What to Pack as a New International Student


Quote the Raven: Lui Xia

Lui Xia

It is time – time to pack. You are excited, yet nervous. It might be or might not be the first time you are leaving your family for a long period of time. There is a lot to think about, but one thing is for sure – you know you need to pack. But how do you do it? Let me explain.

Before I talk about it, I want to remind you to read through all air travel regulations, especially from the airline you will be flying with. There are important information you should know to reduce the hassle of travelling.

1. Absolute Must-Haves
You will need important documents like your passport, visa, money, acceptance letter, electronics and other valuables. These items should go into your carry-on.

2. Toiletries and Personal Hygiene products
It is recommended you bring one set of toiletries and personal hygiene products with you. This includes face wash, toothpaste, tooth brush, deodorant, lotion and skin creams. If you are not too picky about your toiletries, you can buy most of them here after you have used them up. Or else, you can do some research on whether Canada offers the same or similar products.

3. Clothing
People often suggest two weeks’ worth of clothing suitable for all four seasons. By that, they mean clothes you can layer with during the winter but also wear them alone during the warmer weather. You can definitely bring your favourite pieces of items if you know you will wear them regardless.
You also do not need to pack too many winter clothes if you are coming from a country with a warm climate. When I first came, I was worried as well, but I did not have to. Ottawa has tons of shops that sell better quality and better suited clothes for Ottawa winter.

4. Medication/Prescriptions
If you need specific medications, bring them. Check also with your doctor whether that specific medication is available here in Ontario. Certain over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamol or aspirin can be bought in Canada. You should also bring an extra pair of eye glasses or contact lenses if you wear them.

5. Memorabilia and Favourite Things
Prepare a small number of things that remind you of home. A few items to consider are photos of friends and family, as well as favourite stash of stationary and office supplies (I needed to bring mine because they did not have it in Canada).

Happy packing!

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