Packing

Some people are comfortable dressing consistently in their typical American campus clothing, and being immediately identifiable against a French backdrop. However, students may ultimately be more comfortable with a touch more daily style or elegance added to your wardrobe. Female students have remarked that in addition to the suggested wardrobe, they wish they had brought more "good" clothes. Because this is open to wide interpretation, it may be helpful simply to keep in mind that your clothes should be responsive to the same contingencies encountered by a student in a city such as Chicago or New York. In the early 21st century, the French of all ages tend to present themselves conservatively and with a certain chic. Black is always fashionable.

Be sure to check out the Aix-en-Provence weather before you pack!

Items to include:

  • Warm coat/jacket
  • Light-weight, water-proof shell for layering or rainy days
  • Gloves, scarf (both for warmth and completing wardrobe for women)
  • Jeans/trousers (3)
  • Sweaters (4)
  • Shirts (6)
  • Skirts
  • Light weight dresses
  • Set of dress clothes
  • Stockings
  • T-shirts
  • Underwear/socks (7)
  • Shorts
  • Bathing suit
  • Comfortable walking shoes (sneakers)
  • Warm sleepwear and slippers
  • 1 medium sized or beach towel
  • Wash cloth
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Watch
  • Extra pair glasses/contacts (extra solution)
  • Toothbrush
  • Sewing kit
  • Umbrella
  • Super-light sleeping bag (optional)
  • MP3 player/Digital camera/chargers
  • Emergency kit (any daily medication, aspirin, air sickness tablets, etc.)
  • Passport/Visa
  • Airline ticket
  • Electronics adapter/converter (we find this one works well!)

Keep baggage to a minimum. You should be able to carry it easily by yourself. Large, heavy suitcases are awkward and cumbersome. Reasonably sized duffel bags and backpacks fitted with padlocks are recommended. A backpack is the most comfortable way to go once abroad.

Many students follow the advice of seasoned travelers to lay out the very least you must have to get by for the semester or year, then remove half of it and possibly half again and pack what's left. Airline restrictions on baggage must also be considered, and are written on the inside of your ticket. One checked bag and one carry-on are the norm. Don't forget to label each piece of luggage with your name, home address, forwarding address, and telephone number. Stick labels outside and inside each piece of luggage. All baggage should be checked through to your final destination.