While week two designates that the semester is well underway for the greater UC Berkeley population, there are many who are taking their studies abroad this semester. However, going abroad for an entire semester, or even a year, means that you have to face some struggles of your own – namely trying to pack your life into a couple of suitcases. If you do happen to find yourself in what is really quite a pleasant predicament, then sit back and relax because the Clog has got you covered.
Don’t forget your textbooks!
Just because you’re journeying around the world for a few months, visiting beautiful sites, tasting exquisite food and learning eye-opening history, doesn’t mean you get to forget about the academic struggle that your fellow Golden Bears are enduring at home. As a UC Berkeley student, it’s essentially your responsibility to stay true to your 4-year commitment, and really put the “study” into “studying abroad.”
We at the Clog highly recommend that you pack your textbooks and readers so that you stay up to date on your studies pending your arrival at your host university, and even for your return back to campus. We understand that these unnecessarily large books take up a lot of space (and weight) in your luggage, so we recommend switching out some clothes (pajamas are should be the first to go) to make space. With all your studying, you definitely won’t be sleeping, so what’s the point of bringing things you won’t use?
Bring an umbrella
If you’re a UC Berkeley student, you’ll understand the requirement of bringing an umbrella with you wherever you go—this includes abroad. Even if you’re going to the Dry Valleys in Antarctica where the average rainfall is zero millimeters per year, it’s in your best interest to pack a sturdy umbrella. You really never know when rain will choose to fall, but it always seems to be on the day you’ve decided to leave your umbrella at home. Play the rain at its own game and be ready for anything it throws at you—including water.
Similar to the previous point, Berkeley students have mastered the art of layering their clothing due to extremely unpredictable weather. While chilly and foggy mornings require several jackets, the afternoon heat calls for more summer-esque clothing, even in the middle of November. Use what Berkeley has taught you as you venture into the real world (literally) and pack a variety of clothing for your travels. This ensures you’ll never be caught off guard wherever you choose to visit next during whatever season it happens to be.
And while a thin cardigan may seem like an unnecessary piece of attire for your Antarctic expeditions, global warming (which happens to be a very real and necessary problem to tackle) will ensure that that cardigan will come in handy when you need to take off your polar parka on those hotter days. You’ll thank us later.
It’s really not all fun and games when it comes to figuring out packing essentials for your six (or twelve) month journey away from home. Add in the limited space of your suitcases and you’ll be wondering if it’s even possible at all. Then again, traveling around the world for a semester is well worth sacrificing a few days of cursing at your suitcase as you try to pry it shut.