Remember: Pack smart and pack light!
- You will have to carry everything you pack. Consider how much you can realistically carry all by yourself. Contact the airline you will be flying with and inquire about baggage limitations. Ask about the allowed number of carry-ons & checked bags, and their dimensions and weight limits. It’s also worthwhile to find out what the fees are for going over the weight limit. And most importantly DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE NIGHT BEFORE TO PACK!
- Spread out essential items, such as undergarments and a change of clothes throughout your pieces of luggage, especially your carry on. This is a good idea should the airline loose one of your bags.
- We recommend packing clothes that do not require dry cleaning or special care.
- Pack for the change of seasons. Consider if you want to carry a heavy coat on the plane or purchase one once you’re in Florence. Dressing in layers during the winter months is also a good idea.
- Pack comfortable walking shoes. Most of your transportation will be provided by your own two feet, treat them well!
- Consider packing one or two semi-dressy outfits. There may be occasions when you may want to wear something nicer than your blue jeans.
- Pack enough personal hygiene items to get you through the 1st week. Items such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste etc. You can restock once you know your way around.
- You may also want to pack favorite toiletry items that may not be easily accessible in Italy.
- Pack enough prescription medicines to get you through your travels. They can not be mailed overseas and will get stopped in customs!
- Be aware of the culture in which you are going to be living. Be respective of their customs. Wearing flashy or revealing clothing can draw unwanted attention and may be considered disrespectful.
- Have something familiar in otherwise unfamiliar surroundings. A few pictures of family, friends, or your pet may help you in those moments of homesickness. Also, try keeping a travel journal even if it’s the first time you’ve ever done this. Students always enjoy reading through entries about events, people and places that they may have forgotten about.
- Consider purchasing a voltage converter if necessary. If you don’t want to carry it in your luggage you can purchase one while in Italy for an economic price.
- And the most important thing – EMPTY SPACE! Remember that you will have more stuff when you come back home!
Copies, Copies, Copies!
- Make at least 3 copies of your Passport. Give one to your parents/guardian/spouse and keep 2 copies with you while abroad. Keep copies in a secure and separate place from your passport.
- Make at least 2 copies of the front and back of each credit card you will be taking. Give one copy to your parents/guardian/spouse and keep one copy with you while abroad. Again your copy should be kept in a secure & separate place from your credit cards.
- Do the same with any traveler’s checks and debit cards you may be taking with you while abroad.
- Make at least 2 copies of your travel itinerary. Once more, leave one copy with your parents/guardian/spouse and carry the other with you in a separate place other than the original. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to e-mail a copy of your itinerary to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Money, Money, Money!
- Make sure your credit and debit cards are accepted in Italy. Usually if your card has a Cirrus logo you’re fine. But always check with your financial institution!
- It’s also a good idea to obtain overseas telephone numbers in case of an emergency with your cards.
- Contact your company before leaving to let them know you will be using your card overseas. If you don’t you may risk having a hold placed on your account.
- Carry your passport and photo I.D. in a place that is secure, but easily accessible by you. You will have to present them at various points in your trip.
- Make sure your I.D. has a photo, proof of age and maybe even student status (this is not necessary, but a good idea for obtaining discounts).
- Carry a written doctor’s prescription for each medication you travel with, and make sure all medication is in the original containers. If possible try to get enough of your medication for the duration of your stay before you depart.
- Carry a proof of insurance with you. Again, make sure to carry it in a secure place.
It’s in the Bag!
- If you will be using a purse or bag (for the gentlemen), remember to keep it with you at all times. Never leave your belongings unattended even for a moment! Tuck it firmly under your arm or if it has a long strap, wear it across your chest rather than dangling from your shoulder. You might consider carrying a moneybelt, that is worn under clothing, to carry your money and Passport.
- Carry the address and phone number to Santa Reparata with you at all times. Remember to leave this contact information with your parents/spouse/guardian. Please refer to the Pre-Departure Handbook (download the form here) for Emergency Contact Information.
- You might consider purchasing a guidebook about Florence and Italy at your local bookstore. It’s always a great idea to do research about your destination to learn about the culture, travel, and much more. During orientation you will get an extensive Student Handbook outlining places to shop, eat, buy groceries and lots of great information that will be handy for your time in Florence.