Important note about luggage:
You may bring a total of three bags with you:
- ONE larger suitcase which you may check at the airport and pick up when you arrive in Seattle (your "checked bag") - may not weigh more than 23 kg (50 lbs)
- TWO smaller "carry-on items" which you will bring with you on the plane (one small suitcase/backpack/bag no larger than 14 inches x 9 inches x 22 inches (23 x 35 x 56 cm), and one "personal item" which can be a backpack/purse/laptop).
Please DO NOT check more than one suitcase! Once you arrive in Seattle, we will provide you with a second suitcase that you may use to transport books and other materials we give you here back to your home countries. FIUTS will pay the extra bag fee to transport this second suitcase home with you.
Please note that the weather in most of the United States is quite cold during January and February. In Washington DC, there may be snow during our stay. In Seattle, snow is less likely, but it will probably rain for most of the days you are there! Please note that sturdy shoes or boots will be necessary to keep your feet warm and dry in rainy weather; sandals will not be warm enough! In most years, Seattle averages a daily maximum temperature for January that's between 8 to 11 degrees Celsius.
When you arrive in DC, FIUTS will provide you with a hooded sweatshirt and a rain jacket. We recommend, however, that you bring warmer clothes with you as well; the best way to stay warm and dry is to wear layers. For example, you might wear a lighter long-sleeved shirt with a sweater or sweatshirt over it, and then add a warm coat and/or rain jacket when you go outside. We also recommend bringing a hat, scarf, and gloves if possible.
Here is some advice about what clothing to pack:
3-4 pairs of long pants
4-5 long-sleeved shirts
3-4 warm sweaters or sweatshirts
Warm hat, scarf, and gloves
8-10 pairs of underwear
8-10 pairs of socks
1 pair walking/gym shoes
1 pair of special occasion shoes
1 pair rain-resistant boots, if possible (sandals will NOT be appropriate in the rain in Seattle - it's too cold!)
flip-flop shoes for indoors
Coat or warm jacket with a hood
1-2 pairs of pajamas
In addition, for women:
1 special occasion dress or skirt
In addition, for men:
1 dress shirt and tie
A note about shoes: Even with reliable public transportation, everyone does a great deal of walking on every possible type of surface – pavement, mud, dirt, pebble, etc. Many of the program activities involve walking, regardless of the weather. All participants should bring at least one pair of good, comfortable walking shoes with water-resistant soles.
You will have opportunities to do laundry during your stay. Laundry facilities are available in the hotel in Seattle.
CulturalFest: During your time in Seattle, you will have an opportunity to participate in FIUTS' biggest annual event, CulturalFest. This two-part event includes the CulturalFest International Expo, where teams of students lead booths to teach local students and community members about their home country. Please bring some cultural items that you can use to decorate your booth! Photos, arts & crafts items, examples of traditional clothing, picture books, games, and maps are all great examples of things you can display at your booth. Feel free to let us know if you have questions about this (and we'll include additional information in your pre-arrival emails as well).
Other items to pack:
Pictures of your home town, family and school to share with friends and family that you meet in the U.S.
Camera with extra memory card and batteries or charger
Backpack or bag to use for everyday use and class
Personal toiletries for the first few days – these can easily be purchased and replenished once you arrive
Electronic adapter (see explanation below)
Electrical Issues. The United States uses a different voltage than other parts of the world and has different plugs for electronic devices. You will need to have an electronic converter if you plan to use electronic devices that you bring from home. Converters can be purchased in the U.S., but we highly recommend that you bring one with you as they are most likely cheaper in your home country and you may want one as soon as you arrive in the U.S.