Sunday, March 20, 2016

Packing for electives

I had made a list for "What to pack" for electives before leaving. My friend is leaving this month and I wrote this blog for her and everyone else who is planning to go for electives and need help with it :D

Packing is tough because you've got limited space and weight. I carried a 23 kg big bag. My carry on was of the appropriate luggage compartment size. They do not weigh carry on bags if they are in the dimension range. I also took a bag pack for my laptop and a hand bag for work. You can carry the coat & umbrella with you, they don't mind. Do not put food / sharps in the carry on, they'll remove it.

One of my friends luggage bag got misplaced during his flight change. He only had his carry on bag with him for the initial 2-3 days (Till the airlines resent his bag!) So make sure you have at least a few set of clothes and necessary documents in your carry on, in case this rare incident happens to you.

Here's a list of what I packed and suggestions on what you should pack. You can use this list to guide yourself and make sure you don't forget anything!

Clothes and linen: 
1 warm coat, 2 gloves, 2 scarves, 2 thermals, 1 knit winter cap, lots of socks, umbrella.
I didn't carry blankets because I knew I would be provided with them.
(They say you should buy winter wear like coats and snow boots in America but I advice you to carry it from your home country anyway in case you can't go shopping immediately.)
8-10 formal shirts, 3 pants, 1 lab coat with long sleeves.
1 formal shoes, make sure your toes are covered. (You can wear sports shoes with scrubs in surgical rotations.)
3 track pants and tops to go with it
2 hoodies, 2 sweaters, 2 jeans
1 pretty dress (My birthday was around that time so :D )
1 big towel, 1 small towel
1 semi open shoes for wearing at home. (I didn't pack flip flops because I knew I would wear socks most of the time due to the cold.)

Documents: 
Passport copies (Keep one copy in each bag)
Visa copy
Step 2 CS exam copy
Immunization
Health insurance
Malpractice insurance
Acceptance letters

Medicines:
Paracetamol
Allergy medication
Cough medication
Antibiotics
Vicks balm
Bandages
Anything you can find at home
(It's important to carry medicines because they are really expensive in the US)

Skin care:
Vaseline
Moisturiser
Cold cream
Sunscreen
Make up

Optical stuff:
2 Glasses
Lens solution
Lens

Academics:
First Aid for Step 2 CS
Pens, pencil, sharpener, eraser

Electronics:
Laptop with every ebook ever
Phone charger
Universal adapter
Pen drive
Iron (I didn't carry it because the clothes dryer doesn't leave a lot of creases and you don't really need to press any clothes)

Crockery:
1 mug, 1 big spoon, 2 small spoons, 1 butter knife, 1 sharp knife, 2 plates and 2 bowls. Everything microwavable, unbreakable and not too heavy.
Apartments that you rent may give you utensils for cooking, so don't carry too much like frying pan and heavy utensils.
I think you should also carry a water bottle and a tiffin box. Sometimes, it is easier to carry a lunch box with home food than to eat from the canteen.

Toiletries:
Tooth paste and tooth brush
Shampoo, oil, conditioner
Comb, Hair ties, Clips
Bathing soap, perfume, body spray
Washing powder, soap for clothes
Soap for utensils, utensils scrubber
Sanitary napkins
Mug for water (Because there are no jet sprays here)

Others:
Scissors
Nail clipper
Safety pins
Wrist watches
Needle and thread
Weighing scale
Stethoscope
Hammer (If neuro rotation)

Spiritual:
Diary
Religious books
A photo frame :)

Food: You don't need to carry them from India because you will get most of the food in America as well. I think tea bags are hard to find. Also, I froze a few home made chapatis so I had something to eat if the weather was too bad and I wouldn't be able to make it for groceries in the first few days. It was a good decision.
Tea bags
Milk powder
Sugar
Salt, pepper
Ghee
Frozen franks
Frozen chappatis
Nutella
Peanut butter
Honey
Biscuits
Soup
Chocolates

You can always buy stuff from here even if you forget a few items here and there. So don't stress too much like I did :D

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