The Background

I am studying at EPFL in Lausanne for the 2022-2023 academic year through an exchange program with my school Carnegie Mellon University. I’ve heard mixed messages about packing - as its quite expensive to buy things again in Switzerland that you won’t be able to fit on the return trip, but bringing too much is a total pain. Also, my college wardrobe might further emphasize my foreign American identity amongst European styles, so I worried about how much of my clothing I would actually wear.

What Did I Bring?

I started packing three days before my flight and decided to bring enough clothes to only do laundry every ten days. I also made sure to bring essentials for hiking and backpacking as there isn’t anywhere else in the world with a more accessible trail network than Switzerland!

The Packing List Packing List

I found the list super helpful to focus my packing efforts and stay organized. I didn’t follow it exactly as the picture shows, but it covers almost everything I brought. It’s probably way too much, but I’m young and healthy enough to lug 50kg around a city using public transit - as long as its super convenient like in Lausanne!

The Packing Pic (I fit this in three bags!) I fit this in three bags!

I still could have brought more to make my first few days as comfortable as possible and save some cash - a pillow and sheets would have been nice - but the sleeping bag wasn’t so bad for three nights.