Getting to Elmhurst University from the Airport

Elmhurst University will be your ‘home away from home’ during your academic study.

It can be difficulty to know or plan what to pack for your travel; please review the below travel tips and suggested packing as you prepare for your travel to the U.S.

Reminder: You need to make sure the following documents are included in your carry-on luggage and be prepared to provide the following documents at the port of entry to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer. CBP inspection takes place before your collect your checked luggage, so you must have these documents on your person (do not them in your checked luggage):

  • Passport
  • F-1 Visa
  • I-20
  • I-901 SEVIS Fee Receipt
  • Financial Documents

Suggested Packing List

Below is a suggested packing list to help you figure out what you’ll need to bring for the first few weeks after your arrival into the U.S. After that you can cross off things you can buy in the U.S.

Wardrobe basics:

  • Underwear and socks (good to have two weeks’ worth in case you don’t do your laundry each week)
  • Sneakers
  • Dress shoes, sandals
  • Tank tops, undershirts
  • Short and long-sleeve shirts
  • Sweaters (for mild spring and fall weather)
  • Sweatshirts or hoodies (two or three)
  • Coat/jacket (two is a good number; try to bring one that is water resistant)
  • A formal outfit for special events or interviews
  • Exercise clothing
  • Your favorite shirt or piece of clothing
  • Jeans, shorts, or other types of pants (2-3 pairs)
  • Swimsuit
  • Belts and accessories
  • Scarf, mittens, gloves, and earmuffs for winter weather
  • Pajamas
  • Flip flops (bring two pairs: one for the showers, and one for walking around)

Toiletries and personal hygiene products:

  • Shampoo, soap, face wash
  • Lotion/cream
  • Medicated ointments/ skin creams used on a regular basis
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shaving cream and razor
  • Deodorant and/or perfume
  • Contact lens solution

Tip: Pack small quantities or travel size in your carry-on luggage for immediate use or in case there are any issues in receiving your checked luggage. You can buy additional toiletries at a supermarket after arrival.

Bed linens and towels:

  • Buy bed linens in the USA since you don’t know the exact size or type of bed that it needs to fit. However, if you plan to live in on-campus housing you can bring twin extralong bed sheets. You will also need to buy pillows and a blanket.
  • Pack one towel for showering upon arrival; buy additional towels if necessary, after arrival.

Tip: Everyday electrical appliances such as desk lamps and hair dryers can be purchased cheaply in North America. But keep in mind that plug points and voltage may vary from what is used in your country, so assess your needs and purchase accordingly when in your residence. Please also review the Office of Housing & Residence Life Checklist to see what is recommended (as well as not allowed) for if you are living on-campus.

Food and books:

  • Bring your favorite non-perishable foods or snacks that will not be available or hard to find in North America. This is often what international students crave most in the first few months of being away from home.
  • Only bring books that you know cannot be found in America or be ordered online. Books can weigh a lot even if they are compact. If possible, invest in an electronic reading device.


  • Bring sufficient prescription medicine if you take it on a regular basis.
  • Over the counter medications such as aspirin can be bought in North America to save space, but it is okay to bring a small amount in case you need it for immediate use.
  • Extra pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if you wear them.

Tip: Have a list of all your medications prescribed and signed by a doctor to show legitimacy. Also, make sure what you are bringing with you is considered legal in your destination country. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or check the TSA website.

Important documents to bring (originals or copies, as applicable):

  • Detailed and up-to-date medical and dental records, if possible. Make sure your records reflect recent visits to your local health care professionals for general examinations, blood tests, dental and eye check-ups, x-rays, etc. These will help American doctors get a better idea of past diagnoses and accordingly offer treatments.
  • Immunization record, even if it was already turned in to your university. It is good to have a spare copy!
  • Official transcripts from secondary schools, colleges, or universities.

Other essentials:

  • Airplane ticket and passport
  • Wallet with local currency or traveler’s checks
  • Your mobile phone (pre-purchase sim card if possible)
  • Laptop or tablet
  • Chargers and 110-volt adapters for North American plugs
  • Bilingual dictionary or electronic translators (if you use one)
  • Photos of family and friends to tide you through when you are feeling homesick
  • A favorite item, such as a stuffed toy, pillow, or diary to make you feel more at home

Additional tips:

  • The dress code for university studies in North America is generally casual (for example, t-shirt and jeans)
  • Folding and then rolling clothes is a good space-saving technique, but the weight will stay the same, so do not over-stuff your bags
  • Distribute the weight by packing bulkier items like shoes in your hand luggage
  • Wearing heavier clothes, such as a winter jacket, during your flight will cut down your luggage weight.
  • Do not pack clothing that you will be able to buy in North America at a cheaper cost. Consider buying items that you may need or want, but do not already own, upon arrival (heavy winter coat, summer clothes, etc.)

Tip: If you cannot fit items into your luggage or want to travel light you can ship items to your U.S. address.

Travel Tips for Your Flight

If you have a connecting flight from your country to your final U.S. destination, remember that it is recommended to keep your baggage light and compact. Before you pack, keep in mind:

  • Most U.S. carriers allow one bag weighing up to 50 pounds (23 kg) to be checked. You can bring one carry-on (there are rarely weight restrictions, but it must fit in the overhead compartment) and one personal item (such as purse or laptop) to the airplane.
  • Only 3.4 fluid ounces (100 ml) of liquid items are allowed onto the airplane, and these must fit in a 1-quart-sized, resealable bag.
  • U.S. carriers may charge fees for checked baggage.

Refer to the TSA website for information pertaining to carry-on baggage allowance.


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