What To Bring and What Not To Bring

Airi S. Dunedin, New Zealand


May 13, 2014

Hey Everyone!

One of the hardest parts about preparing to go abroad is figuring out what to bring and what not to bring. I definitely did NOT do a very good job with this, and I think that many of my friends will agree. There are a lot of things I wish I wouldn’t have brought because, let’s be honest, no one needs 3 summer dresses in 40 degrees weather or a pair of stilettos to wear no where. The weather is really variable and tough here, and practicality is where most people go wrong.

Hopefully with a bit of my advice, you can study abroad a little more prepared!

First things first…


I know the Arcadia program strongly suggests that you “pack light” and limit yourself to one suitcase because there’s a hefty baggage fee (near $100 I believe) and limited space for bag storage during orientation, but it was seriously the worst mistake I made for this program. It might cost a little extra money and be a hassle to lug around during orientation, but you won’t regret it! You’ll end up spending more money on buying stuff here than you will if you bring everything in an extra piece of luggage.



  • Raincoat (it rains all the time here in Dunedin and umbrellas go for around $20)
  • Hiking boots (you can buy them here but they might cost you a pretty penny)
  • Small Going-Out Purse (mainly for girls; people go out every Thursday and Saturday here so you need something to keep your passport and wallet safe)
  • Winter Clothes (Dunedin gets really cold and none of the flats are really insulated; bring thicker jackets and scarves, as well as layers to wear inside of the house)


  • Dressy Clothes (Everyone here dresses up for class, and it makes me feel like I’m in a perpetual runway show. The fashion here is a mix between hipster and skater, so the guys wear a mix of short shorts and skinny jeans with florals, pastels, and stripes while the girls wear really loose fitting clothes and are really big on thrifting.)
  • Sleeping Bag (You can use it as an extra layer of bedding during the winter!)

Don’t bring so much summer clothes because it won’t do you any good here. I wore my summer dresses and shorts for the first month or month and a half that I was here, and now they are completely useless. If you’re gonna bring something light and fun, make sure you can layer it with other things later. Even when the sun is out, it can get pretty cold due to how far south Dunedin is. Pack clothes for temperatures around 60 degrees to 30 degrees, and I think you’ll be fine.

Hygiene Products


New Zealand prices for things like shampoo, contact solution, eyeliner, and razors are at least 2-3x more expensive than the prices back home. This is where that second piece of luggage comes in. Pack it with everything that you’ll need for your five month stay.

I packed tampons, lotion, perfume, contact solution, make up, conditioner, and shampoo, and I am soooooo happy with my decision.

Hope this helps!