What to Wear When Studying Abroad

by Heather Robinette /
Heather Robinette's picture
Jun 11, 2018 / 0 comments

Something most people don’t consider when making their packing list is what exactly they are going to pack. If you need help with a packing list, check out one I put together.  While you plan to pack 10 shirts, do you have an idea of what you plan to actually pack? 

What to Wear When Studying Abroad

When it comes to clothing, you’ll want to keep it more generic with small logos (if at all). This will help you stand out less. One positive is the number of companies who are international and could possibly be popular there. For example, Nike was a popular store in London when I studied abroad, so I could easily wear Nike clothing and still blend in. 

My very best tip? Do your research into what types of clothing are culturally appropriate for your study abroad destination. This is both an excellent way to be respectful of your destination culture, but also make it easier for you to fit in.

This is something I strongly encourage because it will help with how locals see you when you’re walking around the city. If you are wearing unfamiliar brands, it’s a sure sign that you are not from there. While this isn’t a bad thing, people around the world tend to have an interesting opinion about people from the US, based on the news. Just as we have opinions about the world, others have opinions about ourselves. For example, people from the US are often stereotyped as being loud and obnoxious. Please keep this in mind, so you don’t create a confirmation bias when traveling. 

Being able to act and be seen as a local makes it that much easier to adapt. About the second or third week into my time abroad in London, I started to feel more local and was able to get around fairly well without my A to Z (pronounced "Ay to Zed"). You really start to feel like a local when someone stops you and asks for directions. While some would consider it a burden, it completely made my day because at that moment, I knew I was living like a local. 

I hope this information is able to give you some insight into what to wear when getting ready for your trip. This comes from what I was told in study abroad orientation, as well as what I did on my trip. Just be mindful of what you pack. The good news is you can always buy clothes at your destination, if needed. Enjoy your time abroad! 



Heather Robinette is the London Study Abroad Editor for Wandering Educators. She notes, "During the summer of 2011, I studied abroad for six weeks in London at the University of Westminster with Academics Programs International. I graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS in December 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. I currently work as a marketing analyst for a small company in central Texas. I currently work as a marketing coordinator for a real estate firm in Las Vegas, NV. I am also pursuing my MBA. While I was abroad in London, I was able to create many unforgettable memories that I will never forget! My study abroad experience helped me gain various skills, but above all else, it helped me to learn more about myself and the world around me." You can find her online at http://www.heatherrobinette.com/

Click here to read more of Heather's articles about studying abroad in London.