We all know the feeling: you’re all geared up for your Prague semester (or year!), you’ve got your plane tickets booked, you’ve got a list of places you want to travel to while during the semester, and you’ve been doing your research on where you’ll be living and studying. But what’s the hardest part of preparing to be a student in Prague? Packing, of course!
If you’re flying on a plane and you don’t want to pay anything extra, you’ll most likely be able to check one suitcase, bring one carry-on bag and one personal item. That seems like a lot… until you’re trying to fit your entire life into those bags for a semester in Prague because you don’t know what to expect. All of a sudden, your giant suitcase doesn’t seem so giant. And another catch: most airlines will only allow your checked bag to be 50 pounds ( or 30 kilograms) or less (this can vary, though, so check with your specific airline!)
Lucky for you, we know students in Prague pretty well, so we’re here to tell you exactly what you need, and exactly what you don’t need, for your Prague semester:
Clearly, the types of clothes you pack will depend mostly on which season you’ll be studying here in Prague and which places you want to travel to while you’re here. How much you bring will also depend on how often you plan to do laundry while you’re here – we’d recommend checking out the laundry situation in your flat or dormitory well in advance so you’re not hauling a hamper 5 stops down on the tram to the laundromat every week. To avoid this, you can buy detergent strips to wash clothes in your sink, although this isn’t always ideal.
Prague’s weather can be unpredictable and pretty temperamental at times, so we’d recommend bringing a little bit of everything while using your best judgment. Obviously don’t bother with a heavy coat if you’ll be here in the summer or fall, and don’t bring your summer Sunday best if you’ll be here in the winter. But no matter when you’re here, here are a few items of clothing you’ll need:
- Two weeks’ worth of underwear – trust us, you’ll be glad you did.
- Two weeks’ worth of socks – see above.
- A few pairs of dark pants – depending on your laundry situation, you’ll probably be wearing outfits several times before washing. Dark pants look nicer and they also don’t show as much dirt. These are also suitable for summer as the nights can get cool!
- Short-sleeve and long-sleeve shirts
- Sweaters and/or cardigans
- Athletic clothes – whether you work out, want to go hiking, or just lounge at home, you’ll be glad you have these.
- One formal outfit – a dress or skirt for girls and dress pants or khakis for boys. You never know what kind of professional or academic opportunities, or just random formal occasions, may pop up during your semester abroad in Prague!
- Swimsuit – no matter what season you’ll be spending your semester abroad in Prague!
- A belt or two
- A rain jacket
- Sneakers, dress shoes, sandals, and boots
- Seasonal items – cold weather gear for winter, a few pairs of shorts for summer
- Flip flops – not to wear in public, but for hostel or dorm showers!
For your first time in a new country as a student in Prague, some of the basic toiletry items you’re used to at home may not be available or may be more expensive here. To avoid the stress of spending hours upon hours, as well as boatloads of money, trying to find what you want or need, be sure to pack the following:
- Medications – both prescriptions and any over-the-counter preferences you may have
- Preferred cosmetics
- Nail clippers
- Feminine products
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Glasses/contacts and solution
- Refillable travel size bottles
This will depend mostly on your coursework, hobbies, and other things you plan to do during your semester abroad in Prague, but here are the basics for everyone:
- Camera equipment
- Computer equipment/school supplies
- Backpack/purse that are safe from pickpockets
- Combination lock – you’ll be glad you have this during your travels in hostels
What NOT to bring:
There are always a few items that we debate bringing when we travel for long periods of time, so we end up tossing things into our suitcases that we don’t even end up touching during our trip and they just take up space. To make these decisions a bit easier on you, here are some things you definitely won’t need:
- Expensive/otherwise irreplaceable jewelry – the risk of these items getting lost, stolen, or broken is just not worth it. Leave it at home!
- Hair appliances – these will most likely blow the circuits wherever you plug them in and try to use them. They’re pretty cheap here so save yourself the trouble and the space in your suitcase and don’t bring them with you from home.
- Scarves – you can buy them here!
- Anything you haven’t used or worn in 3 months – try to ditch the “just in case” attitude towards things you don’t use during your daily life at home. If you really end up needing something, you’ll be able to buy it here.
There you have it – a comprehensive packing list for your Prague semester. Can you think of anything we didn’t mention? Comment below and let us know! And most importantly, enjoy your time as a student in Prague.