Pre-Departure Info

Pre-Departure Check-list

Remember: Pack smart, pack light

1- You will have to carry everything you pack. Think about how much you can realistically carry by yourself. Contact the airline you will be flying with to ask about baggage allowances. Ask about the number of carry on and checked in bags, dimensions and weight limits. It is also worth finding out about the fees for excess baggage.


2- Spread out essential items, like underwear, and a change of clothes throughout your luggage especially your carry on. This is a great idea, in case the airline loose some of your luggage.

3- Do not pack clothes that need dry cleaning or special care

4- Pack for the changing seasons. Decide if you want to pack a heavy coat or carry one on the plane or purchase the coat when in Russia. Dressing in layers during the winter months is also a good idea.

5- Pack comfortable walking shoes. Most of your transportation will be on foot, look after your feet well.

6- Think about packing one or two slightly dressier outfits, there may be times you want to wear something different to your jeans

7- Pack enough personal hygiene items to get you through the first week. Items such as shampoo, toothpaste etc. you can restock once you know your way around.

8- Pack enough prescription medicine to see you through the duration of your stay, they CANNOT be mailed and will be stopped at customs

9- Be aware of the culture in which you will be living. Respect their customs. Wearing flashy or revealing clothes can attract unwanted attention and may be considered disrespectful

10- Have something familiar with you in unfamiliar surroundings. A few pictures of family, friends, pets may help you in moments of homesickness. Also, try keeping a travel journal, even if you have never done this before. Students always enjoy reading through entries about events, people and places they may have forgotten about

11- Most importantly remember EMPTY SPACE, you will have much more to bring home with you than you went with.

Copies, copies, Copies

1- Make at least 3 copies of your passport. Give one to your parent/guardian/spouse and keep 2 copies with you whilst abroad. Keep the copies separately to the originals and in a secure place.

2- Make at least 2 copies front and back of each credit card you will be taking. Give one copy to your parent/guardian/spouse and keep one copy with you whilst abroad. Again this copy should be kept in a secure place separate from your credit card.

3- Do the same with any travellers cheques and debit cards

4- Make at least 2 copies of your itinerary, again, leave one copy with your parent/guardian/spouse and carry the other in a secure and separate place from the original.

Money, money, money

1- Make sure that your credit & debit cards are accepted in Russia. Usually if your card has the Cirrus logo on you will be fine, but double check with your bank first.

2- Contact your card issuer before you leave to let them know you will be using the card abroad, if you forget, you could find your card gets blocked from making transactions.

Identify yourself

1- Carry your passport and photo ID in a place that is secure but easily accessible by you. You will have to present them at various times during your trip

2- Make sure you ID has a photo, proof of age and perhaps even student status (this is not mandatory, but can be useful for obtaining applicable discounts)

3- Carry a written doctors prescription for each medication you travel with, and ensure each is in the original containers. If possible, try to obtain enough medication for the duration of your trip

4- Carry proof of insurance with you, again in a secure place

It’s in the bag

1- If you will be using a purse or bag (for gentlemen), remember to keep it with you at all times. Never leave your belongings unattended even for a moment. Tuck it firmly under your arm, or if it has a long strap, wear it across your body, instead of it hanging from your shoulder. You may wish to consider carrying a money belt to carry your passport and cash.

2- Carry the address and phone number of with you at all times. Remember to also leave this contact information with your parents/guardian/spouse.

3- Consider purchasing a guide book on Russia at your local bookshop. Researching the country you are going to be living in is always a great idea, this way you can learn about the culture, traditions and much more. During orientation, you will receive an extensive Student Handbook that will outline places to eat, shop etc.

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