Current international students have compiled this list to assist you as you pack. You may also wish to speak with students from your home country who are already studying here for their recommendations on what to bring.
If you are an undergraduate exchange student, the Global Education Office will contact you with information about items that will be provided for you.
If you will be staying in on-campus housing, your mattress will not have pillow or sheets, and towels are not provided.
- One set of bath towels and washcloth for when you first arrive.
- One set of extra-long twin sheets for your first night. If you will be staying in on-campus housing, mattress size is approximately 36in x 80in x 8in (91.4cm x 203.2cm x 20.3cm), except for Tribe Square which has full-size mattresses. Tribe Square is typically only for upperclassmen.
- Small pillow for your first night
- Blanket. If you will stay in on-campus housing in the summer, some rooms have air conditioning and can be very cold by international standards. In the winter it is sometimes also cold.
- Undergraduate students can consider buying dorm essentials ahead of time from the W&M Bookstore. You can pick up your items when you check-in for Undergraduate International Orientation on August 21.
Clothing and Shoes
We recommend that you put at least one change of clothes in your carry-on luggage, in case your checked baggage is delayed.
- Pack whatever clothes and shoes you typically wear. Williamsburg has a range of temperatures, typically hot and humid in the summer (around 80°F/27°C) and cold in the winter (around 40°F/4.5°C). It is also quite rainy at times.
- Layered clothing (sweaters, jackets, etc): In summer it is often very hot outside and very cold inside, due to air conditioning. Bring a wide range of clothes to dress in layers.
- Set of traditional clothing: There might be opportunities for you to showcase clothing from your home countries (e.g., performances, international gatherings, etc.)
- There are many places to buy clothing and shoes in Williamsburg, see our "What to Buy" list.
We recommend that you put any items that you will need immediately (toiletries, medications, etc.) in your carry-on luggage, in case your checked baggage is delayed, though you should check with the Transportation Security Administration for guidelines and restrictions on what you can carry on.
- Travel size: toothbrush and toothpaste, shampoo and conditioner, bath soap and deodorant
- Brush and comb
- Shaving items
- Prescription medicine: Check customs regulations to see if any of your medications are prohibited. Also, bring the doctor's prescription with you in case the Customs Officer asks to see it. If this is not in English, bring a translation.
- Traditional medicine that may not be available in the US. Check customs regulations before bringing
- Spare eye glasses or a supply of contact lens: These items tend to be more expensive in the US.
- Cell (mobile) phone: During the first few days to weeks at W&M, you can connect your existing cell phone to the internet and send texts (SMS) using free WiFi. It is best to do some research before buying a new cell phone in the US.
- Electronic voltage converter and plug adapter: These can be difficult to find in Williamsburg, though you can purchase them online.
- Laptop computer: Bring if you want a laptop in your own language. However, see the "What to Buy" list for the advantages of buying a laptop in the US.
Driving record, home country driver’s license or international license: If you plan to drive in the US, even for short periods (like renting a car for trips), bring these. W&M has Zip Car hourly car rentals, but you may need your driving record translated into English.