Tessa Rendina University of Cape Town, South Africa


January 27, 2020
Currently Studying At: University of Cape Town, South Africa
Homeschool: Susquehanna University

Only two more days before I depart on the journey of a lifetime! Before I go, I want to share some tips on preparing for this trip.

Start your student visa EARLY!

If you're attending in the spring, I suggest starting it around Thanksgiving break or sooner. There are many steps, and at first, the visa process is intimidating. Give yourself time, and you’ll be fine. Look into plane tickets too. I bought my tickets before my friends from my university, and only a couple of weeks later the prices skyrocketed!

Attend a travel consult with your doctor at least 30 days before. Some vaccines you might need to take 30 days prior to your trip.

Start a group chats with the people on your program before you leave!

I started a GroupMe, and we already made plans to go to a music festival! We shared packing and traveling tips with each other too. The group chat helped me connect with the people in my program, and now I feel more comfortable and confident about the trip.

Roll your clothes!!

Rolling my clothes created much more room in my luggage. Alternatively, you can use the Marie Kondo folding method (suggested to me by Maya Williams, who is in my program). I plan on buying some clothing and souvenirs, so the extra space is necessary. Bring some clothes you don't mind parting with while on your trip; such as t-shirts you can hike in, or anything you’d like to donate at the end to make room for new clothes and goodies.


Overpacking is tempting… think of all the clothes you normally bring to school and never end up wearing. At Susquehanna University, I wear the same sweatshirt and leggings pretty much every day. I know I’m going to mix it up a little more abroad, so I built a capsule wardrobe. Bring tops and bottoms that are easy to mix and match and style up or down. This will help maximize your outfits while keeping your luggage light.

Get Excited!

I am beyond excited to immerse myself into the city of Cape Town and South African culture. Watching vlogs on YouTube made by students at the University of Cape Town helped me get an idea of the campus and what classes are like. The past Arcadia University bloggers were a big help too!

Looking ahead, I have a total of 30 hours of layover and flight time. My layover is 10 hours in Germany. Stay tuned for a flight and orientation recap!