What to Pack

Please refer to the Residence Life website for information about the residence halls, the housing process, what to bring, and the CLU standards of conduct.

Items to bring from home

You might want to consider bringing a traditional costume and/or items (i.e. pictures, artwork, maps, music, or personal souvenirs) from home for participation in some of the cultural festivals hosted by CLU. (Videotapes from home may not work in U.S. players, so you may want to leave them at home). Favorite recipes for cooking special dishes are also recommended, as international students often like to get together to share familiar meals.

Don't Forget!

Don’t forget your camera and a dictionary. It may be difficult to find a dictionary in English and your language. Adaptors for electronic appliances and computers are highly recommended.

Remember to pack lightly

Do not pack more than you can carry by yourself! If you get stuck in an airport along the way, you may have to carry your luggage a long distance before you can find a cart to use or someone to help you, and you may not have the correct change if the carts cost money (as at LAX).

You may ship items ahead of time using the address indicated in the Residence Life section.

Be sure to include a detailed list of items in the packages along with the declared value for customs. If you mark packages with personal items “used personal effects” and keep the declared value low, you may not have to pay duty.


There will be a welcome dinner and shopping trip the Thursday evening before International Seminar, so you may wish to wait and buy items like sheets and towels after you arrive. CLU beds are twin extra long, so take note of this if you plan to purchase sheets prior to your arrival. This size sheet is available at the stores where we will take you shopping. You also have the option to purchase linens and other items online today! Just remember that if you order linens to have them shipped to us.  The address would be International Student Services, 60 W. Olsen Dr. #6400, Thousand Oaks, CA  91360.


Bring enough cash in U.S. dollars for your immediate needs upon arrival. You should have enough to pay for transportation from the airport, a few meals or a night in a hotel depending on your plans and expected date of arrival. Meals may not be immediately available at the Cafeteria depending on your arrival date. Please visit Campus Dining for location and hours of operation information. U.S. currency is available by exchange at international airports, though the exchange rate is less favorable. Changing money at a major bank will provide a better exchange rate, but may take longer. Be sure to have some small denominations ($1, $5, $10) in order to make a phone call or purchase a snack. Do not carry a large amount of money in cash. Be sure to keep all cash close to your body.

Travelers Checks

Many students take the amount needed for the first few weeks in traveler’s checks. Ask for traveler’s checks such as American Express, Visa or Barclays, which are readily negotiable in the U.S. and which guarantee refunds in case checks are lost or stolen. It is wise to request them in several different denominations: $10 and $20 checks for incidental expenses; $50 or $100 checks for tuition, books or apartment fees.

Take proper caution when carrying checks and other important papers. For example, never carry your passport and travelers checks together, because, in case of theft, this will allow a thief to cash your checks almost anywhere. You should also carry at least some of your travelers checks separate from the others. This will ensure that you at least have some money if you lose some checks and have to wait for a refund.

Credit Card

All students going abroad are urged to take a major credit card such as Visa or MasterCard with them. They are extremely useful in case of emergencies. Most car rental agencies also require a credit card.

University Related Finances

You should plan to bring with you enough money to cover your preliminary expenses such as books and personal items. If you have not already paid your university fees before your arrival, you must have enough money to make those payments immediately upon your arrival. CLU estimates that books can cost up to $500 per semester, and personal expenses are estimated at $1,000 per semester.