What to bring and what to leave behind: A packing list for Korea

by Kaylin

When studying abroad anywhere it is hard to determine what to bring and what to leave behind, so for this article I thought I would make a list of the things that I think are wise to bring and what you should just leave at home to save space and hassle.



  1. Clothes – When packing you need to be sure you know what type of weather you will be facing for the duration of your stay. For example, I came to Korea back in February and will stay until June. Therefore, I needed to make sure I packed for the end of winter, and the beginning of spring and summer. You can leave room and shop in Korea as you go, although I would make sure they cater to your size before coming. Most Korean clothing stores run very small compared to the west, however you can find some things in districts like Itaewan, but do not count on it! There are articles about bigger sized clothings on our blog so check them out! Summers in Korea are very hot and humid, so best have airy clothing and anything that can keep you cold. Spring time and Autumn in Korea is nice and cool, perfect sweater weather, but beware, because Korea’s temperatures can change dramatically because of continental winds from China or Ocean winds from the east, causing it to snow/sleet in mid-March. Winters are dry and cold so a scarf and thick jacket are highly recommended.
  2. Shoes – I brought multiple pairs of shoes ranging from casual/athletic to nicer shoes, because again as with clothes it might be hard to find your size, so it is best to be prepared. A good number of socks would be good too, although they do sell many assortments of socks in Korea. Also keep in mind that Hanyang University is on a mountain, so you will need a sturdy pair of sneakers or sandals to get you moving around campus.
  3. Toiletries – One thing I suggest doing is to buy a travel kit consisting of: deodorant, toothbrush/toothpaste, dry shampoo etc. and keeping it with your carry on. That way it is more accessible and saves space just in case your luggage gets lost. You can then purchase full size items when you get settled. (A note on deodorant: Koreans don’t use deodorant because they don’t need it. It would be a good idea to stock up before coming. You can find deodorant, but it will be hard to find and with limited range of selections, so it is best just to bring multiple)
  4. Don’t forget! – Don’t forget essential things specific to you like contacts and prescription medications, and other things that you cannot really get in Korea. Laptops, cellphones, chargers and adapters are a must as well! Check the charge on your electronic device and bring adapters accordingly. For instance, phones can adapt to the voltage in Korea, so you can buy a charger once you arrive, but some things you may have to bring from home.
  5. Extras – If you are lucky and still have room in your suitcase, I recommend you bring some snacks from home, just to have in your dorm while you are adjusting (you should also carry some with you in your carry on). My roommate did this and we were very glad she did!


Leave behind:

  1. I recommend leaving behind school supplies etc and just purchasing them when you get to where you are going.
  2. Towels and bedding you can also get here/wherever you are going
  3. Anything bulky that you absolutely don’t need!

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