for there be sure to email me :) j_ryan15@

  64. 64
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:09 am

    Hi! I studied a year abroas in the US (I’m from Belgium)

    and I took like a lot of clothes with me which was not a good idea. I lived a year in Minnesota and the wheather is kinda diverse thourghout the year there. So I took clothes for every season with me. However it’s really hard to imagine what style of clothes people wear there. So when I had to go home at the end of the year I had way to much clothes to take home with me

    So my tip for you is …
    Just take some of your favorite outfits with you that are easy to put together and easy to layer. Take also clothes that are easy to combine. Not that you can only wear that one shirt with that one skirt.

    There are so many stores here in Europe and you will shop a lot.

  65. 65
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:15 am

    Oh and what I wanted to say…

    We DO dress up more during the day. I was kinda confused when I was walking around in MN and people were dressed in sweatpants and such. The US tends to be more laid-back, where we put more attention to our looks and clothes. For some girls here it’s a big task to put together their next day’s outfit.

    But don’t let you lead to the main crowd and stay with some of your own style. But then with pieces from where ever you are. Because it’s true. Once you will get back in the US eveyone will be jealous of all your new little stuff.

    You don’t have to spend a lot of money on clothes. But you can also change an entire outfit with new accesoires.

  66. 66
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:18 am

    A lot of people mentioned countries in Europe but what about Africa? I am looking to study in Kenya and I have no idea what clothes to bring! Any tips on Africa would be amazing!

  67. 67
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I studied abroad over the summer with my majority of the time in london and was shocked at how cold it was– I had to invest in another sweater!

    I agree with what you said– bring lots of basics that you can mix and match (i actually took photos of all the dif. outfit combos sort of like they do in lucky magazine). use accessories and scarves to play up the different looks.

    also MAKE SURE you leave room in your suitcase (or bring a collaspable duffle) for all your shopping finds; you’re definitely going to leave with much more than you came with :)

  68. 68
    November 14th, 2009 at 11:38 am

    oh! and definitely a little change purse with a pocket for metro card and all your euro coins/pence. The coins there are worth a lot more than they are here (one time i added them up and I had 15 british pounds in coins)

  69. 69
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    Many of you are coming up against the problem of not wearing rain boots, even in rainy countries. As someone from Seattle, when it rains nearly every day people just sort of adapt and wear whatever shoes they want (we just get wet and don’t care). Umbrellas are pretty rare outside too. If you are from a place where it doesn’t rain so often, I can see why you’d have a “rainy day outfit,” but if you’re visiting a place where rain is the norm, people will see you as a tourist if you dress differently because of the rain.

  70. 70
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    I’m going to London!

  71. 71
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:17 pm

    I went to Paris and Rome this summer and from their fashion style there, here’s what I saw:

    – Blazers (especially in black)
    – SCARVES! (I don’t think I’d ever seen a Parisian girl without a scarf!)
    – Boots (mocassins were popular, along with over-the-knee styles)
    – Long tunics (any design & color go well, try Urban Outfitters!)
    – *UGGS (surprisingly, when I was on the Champs de Elysse, I saw TONS of Parisians wearing Uggs. O_o I guess this is good?)

    – Gladiator sandals (of course! After all, gladiators at the Colessum! Almost every girl in Rome owns a pair of these!)
    – Jeans (Many Italians love to wear form-fitting, designer jeans with lots of decal on them. Don’t ask why!)
    – Louis Vuitton bags (knock-offs?!?)
    – V-neck tees (very popular with the younger Italians)
    – Black trench coats (it is sometimes chilly in the mornings of Rome, depending what part of the year you’re going. In that case, I’ve seen lots of girls in Rome, and often women too, just pull on a black trench coat over their outfit and leave the buttons un-buttoned!)

  72. 72
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:26 pm

    hi girls…I’m italian…
    for whose of you who are coming here in Italy I will give you only an advice: it’s cold..
    I don’t know when you will come here, but here it’s cold till April…
    Take coats, jackets, scarves, gloves and hats…
    The fashion here it’s quite similar to the one there in the US: skinny jeans, leggings..we use a lot of long sweaters and I personally love coloured tights..I’ve them in purple, red and white..
    We use leather boots, but in raining days comfortable shoes, to not slip! we use them either on the jeans or with a mini…
    Hope being helpfull to you all…I’m sorry for my English…
    ciao ciao

  73. 73
    November 14th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Boston!! I’m from a tropical country and seriously have no idea on packing for winter! I heard it will be -30 degrees celcius in Boston in Jan to Feb and my country is almost always at 35 degrees celcius… gosh

  74. 74
    November 14th, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I’m heading to Florence next semester (in just two months!) and lately I’ve been freaking out over what to pack and what to wear. I was delighted to see this post when I checked college fashion today!! Anything related to Florence or Italy in general would be greatly appreciated!!!

  75. 75
    November 14th, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I’m studying abroad in Beijing next semester, I’d love to see some advice on traveling to Asia!

  76. 76
    November 14th, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    I’m studying abroad in London next fall. This article is so great I can’t wait to see the next segment!

  77. 77
    November 14th, 2009 at 3:22 pm

    I studied abroad in America last Fall and Spring and now i’m studying in Paris, so i’m a bit of a veteran. The things that are most important are accessories accessories accessories!!! They make or break an outfit and can often be conversation starters as I found whilst I was living in the US. A good tip also is to try and get a family member or friend to visit you during your last week/weeks, that way you can use their luggage allowance and highjack one of their suitcases to hold all the new and wonderful things you buy :)

  78. 78
    November 14th, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Anna, where abouts in New Zealand are you going to study? I can give you plenty of advice but we have a lot of variation in climate here so it would be helpful to know where you are going to be based.

  79. 79
    November 14th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Speaking from experience, DON”T over pack! I always do and did. I had to throw away things because I bought so much back. My mom helped me packed when I left and when I was coming back from London, I didn’t have her and I bought so much stuff there( Harrods sale when I was there)! DON”t Overpack seriously, u will kill yourself, lol, and look like a hot mess like I did. Not cute! pack lightly so u can bring things back!

  80. 80
    November 14th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Bring your medications!

  81. 81
    November 14th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I’m going to France for a semester! It’ll probably be next fall, but it might be next spring. I’ll be in Paris. I’d love to hear some tips on how to dress for going to classes and going out!

    Also, does anyone know any “normal-girl” French (or Parisian) style blogs that I could look at to see how I should dress?

    In response to Josie: look at . The blogger, Selina, is in Sweden right now, and she has some great posts about Swedish style that you should look into!

  82. 82
    November 14th, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    Alethea, that would be so helpful! I’ll be going to Christchurch, a nice change from my native Los Angeles, since I want to do some South Island exploring.

  83. 83
    November 14th, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    I’m currently studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland (and LOVING IT! It’s making me so jealous of all of you yet to go to some amazing places!). Here are my tips from this semester, which could probably apply best to Ireland, London, and Scotland:

    -DO bring rainboots. I don’t wear them nearly as often as I did, but on those dreary Dublin days I am glad that at least my feet stay dry!
    -Bring COMFORTABLE shoes. I can’t emphasize this enough! I walk at least 3-4 miles a day going to/from classes, my apartment, grocery shopping, etc. If you shoes are not comfortable or durable, your feet (and you!) will pay the price. Sperrys are great, even though Europeans don’t wear them. I also LIVE in my comfiest flats and my converse (converse and converse lookalikes are huge over here).
    -Plan your clothing choices by what layers well. Don’t just bring one cardigan, because you don’t want to get stuck with only a black cardigan when you’re wearing an outfit that won’t match. Bring enough options so that everything can mix and match because you will most likely get sick of wearing the same combinations over and over again. Think versatility– a dress you can wear by itself with sandals when it’s warm, and then add a turtleneck underneath, a scarf, and tights when it’s cold.
    -Bring a GOOD umbrella. Seriously. You will get wet every time you walk to class on a rainy day if you choose form over function. And there are lots of cute high quality umbrellas, so you have no excuse!
    -Boots are a must have here. Unfortunately I didn’t bring a pair so I have boot-envy every time I see a girl with cute boots, but a nice pair of leather boots will be invaluable.
    -Have different coat options. I brought 5 different coats (and YES, still fit it all in my suitcase with room to spare and was not overweight), and I’ve worn all of them so far, with the exception of a pea coat since it hasn’t been too chilly… yet.
    -If you have a shoe obsession like me, choose the pairs you want to bring, cut that in half, and then pack those. I brought 8 pairs (including rainboots), and have bought 2 inexpensive pairs here (some cheap flats and a pair of Fuggs… fake uggs). That is plenty of shoes. Promise. I even brought a pair I haven’t worn yet… so bring the minimum you think you will need.
    -Pack using spacebags! You still have to worry about the weight limit but it at least makes fitting everything easier!
    – Only bring one purse + one bag for books. I use a large tote for going to/from school, and a purse when I’m doing anything else. As long as your purse can transition seasons (mine is a pretty mustardish color, so it goes from fall-winter), that’s all you need.
    -Makeup can be very expensive here (think… your $18 bare minerals foundation costs at least 25 EURO…. or about $37 here)… so stocking up on name brands you can’t live without will save you money.
    -Don’t skimp on jewelry/accessories. I brought over 5-6 scarves, and pretty much all of my jewelry. It’s how I make an outfit feel new and different again.

    Hopefully these tips are helpful to future abroaders! Have fun! And if you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them over e-mail…

  84. 84
    November 14th, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    **oops, I meant I don’t wear the rainboots nearly as often as I THOUGHT I would :)

  85. 85
    November 15th, 2009 at 4:28 am

    Do one on Canada! :) Im wondering if people in the UK are very into fashion and are barnd concious people?

  86. 86
    November 15th, 2009 at 4:59 am

    Hi! I was wondering if you could suggest some outfits to wear when having laboratory classes (for science majors). We have a dress code in the laboratory. It’s part of the safety measures.

    1. Closed Shoes
    2. Long Pants
    3. Secured Hair (especially if it’s long)
    4. Eye glasses or lab goggles
    5. Lab coat (Do you have tips on how to glam up a lab coat?)

    Thanks. :p

  87. 87
    November 15th, 2009 at 5:00 am

    Spain! I’m also getting nervous about the winter-summer change while I’m there this Spring..

  88. 88
    November 15th, 2009 at 10:37 am

    Study abroad is so much fun! Good luck everyone who is going!

    I did study abroad last summer to the UK on one (ONE!) suitcase. Here are some tips:

    -SANDALS! Warm-weather makes these a must. I love them because I wore them almost every day, and didn’t need to pack as many pairs of socks.
    -Rain Boots: For the UK, an essential. I didn’t pack these, as they’re very bulky, but sprung for a cheap pair from ASDA when I got to the UK. They were definitely worth the 10pounds spent, even if I did have to leave them behind.

    -Try to swipe the airline blanket, if you’re given one!! I carried it around everywhere – it was a great picnic blanket for quick takeaway meals in parks, a shawl for chilly midnight train rides, and a lifesaver when I realized I’d forgotten a towel when staying in a hostel for the weekend! By the end of term I’d run it though the wash so many times it was in pieces, but it was one of the most well-used things I owned. And it was free!

    -Toiletries: Do some research! These can be the heaviest things to pack. Soaps, shampoos, lotions, etc, I ordered from an online drugstore and had them shipped to my study abroad home a few days before I was to arrive. That way, I didn’t have to take a ton of time out from orientation searching for a drugstore, or go the first few days without a decent shampoo! The school I was at was in the middle of nowhere, so having these shipped was a lifesaver! If you know others studying abroad with you, combine your order to save on shipping!

  89. 89
    November 15th, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    I’m studying abroad in Austria this semester and have done a good amount of traveling around Europe. For the person saying they are studying abroad in Venice all I can say is bring rain boots. The city flood often and they will help so much.

  90. 90
    November 15th, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    this is a GREAT post colleen! i really liked the tips you gave, they’re really practical and i’m definitley going to keep them in mind. i really liked the wearing the boots on the plane one, so smart! i can’t wait for the second part of your post. i’m actually considering studying abroad my second semester, and this is making me even more eager.

  91. 91
    November 15th, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    I’m from England, and I second, third or whatever: PLEASE don’t generalise as “Europe.” Fashion and weather are COMPLETELY different across this continent. Someone studying in Britain would wear completely different stuff [especially in winter] to someone in Spain, so just because you’re going to “Europe,” don’t feel that there is only one “European” style of dress.

    Also, as long as they don’t look like pyjamas, people here are totally fine with wearing sweatpants and hoodies [especially hoodies] to class.

  92. 92
    November 15th, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Great idea for a post series! Currently I am planning to study abroad in France (exact location not decided yet, but not Paris) from September to December 2010.

  93. 93
    November 15th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Hi! I am wondering what colleges most of you would recommend for fashion abroad. I am from LA and I was thinking of going to London/Paris.


  94. 94
    November 15th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Spain this summer!

  95. 95
    November 15th, 2009 at 11:56 pm

    LOVE THIS POST. I’m going abroad next semester too and am thrilled to start packing but terrified at the same time. I’ll be going to London, Berlin, Verona, San Sebastian, Paris, and Lyon. All over Europe actually!
    Packing tips for any of those locations would be immensely helpful.

  96. 96
    November 16th, 2009 at 5:49 am

    Oh, btw, just a follow up on my question (see comment 86), by closed shoes.. I mean really really closed. Doll shoes/ ballet flats aren’t even allowed! :p Thanks again.

  97. 97
    November 16th, 2009 at 1:39 pm

    This was really helpful! I am going to The Netherlands in the spring and I’m a terrible packer! Now I won’t be tempted to bring my entire closet with me because I have no idea what to pack.

  98. 98
    November 16th, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I’m going to Denmark next summer for class (ill be in Copenhagen) It would be nice to see options on how people are dressing and what to pack. I pack like 3 suitcases for a weekend road trip, so packing for a summer with all the luggage limitations is going to be REALLY difficult!

  99. 99
    November 16th, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    I’m going there in the winter and I live in Brazil (where it’s always too hot!), so I’m totally lost! Besides, who wouldn’t be inspired by Parisian fashion?

  100. 100
    November 17th, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Never bring clothes that scream “american tourist” (such as UGG boots or North Face fleeces). Not because of the style but because they generally make you a target for pick pocketers. UGGs can pass in England but in most areas in France, nobody wears them. Pea coats are wonderful for winter: they come in a variety of colors and can be found just about anywhere,

  101. 101
    November 21st, 2009 at 12:13 am

    Anna, Christchurch is my home town! It’s pretty cold a lot of the year and often below 0 (degrees Celsius) on winter mornings. Essentials include a warm, windproof jacket and a set or two of scarfs, hats and gloves. Jeans are really common for students but on cold days you will want something under them (or warmer pants). No-one really wears gum boots or ugg boots but make sure you have a couple of pairs of warm solid footwear with one able to handle a rainy day.

    I would recommend buying some nice solid colour merino wool jerseys from Glassons. They are cheap, warm and great layered on really cold days. Let me know if you have an specific questions.

  102. 102
    November 23rd, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    I agree with most of the things in the article [:
    However, I wanted to point out that although this may not be read, as it’s so far down, that a pair of flat sneakers are not always the best thing for site-seeing.

    I went on a class trip to Boston, where we had to do “the death march”.
    Essentially on the last day, our teacher gives the bus driver the day off, and we walk everywhere. In Boston, that meant the entire freedom trail, including running up the Bunker Hill Monument.

    I wore a pair of converse, and my feet hurt ridiculously before we were half way through. Wearing flats or flat sneakers generally don’t have enough support if you are actually going to be on your feet all day. Wearing running shoes, or even flats by a brand like puma (which have ADORABLE ones in all sorts of fun colours) are much, much, much better [:


  103. 103
    November 23rd, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Hi) i’m an international student, originally from Kazakhstan, now studing almost 5 years in Poland, and next year i’m going to Canada)

  104. 104
    November 23rd, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    i’m going to Nottingham, England in the spring and i live in Egypt so i have absolutely no idea what to take with me. I’m really concerned about the cold and wet weather :) !!

  105. 105
    November 25th, 2009 at 9:49 am

    This blog is so helpful! I am not going abroad for a semester but I am going to London and Paris for ten days in January with school. My good friend from high school is coming with me and we were just talking about what to bring. It is so hard because we have to pack light! I was going to buy rainboots but I found these Rocket Dog boots that look perfect for snowy and rainy weather!

    The problem that we are running into is the fact that we are going to be outside a lot of the time. And we want to look cute but not freeze. How can we do that? :]

  106. 106
    November 28th, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    Paris! As with Karissa’s post above mine I will be there for the month of January. How do I look chic while keeping warm and dry from the rain? Leggings aren’t that warm and rain boots take up a lot of space in a suitcase! Help please!

  107. 107
    January 19th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I am going to Italy in the end of March and I need fashion advice. I am only ten years old and I want to pack lightly. I went to Paris last April (2009) and packed sweat shirts, jeans, converse, short-sleeve shirts, and long sleeve shirts. I would reccomend bringing a light bag with a pack a of gum, camera, lip balm, and mini first aid kit.

  108. 108
    December 4th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Hey guys-

    Just a quick insights, for those of you traveling to India/Germany. I’m an American who has now lived in India for one year and Berlin, Germany for ~2 years.

    For India:
    In ‘public’, especially in places like old Delhi and rural villages I would advise not wearing skirts above your knee or tank tops that show any cleavage. (the exception is if you go out to night clubs in Delhi or Mumbai). When I lived in Delhi I alternated between long colorful skirts with a simple cotton top, Indian camel shoes or sandals and a big scarf (think Dharma from ‘Dharma and Greg’). Feel free to load on tons of beautiful jewelry you can find cheaply throughout India. Also color is huge there, so have fun playing with bright colors. The key to surviving the heat there is to wear 100% cotton.

    Another great alternative is to buy Indian style clothes. The best shop I found while in Delhi was ‘FabIndia’ which has a variety of beautiful designs and are pure silk or cotton. ‘Sarojini’ Market is the place with awesome cheap western tops and skirts dresses. Salwar Kameez is an outfit that is popular with young working women there and would be perfect for working in a clinic. It you don’t want to wear a Salwar Kameez, just wear a long tunic over jeans. Saris are awesome, though difficult to tie without some help from Indian women.

    For Berlin: Most of Germany is much fancier than Berlin. Berlin is pretty much anything goes. A lot of young people living in hip/artsy neighborhoods wear a lot of vintage/hipster style. It’s rather eclectic with a hint of military roughness and/or 80s prom dress (I kid you not, I saw a girl rocking a puffy prom dress with ripped fishnets and military boots at a dance club). Some parts of Mitte and other parts of germany are more formal. An outfit commonly worn in winter is a pair of leather boots, warm socks peeping out, leggings, shorts or mini skirt and a sweater tunic with lots of layers. Pea coats with knit scarfs, hats and mittens are common.

  109. 109
    July 1st, 2011 at 2:09 pm


  110. 110
    July 25th, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Oi gente!
    I’m currently studying abroad in Brazil right now! I’ve spent the past month in Salvador, Bahia, and I’m moving to São Paulo this week.!
    What Colleen mentioned about packing basics that you can layer and tons of accessories was exactly right! But it’s also best to talk to another student who has done your program because they can really tell you what the fashion is like. Back home, I’m a big tye-dye wearer, I admit. But it’s the one thing I absolutely did not back. Salvador, the city I’ve been in for the month is rich with afro-brazilian culture so being white I naturally stand out as a tourist. I was told that it’s important to not wear my beloved tye-dye because it would SCREAM American. So ask around and you’ll be sure to get good advice!

    Also, I was allowed to bring 2 suitcases, and I did, but one of them was barely half-full! Anticipate that you will be buying things while abroad (clothing, gifts for family/friends, shoes, etc) and if both of you’re suitcases are full when you arrive, you’ll have to leave something in the foreign country in order to bring your new purchases home.

    I hope this helps!

  111. 111
    September 29th, 2011 at 8:34 am

    Nice post this is well done one quick questions for females studying abroad. How do you balance the line between wearing the local clothes of the country you are going to and bring your own style with it. And then you have to remember to have comfortable clothes as well, you will be doing a lot of walking.

    For a guy it tends to be a lot simpler we require less clothes and usually our comfort clothes are our everyday clothes.

  112. 112
    October 5th, 2011 at 2:55 am

    Hi! I’m going to Paris for a holiday in the winter and was wondering what to wear? I’m not really sure how cold it will be, so I don’t know what to buy. Can anyone help me?

  113. 113
    March 19th, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    I’m currently studying abroad in Rennes, France, and I will say a couple things:

    First of all, though it is good to fit in, don’t let your personal style go just because you want to look like a local. Out of fear of overpacking and of looking out of place, I left behind lot of things that I would wear in my every day life. However, after several months, I miss my clothes, because in a way I feel like they were a part of me. I have a slightly different style here than I would at home, which is fine, but I do miss my wide-leg jeans – and the funny thing is, I would fit in just fine if I had them. I would also feel a little more like myself.

    On a similar note, I’d remind you that not every city in France is Paris, and not everyone dresses like a fashion plate – these are really, every-day people, and while everyone is pulled together, there’s quite a range of style. Also, here, it’s a lot more laid-back, and there’s definitely a funkier, grungier style, though of course “french chic” is always around. I’m sure it’s similar throughout Europe – each region and city will have its own particular feel.

    To echo the advice of others, bring lots of underwear and lots and lots of camis, long-sleeved tees and t-shirts. When it’s cold, layering works wonders, and since you won’t be doing laundry all the time (my host mother does mine, but that means I might go for quite a while on unwashed clothes, because she is busy) you can go longer by changing out your base layers. Also, underwear tends to be more expensive here, so stock up in the States.

    Bring lots and lots and lots of accessories – I didn’t bring enough. I’m glad I did not overpack, but I would have saved a bit of money if I hadn’t UNDERPACKED.
    Go shopping, of course. But save most of your money for traveling and going out. It’s the most important thing.

  114. 114
    March 21st, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I went from Australia, where I live, in the Summer, to Germany’s coldest winter in 20 years. I thought i knew what warm clothing was! Take enough things to get you through the initial days. If you’re staying for a long enough period (a couple months), then invest in a good winter coat and boots. I found one in h&m that did the job, and the collar buttoned up to keep my neck warm!

  115. 115
    August 15th, 2012 at 10:13 am

    I studied abroad in Normandy, France for a semester, taught in Eastern France for a year after graduation and am about to move to a town an hour outside of Paris for the next two years. Overall this article gives great advice. Especially it’s suggestions on leggings/tights, blazers, and wearing your bulky boots on the plane to save precious suitcase space. I agree that makeup can be much more expensive in Europe, and since it doesn’t take up a lot of space or weight it’s worth it to stock up beforehand. They do have Sephora there in case you need more though, don’t worry! Take a cute bag that’s big enough to pack overnight/weekend stuff in for travels. I have a cross-body leather messenger bag I got in Florence that is just gorgeous. When she mentions dresses and tips for going out, keep in mind that even in hot night clubs women will be dressed more conservatively than in college bars. As a general rule pick ONE of the three (and not all as we might choose here): SHORT length dress/skirt (your fingertips are past the hem), TIGHT body-hugging dresses that show every curve, LOW cut tops that show off your cleavage. Heels are a great suggestion, but consider cute wedges instead if the downtown where you’re headed has cobblestone streets. As for accessories like scarves hats and necklaces- I always find cute-and cheap- stuff abroad, plus they’re inexpensive, fun souvenirs. On the rainboots suggestion- those things are freaking heavy and bulky. You can buy a decent pair over there for 20Euros and just leave them when you head back stateside. Above all, remember that your journey over there will be long-often more than 24 straight hours til you arrive at your housing. So don’t pack too much! Two suitcases doesn’t sound like very much but when you add in unfamiliar metros with stairs, train cars with small luggage racks and old buildings with no elevators, your bags get unreasonably heavy very quickly!

  116. 116
    August 17th, 2012 at 10:11 am

    What 2 wear in Paris, Italy, & London?

  117. 117
    September 15th, 2012 at 1:05 am

    I got this site from my pal who told me about this web
    site and at the moment this time I am browsing this web site
    and reading very informative articles here.

  118. 118
    November 24th, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Thanks! I am forwarding your info to my girl. She is going to study in Denmark at DIS. Any additional advise for her?

  119. 119
    November 28th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    This was really interesting, but definitely aimed for people studying abroad in warmer climates. I’m going to Denmark and I’m currently freaking out trying to figure out what to pack since even though I’m from the Northeast, their winters and springs are way colder than anything I’m used to dealing with. =(

  120. 120
    August 15th, 2014 at 8:48 am

    For those of you traveling to India, summer months(May to September) in the metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai,Bangalore and Chennai could be terribly hot and humid (30 degrees celsius and more).
    So, pack light colored cotton shirts and linen trousers/ loose pants as these look modest and trendy and will save you from the heat all at the same time.Light scarves are a big add on to your attire as well.Do not forget to carry an umbrella as a sun shield.
    If you are interning or studying at an institution, western formal wear such as pants and shirts are fine. But make sure they are of cotton. Plus, many expatriates do love sporting the cotton kurtas (long top) and patialas (flowy pants) available everywhere in India but the best place to buy awesome stuff is

    A tip:Locals do warm up to you if you wear these super comfortable garments.

    However, the hill stations could get quite cold even in summer (below 15 degrees celsius), so light cardigans or a nice shawl would work best.

    Unless you are at the beaches,shorts, tank/halter neck tops and low cut dresses should be best avoided as such outfits are considered immodest.

    As for the winter months(November to February), except the South and the West of India, temperatures could drop to very low levels everywhere(less than 10 degrees celsius). Pack oxfords/boots, a heavy coat, a woolen muffler and gloves.

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