studying abroad for 2 months : LUSENET : Travelite.FAQ Packing Guide : One Thread

Hi, I will be travelling to the Canary Islands for 2 months to study Spanish in a school. I will be staying in the same place for the duration of my trip. Do I still need to be a traveliter? I don't want to look silly by bringing a giant suitcase but at the same time I am having a really difficult time narrowing down the clothing options. Part of it is that I don't know what to expect there, as far as what is appropriate dress. I don't want to stick out like a "tasteless American". So I am tempted to bring a ton of clothes and shoes.

My other question is, do I bring my hiking boots? I know that Mt. Teide is one of the important sites there but I don't know how much time I will spend climbing it. Help!


-- christine moffa (, April 15, 2000


Hi Chrissylu;

A couple of suggestions for you. First, if you already know where you are studying, you might want to check with the school in the Canary Islands, your housing sponsor, or your advisor here in your current program (assuming this is an exchange program) if they have any suggestions about wardrobe. I suspect that while parts of the Canary Islands will be tourist-friendly, fluorescent Hawaiian shirts may not be the best way to go if you are expected to be a serious student. I also don't know if the fact that the Canary Islands is off the shores of Morocco will affect how modestly you will need to dress, either [although I understand they are thoroughly European.]

Since you will be there for two months, my suggestion would be to do some research on weather, talk to your contacts, then pack in the way recommended by Rick Steves (of "Europe Through the Back Door" fame) at Packing your carry-on with his method (or mine) *WILL* give you enough to wear through your entire studies there... but I realize you will probably want to have different looks. My suggestion is that you layer, using accessories (scarfs, small splashes of color, vests, etc.).

Then, here is what might work out well for you: Save some extra money. When you get there, get a sense of what people are wearing in the school and in your community. Go to the local clothing stores and purchase a couple of outfits (tops and bottoms). This will give you a LOCAL wardrobe of the type the people wear there. Wearing them will give you a feeling like you are living the culture. Then when you are ready to go home, simple pack up your new clothes and ship them home! When you get home, you will have some clothes from the Canary Islands to remind you of the wonderful time you had there.

As for taking hiking boots, you are going to need to see how busy you will be in your studies. Are you a very serious hiker? If not, I recommend you take a pair of sturdy walking shoes (or low-cut day-hike shoes) to use for everyday wear, then use them for doing some light hiking. If Mt. Teide is an "important site," chances are there are trails you can go on without requiring serious hiking gear. If you end up hooking up with some friends who love to do nothing but hike, they might be able to help you buy a new pair of hiking boots... but unless you want to spend two months wearing clunky boots, or you are studying geology and the hiking will be part of your studies, keep them

-- Lani Teshima (, April 16, 2000.

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