Checklist: What to Pack for Your New School and Country

By Carleton University Modified on July 16, 2019
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Essential: Documents, cash, bank cards, toothbrush, phone, and spirit of adventure.

An array of colourful luggage, ready to go.

Keep it light

If you're travelling to Canada, you'll start school in the fall (September) when the weather is generally quite beautiful — it's still summer! So get bulky winter wear after you arrive. Bring a pair of comfortable shoes, a light jacket, sweater or hoodie for cooler evenings, and something to wear on a hot day. Also: a towel and enough travel size toiletries to last the first week or two.

A backpack if you have it

Every student ever seen on campus has a backpack. If you have one already, it's a perfect carry-on, and you will need it anyway.


This includes your passport, and other documents you will need to present to border authorities. A photocopy of your passport, ID, and documents kept separately is a good precaution.

Small but essential

Bring a paper copy of your personal information, including your family's address and contact information. Also have a backup of phone numbers, addresses of where you're going, and contact information for your consulate. Be sure to bring your medications, prescriptions, glasses, contact lenses, and first aid essentials (e.g. band aids, sunscreen).


We know you'll bring your phone :) and laptop if you have one (Carleton has a program for loaning laptops, and many computers you can use on campus). Remember your headphones, chargers, and extra battery packs. And make sure you have an adaptor so you can plug in your chargers in Canada — at least until you get new ones.

A few keepsakes from home

To help with a huge transition, bring a few items that bring you comfort. Maybe it's a favourite book, or some music, a flag or a photo of your family. Or maybe it's your yoga mat or journal.

Your indomitable attitude

You're on a grand adventure. Bring your courage, independent spirit, and a cheerful demeanour.

"He who would travel happily must travel light." -Antoine De Saint-Exupéry

Apply now to Carleton University!

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