3 Ways to Store Your Belongings While Abroad

By Alicia Geigel on December 17, 2017

During your college career, there are plenty of opportunities to expose you to new ideas, beliefs, and cultures. Some people join campus clubs and organizations that cater to their interests, while others seek to experience a new world outside of what their university has to offer. Studying abroad is a great way to experience a new culture, go outside your comfort zone, make new friends, and have memories that will last a lifetime. There are many things to consider when thinking about studying abroad like: what country you want to study in, which university you want to study at, which friends/classmates you want to travel with, and what to do with your belongings while you’re away.

Considering all these factors is difficult enough, but thinking about what will be done with your belongings when you are gone can make leaving more challenging. After all, you will be leaving for a considerable amount of time and you do not want to have expensive and meaningful items taking up space in your apartment or left in the open without you there. Though it may seem like you don’t have many options for safe storage when you study abroad, I can assure you there are many different ways to keep your belongings safe and plenty of companies that offer services to do so! Are you studying abroad in the near future but are unsure of what to do with your stuff and where to store your belongings? Check out my four tips below on how to effectively store your items while you are studying abroad!

Image via Pexels

  1. Self Storage Unit: One of the most popular ways to store items is in a self-storage unit. Do not be fooled, there is no difference between a storage unit and a self-storage unit; the only reason units are referred to as “self-storage” is because you transfer and put the items in the unit yourself! In an article by Stephanie Hox of Storage Talk, she quotes Lindsey Fox, President of Passport Study Abroad stating, “[Renting a storage unit] is a much cheaper option than paying rent for an apartment they aren’t even living in while they’re away. Everything is there for them when they return back to the United States and can begin the next academic semester comfortably after having to adjust from being away for so long. It’s also important to have their belongings safe and intact while they’re abroad.” Rental rates of storage units differ from place to place, but you will usually be able to find affordable rates, especially since it is on a month-month basis.
  2. How to Pick the Right Self Storage Unit: When looking for the right company to rent a unit from, there are a few important elements to take into consideration. According to Hox, “students should make sure that the storage facility location they choose is safe and clean. He says it’s also important to find out if a manager is on the premises all day or lives on site. By reserving a unit at a facility that has a manager at the facility 24 hours, it adds an additional layer of protection and can offer peace of mind to those using the facility.” Cleanliness of the unit and the constant presence of a manager can give you an extra feeling of security and comfort knowing your belongings are being protected.
  3. Use a Moving Service: Believe it or not, there are a number of moving services for students who study abroad. These services help you store your belongings by providing you with the proper materials (like boxes, tape, labels, etc.), picking up your items, storing them in a unit that is close to and corresponds with a university they are affiliated with, and upon your return, will ship your belongings back to you! Here are some companies that offer moving services specifically for students studying abroad:
  • DormRoomMovers: a company that has been around since 2007 and helped 20,000+ students move.
  • CollegeBoxes.com: started as a student-run organization at Duke University in 1999. The company currently provides storage and shipping service for thousands of students around the world.
  • Dorm2Dorm: established in 2004, this company has been in service for 14 years and has served 27, 369 students. 

Studying abroad can be one of the best experiences of your life and you shouldn’t have to worry about the safety of your items and where to store your belongings while you’re gone. Now that you’ve had a chance to look into the different storage options for your possessions, you can now rest peacefully knowing that no matter what, they will be protected and returned to you when you get back home. If you happen to use one of these services, let me know because I would love to hear real experiences about them! As always, good luck and have fun!

By Alicia Geigel

Uloop Writer
social justice advocate, avid lover of 90s fashion, the proud mama of a yorkie named "nugget", feminist, body positive, weight trainer in progress, classic rock fanatic, and reality TV addict! if you want to learn more about me, visit my profile and check out my articles!

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