Indiana University Overseas Study

Katie Bosler

So, you are getting ready for your semester abroad. You have never been more excited. What seemed like a dream freshman year is finally here. You hit every deadline and meticulously checked off all of the requirements.

But there’s one small catch. How does one pack for an entire semester?

When attempting to assemble your entire closet into a single suitcase, you need to be prepared to “let go.” I know it’s not easy, girls. You probably have an emotional attachment to EVERY article of clothing you own. But now it’s time to say goodbye.

In my daydreams, I envision myself walking along the cobblestone streets of Barcelona. I’m picturing a much trendier, cooler version of myself wearing clothes seen only in magazines. During these sporadic dreams, which occur only during class and study time naturally, I’ve come to realize that taking every t-shirt and pair of jeans isn’t a smart move, and it’s definitely not going to make up for my lack of “euro” attire.

So instead, I have come to the conclusion that my wardrobe will revolve around seven staple items that will rotate among my daily and nightly outfits. Among this collection are two pairs of short, ankle boots for walking (black and brown, of course), two pairs of trusty jeans (light and dark wash), a light, navy blue jacket (perfect for mid-fifties temperatures), a patterned scarf (how euro!), and my loyal brown wayfarer Ray-Bans (a must have for photos). While these items may not seem like much of a start to my Barcelona wardrobe, I have no doubt in my mind I’ll be able to tie them into whatever I assemble in my attempt to look as non-touristy as possible!

clothes for packing

the seven staples


As for the rest of the items I’ve imagined myself sporting in my daydreams, I’ll spend my two and a half weeks of winter break begging and convincing my parents to take me shopping because I’ll NEED to be fashionable there (c’mon, Dad!).

Spring semester in Barcelona will see a range of weather and temperatures. I know it will be a good idea to pack for all kinds of weather due to our weekend visits to other countries with different climates. I’ll pack a heavy-duty winter coat (daydreams of the Swiss Alps) as well as good walking shoes. I will also throw in a swimsuit (or two) and shorts because if I don’t travel along the coast and see the many beautiful beaches in Spain come April, I’ll be one unhappy camper!

So, it’s time to start packing. Let’s get ready for the most memorable semester of our lifetime!

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