Spoiler alert: I could’ve done a better job packing for studying abroad

Ok fine, I didn’t do a terrible job but I definitely could’ve done a better, more efficient job packing for studying abroad and I thought it would be helpful to recap my original packing list for Copenhagen that I posted here with some notes.

Let me start by saying that I am, by nature, an overpacker, yet somehow manage to forget things that I need. The same was true for this semester. I know I brought stuff I didn’t need yet found myself wanting things that I had left behind that there was physically no space for. So hopefully this list will help you narrow down your packing list or include some things you may have forgotten. For context, I studied in Copenhagen during Spring 2022 so my list would probably look slightly different for people studying in the fall, but more or less the same, and your list may also change depending on your travel plans.

Packing List:


  • Basic long sleeves – beige, white, black
    • I wore these constantly and they were really nice for layering
  • Thick sweaters (4)
    • I would’ve brought more sweaters if I could, I did end up buying one in Copenhagen but sweaters were basically what I lived in and just rotated them around
  • Dresses (2)
    • I only wore one of these dresses and only once so they weren’t entirely necessary
  • Cardigan
    • this was super nice to have especially to layer and mix and match, I ended up buying a black cardigan as well
  • Sweaters – Patagonia quater-zip, basic hoodie
    • I didn’t end up bringing the Patagonia but the hoodie was really nice for traveling
  • Casual t-shirts/tank tops (4)
  • Pajamas (3 sets)
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Exercise clothes – leggings and sports bras
    • I tried to work out as much as a could but at the end of the day, it wasn’t a priority so the number of legging I brought was definitely excessive. People also just don’t wear leggings in Copenhagen
  • Jeans – black straight, grey + blue mom, dark blue + light blue skinny
    • this might sound excessive but I really used all of the jeans I brought so if you have jeans you love, bring them!
  • Other pants – paper bag pants, basic leggings
    • my paper bag pants were a really nice dressy but still casual option for some days!
  • One set of comfy clothes i.e. sweatpants/joggers and a hoodie for on the plane/just those days
  • Outer wear – winter jacket, black winter/rain jacket, rain jacket, plaid shacket, beanie, gloves
    • despite my many jackets, I still wish I had brought a light spring jacket like a corduroy or jean jacket for later in the semester
  • I forgot to add socks but I brought so many socks – ankle length, long socks, wool socks, fuzzy socks, you name it


  • Bean boots
    • these doubled as both snow shoes and rain boots which was nice and also super helpful for my trip to Iceland at the end of the semester but they were clunky to pack so I would suggest just packing nice rain boots
  • Black heeled boots
    • I ended up buying a pair of chunky black boots and donating the ones I brought and I think the chunky boots were definitely the right call
  • Birks
    • these were so nice for walking around in my building as well as some warmer countries like Portugal
  • Adidas sneakers
    • definitely my go to shoes along with my boots, highly recommend a pair of white sneakers
  • Gym sneakers
    • again, not the most useful but nice for walks


  • Jewelry – earrings (5), rings (5), necklaces (5)
  • Belt


  • Mini shampoo and conditioner – I’m planning on buying bigger bottle when I get there!
  • Mini body wash – ^^
    • the mini ones were also really nice to already have for traveling!
  • Deodorant
  • Moisturizer
  • Chapstick
  • Body lotion
  • Face wash
  • Hair stuff – brush, oil, hair ties, hair clips, etc.
  • Toothbrush + toothpaste + retainer
  • Perfume
  • Makeup
  • Feminine products


  • Laptop + charger
  • Phone + phone charger – I’m planning on using the SIM card provided by DIS
  • Apple watch + charger
  • Adaptors – I got lucky and my family had a bunch of universal adaptors from traveling
  • Headphones/Airpods

Basic Stuff

  • Passport + vaccine card(s)
  • Credit card – I got a new credit card that didn’t have any foreign transaction fees
  • Flight itinerary, housing address, DIS documents for the airport, etc.
  • 5 questions a day journal – I’m on year 6 now!
  • Water bottle
  • Room decor – polaroids, fairy lights, collage photos
    • I liked having room decor like polaroids and some photos but the lights just weren’t necessary for me and not worth spending the time to hang up
  • Medications – pain/fever relief, cough drops, thermometer, band-aids, etc.
    • so so necessary, especially things like ibuprofen and dayquil, it was just so nice to not have to struggle to find medication

Here is also an incomplete list of stuff I ended up buying in Copenhagen and throughout the semester:

  • Tote bags – I went abroad with 1 tote bag, I came back with 5 from different countries, they were super cute and also very useful for groceries
  • Beige jeans/pants
  • Sweater
  • Bomber jacket
  • Black cardigan
  • Black chunky boots
  • Sunglasses – I brought some but I just couldn’t pass up the pair in Spain and I wore them constantly when traveling
  • Large bottles of shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, body wash
  • So, so many souvenirs

Now you may be wondering, how did I bring everything back if I bought so much stuff? Well the answer is, I didn’t…kinda. I did leave some stuff behind and did donate some stuff as well including 3 pairs of shoes I had brought. But I did need to put one of my vacuum sealed clothes bags and all of my souvenirs in my mom’s check-in bag when she came to visit at the end of the semester. We were going to Iceland together so I was able to give her some of my stuff because I told her to pack light but if she hadn’t I probably would’ve had to check another bag. But that’s ok! Cause not only did I come back with more stuff, I came back with a lifetime of memories as well!

If you are a prospective DIS student or just a student studying abroad and have any questions, please feel free to reach out, I’d love to help and offer any advice that I might have!

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