Packing Tips

Climate and clothing: Maryland has a varying climate with four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall and winter. During these seasons, temperatures vary considerably.

Spring (March – May) and Fall (September – November) are mild and pleasant, with some chilly days.  Temperatures can range around 50°- 75°F (10°- 24°C).  Rain is common, though there are many clear days as well.
Winter (December – February/March) is often very cold, with occasional snow showers.  Temperatures usually range from about 20°- 40°F (-7°- 4°C).
Summer (June – August)  is hot and sunny.  Temperatures usually range from 75°- 95°F (24°- 35°C).

Student style of dress varies tremendously.  Some students dress extremely informally, while some prefer to dress more formally.  Additionally, UMBC has both indoor and outdoor pools, and the Atlantic Ocean beaches are only a few hours’ drive away, so if you like, swimwear may also be useful.  There are also many opportunities for athletic wear, whether for exercising on campus or hiking, biking, engaging in water sports, or otherwise enjoying Maryland’s bountiful outdoor recreational opportunities all year long.

Personal items
: Bring items that are not only essential to your studies, but equally important to your well-being. Music, traditional dress, photographs, games, books, movies and other items descriptive of your culture and country are important in helping you adjust to being in the U.S. Your American friends would also love to learn about you and your culture. You may also want to bring items you use regularly in your country that may not be readily available, or may be more expensive, in the United States.

: Agricultural items cannot be brought into the United States because they may carry animal and plant pests and diseases. Restricted items include meats, fruits, vegetables, plants, soil, and products made from animal or plant materials. However, most packaged non-perishable items and dried spices may be allowed in to the U.S.  UMBC’s campus offers many options for meals and snacks, and multiple grocery stores and restaurants are close by – click here for more about food options on and near campus.


Furniture & bedding: If you will be living on campus in the residence halls or apartments, basic furniture is provided, but bed linens, blankets, pillows, and towels are not. Students living on campus will be contacted by the Office of Residential Life with packing lists, suggested items, and items that are NOT allowed, such as pets or open flames, like candles.  Nearby stores, including Wal-Mart, multiple malls, and more, provide opportunities to purchase most things you may need.
If you will be living off-campus, furniture may or may not be provided and you may have to purchase or rent your own. If you can, contact the landlord prior to arriving and get housing details.


Money: It is a good idea to exchange some currency for U.S. dollars before your departure or upon arrival at the US airport, but you should not travel with large amounts of cash, as there is danger of loss or theft. If you anticipate bringing large sums of money to the United States, ask a bank about the safest and most convenient means of carrying or transferring funds. Travelers checks are a convenient and safe way of transporting funds. Keep in mind foreign currencies cannot be used in the U.S.