Prepare your suitcase - part one
Get ready for your Erasmus! Prepare your suitcase – part one
Hello future Erasmus students, their families and friends. Well, your Erasmus student mobility or Erasmus Traineeship is just around the corner, right? First of all, congratulations for taking courage and putting all the effort for applying. I know, the selection process can be very tiring and might seem to be never ending. Still, there are probably many bureaucracy issues that you have to keep in mind. However, believe me, your Erasmus can be one of the best things you will have done so far.
The true is that there are also some people who cannot wait the day their Erasmus will be over. I mean – your Erasmus is yours. And so if you want to enjoy it, you will. Just open yourself to others and try to soak the culture of the country of your Erasmus destination.
What to bring?
I have done four Erasmus studies and internship in total, plus one international project through my university and at the moment I am volunteering in Latin America (also thanks to my university). (By the way, the University of South Bohemia in Ceske Budejovice is amazing when supporting students to leave for Erasmus and when receiving incoming students.)
Picture: Pack your things better than me. I will help you.
I am mentioning all of these huge pieces of experience because I would like to use what I have learnt when preparing for an Erasmus and I would love to share it with you.
When preparing your suitcase, thing of the climate of your destination. Remember that you will spend some months there, so even though we are in summer right now and the weather is hot, it does not mean that it will be warm in Finland in December. And if you go to Spain (for example), it might be quite sunny outside even in winter (I am referring to the South of Spain) but suddenly, the climate can get super cold. Moreover, in their houses the air is cold so you will be probably freezing there.
You should also take into account what your (daily) routine is and will be. What I want to say is: do you do exercise? Do you like going to some culture events where formal clothes is needed? Do you swim? Will you go to some mountains?
In any case, I would suggest bringing at least one set of a formal clothes, and clothes that you usually use.
Picture: Will you climb some mountains?
Yes, shoes are also very important and you would know it even without me mentioning it. Though, remember again the destination where you will be. Is it usually quite rainy in your new destination? Will you do your practice in an institution where you need to change your shoe (schools, hospitals)? Will you go to places with shared bathroom (swimming pools, dormitories) where you might prefer to wear some flip-flops?
Pcture: Think of what kind of shoes you will really need.
Again, it depends where you are going to live. If it is a dormitory, you will be probably lent some bed linens, pillows, pillow cases and a duvet.
If you are going to rent a flat, than you might be still provided with all of these objects. However, do not forget to ask your land lord or land lady.
Even if you will have all of it prepared in your accommodation, I know some people who still put a set of a pillow case, a cover and a bed sheet into their suitcases because they just want to have their owns.
Anyway, this can occupy a lot of space in your suitcase, so remember, that these are things that you can by in all countries of Europe (then you have to just consider whether you will want to invest in it).
Sure, even these things are basic things that I do not have to remind you of. But, you might think that this is a group of things which you can buy upon your arrival. That is true. Just remember that if you have a specific brand that you are used to put on your hair and body, they must not have it in your new country. So from my experience – if going to Madeira, you will not buy Yves Rocher products anywhere. Though, they have at least The Body Shop there (which is also more nature friendly).
Also, if you are from the Czech Republic, you know the hygiene products are not too expensive. But in other countries might have a cost of double Czech price.
The most important sentences now: whatever your decision is (to bring some hygiene products or not to bring them in your suitcase), bring at least a tooth brush, tooth paste and a mini bottle of shower gel. You might get into your Erasmus destination very late, so all the shops will be closed or you will get there exhausted, so you will not feel like looking for a supermarket. But you will have a few basic essentials, so you will brush your teeth and have s shower and will be fine and relaxed. Girls will probably want to bring also a hair brush.
Well, I would even forget that a little bit of toilet paper and paper tissues or handkerchiefs would be amazing.
Remember that not all countries that are in the European Union use Euro. Check in advance what the currency of your new destination is and get some money exchanged (prepared) even before getting there.
How much should you bring? Well, it depends. I understand that you do not want to travel with a lot of money on you but you will probably need to pay immediately in the country – for transport from the airport, for accommodation and you might be also very hungry when you arrive, so some money for foodwould be great.
Picture: You might be very hungry upon arriving!
Everyone knows this as well, I guess, but just in case! Do not put all your money into your valet or just into one bag. Like this you will be sure, that in any unpleasant case you should still be left with some cash.
Is that all I need?
No, no, no. There is few more stuff I would recommend you bringing. However, I will write it in another article, so you pack everything that is really needed according to this article and in the next one, I will give you some additional tips.
- Bring adequate pieces of clothes.
- Shoes for different occasions.
- Hygiene products – a tooth brush and tooth paste, shower gel (+ shampoo), toilet paper and handkerchief. Hair brush as well.
- Money – bring some cash of the currency you will be using for some months now. Separate it into different places when travelling.
Just one more thing now – preparing a suitcase for such a “trip” can be super stressful. Though, remember that there is not such a huge difference in packing for two-week holiday or for five months.
When I was going for my last Erasmus, I was not at home for a longer period of time and then I just arrived late in the afternoon, went to say good bye to my family members and packed everything into two small suitcases (because the huge one got unexpectedly broken) within a few late evening hours.
So keep calm and keep excited about your Erasmus.
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