What Should I Bring?

Deciding what to bring for a trip to another country to study can be difficult. We want to help by giving some suggestions. This list is only to get you started. There are many things that you might want to bring that are not on the list.


Some important documents that you should bring with you, and carry with you on the plane are:

  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • UMKC Admission letter
  • Visa
  • Passport
  • Immunization records – these are required to live on campus
  • Any important medical records – if you have a serious illness that you know will need to be treated here, it is helpful for new doctors to have records
  • Contact information of people at home – if you phone doesn’t work right away you may need to borrow one
  • Important addresses in Kansas City – in case your phone doesn’t work right away


  • Most college students in the U.S. dress casually to be comfortable. You do not need to dress formally. It is common for students to wear jeans and a t-shirt to class.
  • In some countries, jeans are too relaxed or casual, but in the U.S. they are very common. We recommend bringing or buying a few pairs of jeans.
  • Many women like to wear dresses or skirts too.
  • You will walk a lot on campus. You will need a good pair of comfortable tennis shoes for walking. Other popular shoes are sandals, flip flops, or flats (women).
  • You will need light weight and normal weight t-shirts, sweaters, and a heavy jacket. Many students do not own heavy jacket before coming to the US and they get very cold walking on campus without one. If you arrive in January, make sure that your heavy jacket is not packed in your suitcase. Take it with you on the plane so you can put it on before you leave the airport.
  • When it is warm or hot, many people like to wear sleeveless shirts or tank tops. You can wear these with or without a sweater on top.
  • All university students can use the gym on campus. You will want gym clothes to exercise – t-shirt, comfortable shorts, swim suit, tennis shoes.

If you don’t want to pack everything, that’s okay! You can buy many of these items at stores in Kansas City. Stores often have sales, so you can find the items for lower prices if you look. However, be sure to look at what the weather will be when you arrive so that you have comfortable, appropriate clothing when you arrive before you shop.

School Supplies

UMKC has a bookstore where you can buy many school supplies. There are also many stores in Kansas City where you can buy school supplies at low prices.
Things you may want to bring with you are:

  • Your computer
  • Your iPad or other tablet
  • Your backpack/book bag – you can use it on the plane

Things you should to buy here are:

  • Notebooks
  • Textbooks
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Note cards
  • Printer for your home/room
  • Printer paper

House Supplies

You can buy a lot of supplies for your home or room in Kansas City. What you need depends on what type of housing you choose. Some students like to bring their own blankets or pillows for their bed because it makes them feel at home, but most other things can be bought in Kansas City.


All UMKC students can ride the city buses for free with their student ID cards. However, some students still choose to buy a car or a bike while they are here.
The UMKC gym has a bike rental program that lets students rent bikes for the semester. Just make sure you return the whole bike at the end of the semester.


If you have glasses or contacts, bring them with you. If you have contacts, it’s best to refill your prescription before you come so that you don’t have to do it while you are here.
If you have glasses or contacts, bring your prescription in case you need to get new ones here.
If you have prescription medicine, refill it before you come so that you have time to find a doctor or pharmacy before you need to get a refill here.