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Packing Tips for a Spring Semester in Hyderabad, India

by Katrina Hanson
Study abroad student in Hyderabad, India | AIFS Study Abroad

If you’re going to spend a study abroad semester in Hyderabad between January and May, here’s what you’ll want to have in your carry-on and your checked bag!

Tip: In the months leading up to your semester in Hyderabad, begin making a list of what to pack, ask other students who have been to India, read blogs and bring things that make you feel like home.

Carry-On + Personal Item

Depending on the airline you may have one or both of these! Take advantage of the extra space and pack things you know you cannot go without. I used a carry-on and a backpack, here is what I packed:

  1. Reusable water bottle-avoid having to pay $5 at the airport and you can stay hydrated on the plane (super important on long flights)
  2. Snacks…nothing worse then being hungry on over-night flights
  3. Headphones
  4. iPad/Kindle
    • Download books, Netflix and music
  5. Neck pillow
  6. Scarf (to stay warm on the long flights)
  7. Extra set of clothes… always better to be overprepared in case something happens to your luggage
  8. Laptop / iPad / Kindle
  9. Toiletries (deodorant, tooth brush, face wash – 3 things I was so happy to have once I landed)
  10. Passport + government issues ID + wallet (with some cash for the airports)
  11. Chargers


Tip: Hyderabad is a very metropolitan city and has several malls, so chances are if you forget anything, they’ll have it at H&M.  Don’t over pack; save room for souvenirs.


I packed a few modest tank-tops, long t-shirt dresses and cardigans for the coolers months and nights. The second half of the semester will be very hot, so anything that is light weight will be your best friend—just make sure it is modest. With everything you pack, try to make it versatile so that you can minimize space.


Make sure to back several cropped/full-length leggings. These lightweight bottoms will be your best friend when it gets to 90 degrees and above. Feel free to pack shorts for sleeping in and in the event you decide to do any international travel. Thin cotton joggers are also awesome under a t-shirt dress and so are jeans. When you arrive in India, there are several malls that have traditional Indian clothing, as well as Western options, so if you forget anything you can likely find it at H&M.


I brought one sweatshirt to India, which I only ever wore while flying. My go-to was a light windbreaker, which is perfect for nighttime or places that are air conditioned.


If you plan to visit the coast (which I highly recommend), pack a modest swimsuit for the beach, along with your sunglasses. This is also great to have should you visit other countries in Southeast Asia.


Full-length summer dresses for strolling the streets, markets, and malls will be your friend in the heat and you can easily cover your shoulders with a scarf or cardigan.


I brought sandals and wore them almost every day. I would also bring tennis shoes for hiking around. I like to wear these when I am flying, too. Tagore has communal showers, so make sure to bring shower shoes.


  • If you have light scarves those are always super cute and easy to throw on to cover your shoulders if you need to.
  • Sunglasses are necessary.
  • Smaller bags/purse for every-day travel.
  • Chargers, wall plugins and adapters.


If there is something that you absolutely cannot go four months without, bring it! Foods that are easy to find in the United States, like peanut butter, are quite expensive overseas, so it might be worth it to pack it before you take off.  Otherwise take advantage of the Indian snacks.


Bring some photos of your family and friends to hang up in your room in Tagore. It adds a little touch to make it feel like home.

What Not to Bring

  • Towels, Tagore provides this along with bedding and pillows
  • Shampoo, conditioner, body wash etc., all can be purchased at HyperCity (essentially it’s the Indian Walmart)
Alum discusses packing tips for a semester in Hyderabad, India | AIFS Study Abroad
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