Most students regret bringing "too much stuff". Traveling is always easier if you "travel light".  Comfortable shoes are a must, as well as water and wind repellent clothing. The Netherlands is a flat country and there is quite a bit of wind and rain. There may be warm weather for fall semester students on arrival and warm weather for spring students towards the end of spring term. Please keep this in mind when packing.

Packing Tips

  • Don’t bring expensive or irreplaceable items that may get lost or damaged (i.e. expensive jewelry or handbags)—pickpocketing is a big problem in certain European cities.
  • Bring enough medication, including favorite over-the-counter items, to last you the entire semester and make sure to pack it in the original containers with the prescription on it. Keep it with you in your carry-on luggage when traveling. 
  • Bring clothes that make you feel comfortable; you will be wearing them multiple times.
  • Take clothes that are easily washed, dry quickly and require minimal ironing.
  • Pack clothing that you can layer.
  • Your clothes and shoes will wear out from travel so think about bringing items you won’t mind discarding at the end of your journey.
  • Limit the toiletries! Don’t waste valuable luggage space by packing them; you can purchase what you need in Well (unless you have a favorite brand that you can’t live without).
  • You will end up walking more miles with your luggage than you think you will. Consider this when choosing luggage. If you buy new luggage, try out the lightweight cases.
  • Leave weight and space in your luggage for souvenirs and other items you will buy in the EU and bring home with you.
  • When packing, place items inside of other items, like rolling socks and scarves into shoes, etc. Make proper use of the space you have!
  • Pay attention to baggage weight limits.

Do Not Pack These Items

  • A hairdryer, flat iron, electric shaver, etc. - You can buy one in Well that will work throughout Europe. This way you won't need to pack a voltage converter or worry about frying castle electrical outlets! (American hairdryers have been known to blow fuses and could be a fire hazard!) You can also ask the castle facilities department if they have one for you to borrow.
  • Bedding (the castle will supply this for you)
  • School supplies: you can buy notebooks, etc. in town
  • Mugs, dishes, bowls or utensils; the castle has all of these for your use
  • A laundry basket—castle staff will give you one to use
  • Travel books—OSA has plenty for you to borrow
  • You can buy common toiletries in Well
  • Laundry soap; castle washing machines provide the soap
  • Hamper—you will have one in your closet
  • Hangers— they are provided by castle staff
  • High heels, unless they are very comfortable to walk in
  • A U.S. power strip: they often get fried or blow fuses at the castle. If you must have one, you’ll need to purchase it in Well

Pack Identification Docs and Cash for Arrival

  • Passport
  • Emerson ID. You will need it for building tap in and can sometimes get student discounts on entry fees at some places around Europe.
  • Driver’s license (if you are hired as a student driver or plan to drive or rent a car while in Europe)
  • Health insurance card
  • 1–2 passport sized photos
  • A debit (ATM) card with a VISA or MasterCard logo on the back or front of the card
  • A credit card for emergency use in case one of your other cards is lost/destroyed/stolen
  • €200-€300 cash for arrival in The Netherlands (you’ll need to pay for the reading materials orientation weekend in euro cash, as well as other things)

Pack Electronics

  • Cell phone and charger
  • Laptop and charger
  • Software discs—pack your original software discs just in case you may need them
  • A flash drive for your computer
  • A European travel adapter plug with at least the 2 round prongs connection for the Netherlands


Spring term will start off very cold from lows of 15 degrees to as warm as 70 degrees by the end of the semester. These temperatures are reversed in fall semester—it can start off warm and may end very cold. It can get as low as 10 degrees if you take into account the wind chill factor. Rainwear is advisable all year long.