Flaticon Icon Julia, a recent high school graduate, was accepted into a university in another country. Excited about the news, she and her parents are ready to begin preparation for the freshman's first year away from home.

However, they came to a brick wall wondering what Julia would need to survive as a student in a foreign country. Flaticon Icon

If you're like Julia and her parents, and you're not sure where to start, you can begin by creating a 7-piece international student survival kit.

Travel Documents

Flaticon Icon Imagine standing at the check-in-counter or at customs only to be rejected and not allowed to board your plane because of a missing travel document.

Disappointing, isn't it?

This might seem like a no-brainer, but having the correct travel documents for international study is very important.

Passport, with pages turning and a boarding pass tucked in-between

Before traveling, international students should research all required travel documents for their country of study.

Important documents might include:

  • valid passport

  • student visa

  • boarding pass

  • letter of proof of acceptance/enrollment from the college or university

  • proof of financial support to pay living expenses

  • other valid forms of identification such as a national I.D

Keep travel documents where they can be easily found, and safe from potential damage. Check out this article on travel documents required for study in the United States.


Julia forgot to bring her proof of study documents to the airport. She realizes this just before meeting the immigration officers at customs. Which of the following will likely happen?

Medicine Bag and First Aid Kit

Flaticon Icon

Santa taking medication

No one wants to become ill or injured while studying thousands of miles away from home, but it wouldn't hurt to be prepared.

  • Keep a first aid kit handy.

  • Have a sufficient supply of your prescriptions.

  • Keep painkillers, creams, or band-aids near.

A medicine bag and first aid kit should only be used to treat minor injuries or illnesses. Visit the school's medical facilities or a local hospital for treatment of major injuries.

You should also make sure that you have appropriate medical insurance before you go, and keep any insurance documents with you in case you need to go to the hospital.

Personal Care Bag

Flaticon Icon

Mickey Mouse family fainting from an awful smell

There's a saying that goes, "first impressions are lasting ones." Keep a personal care bag packed and handy. Items to put in your personal care bag can include:

  • comb and brush

  • toothpaste, toothbrush, and floss

  • hygiene products such as face and body soap, deodorant, and sanity napkins

  • a change of clothing and undergarments

Meal Bag

Flaticon Icon

A woman licking her fingers and the word

As college life can be time-consuming and fast-paced, you may be too busy to prepare a meal. Keep a meal bag in arm's reach with nutritious items. These can include:

  • cereal and bars

  • dried fruit

  • canned foods

  • water

Laundry Bag

Flaticon Icon

Having a clean environment is important to your health and success as a college student. Use a laundry bag to organize clothes that are about to washed and reduce clutter in your space.

A fox sitting at a laptop in a dirty room

Tool Kit

Flaticon Icon At times you may have to engage in the repair and maintenance of items in your space.

Frustrated man with electrical cables

This might include assembling electronic devices, and furniture, or making minor repairs to other household/apartment/dormitory items. Keep a tool kit with items such as a screwdriver, batteries, and tape measure handy.

If the maintenance required is on a professional level, contact the relevant personnel who are available at your school/place of residence.


Flaticon Icon

Marked safe from disorganization today

An organizer can can help you:

  • keep abreast of the change in time zone from your native country to your country of study

  • keep your schedule neat

  • navigate the world of college

  • meet deadlines

  • attend classes on time

  • make time for rest and recreation

Check out this sitefor a list of electronic student planner apps and this site for a list of paper planners.


Julia's lecturer handed out the course readings and assignment schedule and told the class that they wouldn't meet again until midterms. However, they must meet all deadlines. How can Julie use the organizer to meet these deadlines? Select all that apply:

Take Action

Now that you've read my recommendations, it's time for you to get started on creating your survival kit!

Flaticon Icon


Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

Get support to take action on this Byte