International Students Support Office (ISSO): Packing

So now that you have received a long packing list, you have probably realized that you will not be able to fit all of those items in your two 23 kg suitcase limit, right? You will need a lot of those items though, so here are some suggestions on how to deal with packing:
First things first. Figure out how much luggage you can actually bring with you because each airline has different policies. I brought with me two 23 kg checked suitcases, a carry on and a backpack. If you booked domestic flights separately, check luggage limits for them too.
Once you have that information, you can start thinking on what you will be bringing with you. There are certain things that are a must! What are these items? Well, DOCUMENTS. Believe it or not I forgot my wallet, which contained my passport, money, etc. under my bed (I don’t know how it got there). I went to the airport, which is a six hours drive from my house and I did not have my passport. So don’t do the same and make sure you have:

  1. Passport
  2. I-20
  3. Admission letter
  4. Flight information
  5. Prescriptions in their original container / doctor’s note.
  6. Financial documentation
  7. Any other important document you will need in the US.

Do some research and find out what items from home you can absolutely not find in Amazon or stores in the US and that you MUST have and add them to your bring-to-college-from-home list.
Other things you might want to bring from home are photographs, mementos, your country flag or any other items related to your home. And if you are participating in ISO make sure you bring something from home for the show & tell/talent show night!
You also need to bring clothes. The first weeks are going to be pretty warm, but after that it will get cold, and then colder and colder. If you come from a country or region like mine, where it is really warm during the entire year, do not even try to buy winter clothes there. They take too much space in your suitcase and they are unlikely to be enough for how cold it is here. Instead, get a good winter jacket once you are on campus. There will be shopping trips in the fall and you will be able to buy winter clothes then!

Buy in the United States:

Bedding: sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow covers, towels, etc. I have a friend from Paraguay that goes to Bryn Mawr College. She managed to bring not just one, but two HUGE blankets, but the airline was not happy with how much her luggage weighed.
Study items: notebooks, pens, organizers, etc.
Bathroom/grooming items: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc. I advise you to bring either travel size or small size of these for the first weeks and buy bigger ones for the semester when you get here. Again, don’t do what I do. I brought a specific shampoo because I thought I could not live without it and it exploded in my suitcase and all of my clothes were stained. Not cool. (Yes, it was inside a ziplock bag, but apparently it was not enough).
Miscellaneous: umbrella, bed risers, rug, trash can for your room, laundry items, cleaning supplies, lamp, mirror, kitchen supplies, etc.
Clothes: winter clothes.
Any everyday items that can easily be found here.

Now that you have figured out what to bring with you and what to buy in the US you must be thinking about when, how and where you will actually be buying all of these items. There are a couple of ways you can do this.

Springfield Mall Trip. If you are coming to the International Students Orientation (ISO), which is required for all visa holders (and if you are not required to, I still I HIGHLY encourage you to come) then you will have a chance to ride the Blue Bus during ISO and go to Springfield Mall. There you can find many stores, including a Target, where you can buy items for your dorm room!

BB&B Trip. For the people coming in during Customs Week, there will also be a trip to Bed, Bath & Beyond! If you come during ISO, but still want to buy more things during Customs, you will also be able to go on this trip.

Shipping items to the college. If you are excited as I was for college during the summer, and you want to start buying things for your dorm you can also ship them to the college. I personally used the college’s Linens Program that you can check out here. You can find bundles that has many of the things you will need: sheets, blankets, pillows, pillow cases, comforters, towels. Some of the bundles include lamps and small fans and other items. I chose a bundle and had it shipped to Haverford. When I got here, my packages were here and I only had to worry about buying items that my bundle did not include.

If you want to ship your belongings to Haverford, write your address as follows:

[your name], Class of 2023                                  OR                                   [your name], Class of 2023
c/o Denise Allison (ISSO)                                                                               c/o Central Receiving
370 Lancaster Avenue                                                                                   370 Lancaster Avenue
Haverford, PA 19041,                                                                                     Haverford, PA 19041,
U.S.A                                                                                                                   U.S.A

You can start receiving packages on August 16th. Find more information about shipping here.

One last reminder. Pack everything you need, but be mindful of how many things you are bringing. You will inevitably accumulate things throughout the year. Haverford does not have storage spaces available on campus, so you will need to put all your belongings in boxes to move them to your off-campus storage.