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What to Pack

Deciding what to bring with you can be a little overwhelming, so packing requires careful consideration. What you bring to the U.S. is largely a matter of personal choice. To simplify the process, create a list of everything you think you'll need, and then eliminate the items you can buy when you arrive. Remember: you may have to carry whatever you bring through local transportation and then to your residence, so keeping it light and compact will simplify the traveling process.

There are many opportunities to share aspects of your home country and participate in international activities throughout the year. Therefore, you may want to consider bringing:

  • Photos
  • Postcards
  • Books
  • Slideshow images
  • Musical instruments
  • Traditional clothing
  • Music

The required voltage for electrical appliances in the U.S. is 120 V (60 Hz). Most electrical appliances such as desk lamps, fans, hairdryers and chargers can be purchased cheaply from supermarkets such as Wal-Mart or local thrift shops. If you decide to bring electronic products, you may need a power adapter and converter.

Check the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website ahead of time to see what you can and can't bring into the country.

What to Purchase upon Arrival

Books and academic resources - Books are heavy (which also means costly) in transport and easy to obtain via school or community bookstores, or through the internet. Also, you may not know what texts are needed for your courses until you arrive. However, a few favorite books or resources might be useful to bring along.

Extension cords and multi plugs - Check with your school first and see whether they are allowed; these are useful for saving space in your room.

First-aid kit - We recommend bandages, pain relievers and other basic care items. Should a small injury occur, it's good to have these on hand.

Hangers - From saving space to decorating your room, you'll be amazed by how useful these can be.

Multipurpose cleaning wipes - They are light, compact and convenient for quickly cleaning your room.

Sewing kit - Having scissors, string and a needle can come in handy when you least expect it.

Slippers, shower shoes and bathrobe - These can add to the comfort of your room and make you feel more at home.

Storage boxes and shelves - These can always be purchased when the need arises, so no need to rush. With many affordable and replaceable options available, shelves will also save you a lot of space and hassle.

Tableware - A cup, bowl, plate, fork, spoon and knife are good to have on hand in case you want to eat something in your on campus residence. Disposable tableware offer easy cleanup and are helpful when friends make a surprise visit.

USB drive - Keep one with you, just in case you need to do work in a library or university computer center.

Weather Information

South Dakota has a continental climate with four distinct seasons, ranging from cold, dry winters to hot and semi-humid summers. During the summers, the average high temperature throughout the state is often close to 90 °F (32 °C), although it cools to near 60 °F (16 °C) at night. It is not unusual for South Dakota to have hot, dry spells in the summer with the temperature climbing above 100 °F (38 °C) several times a year.

With the appropriate clothing, you can enjoy each season that South Dakota has to offer. For both fall and spring it is always a good idea to have a light jacket, as the days usually start and end with cooler temperatures. Most students will be wearing shorts and t-shirts in the summer. During the winter, several layers of clothing are recommended for adequate protection when walking in freezing temperatures.