7 clothing items you should pack for your internship abroad

Though each international internship destination has its own climate and culture that will further define your packing list, here’s a list of clothing essentials for going abroad that should make it into every suitcase, no matter where you’re going.


1. A pair of nice walking shoes

They should be nice enough for museums and restaurants but comfortable enough for walking several consecutive hours. Consider double-strap sandals for warmer climates or the summer seasons and a comfortable loafer or boots for colder weather. Also, make sure these are shoes you’ve walked in before. Blisters are a horrible thing to deal with while meandering through a new city.


essentials for going abroad


2. A watch

While traveling around with bags or on busy city streets, reaching for your phone to check the time might not always be convenient. Consider an old-fashioned timekeeper for traveling so you can stay on schedule and tell the time hands-free. Carrying a watch will also protect you against pickpocketing as you can keep your phone safely tucked away.


3. Comfy pants

Packing a few pairs of soft, comfy pants that could serve as pajamas, workout clothes, or pants for running errands will save you lots of space in your suitcase. It’s three important clothing items in one. The Sponge Bob pajama pants can probably stay at home – take stuff you can wear both inside and outside the apartment.


4. That one formal outfit (just in case)

In the case of a special work meeting or event, it’s a good idea to have a formal outfit tucked away, even if it seems like a waste of suitcase room. Try to find something that doesn’t take up much space and doesn’t wrinkle easily. When you need it at the last-minute for some cool event, you’ll be grateful you included it in your suitcase.


essentials for going abroad


5. A good blazer

Blazers serve so many amazing purposes. You can use them for work, going out or throwing over an outfit when it gets cold. Invest in a comfortable one that goes with most of your clothes and it will come in handy on many different occasions, especially during changing seasons.


6. Layers and simple colors

Keep in mind that the simpler your color scheme is, the more you’ll be able mix and match what you bring. In general, think about bringing things to layer and lots of items that would generally go together. Also, you probably don’t want to stick out too much wherever you are since you’re already a foreigner so try to avoid neon colors and crazy patterns.


essentials for going abroad


7. Tennis and/or hiking shoes

Especially for day trips or wildlife excursions, you’ll want a good pair of tennis shoes or hiking boots that you can depend on. Even if you only use them a few times, you’ll be glad you brought them along for those active travel or trekking days. Also, don’t forget you might want to go work out a few times while you’re abroad.


Photo 1. based on What About Now? by radiatelove-, CC-by-2.0

Photo 2. based on
j brand skinny jeans+striped tank and blazer+tom ford cat eye sunglasses+straight blond hair+stairs by Maegan Tintari,CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on tennis shoes by Rachel, CC-by-2.0


The International Internships Blog is a collaboration by The Intern Group staff, alumni and current participants to give you career advice & tips, program information, & so much more!

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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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