Hello everyone! Let me introduce myself briefly and then we’ll move on to the fun part. I’m Skyler, a junior studying biology with a neuroscience emphasis. I’m also in the Honors program. This fall semester I’m studying abroad in Copenhagen, a trip that I’ve been planning since senior year of high school. I’ve always wanted to visit Denmark, and the Danish Institute for Study Abroad (DIS) conveniently has a neuroscience program, so I applied as soon as I could. I’ll be spending my semester studying neuroscience, marine and microbiology, and Danish culture. My flight is tomorrow morning and I’ll arrive midday Sunday in Copenhagen, be picked up by my host family, and start my adventure abroad.
These past few weeks before my departure I’ve been frantically going over my to do list to make sure that all the necessary paperwork has been filed and everything that would need to be packed was ready to go. I spent my summer on campus doing neuroscience research, and once that was completed I went home for a week to hang out with my family before leaving for Denmark. This meant that I had to pack up all of my belongings in Tacoma, get them to my house, unpack them, and repack what I was taking abroad. During this horrid experience I remembered that I hate packing. So. Much. Because of this, I decided to give you some tips that I discovered along the way while packing so you don’t have to go through the same agony.
- Make a list. This actually worked really well for me. I was stressing out about squishing my whole life into one suitcase and two carry-on items, but it was too early to start packing, so I made a list of everything I wanted to bring instead. Writing down all the items I thought I needed helped me realize what I actually didn’t need to bring. It also helped to look through my closet while I was making the list so that I could tentatively pick out what clothes I wanted to bring and remember them for later. Having a list to follow while packing stopped me from impulsively throwing every pair of shoes I own into the suitcase.
- Roll your clothes instead of folding them. Lay clothes of similar shapes (all your pants, T-shirts, long sleeve shirts, etc.) flat on top of each other and then roll them up all together. It will take up much less room in your suitcase than folding or rolling each individual item.
- Can you buy it where you’re going? Then don’t take it. If you’re staying somewhere for more than two weeks, take limited quantities of toiletries and other items that you can buy when you arrive. Big bottles of shampoo and such take up a lot of room, so just transfer some into smaller bottles (they sell travel-size plastic bottles at Target!) and then buy more if/when you need it.
One last tip (which has nothing to do with packing) is to get all your paperwork done as early as possible. Traveling is stressful enough, especially if it’s the first time you’ve gone abroad, without worrying about your passport not getting to you on time or there not being open seats on a flight. As soon as you know you have to do it, get it done.
Pretty much all I’ve done so far in my adventure is pack, so I don’t have much other news to share. I’m excited to be getting on my flight tomorrow and to finally be on my way to Copenhagen. I’ll post about arrival and orientation madness (hopefully with pictures) sometime next week after I get settled into my new home!
Hej hej (goodbye),