What to pack for Seoul, South Korea (NSLIY // 6 week trip during the summer)

안녕 여러분!~ This blog post, as evident if you read the title, will be on the list of things I packed during my trip with NSLI-Y to Seoul, South Korea for 6 weeks during the summer. I will first be simply listing the things that I brought, and then, at the end of the post, I will write about the things I wish I had/hadn’t brought.

What I Wore on the Plane

  • Cardigan
  • Tshirt
  • Capri Jeans
  • Sneakers

Carry On

(Can be any weight but must fit in overhead compartment)

  • 7 shirts
  • 5 pairs of short
  • 2 skirts
  • A pair of walking sandals
  • A pair of dressy sandals
  • Undergarments
  • Laundry Bag
  • 2 pairs of pajamas

Checked Bag

(International Weight Limit: 50lbs)

  • 1 bottle of shampoo
  • 2 bottles of conditioner
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste
  • Face wash
  • Deodorant
  • Bar of Soap
  • Razors
  • Feminine products
  • Sunscreen (Body & Face)
  • Bug spray
  • 2 knee braces
  • Ice pack
  • Slippers
  • Host family gifts

Personal Item (Backpack)

(No weight limit but must fit under plane seat)

– Electronics

  • Laptop (Charger and 3 Prong Adapter)
  • Phone (Charger & Adapter)
  • 3DS (Charger & Adapter)
  • Portable Phone Charger

– Other

  • Important Documents
  • Passport
  • Headphones
  • Snacks
  • Wallet
  • Journal
  • Pencils & Pencil Case


What I Wish I Didn’t Bring to Korea

  • I would say that I packed pretty lightly in comparison to some of the other students on my program (Mostly, I did not bring as many clothes and I did not bring any makeup). I remember comparing our suitcase weights at PDO and my checked bag only weighed 32 lbs while most of the other NSLIYians’ bags weighed close to 50 lbs and a few were actually overweight. But anyway, now I am going to get into what I wish I did not pack. (Disclaimer: Everyone’s experience is different! Other participants may tell you that they needed these things.)
    • Adapters – I paid sooooo much for the adapters I bought because I could not just find Asia-specific adapters and instead, had to buy a whole pack of adapters that would not all work in Korea. Also, I had ordered a special 3 prong adapter to be able to use my laptop charger without getting electrocuted; however, it did not work in Korea! It had the right shaped prongs but the shape of the actual adapter would not fit in Korean sockets. Therefore, I would recommend buying them in Korea; they are so much cheaper! Maybe just buy one or borrow some from friends at the hostel until you can go shopping on your own or with your host family. I bought a 3 prong adapter and a third two prong adapter (one of my adapters belonged to a friend of mine and so I would be giving it back to him when I returned) at the Sookmyung Women’s University (숙명여자대학교) Bookstore for around 2 dollars each.
    • Slippers – I personally believe that I should have just bought slippers in Korea. They would become a good memento and you might not even need any if your host family provides you with guest slippers (like mine did). The slippers I bought in the states were way more expensive than the ones in Korea. (And the ones in Korea were cuter too!)

What I Wish I Brought to Korea

  • I obviously survived without these things or I ended up succumbing to my comfort zone and bought them later during the program, but these definitely are not necessities – just my personal preferences. Once again, some people will have not needed these but I would have liked to have brought them with me.
    • Large-sized towel – I like being fully wrapped in a towel and because I have long hair, small towels get soaked too quickly. I did not bring any towels because I figured my host family would lend me some, and they did. However, the towels were only ever around double the size of a washcloth. Nothing that they had in the house was even close to a large-sized towel back in the states. And this was actually very common in many of the host family houses. After the first week, I went to Daiso with a few other girls to buy the largest towel we could find. I just wish I had brought one since it would have saved me a lot of time and soaked hand towels.
    • More conditioner – I have really long curly hair, so many people would probably not have a problem. In fact, bringing two bottles of conditioner might already be too much, but I needed another one. My tip would be to keep track of how much products you use in a 6-week time span before the program and buy what you need from there. (I wish I did that!)
    • Large-sized water bottle – Buying water bottles constantly can be expensive and most water bottles I saw in Korea were either not big enough or really expensive. I simply used a water bottle that was gifted to us from Better World but that was a bit too small for my liking. I wish I had brought one from the US so I could have all the water I wanted without breaking the bank.

And we have come to the end of this blog post!~ I hope this ends up being helpful to someone, that is all I really want from these posts! My finished packing list was definitely influenced by videos and other blogs on this topic.

*I can not believe that June has already arrived! The newest NSLIYians (NSLI-Y9) will be heading off to Korea at the end of this month and I could not be more excited (and jealous) for them! They seem great (from my time talking with them on the finalist call and skyping some of them) and I hope they will write blogs because I would enjoy that 🙂 (If you are a NSLI-Y finalist (and we are not already in contact) and have a blog please tell me!)

Also, Please follow my blog if you like these kinds of things! I will be posting soon!!!!~ I have a really fun and exciting announcement to share! 안녕 친구들~

  • 엠마 (Emma)

One thought on “What to pack for Seoul, South Korea (NSLIY // 6 week trip during the summer)

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