Suggested Packing List Fall & Spring Terms
We have created a comprehensive packing list by category and a short list of items that we don't recommend you bring to Europe. Most students regret bringing "too much stuff". Traveling is always easier if you "travel light".
Comfortable shoes are a must, as well as water and wind repellent clothing. The Netherlands is a flat country and there is quite a bit of wind and rain. There may be warm weather for fall semester students on arrival and warm weather for spring students towards the end of spring term. Please keep this in mind when packing.
- Don’t bring expensive or irreplaceable items that may get lost or damaged (i.e. expensive jewelry or handbags)—pickpocketing is a big problem in certain European cities.
- Pack all of your prescription medication(s) in your carry-on luggage.
- Using space bags to pack your clothes can create extra room in your luggage, although it will make your luggage heavier.
- Bring clothes that make you feel comfortable; you will be wearing them multiple times.
- Take clothes that are easily washed, dry quickly and require minimal ironing.
- Think "layers" when packing outfits.
- Your clothes and shoes will wear out from travel so think about bringing items you won’t mind discarding at the end of your journey.
- Limit the toiletries! Don’t waste valuable luggage space by packing them; you can purchase what you need in Well (unless you have a favorite brand that you can’t live without).
- You will end up walking more miles with your luggage than you think you will. Consider this when choosing luggage. If you buy new luggage, try out the lightweight cases.
- Leave weight and space in your luggage for souvenirs and other items you will buy in the EU and bring home with you.
- When packing place items inside of other items, like rolling socks and scarves into shoes, etc. Lay clothes flat to reduce wrinkling. Make proper use of the space you have!
DO NOT PACK THESE ITEMS
- A hairdryer, flat iron, electric shaver, etc.— you can buy one in Well that will work throughout Europe. This way you won't need to pack a voltage converter or worry about frying castle electrical outlets! (American hairdryers have been known to blow fuses and could be a fire hazard!) You can also ask the castle facilities department if they have one for you to borrow.
- School supplies: you can buy notebooks, etc. in town
- Mugs, dishes, bowls or utensils; the castle has all of these for your use
- A laundry basket—castle staff will give you one to use
- Travel books—OSA has plenty for you to borrow
- You can buy common toiletries in Well
- Emerson ID card: you will not need it in Europe; you will have an ISIC card and your passport for ID
- Blankets and pillows will be provided; but note: you can't remove them from your room for traveling
- Laundry soap; castle washing machines provide the soap
- Hamper—you will have one in your closet
- Hangers— they are provided by castle staff
- High heels, unless they are very comfortable to walk in
- A U.S. power strip: they often get fried or blow fuses at the castle. If you must have one, you’ll need to purchase it in Well
PACK IDENTIFICATION DOCS AND CASH FOR ARRIVAL
- Driver’s license (if you are hired as a student driver or plan to drive or rent a car while in Europe)
- Health Insurance Card
- ISIC Card (International Student Identity Card)—this card will be handed to students on departure day. Students who are not traveling on the group flight will receive the card when they arrive at the castle. This card provides discounts at youth hostels, local restaurants in Well, museums, etc. It will be good for one year
- 1–2 passport sized photos
- A debit (ATM) card with a VISA or MasterCard logo on the back or front of the card
- A credit card for emergency use in case one of your other cards is lost/destroyed/stolen
- €200 cash for arrival in The Netherlands (you’ll need to pay for the reading materials orientation weekend in euro cash, as well as other things)
- Cell phone and charger (note: if you sign up to buy the Euro cell phone offered by castle staff you will receive the cell phone and charger during orientation weekend at the castle)
- Laptop and charger
- Software discs—pack your original software discs just in case you may need them
- iPod/mp3, headphones and charger
- Camera, an extra camera battery and extra memory cards
- A flash drive for your computer
- A voltage converter (but only if absolutely necessary) for small electric appliances
- A European (2 round prongs) adapter plug
- A square peg adapter plug for Great Britain (3 rectangular prongs)
PACK MEDICATIONS AND TOILETRIES
European doctors don’t prescribe medications or antibiotics unless there is no other way to recover. If you get sick, you won't have access to cold/cough, flu medications and the like.
- Prescription medications to last you for the semester (3 months worth)—be sure to bring the prescription bottle with its generic name, and then pack them in your carry-on luggage!
- Over-the-counter medications and cold remedies (Advil, Claritin, Immodium, eye drops, nose spray, Ibuprofen, Advil, aspirin, Sudafed, DayQuil, NyQuil, Pepto-Bismol, Tums, Emergen-C, Airborne, cough medicine, etc.)
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant and any name brand products you absolutely cannot live without (although you may enjoy discovering new brands in Europe)
- Hairbrush and Comb, tweezers, manicure accessories
- Eyeglasses and/or contact lenses and your prescription in case you lose one or the other
- Contact lens case and Contact lens solution (it is sometimes hard to find this in Europe)
- Hair accessories
PACK FOR YOUR DORM ROOM
- You must have sheets and a pillow case on your bed on arrival night. So either pack set of bed sheets (twin long) and pillowcases OR buy a set from the Castle Facilities Manager during orientation weekend—the cost will be €25.
- Pack 2 towels and 2 washcloths
- Several pairs of really good earplugs (castle walls are SUPER thin!)
- 1 quick-drying travel towel to fit in backpacks for weekend travel; your hostel may not offer towels to guests
- Travel-sized containers you can refill with lotions, shampoos, etc. for weekend travel
- Luggage locks and 1 small padlock or combination lock (for lockers in the hostels)
- PENS—pack a couple - you’ll be taking lots of notes in class and laptops aren’t usually allowed in castle classes
- A small “sleep sack” for use in youth hostels or on overnight trains for those who are concerned about sleeping on hostel beds
- Light-weight luggage with wheels is always a good idea—remember: most streets are cobblestone or brick and can be quite bumpy.
- A carry-on bag (that meets EU airline standards) for weekend travel—check Ryan Air for details of their allowed carry on baggage dimensions
- If you like a backpack it is best to buy one with waist and shoulder straps.
- A Daypack or lightweight backpack for traveling around the city (leave your heavier luggage in the hostel lockers)
- A money belt or passport holder that can store your valuables when traveling—pickpockets are everywhere in Europe!
- Women— a purse with a cross body strap is the best protection against pickpockets
- Men—a money belt or passport pouch
- 1–2 pair of sturdy, comfortable walking shoes or boots (WATERPROOF IS BEST) AND remember you will be walking mostly on cobblestone and brick)
- A pair of flip flops/shower shoes for showers, public pools ESSENTIAL FOR HOSTELS
- A pair of comfortable, warm, waterproof boots is a must
- Slippers or house shoes for castle hallways
ESSENTIAL CLOTHING LIST FOR MEN AND WOMEN
- 1 warm winter coat or down jacket
- 1 rain poncho (umbrellas sometimes collapse in the extreme rain and wind of the Netherlands) - you can also buy a rain poncho in the NL
- 1 warm hat, scarf, and gloves
- 3–4 long-sleeved shirts
- 1 pair of long johns or thermals for colder places you will visit—make sure they are warm, thin and easy to layer under clothing(only for those students who are always cold - remember the castle can be quite damp and cold at times)
- 5–6 tee-shirts or short sleeved shirts
- 2+ warm sweaters you can layer over or under
- 2+ pairs of jeans and pants capable of traveling well
- 2 Sweatshirts & sweatpants
- A bathing suit if you are planning to swim , or use the thermal baths in Arcen
- PLENTY of “underthings”
- 2 sets of Pajamas/sleepwear
- 1 Bathrobe
- PLENTY OF SOCKS (a mix of dark casual, sport, and wool socks)
- 1 Pair of running/exercise shoes (if you plan to run/jog or participate in castle sports night)
- 1 workout outfit if you plan to join the fitness center in Well
- A couple of pairs of shorts for sports night, hiking or if you plan to visit warm places
EXTRAS FOR WOMEN
- 1 semi-dressy outfit for special events
- 1 pair of nice shoes for indoor events
- A few pairs of tights, jeggings, or leggings
- A coin purse for storing Euro coins - you’ll need to store them
EXTRAS FOR MEN
- 1 tie and/or bowtie
- 1 belt
- 1 pair of nice trousers for special events
- 1 button-down shirt for special events
- a wallet that has space for Euro coins
FALL & SPRING TERM EXTRAS
- 1 lightweight jacket for the end of spring term or the beginning of fall term - jacket should be "water-proof and wind-proof" and you should be able to layer clothing under or over this jacket
- Some lightweight clothes for when it’s warm at end of spring term or the beginning of fall term
- A Carnivale costume for spring and a Halloween costume for fall
SUMMER PACKING LIST
View the summer semester packing list »
- Flexible water bottle
- Nutrient Bars
- Gallon–sized Ziploc storage bags (good for storing wet clothes, shampoos, dirty shoes, etc. while traveling)
- Quart–sized Ziploc bags for air travel liquids
- If you have a favorite travel pillow, you may want to pack it
- 1 fleece zip-up jacket or shell to layer under or over clothes
- A travel flashlight
- A mini sewing kit
- A Tide-to-go pen
Spring term will start off very cold from lows of 15 degrees to as warm as 70 degrees by the end of the semester. These temperatures are reversed in fall semester—it can start off warm and may end very cold. It can get as low as 10 degrees if you take into account the wind chill factor. Rainwear is advisable all year long.
Check World Weather Information Service for temperature averages across Europe. Use this service to aid in packing.