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OUA Alumni offer the best packing advice

What to Pack:


  • All of your standard seasonal items:  shirts, pants, jeans, shorts, dresses, skirts, underwear, a sweatshirt, sweaters

  • More underwear + socks (the more you can fit in your luggage = less laundry)

  • Masks and hand sanitizer (a few small bottles)

  • Comfy (but classy) travel clothes: leggings, sweaters

  • A nice outfit and a pair of nicer shoes (but not too many because you want save room for what you buy in Italy)

  • Comfortable shoes for walking in sun and/or rain

  • Flip flops (to use as slippers wherever you stay and shower shoes in hostels)

  • Bathing suit

  • Workout clothes and shoes 

  • Jacket for chillier weather  (it gets cold in the late evening/night through June and from September)

  • Sunglasses


  • Travel-size shampoo + conditioner + body wash (buy more when you arrive) 

  • Cosmetics + a bottle of lotion

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste

  • Feminine products

  • Medications or prescriptions (pack these in your carry-on bag!)

  • Saline solution for contact lens wearers (a small bottle for the trip + 2-3 days)

  • Over-the-counter allergy or pain relief medication

  • Band-aids


  • Mobile device + charger

  • Laptop + charger + padded case

  • Power adapters (not power convertors, they blow out fuses and appliances!)

  • Portable power bank

  • Camera 

  • Earbuds or headphones


  • Euro cash, for the trip and until you find an ATM after you arrive

  • Passport 

  • Student ID

  • Copies of your passport + credit/debit cards+ IDs

  • Gum & snacks for the trip

  • A small backpack or shoulder bag for day trips

  • Any certain brand of something that you cannot live without (e.g. a certain brand of allergy medicine, favorite facial cleanser for your dry skin, Aveda hair products that works best for your hair, etc)

Tools to help you pack 

  • Space bags (the best are the no-vacuum-required ones)

  • Luggage tag + ribbon/something to help identify your suitcase at baggage claim

What NOT to Pack: 

Now that we’ve covered the basics for what to pack, it’s time to review what NOT to pack! There are a lot of things that first-time OUA'ers bring that are unnecessary, and we want to help you save as much of that limited luggage space as possible.


  • If you’re used to wearing sweats to class, you might be in for a surprise: Students typically don’t do the same in other parts of the world. You don’t want to be judged by something so trivial, but if you’re anticipating having “cozy days” (no problem and no shame!) pack things like leggings and a sweatshirt.


Blow dryer and/or hair straightener

  • You will fry it. We promise you. Even with a voltage converter, there’s no guarantee that your hair tools will survive. You’re better off leaving your expensive appliances at home and spending a few bucks on a new one when you get here. 

Brand new clothes and shoes

  • As tempting as it might be to refresh your wardrobe before coming to Italy, don’t go on a shopping spree. Bring clothes with you that are “tried and trusted.” There’s nothing worse than heading out for the day only to get a blister from those super cute, brand-new sandals ten minutes into your day. It’s ok to bring a few new items, but think of all the things you’re going to want to buy in Italy!


Inappropriate footwear

  • The biggest issue is definitely high heels on cobblestone streets. You might love the idea of feeling ultra chic at that club by rocking your new heels, but strolling down a cobblestone road in those bad boys is a very different story. If you must wear heels, opt for wedges or similar.

  • You’re also better off leaving the flip flops at home-- with the exception of one pair to use as slippers or shower shoes in hostels. Like heels, loose sandals were not built to handle cobblestones or rough roads. You’ll quickly find, too, that flip flops are not very popular fashion trend outside of the U.S., so it’s better to bring sturdier shoes. 

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