What to Pack

Here's a little advice about what you might want to bring with you to Wesleyan. We’ve added some details for international students coming to the US for the first time.

• Clothes – It is very hot and humid in Macon during the summer. (Up to the high 30’s Celsius) Winters are relatively mild. Snow is rare, but temperatures can go below freezing. A wide range of clothes, including shorts and lightweight shirts for the summer, in-between clothes for spring and fall, and a coat and sweaters for the winter, would be a good idea. Clothes that can be worn in layers are good in winter, too.

• Shoes – Most students dress casually for class. A good pair of walking shoes or sneakers will make walking around campus more comfortable. Also, make sure you have at least one pair of closed shoes. Sandals are not good winter wear!

• A formal dress or outfit – We especially recommend any traditional formalwear from your own country. Don’t go out and buy something, but if you have a beautiful traditional outfit, you can wear it as an alternative to an American style dress for formal occasions. It will also be welcome during International Club events, such as the International Dinner.

• Dictionaries – Remember to bring good dictionaries, whether they be English only, or English-Your language and your language-English. English-only dictionaries can also be bought here, but ones with your language may be difficult to find, and/or very expensive. A good thesaurus is also essential, but you might prefer to buy that here.

• Medicine/Vitamins/First aid supplies – Of course, we have medicine in the US! But, we might not have a particular brand or style that you prefer, and our usual dosages or ingredients might be different.

• Cosmetics/Toiletries – Same as above. Make-up for Asian or African skin tones is sometimes hard to find, or expensive, so you might want to bring your own.

• Bath towels/washcloth – Bring at least one towel for use until you have time to go shopping. American washcloths are small, and soft. If you like a more abrasive cloth, bring your own. American bath towels are quite large, soft, and thick. If you don’t want to pack towels, you can buy them at Kmart or Wal-Mart. Prices could be about $3.00 each for the cheapest ones, or higher prices for better quality.

• Bed linens – Some countries have different standard sizes for bedding, which might not fit our beds here. We recommend bringing two flat sheets – one as a top sheet/light blanket, and one as a bottom sheet. Later, if you want others, you can buy some here. You might want to bring a small inflatable pillow (these can be found in international airport stores) to use until you have time to go shopping. (Special note to East Asian students: American pillows are soft. If you prefer a firm rice-filled pillow, bring it with you. You won’t find that style of pillow here.)

• Brush, comb, hand mirror, hair accessories, and jewelry – there’s no shortage of scrunchies, barrettes, etc, in this country, but they may be cheaper where you’re from. We suggest bringing the ones you really use. The same goes for jewelry – if you wear it often, bring it. If you haven’t touched it in a year, leave it home!

• Sewing kit – bring what you need to replace a button, repair a small hole, etc. Professional tailors may be more expensive here than you’re used to.

• Rain gear – an umbrella and/or raincoat would be a good idea. Some people like to have a pair of waterproof shoes for cold, rainy days.

• Desk supplies – obviously, you can buy these things here, but again, prices may be higher than you expect. Bring some of the essentials, so you won’t have to buy them as soon as classes begin – pens, pencils, erasers (You can buy things like a pencil sharpener, calculator, highlighters, markers, index cards, calendar, notebook and paper, scissors, stapler, staples, ruler, etc when you get here, if you don’t want to make room for them in your luggage).

• Electronics – if you use a hairdryer, have a radio, alarm clock, desk lamp, etc, be aware that US outlets are a different shape/voltage from many countries. We use 120V, and outlets take 2 flat prongs, or 2 flat and 1 round prong. You can buy adapters and converters here or bring them from home, but it might be easier to buy a hair dryer, radio, etc. when you get here, or bring battery-powered things. Most prices on new electronics are not much higher than for the same products in other countries.

• Address book, stationary – definitely bring the addresses, phone numbers and email of friends and family at home, and anyone you know in this country. Writing or talking to a friend can be a wonderful antidote to homesickness. You can get airmail stationery here, or bring your own.

• Small gifts -- Commemorative stamps or pretty postcards from your country make nice holiday gifts for friends, and they’re easy to pack!

• Eating utensils, plastic plates, bowls, and cups – These can be bought at Kmart. However, all meals during the semester are included in your tuition costs, so the dining hall will furnish these items. On breaks, you may need some of your own.

• Snacks – If you’ll be arriving after 5:00PM on the first day of Orientation, or if you’ll be getting here before Orientation actually starts, you might want to bring a few small snacks with you to campus. The dining hall only opens when Orientation begins, and the evening meal ends at 5:45 Friday-Sunday, and 6:30 Monday-Thursday, so you might like to have a few things to eat in your room. A microwave oven will be available down the hall from your room, and there’s a sink in your room.

• Photographs of family, friends, your home, famous places in your country, etc. – These can be great conversation starters with American friends/roommates, and good for combating homesickness, as well.

• A few favorites – bring some of your favorite music, books, and decorations – something to make your dorm-room feel like “home.”

• Anything red, yellow, green or purple – At Wesleyan, we don’t have sororities. Instead, we have “sister classes,” and you’re automatically a member of your class as soon as you arrive. The four classes, and their class colors, are: Pirates (red), Golden Hearts (yellow/gold), Purple Knights (purple), and Green Knights (green). If it’s 2015, you’re a Golden Heart. If 2016, Green Knight, and 2013, Pirate. If you’ll graduate in 2014, then you’re a Purple Knight, and so forth. You don’t have to participate in “spirit” activities, but if you want to show your enthusiasm for life at Wesleyan, and experience this part of American culture, wearing or using red, green, purple, or yellow things will show your “Class Spirit.” (You’ll learn a lot more about this once you get here!)

• Traveler’s Checks – PLEASE don’t bring large amounts of cash. American Express traveler’s checks in US Dollars are the safest, and easiest to cash here in the US. After you get settled in at Wesleyan, and have your own bank account, a direct money transfer from your parents’ bank to your bank account here is a good way for your parents to send you money.