"THE Comprehensive Packing List" by Ciara Tenney
For this blog post I have chosen to write a comprehensive packing list for everything you will need for studying abroad! As a general rule, I have followed this packing list for when I travel for years: https://thesavvybackpacker.com/travel-europe-packing-list/. There is a list for men and a list for women on this website, and it can be really helpful for planning any trip!
For Your Carry On
Your passport AND a copy of your passport stored in a different location than your passport in case your passport goes missing.
All of the contact information for your parents or emergency contacts, AMIDEAST, and your university such as the study abroad office or your study abroad advisor.
Your credit/debit cards as well as cash stored in different places in case one item is lost or stolen you still have access to money.
Any electronics you decide to bring such as your phone and computer.
Prescription medication that you will need in-country.
Some form of entertainment because not all flights have in-flight entertainment.
Enough clothes to last a day or two in case your luggage is lost.
Toiletries such as a toothbrush and face wash because in between long flights washing your face and brushing your teeth makes you feel more comfortable.
An eye mask, earplugs, and a neck pillow in case you want to sleep.
Headphones, preferably noise-cancelling ones if you have them, to drown out the noise of the plane or listen to movies on the plane.
For Your Checked Luggage
Medication & Toiletries
All of the prescription medication you will need for the duration of your study abroad program as well as a copy of the written prescription from your doctor. The mail system in Jordan takes a long time and medications may be held by customs, so ensure you bring ALL your medication because medication should not be mailed to you. Be sure to keep all medications in their original containers and check with CISI Insurance and your doctor to make sure all of your medication is legal in Jordan.
Any over-the-counter medication that you usually have stocked at home such as: Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Pepto-Bismol, probiotics, Emergen-C Vitamin C packs, cough drops, etc. I highly recommend that you pack a bottle of Pepto-Bismol because living abroad is the perfect environment to struggle with stomach issues and Pepto-Bismol is amazing for that.
Any and all beauty products that you prefer to use at home, such as: facial and hand moisturizer, shampoo, conditioner, makeup remover, makeup, lotion, mouthwash etc. While many products are available in Jordan, I have not been able to find what I normally use, and many items are more expensive here such as Listerine Mouthwash. Additionally, when you first arrive in your study abroad location you will not know where the best or cheapest places to shop are yet. I also recommend you pack enough sunscreen for the entire trip as that is expensive in Amman.
Eyeglasses and sunglasses as well as saline solution and eye drops.
When it comes to packing, clothing is arguably the most difficult aspect. It is very easy to overpack, under-pack, or simply pack items that are not useful or appropriate. A common rule of thumb for packing light is you should pack the same for six months as you do for two weeks because you can do laundry. Additionally, many students buy clothes, especially t-shirts (often with Arabic on them!) where they are studying abroad so they do not need to bring a ton with them.
4-5 shirts, including a mix of long-sleeved and short-sleeved shirts depending on the season that you are studying abroad. I found that spring semester in Jordan is actually quite cold, especially as the homestays rely on gas heaters rather than central heat to keep their homes warm so inside the house is often cold.
Pants or long skirts, it is very rare to see people wear shorts in Jordan, even in the gym.
One or two nicer outfits for special occasions, going out, and potential internships.
Underwear, socks, bras.
Pajamas: consider bringing a warm pair and a light pair!
Jacket, including a rain jacket if you chose not to bring an umbrella. I recommend bringing your full-blown winter coat because I regretted only having light jackets for the first three months of the spring semester.
Comfortable walking shoes, flip flops.
Bathing suit and cover up.
Scarf for covering up if it is cold or you visit a religious site
For the Gym
I highly recommend joining a gym wherever you study abroad! I enjoy going to the gym immensely here. I did not know what to pack before I came to Amman, so having been here this is what I recommend:
4-5 workout shirts (without or without sleeves, women wear both here). I packed way too light in this regard and I know several other students have had to skip the gym on days when they don’t have enough laundry.
2-3 pairs of bottoms. For women, you can wear leggings that are long or go to the mid-calf, that’s the norm! For men, you can wear your normal gym shorts.
Socks! You will want plenty of socks, so you don’t run out.
4-5 sports bras depending on how often you like to wash them.
An extra towel! If you plan to shower at the gym it is a good idea to bring a second towel for this purpose.
Electronics & Books
A converter that is multi-country, in Jordan you need both a U.K and a European adapter so consider buying a universal adapter.
Make sure you bring the voltage adapters that come with your computer and phone (for iPhone the little white block that allows you to plug the USB directly into the wall)! The voltage is different in Jordan than in the U.S and plugging a USB charger directly into a regular adapter is harmful for the battery of your electronic device.
Your normal school backpack.
Pens, pencils, a journal, and a notebook. Notebooks are designed differently in Jordan than in America and I personally prefer the American style.
Your computer! You will want a CD/DVD Drive as well, so you can listen to drills for homework.
Camera, including any memory cards you need.
The Arabic textbook that corresponds to the level you expect to place into
An Arabic/English, English/Arabic dictionary, I HIGHLY recommend you buy the Hans Wehr Arabic-English dictionary.
A small backpack or duffle bag for the gym or short day trips, such as hiking.
A regular water bottle like you would use at home. There is little need to buy water because you can fill your bottle up at your homestay or AMIDEAST.
Portable battery pack for charging your phone on-the-go.
Antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer.