New Zealand Study Abroaders: GET READY!

By: jackiereedy

Apr 28 2009

Category: Uncategorized

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Hello friends! I am so excited for yall to be studying abroad in New Zealand! To think an entire year has passed since I was in your shoes… getting ready for the time of my life… with so much to look forward to… glaciers, dolphins…

But as an excuse to go down memory lane, I thought I would put together a list of things I recommend you pack. Now, keep in mind that I had the largest “suitcase” of anyone on the entire trip. Yes ladies, I bought a hockey bag to hold all my crap. (Haha, and that was me trying to pack lightly). I did manage to stay under the weight limit though– a fact I still am the first to point out– and yes, the airlines do hold you to that unreasonably low limit.


  • Waterproof hiking shoes
    (I really think these are worth investing in because you wear them literally every single day hiking)
  • Waterproof/ quick drying hiking pants
    (I brought two pairs, specifically the ones that turned into shorts, but honestly, I never once unzipped them to make that fashion statement)
  • Rain jacket
    (You want a good one)
  • T-shirts
    (I brought about five short sleeve t-shirts and then two long sleeve)
  • Nice jeans
    (I brought three pairs, but two would be fine)
  • Winter “going out” shirts/clothes
    (I wished I had thrown in one or two winter dresses)
  • Those cute Nike running shorts
    (It does get hot at some points in the day, especially on your hikes)
  • Hat
    (I am not a hat person, but I lived in mine. You want one)
  • Sweatshirt
  • Winter Jacket
    (I doubled up two Northfaces because I didn’t own a heavy winter jacket, and that worked fine)
  • Waterproof gloves
  • Choco sandals
    (If you go on to Australia after the New Zealand trip)
  • Brown/black normal flats
    (For going out at night)
  • Socks
    (You need wool socks and also brown and black for when you go out in your normal shoes)
  • Sports bras, regular bras, underwear
    (Haha– don’t forget any of that!)
  • Thermals/long underwear
    (I brought two pairs– a definite must! I would get the thermal pants AND the shirts)
  • Shower Shoes
    (You REALLY, REALLY need these!)
  • Throw in your rainbow sandals
    (Especially if you are planning on going to Australia after New Zealand)


  • Backpack
  • Water bottle
    (ESSENTIAL, enough said)
  • Scarf
    (This can dress up a t-shirt and is so nice to have at night when you go out)
  • Quick Drying Towel
    (For after showers– I would buy the biggest one you can find or buy two! Nothing is worse than being freezing and not having a big enough towel to cover you)
  • Sleeping bag
    (You need it in some of the places you stay at– I wouldn’t necessarily say you need to buy a sleeping bag, maybe borrow one or bring a blanket or sheets)
  • Travel Pillow
  • Camera
  • Camera Charger
  • Memory sticks
  • Sun glasses
    (Not necessarily your nicest pair because they do get banged up)
  • Normal glasses
    (If you are blind like me)
  • Packs of contacts
    (If you are blind like me)
  • Medicine
    (Allergy medicine if you are like me, Advil, band-aids… I am prone to get sinus infections, so I asked my doctor beforehand for a prescription in case I got sick on my trip)
  • Make-up
    (Even though you are going to look terrible basically most of the time, and no one will care)
  • PASSPORT and International ID card they told you to get
  • Travel tooth brush, deodorant, soap, shampoo, etc
    (To hold you over until you get to a grocery store in NZ)
  • IPOD
  • IPOD charger
  • IPOD headphones
  • Plug Adapter
    (I didn’t honestly use it that much though)
  • Course Packet(s)
  • JOURNAL (and pen)
    (To write about all the memories you are making!)


  • Bowl and silverware
    (Some people used them, I just never really did)
  • Flashlight
    (Just don’t buy a heavy one. Sometimes it was nice to have a flashlight when your roommates are sleeping)
    (I bought a bunch of books and things to do and didn’t use any of them. The airplane you will be on will most likely have tons of movies to watch. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a lot with you to do)


  • Phone Card
  • Food and drinks
  • Toiletries
    (Big size of all your travel stuff: shampoo, conditioner, contact solution, deodorant, etc.)
  • Hair dryer
    (Usually girls will split the cost of a hair dryer)
  • Straightener
    (If you want to even bother)


  • You DO NOT need to bring your computer. Modules are all handwritten, and a computer would just be a major hassle to carry. At a lot of places there will be internet access that you can pay for with an internet or phone card.
  • Wait until you get to Christchurch to exchange your money. Don’t do the exchange in the airport.
  • Your day in Queenstown is expensive. I bungee jumped and sky-dived in the same day, racking up probably close to $800 on my parent’s “emergency credit card” (with videos and t-shirts and then the actual EXTREME sports). It was worth every penny, but when I got home, I had to work about two months to pay them back. Just be aware that “unexpected emergencies” can add up!
  • You will buy souvenirs, so make sure your suitcase has room for that kind-of stuff when you return home!
  • In New Zealand, they have pretty much all the same food we do in the U.S., so you don’t need to worry about lost appetite!


I will keep updating this list when more things come to me, but this should get you started for now. Get excited to make a trip to R.E.I. and that awesome outdoor store in downtown Athens!


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