Although, I can just speak about packing stuff for Singapore, I believe that it would apply to other countries where the average temperature reaches above 30 degrees Celsius. The absolute essentials are:
- Sun Cream
Most of Asia is very hot all year around and even though there are rainy seasons the sun will heat up your skin almost every day. Most of us want to get tanned quickly, especially coming from England, but make sure you protect your skin all the time. When buying a sun cream make sure you check the SPF; Sun Protection Factor for protection from UVB rays (burns and tanning) and and PA; Protection Grade of UVA rays (photoaging) that is indicated by PA+++ ( the higher the PA the better protection!). And remember UVB protection does not increase proportionally with the SPF number. The sun blocks can be quite expensive in Singapore so remember to buy some on sale in England!
- Something elegant
When going out in Singapore, you must follow a dress code to most of the nightclubs. For guys, long pants and shirt is a must while girls will not be allowed in with trainers on. If you are not planning on going out you still need it for the presentations at university. Yes, guys do need to wear a shirt (some even wear suits!) and girls elegant dress or blazer. Just to give you some heads up not to show for the presentation in shorts and trainers (my first and last time…)
- Something warm
Even though the temperatures outside are usually above 30 degrees Celsius, all the classrooms, libraries, study rooms and lecture theatres are not cold… they are freezing! A jumper, hoodie, scarf or even trousers are essential to survive the 4 hour seminars.
Of course you can buy medicine in supermarkets and pharmacies but it is convenient to bring some painkillers that you trust. Most importantly, paying $10 for Panadol hurts… So remember to bring some paracetamol or ibuprofen with you!
- Sports shoes
Most of you are probably wearing a pair of trainers on your way to the abroad place already. But, it is useful to bring some other sports shoes as well. Students in Asia engage a lot in sports and there is something for everyone! So pack your running shoes and make your beach body a reality!
- Dry shampoo
These things might not be essential for all, but probably for most students going on exchange to countries where it is really hot most of the time. The list seems quite obvious but there is so much planning, stressing, goodbyes and second thought just before going away, that it is easy to forget the essentials.
Enjoy your packing!