What to Pack

Toiletries (soaps, hair care, etc.)

We recommend that you bring tooth paste, toothbrush, a small bottle of shampoo and soap for your first few days in Houghton. Almost any item you need is available on or close to campus at a reasonable price, but most products are made by U S companies. Please check airline carry-on restrictions.

Pillows, blankets, sheets

Pillows, blankets, sheets and other items are available at the local supermarkets at reasonable prices.

Cooking and Kitchen Appliances

Many students opt to stay in apartments on or off campus and cook their own meals. Most cooking utensils and necessities for foreign cuisine can be found or ordered in Houghton at reasonable prices. Due to customs restrictions, we encourage you not to bring food items and spices. A good representation of spices used in international dishes (Indian, Chinese, African, Latin American) are available at different grocery stores in Houghton and Hancock.


While you might want to bring special jewelry, we advise against bringing anything extremely valuable. To avoid your items being lost or stolen, we recommend that you pack your jewelry in your carry-on luggage.

Contact Lenses/Glasses

Since contact lenses and glasses are expensive in the United States, we recommend that you bring two, or more, pairs of each with you.

Medicines and Prescriptions

If you have any medical conditions or special prescriptions we recommend that you get them filled before your departure. Bring the prescription with you so it can be refilled in the US (you should also have this available when US Customs inspects you in case they have any questions). We also recommend that you have a dental and eye examination before you come to Houghton. Doctors are expensive in the US and these may not be covered by your insurance.

Dressing for Special Occasions

We encourage your to bring a few dress outfits which represent your culture/ethnicity as you will have opportunities to wear them at different events throughout the year. Traditional dress can also help you teach your new American friends about your country.

You will want to bring or be prepared to buy at least one formal outfit depending on your style and what you plan to do. You may be invited someplace which requires more formal clothing (a professor's home, an award ceremony, internship interview, graduation receptions).

For men: slacks, a dress shirt (long-sleeved with collar and buttons), loafers or dress shoes and coat and tie (often optional). For women: slacks and dress shirt or dress/skirt and dress shoes (high heels, nice slippers). If you intend to pursue employment related to Practical Training, business clothing will probably be necessary.

Personal Belongings

Though you must be selective due to rigid restrictions, you certainly want to bring some things from home to make your stay more comfortable and your room more personal. Posters, pictures, postcards, dolls, pillows, quilts, or toys are just a few of the things you could bring. American friends will enjoy seeing photos of your family, your home, and"everyday" life in your home country.

Gifts or Presents

Some students bring a few small, inexpensive gifts/presents to give to their mentors, host family members, new friends, or other people who are especially helpful. No one will expect such gifts, so do not feel obligated. If you do bring gifts/presents, try to find something that represents your country. Be prepared for the cold weather. In most winter seasons (December-April) well over 200 inches of snow will fall.