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11 Creative Gifts for Someone Studying Abroad

As the family member or friend of a lucky student about to study abroad, you want to do what you can to make their experience a great one! The internet is littered with helpful must-haves for every traveler—but what about gifts that will help your loved one feel more at home, wherever they are in the world?

Besides the gift of you visiting (which is not always feasible, womp), the most thoughtful gifts for someone studying abroad is one that will help make their new living space an oasis of calm and source of inspiration in a foreign land. 

Read on for the eleven creative gifts for someone studying abroad, all in the form of wall decor that is light, practical, and attractive! The bonus is, once your gift is on their wall, it will always inspire them to think of you, too! You wouldn’t want them to forget you on their grand adventure, would you? 

Gifts for someone studying abroad they’ll love

What makes a great travel gift for a student studying abroad? We decided you can arm them either with great stuff to take on their adventure or ways to commemorate their experiences in their dorm rooms once they make it back.

1. Scratch off world map

scratch off world map

This fun map is quickly becoming a must-have for any wanderer, making it one of the best gifts for travelers this year! It’s easy, helps keep track of all the adventures—and it’s an ever-changing decoration! This Scratch The World Travel Map by Maps International is highly detailed, and includes many major cities, for increased accuracy. This is the best gift for a student traveling abroad—it is a beautiful piece that any person seeing the world needs on their wall. 

2. Portable Bluetooth Speaker

portable blue tooth for travel

When you arm your study abroad student with their favorite playlists // Spotify account, they’re invincible! Give them the gift of sharing their music with friends at the pool, on the trails, at the mountain top, and more—this portable bluetooth speaker is one of the best gifts for college students studying abroad.

3. Portable printer 

polaroid printer

For anyone who tends to take pictures on their phones—which is everyone, especially a student exploring the world!—this Wireless Mobile Photo Mini Printer from Polaroid is a genius way to make sure those memories are preserved and displayed. If your student tends to panic-delete every time they try to take a photo (if you know, you know), this gadget is especially for them. Small, lightweight, portable, this printer connects directly to both Android and iOs devices, making printing those phone images a breeze—and making snapping those shots stress-free!

4. City map 

city maps

Although one of the best gifts for a student studying abroad is access to Google Maps, this City Map Art Print from Modern Map Art comes in at a tie. There is nothing like an old-fashioned map for helping one get the lay of the land—and for when that precious phone battery is running low! These gorgeous and useful maps come in a variety of cities, so you can personalize it to whatever fabulous place your loved one is studying. Or, you can even give your student a map of their home city, as a nice reminder that home will be waiting when they’re ready to come back. 

5. Turkish towel 

turkish towel

One of the best travel hacks out there is to take a Turkish towel instead of one of those designed-for-travel microfiber towels, which, let’s be real, do not get the job done. Light and breathable, Turkish towels travel wonderfully, dry quickly, and get softer with every wash. The Turkish towel from DoKa Home comes in a variety of cool and pretty designs, meaning the towel can double as a wall hanging when not in use. Multi-use items are one of the best gifts for students studying abroad—there is only so much you can squeeze into a suitcase, after all!

6. Push pin map 

push pin map gifts for someone studying abroad

A close cousin of the scratch-off travel map is this World Map Poster with Pins from Pin Adventure Maps. The beauty of the push pin is that you can get very precise with where you have visited—and even color-code in whatever category pleases your little organized heart. Let’s be real…every country deserves more than one scratch-off…or, um, trip. 

7. Apple iPad

apple ipad for study abroad

For the student studying abroad that doesn’t want to deal with the hassle of a map poster, this beautiful tapestry by Jinmi Handicrafts comes in a variety of map designs and would be a great addition to any dorm room. It can also double as a privacy-maker—which everyone needs at some point, no matter how nice the roommate!

8. Hanging travel organizer 

hanging travel organizer

Hanging travel organizers are a necessity for any traveler—and this doubles for a student potentially sharing bathroom space!  Unfortunately the market is saturated with organizers that are poorly made, meaning they will start leaking at the worst possible moment. Look no further than this foldable wet pack and toiletry bag by Drakensberg, made from canvas and leather. It’s sturdy, attractive, and will look great on any wall. This bag is an investment that is sure to benefit your traveler wherever they go. 

9. Instax Mini Camera

instax mini for study abroad

One of the best ways to make friends in a new country is to buy them a fun and friendly camera. To really solidify your new friendship, hand them a ready-made copy of your adorable new pic!

10. Tortuga Travel Backpack

tortuga backpack gifts for someone studying abroad

The best of the best, this travel backpack from Tortuga Backpacks will not only keep their stuff safe from the elements, but will keep them looking stylish, too. This 45 liter pack comes in three colors and packs like a suitcase (clam shell luggage for the win!). The best part? This roomy pack is still carry-on friendly, so you’ll save your study abroad student hundreds of dollars in unnecessary check-in fees! It’s one of the most practical gifts for college students studying abroad.

11. Camera Lens Kit

camera lens kit for study abroad

This list of the best gifts for travelers wouldn’t be complete without these incredible add-on camera kits for your everyday smart phone! Who doesn’t want to come back from their trip abroad with hoards of photos to add to their iCloud?

Buy the best gift for someone studying abroad

There you have it! Eleven incredibly creative gifts for someone studying abroad—because the best thing you can do is to make sure their new living spaces are homey and organized. Since you can’t actually be there yourself, these gifts will ensure your loved one is living in a pretty and organized space where they can plan their new adventures, learn how to get around their new city, keep track of where they’ve been, and relax when they’re homesick! 

Tell us—which one do you think is the best gift for a student traveling abroad? 

amy mcmahon

Authored by Amy McMahon

Amy McMahon has lived all over the world, from China to Czechia, teaching and telling stories along the way. She currently lives in Montana with her husband and baby daughter, where she is an emerging writer. She has been published on Medium, Listverse, HerStry, Intrepid Times, and in several travel anthologies. You can find her online at or @amygreatworld (Instagram & Twitter).


12 Fabulous Gifts for Friends Going Traveling

From the ecstatic first time traveler to the perfectly put together friend who checked their list thrice, here is the ultimate guide to gifts for friends going traveling, whether to study or simply adventure. Share in their adventures with an impactful gift!

Travelers face many challenges. Included are an array of products designed to improve your traveling friend’s  experiences. Show your support of their incredible journey ahead with one of these gift ideas below. Here’s what we recommend you purchase when shopping for gifts for friends going travelling! 

12 awesome gifts for friends going traveling 

These unique gifts for travelers will put them on the right path towards adventure.

1. Portable Travel Bluetooth Speaker

portable blue tooth for travel

Make your bud the coolest guy or gal at the hostel thanks to this portable bluetooth speaker from JBL. They’ll be turning up tunes at the pool, under the stars, while riding their bike across that adorable European town, and more!

2. Astronaut Space Tapestry 

space tapestry

Perhaps your friend will be primarily living in a bare walled and empty feeling apartment during the course of their study abroad time. A lightweight and easily packable tapestry provides color and warmth to an otherwise dreary room. This spectacular space themed tapestry reminds your friend of all the greatness out there to discover! 

3. The Bachelor Coloring Book

bachelor coloring book

To keep the friendship feeling close, keep up your regularly attended bonding activities. If you love to comment on rose ceremonies and cannot get enough of each season’s clash of personalities then this coloring book is for you. The distance might be long, but the friendship can still prevail! If time zones prevent you from watching your favorite show together, then send each other pictures of your masterpieces each week instead. Make sure you are coloring “for the right reasons.” 

4. Adorable Dog Patterned Socks

For your animal loving friend, soak up thoughtful and practical gift ideas for someone going traveling that remind them of their furry best friend—like these cute socks! Traveling far from pets and loved ones is challenging. Bring a smile to your friend’s face each time they put on these adorable dog eared socks! These socks are the perfect gift because they will take up very little space in their luggage while also being a great conversation starter. 

5. Travel Cords Organizer

portable cord keeper for study abroad

This bag has enough space for a wide range of adapters and extension cords. It prevents misplacing essential electronic accessories. It’s a practical gift that even a seasoned traveler will surely appreciate! This may not appear as the gift they’ll love, but it’s a gift they’ll need. Consider pairing it with another gift by secretly stuffing the adorable dog socks inside! 

6. Apple iPad

apple ipad for study abroad

This gift requires a conversation with the traveling friend first. Depending on their technology needs for coursework, this may be an ideal gift from a group of friends. Chip in with other friends or family members and gift an iPad. Tablets are great for getting work done on the go. 

With all of the travel coming their way, your friend will really make the most of this gift. It’s great for watching movies or reading during long flights, car rides, and train journeys. It makes video calling home easy. They can even use it for class. If their study abroad isn’t a typical full semester course load, they may not even need to take their laptop and can save space by taking an iPad instead. 

7. Osprey Garment Folder

garment organizer for travel abroad

Maybe it’s a weekend trip to a lively city or a day trip to a nearby picturesque locality, your friend is probably going to take lots of trips within their big trip. Whether for an event, photoshoot, special ceremony, etc, your traveler will need to bring some slightly more formal clothing options—that’s why we love this garment folder as one of the more unique gifts for travelers. Dozens of scenarios showcase how useful this garment organizer is to a traveler. It prevents wrinkles and compactly packs nice attire. 

8. 5 Pocket T-shirt 

5 pocket tshirt for travel

Wear it to the gym, to a concert, or to a crowded city. This T-shirt boasts five (yes, FIVE!) pockets, including three zippered pockets, making it one of the most perfect gifts for friends going traveling! It can perfectly store bank cards, cash, keys, a phone, and more. Your traveler friend will love it in order to deter pickpockets while visiting iconic places. It’s also great for workouts. Pair it with a jacket and minimize the need for a bag during concerts and sports games. The pockets are discreet yet practical.

It’s available in six neutral colors, perfect for long term travel. It also doubles as gifts for travel lovers that can still be used once they return from their semester abroad!

9. Environmentally Friendly Glitter


Glitter is for the friend who has already thought of everything. Sprinkle some of this environmentally friendly glitter in their bag or on their favorite T-shirt. When they get the last trace of glitter out, a reunion is due! A fun gift with a variety of purposes, this can be used with crafts or makeup. It’s a reminder of you!

Use it to decorate an endearing letter or picture frame. Combine it with glue to make a unique luggage tag. It will make finding a neutral colored suitcase at the luggage pickup point at airports and bus stops much easier. 

10. Clif Bars Chocolate Chip

clif bars for travel snacks

Shelf-stable snacks are the perfect travel gift! A few of their favorite snacks save on expensive food purchases at airports. A package of Clif Bars will get them through long travel days and snack cravings. Consider giving them a variety mix of their favorite difficult to find snack. Avoid snacks that might melt or otherwise cause a mess during transit. Energy bars might become their baseline before their first supermarket trip upon arrival. 

11. A Mindful Travel Journal

mindful travel journal

Gifting a travel journal is great in so many ways. You can write a special note in the first few pages. Even better, get more loved ones involved! Invite friends and family members to write individual bon voyage notes. This specific journal guides the writer through a multitude of exercises and writing prompts. It will help your traveling friend fondly remember their time abroad. 

12. Sequence Board Game & One Night Ultimate Werewolf

sequence travel game

Board games might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “gifts for frequent travelers,” but hear us out. Our final two suggestions for gifts for friends going traveling are both packable, portable board games. Hosting a game night is a fast way to make new friends in new locations, and both of these games can be taken out of their original boxes and packed down smaller. 

Sequence is a fun multiplayer or team game that can overcome a language barrier. It’s simple to learn and doesn’t require any complex language to have lots of fun! 

One Night Ultimate Werewolf is best played with larger groups; it works with a mobile app to minimize space needed. Simply pack the cards and tokens, download the app, and start figuring out who is the town troublemaker!

They’ll squeeze these gifts for friends going traveling into their luggage

Studying abroad is an exciting time for students. It’s a new opportunity full of endless knowledge, experiences, and challenges. Finding a special gift for a soon to be traveler can prove to be quite a challenge. From well thought out practical gifts to presents that will push them onwards, we hope you loved our roundup of fabulous gift ideas for friends going traveling. Help them make the most of their time abroad with one or more of these ideas! 

Authored by Carolyn Wheeler

Carolyn Wheeler studied intercultural communication during university. Ever since she has been on a journey around the world and around the World Showcase at Epcot. She is a Disney fanatic! She dreams of visiting each Disney park around the world. Carolyn is an extensive traveler who loves sharing her travel fails to help others.

For Men

10 Sweet Gifts for Your Boyfriend Traveling Abroad

Your boyfriend comes to you with news about an exciting new opportunity—his dream opportunity—to travel and/or study abroad. You’re thrilled for him and his pursuit of adventure… mostly.

Let’s not think about the ways this arrangement will launch you into a long-distance relationship just yet. You must focus on being as supportive as possible. That means listening to him talk endlessly about his future travel plans, but also brainstorming ways you can be there for him while you’re back home.

This is the perfect excuse to shop! 😍

To wish him well and send him on his journey, consider buying him thoughtful going away gifts for a boyfriend. It’s the perfect time to start collecting ideas of gifts for a boyfriend traveling abroad—something to remember you by and remind him how much you care.

10 awesome going away gifts for a boyfriend

The best gifts for a boyfriend traveling abroad are built for travel—you probably want to save that glass picture frame for a later celebration. The following items are tried-and-true travel / study abroad gifts to a boyfriend that past travelers have loved.

1. Personal Recordable Plush

teddy bear gifts for boyfriend traveling abroad

Yes, it’s a teddy bear, but hey, boyfriends like to cuddle, too! You can record a special message into the bear, and every time he starts to miss you, he can always give the bear a little squeeze and hear your voice. With time differences, you might not always be able to give each other a call like you used to, but this will ease the burden between Skype dates and time zone math.

Other romantic gifts for a boyfriend traveling abroad:

2. Portable Photo Album to Display

picture album as gifts for boyfriend traveling abroad

One of the most classic going away gifts for a boyfriend is a picture frame; but with this portable photo album, you can step it up a notch. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this gift is worth five thousand! Remind him of special moments and adventures you’ve shared together—and that you’re anxious to make more memories once he’s back! He can place it in his study abroad dorm and always be reminded of you. It’s way better than forcing him to scroll through his phone photos all the time!

3. The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember

mister rogers travel gifts for a boyfriend

One of the most thoughtful going away gifts for a boyfriend is a whimsical book for when homesickness sets in. Life abroad can be exciting, but it can also be a little lonely. You’re so far away from everyone you know and love. Gift him this to keep him grounded. Mr. Rogers might seem like something “just for kids,” but he has tons of wisdom to pass on, even to the most serious of adults. And besides, he was in a long-distance relationship, too!

4. Sterling Silver Coordinates Ring

jewelry travel gifts for a boyfriend

These beautiful sterling silver rings can be customized with the coordinates of where you met, your first kiss, your first trip abroad together—whatever comes to mind! Since these are designed for stacking, so you don’t even need to pick one single location. If jewelry isn’t his thing, you can always slide it on a chain so he can keep your “places” close to his heart.

5. Tortuga Travel Backpack

Here’s a study abroad gift for your boyfriend that he’ll love—a high quality travel backpack! Nothing says “I support you and your adventures” than this essential piece of travel equipment. No one makes backpacks as well as Tortuga, so a gift like this ensures his pack won’t rip mid-weekend jaunt or soak the contents in that unexpected rainstorm. The price point of this backpack may be a little steep for a student budget, but think of travel gifts for a boyfriend like these as an early birthday or holiday present, too!

6. Travel Pillow

travel pillow travel gifts for a boyfriend

One of the best travel gifts for your boyfriend is a travel pillow or neck pillow. They’re so helpful, but people tend not to invest in one for themselves—voila, an ideal gift scenario! Transoceanic flights means lots of snoozing in transit, and that’s even before he starts planning cross-continental train trips or 24+ hour bus rides overland. Stiff necks and aching shoulders from sleeping in an upright position is not the jam. But with this travel pillow, he’ll be able to sleep just fine—you’re so considerate!

Other awesome travel pillow gifts for a boyfriend traveling abroad:

7. Portable Charger

Plug-access-stress is real, especially for travelers who are on the go! Make sure his battery doesn’t drop to zero by gifting him a portable charger (or two!). This will make those long trips (see above) even more bearable, and will help him stay easily connected to you for quick snaps and “I love you” messages. That’s what makes it one of the most oft-purchased study abroad gifts to a boyfriend!

8. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

water bottle study abroad gifts to a boyfriend

Does your boo love practical going away gifts? Your boyfriend will love adding this LifeStraw to his travel backpack, which will give him instant access to potable water—no matter where he ends up. Because of its unique filter, this reusable straw can remove 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and protozoa without the use of chemicals or batteries, ensuring safe, clean drinking water whether you get your water from a fountain, lake, or stream.

9. How to Read the Menu

book going away gifts for a boyfriend

Is your boyfriend going to be traveling abroad where French, Spanish, or Italian is the main language? Don’t let him go hungry. These three books are small enough to carry in your pocket or wallet and contain common words for menu items. Your boyfriend will be able to order something off the menu with confidence.

10. Kindle

kindle going away gifts for a boyfriend

When traveling, your partner might find himself with a lot of downtime. If he’s a big reader, gift him a Kindle. He can carry hundreds of books with him on the go. The Kindle Oasis has nifty features such as being waterproof, a battery that can last for weeks, and adjustable lighting so your boyfriend can read anywhere—day or night.

He’ll love these gifts for a boyfriend traveling abroad!

No matter what gifts you get your boyfriend traveling abroad, he’s sure to love whatever you get him. These gifts are just a starting off point for ideas that are both practical and meaningful.

What other incredible gifts for a boyfriend traveling abroad did we miss?

This article was written by Sheenah Freitas.

Gift Basket

9 Steps to the Perfect Study Abroad Gift Basket

So, someone you know is leaving to go and study abroad: Whether it’s a family member, your daughter, sister, brother, friend, you want to give them the perfect present to remember you by.

It can be quite daunting trying to pick out the best gift for them, which is why putting together a study abroad gift basket for them shows the care and thought gone into making an important moment in their life extra special.

This article guides you through the nine steps to create a thoughtful travel gift basket, with items that are not only useful and essential in student life abroad but are thoughtful, luxurious gifts to make this moment memorable.

Awesome items to include in a study abroad gift basket

Knock it out of the park when you add these items to your next study abroad gift basket.

1. Zoppen Travel Passport Wallet

Any traveler needs to keep their important documents and passport safe at all times, so the Zoppen passport wallet is an ideal solution. Made with high-density, nylon fabric, the wallet is not only durable but water-proof as well, meaning your documents are safe from the weather. Inside the wallet, you have two passport pouches, a boarding pass pocket, a pen holder, two zipper bags, six card slots, a mesh bag, and a removable keychain and wrist strap, and it’s lightweight and easy to organize — what more could you ask for? It also comes in different colors, so check it out.

2. RAVPower 26800mAh Portable Charger 26800

ravpower battery pack for study abroad

With a colossal battery power of 26,800mAh, this RAVPower portable charger is a great addition to the study abroad gift basket. With 9 days worth of power stored in one charge, you’ll have peace of mind that your devices won’t lose battery when you’re out and about. With three 2.0 USB slots to provide charging for three devices at the same time, this superb power bank charges smartphones up to six times over, and a tablet at twice over 9 days on average, with unrestrained use per charge — how crazy is that?

3. Wantdo Hooded Jacket

outerwear jacket hoodie for study abroad

The weather changes in every country, so making sure you have the essential clothing to keep you warm is a must. Available in both men and women’s versions, this nylon jacket is windproof and DWR (durable water repellent), which helps to keep you warm whatever the weather. What makes this jacket stand out is the quality of fabric, its durability, the media port and earphone line located in the inner pocket—perfect for listening to music while running and walking. To top it all off, the fabric is lightweight, breathable and compact, meaning it doesn’t take up much space as it can be stowed away in the small bag that it comes with.

4. SublimeWare Power Travel Adaptor

travel adapter

Don’t you hate it when your pins sink back into the travel adaptor? Well, fear no more as the SublimeWare Power Travel Adaptor has a unique pin locking mechanism that will ensure this will never happen again. A must for any traveler, and an especially great travel gift for a student studying abroad, this gadget enables you to travel in over 150 countries worldwide. This all-in-one travel adaptor boasts four USB ports, so you can simultaneously charge four devices in any country, without the hassle of keeping track of multiple adaptors. This makes a fantastic addition to the study abroad gift basket.

5. Kindle Paperwhite

kindle paperwhite

As much as books are great to feel in your hand as you turn the pages, chances are that the person you’re intending to give this study abroad gift basket to will not have a lot of room for many books. So how about giving them access to over a million titles and bestsellers from one device? The Kindle Paperwhite is the lightest of the range yet, and a single charge of the battery lasts for weeks. Enjoy millions of books on the go whenever and wherever with the built-in adjustable light. The Kindle Paperwhite now comes with Audible also, so stick your headphones in and listen, rather than read. It is now also waterproof and has a 300 PPI glare-free display – so you can go and enjoy it on the beach.

6. Luggage with battery pack

carry on luggage with battery pack for study abroad

This is the ultimate luggage option for the over-packer. The two oversized wheels enable the traveler to have a whopping 20% more packing space. For the tech fans, this luxury Samsonite carry-on luggage has a removable battery that is allowed on all airlines as it’s TSA and airline approved. You’ll never have to sit on this luggage to close it, as it comes with assisted compression to help you zip it up; its padded sleeves for laptops and tablets help to keep them safe while traveling also. Overall, you get 35% more expansion, which means an extra 15 liters on top of the 45 liters it already has — it is the best option on the market right now.

7. Yorepek Charging Travel Backpack

yorepek backpack for study abroad

Every traveler needs a backpack, so how about one with 20 pockets and an external USB port with charging cable? The tear and water-resistant Yorepek backpack has it all: a large capacity of 45 liters with three main compartments that has many hidden pockets, a deep side zipper pocket for easy access to your essentials and a whole lot more — it’s your very own Mary Poppins’ magic bag, and it can charge your phone!

The backpack is very thoughtfully-designed, so you can thread your headphones through to use them while charging your phone. You can easily stow away your laptop and your other travel essentials, and still have room to spare.

8. Smartphone camera lens kit

smartphone camera lens kit for study abroad

While there are many affordable DSLR cameras available nowadays, there are many smartphones out there with a good quality camera anyway — so why not utilize that and add a smartphone camera lens to your phone? The Olloclip multi-device clip is one of the best in the market, with a 3-in-1 lens kit, including a super wide-angle to get those panoramic scene shots, a macro, and a fisheye. It’s super light to travel with, works with all camera apps and is fantastic for creating videos, live broadcasting, time-lapse, panorama and 360° VR. This kit provides everything you need to create high-quality memories of traveling abroad.

You might not think of it at the onset, but this phone upgrade is definitely one travel gift for a student studying abroad that they won’t forget.

9. Coordinate keychains

coordinate keychains

The latest gadgets and tech are great and everything, but sometimes adding a personal touch is what’s needed. People love personal and sentimental gifts, especially someone who’s leaving home. They may get homesick sometimes and miss you, so these personalized coordinate keychains are the perfect, quality gift to remind them of home in a lovely way. Having the coordinates of where they’re from and a compass engraved into the metal will remind them of pleasant memories of home whilst they’re away. You can also engrave other words etched into the gift; these are the perfect final addition to your epic travel gift basket.

Don’t forget the basket!

But wait, no study abroad gift basket is complete without…the actual basket. Take a look at this highly recommended Wicker Basket: the strong folding double handles make this basket particularly unique and the natural design ensures that the basket is also eco-friendly. However, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to put the carry-on luggage in the basket!

Another recommendation that would make a unique gift basket is to use the carry-on luggage as the gift basket! It makes for a really fun surprise when your traveling friend or family member receives the gift, then opens it up for even more thoughtful treasures before they depart on their travels.

Make your study abroad gift basket one to remember!

These steps have been put together to help you choose the perfect gifts to include in your study abroad gifts basket with ease. Whether they’re off to study in Europe or further afield, make sure that your study abroad gift basket to them is one to remember. They will appreciate the thoughtfulness, time, and effort that goes into creating the luxury basket full of gifts, and leaves them feeling prepared for their adventure abroad. What more could you want in a travel gift for a student studying abroad?

Authored by Lauren Raybould

lauren raybould writer and editor

Lauren is a freelance writer and editor in the UK; after graduating with a degree in Creative Writing and Journalism, she went on to become a Magazine Journalist at a local B2B magazine, before taking the plunge into the freelance world. Currently, she is setting up her own editing and copywriting business, The Night Owl.

When she’s not writing or editing, she’s taking her dogs for a walk, going to gigs, or curled up with a crime book and a cuppa.

Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

Anytime Best Friend

15 Affordable Gifts for Study Abroad

Travel, like many other facets of life, is one of those sought-after, coveted, talked about life experiences. Travel brings opportunities to explore and experience new things, as well as the (unfortunate) collective dread of anyone who’s ever had to hustle to get to the airport on time. Study abroad programs in particular offer the opportunity to live and learn while immersed in a new culture, language, and way of living, and we think they’re great. That said, it can be hard to find affordable gifts for those about to travel, so here’s a collection of gifts for study abroad that will make your travel experience easier and your friends jealous! 

Ranging from practical to entertaining, these gifts will provide a variety of options that charm, aid, and brighten the experiences of any studying abroad. And who knows; some of these affordable gifts might just make it onto your personal travel roster! 

15 cheap gifts for study abroad

We’ve all been there. Stressful lines, crowded seats, having to pack, unpack and then re-pack your clothes into a suitcase just to get everything to fit; sometimes traveling is just plain stressful.

Here are some affordable gifts for study abroad that will help make travel easier, regardless of where you’re going, or how you’re getting there.  

1. Collins Gem Language Phrasebooks 

collins gem language phrasebooks for study abroad

These wonderful little dictionary phrasebooks are slim, lightweight, and fit perfectly inside the carry on or backpack of any traveler going abroad. Packed full of essential phrases and starting words you might need to know while on the go, they’re a nice reference or refresher book if you’re traveling somewhere where English isn’t as readily known. 

A Good Alternative: These Dover Language Guides also come in paperback for easy traveling, and offer similar ease of use and application. You can also find the German, French, Italian, and Russian guides online. 

2. Canway Travel Duffel Bags

How you pack is almost as important as what you pack, and if you’re looking to branch away from bulky roller bags and towards a lightweight, easy-to-store carry-on, this Canway Travel Duffel bag might be for you. 

With a HUGE amount (65 liters!) of storage space inside, this ~$25 duffel bag is more than equipped for the heavy lifting you might need on a longer study abroad trip. Although it likely won’t fit underneath your airplane seat, they’re a good size for a carry on, and can be rolled and folded up when not in use. 

3. An RFID Protected Wallet 

This leather Bi-fold wallet comes in 14 different colors, with lots of cool patterns and colors. With 8 card slots, and RFID protection built into the wallet layers itself, it’s a good way to get a sleek, efficient wallet that will keep your money safe when you travel. After all, nobody wants to eat into their time abroad worrying about the safety of their belongings. 

At less than $20 on Amazon, it’s a quality investment, and a good, practical gift for study abroad—with lots of pockets! 

4. Epicka Universal Travel Adapter 

epicka travel adapter

One of the most essential tools in any well-versed travel kit is an international travel adapter. Useful for both the safety (and usability) of your devices overseas, one of these multipurpose cubes will net you ~$20 and come with a built-in surge protector and 12 month limited warranty. Another perk of this design is that it supports use of both the AC and USB ports simultaneously; so you can plug in both your computer and phone for faster charging. 

A word of caution: although this does offer a convenient, all-in-one solution to trying to find adapter ports for each county you travel to, what it won’t do is act as a converter for local power coming through the device itself. You’ll want to make sure that any devices you travel with are compatible with local use. Or, to avoid any stress, you can pick up a voltage converter like this Bonazza converter, which will both convert power and provide a way to plug in all of your equipment—handy! 

5. Portable Phone Charger

portable charger for study abroad

Let’s be real, we’ve all had those moments when we realize that we need to charge our phones, but don’t have a charger on hand. Thankfully Anker has us covered, with these dual-pack portable phone chargers, compatible with iPhones, Google Pixels, and Samsung Galaxy phones.

Whether you’re venturing off the grid or staying in a hostel where outlets are hotly contested territory, portable chargers can be a real lifesaver. Each battery pack carries a charge of 10,000 mAh, which means 2-3 full phone charges, in a nice, small package. This is a particularly cost effective gift, and a smart idea for anyone traveling abroad—or who might just want some extra screen time.  

6. A Hanging Toiletry Bag 

Hanging toiletry bags for study abroad

Figuring out how to pack and store all your toiletries can be a pain, especially for the longer stays that study abroad trips can bring. Inevitably, it seems like we pack things up for the flight there, only to end up re-packing everything the moment we arrive – and then doing it all over again for the return trip. 

Rather than having to cart around a boring, catch-all bag of disorganized toiletries (spilled shampoo anyone? Ew!), we recommend these super cute hanging travel bags! With zipped pockets and a variety of compartments, these great little bags fold up for storage, and can be hung on the wall or near the shower. Best of all? They’re waterproof, and come in  both patterns or solid colors. For around ~$10, they’re easily one of the most affordable toiletry bags we’ve seen—and their utility makes them a perfect addition to our list of gifts for study abroad . 

7. A Leather Travel Journal 

leather travel journal

Whether you like to draw, sketch, or just write about your experiences on the go, a good travel journal is the perfect study abroad gift for the more creative traveler! 

This leather bound travel journal, sold by leather making company KomalC, is small enough to be stored in a purse or carryon bag, sturdy enough to be used on the go, and handmade for superior quality. It’s pages are unlined, so it’s good for both drawing and writing, and frankly, the leather wrap-around design is nicer than a lot of other options that can be found online. 

For ~$16, it’s an affordable and surprisingly high quality option, and we’re a little in love. 

A fun (non-leather) alternative—these awesome travel journals sold by Compoco, that feature an embossed design and light, pastel colors. Variations can be found here and here

8. Scarves with Hidden Pockets  

It seems just about every travel list wouldn’t be complete without a variation of the money belt.  Simultaneously popping up on almost every essential travel list, but never really getting that combination of practical and fashionable down, love em or hate em, they’re here to stay. For your safety-focused travelers, (or anyone who enjoys feeling like a fashionable spy) these colorful scarves are the perfect variation, with a hidden pocket that easily fits a phone, passport, and some money. At just ~$12 online, the reviews highlight soft fabric, a surprisingly large pocket, and cute designs. 

If you’re not feeling like draping yourself in bright, frilly patterns, these travel scarves have you covered. With a small range of colors, they offer neutrals in gray, black, and white, as well as some less vibrant patterns (to cover all the fashion bases).

Aside from the basics that make traveling easier, here are some more affordable gifts for study abroad designed to liven up an outfit, brighten your day, or just make traveling more fun! After all, half the point in going on any trip across the world is to experience new things, and to enjoy the fact that you’re alive and kicking. 

9. A Stylish Travel Watch 

travel watch for study abroad

How cute is this travel watch? Featuring plenty of wanderlust-inspiring images from around the globe, it’s modern, stylish, and versatile, and the watch band itself can be customized with a variety of colors. 

At ~$50, this is a good statement piece, and a more upscale (but still affordable!) gift if you’re looking to splurge and purchase something nice. 

10. Fujifilm Instax Mini 9 Instant Camera 

instax mini for travel and study abroad

One of the best gifts for study abroad are those that help you remember and enjoy your experiences. The Fujifilm Instax Mini offers a lightweight, portable polaroid camera, to help capture those moments you don’t want to forget. With a range of colors, these nostalgic cameras are sold by a variety of suppliers, and range between ~$45 and $55, on average. Good as a fun investment to your photography array, this is a gift that will continue to have use even after your study abroad experience! You can purchase the camera pre-paired with Polaroid film here

11. Custom Camera Straps – Art Tribute 

study abroad camera strap

For the aspiring photography savant, why not add a little flair to your equipment with a custom camera strap?  This bright, patterned strap comes in a variety of colors, and is compatible with DSLR, polaroid, and point-and-shoot cameras. We recommend this both for the trendy, jet setting traveler looking to customize their gear, and for anyone who feels like adding a more personal touch to their equipment. 

12.World Card Series: Continent Playing Cards

continent playing cards for travelers

For a classic travel gift that transcends language barriers, a deck of cool cards is a versatile and affordable option. These continent decks each feature custom designs, and include a range of countries and capitals found on each continent. 

An added cool factor? The cards all have fun facts about the countries they feature, so you can use them to play a game, and simultaneously learn more about where you are studying abroad. 

While the full set (with all 7 continents, including Antarctica) will put you back ~$75, each individual continent deck can be bought for ~$11-$18 online. We love the geometric design, interesting facts, and the fact that each deck focuses on a different continent around the world. This is definitely a modern uptake on a classic item, and perfect inclusion on our list of gifts for study abroad! 

13. A Scratch-off World Map to Hang on the Wall 

scratch world travel map for study abroad

Most study abroad students and travelers we know enjoy a way to keep track of where they’ve been, and this scratch-off world map is a creative way to do so! Perfect in a dorm room, office, or just on the wall in a traveler’s apartment, this ~$25 poster adds an air of sophistication to any living space, and would look right at home surrounded by postcards and travel mementos. 

A nice alternative: This version includes the maps of countries around the world in a fun border at the bottom of the design. It’s a little brighter, a little more colorful, and nice if you’re looking for an INTENSE rainbow as opposed to the more classic, vintage/faded look from the map above. As a set, it also comes with a smaller map, some cute memory stickers, and some tools to help make the scratch-off part that much easier. 

14. Lonely Planet Ultimate Travel Coloring Book

lonely planet coloring book

Adult coloring books—it seems like lately they’re all the rage, popping up on college campuses, in bookstores, and on blogs. Whether you subscribe to the idea that meticulously coloring in each section can be a kind of meditation in itself, or are just looking for a way to get your mind off of airplane turbulence, this cheeky swear coloring book is a fun gift for anyone studying abroad. 

15. Travel Themed Silly Socks 

travel socks for study abroad

These travel-themed socks are silly and fun, and feature a variety of cities around the world. They range in design from skylines, specific travel attractions, and abstract travel-themed patterns (if you’ve ever wanted socks with a geometric print of travel visa stamps, this one’s for you). These are a fun and colorful nod to the spirit of adventure, and available for both men and women.

Perfect as cheap—but still functional—gifts for study abroad, they’re a great addition for anyone who wants to wear their heart on their sleeve (and their destination on their feet).

Make sure your gifts for study abroad are affordable! 

Whether you’re looking for something practical, something silly, or something a little bit in-between, these gifts for study abroad all have one thing in common, and that’s people about to embark on potentially life-changing travel experiences. 

From functional pieces of clothing, to cool travel journals, we hope our list of 15 affordable gifts for study abroad helps to inspire and entertain — or at least cover the bases if you’re scrambling for gift ideas.

nicole kornblith

Authored by Nicole Kornblith

Nicole Kornblith is a freelance filmmaker and writer, with a passion for travel (and all the shenanigans therein) and design. She occasionally posts about cool places she’s been to on her instagram, and can otherwise be found working in the Production film world.

Anytime Best Friend

11 Gift Ideas for Overseas Friends

The allure of living in another country is the opportunity to learn a new language, experience a different culture, and the chance to see the world. It’s no wonder your friend packed up their bags and hit the road—whether for that fanciful job or to study abroad.

You’re a tad jealous, but you’re mostly excited for them—that’s why you’ve been seeking gift ideas for overseas friends. You don’t want them to miss the comforts of home (or you) tooooo much, right? Just enough to want to come back to hang out with you from time to time. 😉

Keep reading to uncover great gifts for overseas friends.

The definitive list of the best gift ideas for friends abroad

1. Noise canceling headphones

noise canceling headphones

Traveling overseas means hours spent at airports, long flights, and noise, unless you have a good pair of noise canceling headphones. If the headphones are wireless and portable, even better for easy carry-on packing. Either the in-ear Apple AirPods Pro or Bose Quiet Comfort 20s are great options for Apple users to reduce noise but also be able to control calls. With the press of a button you won’t miss important flight announcements. 

Other great gifts to send abroad can help them shut out the world with over the ear fit headphones, like Bose Noise Cancelling Wireless Bluetooth Headphones 700 or the considerably cheaper COWIN E7 headphones.

2. Adventure camera

go pro for friends overseas

Although most students use their phones to take pictures, adventure cameras can help them capture all the memories of their time abroad. The waterproof GoPro Hero 8, or for less than $200, the older model GoPro Hero 7 Silver will help your student document their new adventures. The difference between these two is that the 8 has a front screen and records with smooth video stabilization.

3. International power adapters 

bestek universal adapter

There’s nothing worse than getting to your destination and realizing you have the wrong adapter to charge your electronics. BESTEK Universal Travel Adapter with three AC sockets and four USB ports will ensure re-charging needs for laptops, phones, and tablets are being met.

4. Travel journal

leather travel journal

A Maleden leather journal or Moleskine Voyageur Notebook are great gift ideas for overseas friends to keep a written record of their travels. Journals make great gifts for travelers to jot down their thoughts, special memories, and impressions about the places they visit. The Voyageur even has sections for budgeting, keeping daily schedules, and creating packing lists for that student who loves to be organized.

5. Comfortable sleep masks

sleep mask for friends overseas

Getting the essential sleep you need can be difficult when traveling. Sleep masks help us catch up on rest by blocking out the light on airplanes and trains. It is the perfect gift for the student whose roommate is up late studying. When choosing a sleep mask, you want to look for one that contours to the face like, for example, Sleep Mask by Bedtime Bliss. Another excellent option is the Mavogel Cotton Mask with side wings. The Mavogel puts less pressure on the eyes than other masks and is designed to block light coming from under the nose area. Both come with a carry pouch, great for travel.

6. A taste of home

frito lay gift basket

What types of snacks is your friend missing most from back home? Consider making a DIY gift basket full of their favorite treats, or going all-in on a pre-made one. Who doesn’t love receiving food gifts for friends abroad?!

We like the salty option from Frito Lay, the lighter option here full of healthy snacks, or these delightful, picture-perfect macarons.

7. Kindle


Amazon has the most digital books available in the e-reader market, so a Kindle is the ideal choice. Pack light with a Kindle Oasis or its cheaper version, Kindle Paperwhite.

Travel guides: Lonely Planet travel guidebooks offer city specific guides with first-hand tips, plus great maps to navigate a new destination.

8. A local experience from Airbnb

airbnb for friends overseas

Consider purchasing a local experience as a gift idea for overseas friends. What’s better than getting to learn about a new culture than from a native? Give an Airbnb experience, it’s not just for accommodations, Airbnb has cultural immersion classes, tours, and adventure activities, there’s something for everyone. 

9. Netflix Subscription

netflix subscription

Yes—living abroad IS an adventure and yes, we hope your friend is spending more time exploring their new destination than watching TV, but… sometimes you need a night (or two) in, and when those needs arise, Netflix can be a great companion. It’s one of our favorite, oft-overlooked gifts to “send abroad.”

10. Laundry bag

laundry bags

No need to throw dirty clothes on the floor, this Two-piece travel laundry bag is a great way to stash a few loads of dirty laundry and makes transport to and from the laundry room or local laundromat easier.

11. LED photo clip display

string lights photo decorations

Gift a bit of home to your student and help them brighten up their room decor with a light clip photo display. They can bring their photos to light and hang pictures of friends and family in their bedroom. Betus 10 foot 20 LED Photo Clip is battery powered with white twinkling lights, it has two light settings and a one-year free replacement warranty. Looking for a more colorful option, get this Magnoloran Multicolored 50 Photo Clip set. It comes with a remote control that has eight lighting modes.

Make their day with these gift ideas for overseas friends 

We’re just scratching the surface with these gift ideas for overseas friends. What do you love to do together? What might they be missing the most from home? What reminds you most of them? Customize your gift to make it really meaningful, and don’t forget to make sure you buy gifts for friends abroad that mean something to you, too.

Written by Gina Duncan

Gina Duncan

Gina Duncan is a writer who loves to travel and share her adventures on My Rooftop Stories. She started traveling in college. Since then, she has been sharing her passion for travel by planning and leading teen trips through Europe and the United States. She is now focusing full time on travel, content writing, ghostwriting, and copy editing for blogs and websites. Check out her travel photos on Instagram.

Her current bucket list includes Rome, Tuscany, Mumbai, Cantabria, Reykjavik, Porto, Vietnam, Budapest, Amsterdam, and the Isle of Skye. She writes short stories and enjoy practicing yoga and meditation, journaling, taking dance classes, and watching T.V.  She’s a bit of a television aficionado, she even put her honeymoon on pause to watch her favorite show.

Gift Basket

12 Awesome Items to Add to a Study Abroad Care Package

Opening up a box filled a little piece of home will mean the world to your study abroad student. Creating the perfect study abroad care package filled with essentials and goodies will show how much you care and support them. It can help boost their morale and ease some of that homesickness. Plus, they’re easy to put together!

Study abroad care package ideas BEFORE they go

If you’re putting together a little travel gift basket as a going away present, be sure to include items like…

1. Fujifilm Instax Mini

instax for study abroad

In the digital age, taking a photo is as simple as whipping out your phone and snapping a photo in seconds. While it’s definitely convenient, there’s just something different about being able to physically hold a photo in your hand. Instant cameras are becoming popular because the pictures print instantly. They also make cute decorations!

2. The Study Abroad Journal

study abroad journal

In the same spirit of keeping memories, a travel journal is a fun way to record thoughts and experiences while planning your goals and future. Ths study abroad journal is both a thoughtful and practical item to add in care packages for students studying abroad.

3. Maximizing Study Abroad: A Students’ Guide to Strategies for Language and Culture Learning and Use

maximizing study abroad

One of the most notable experiences you get from studying abroad that you cannot replicate in a classroom is being fully immersed in another country’s culture and being surrounded by their language. As exciting as it is, the thought of it can be equally frightening! Adding a strategy guide in a study abroad care package can help calm the nerves while providing the student with tips and tricks that will help them make the most of their time abroad.

4. Trifold passport wallet

passport wallet for study abroad

A travel abroad student can only carry so many things in their luggage and carry on. That’s why a trifold passport wallet is perfect to include in care packages for students studying abroad. Having all the important documents like your license, boarding pass, and passport, in one, easy to access place, will make the travel portion of the trip so much easier. 

5. Travel plug adapter

study abroad plug

Keeping our devices charged is important with how much information has gone digital. Imagine being at an airport and looking for a place to plug in your device, only to realize that your plug won’t fit! Outlets are not something you really think about when you travel because in the US because they’re all the same. Believe it or not, there are different plug types. Having a travel plug adapter saves you the hassle of trying to figure out what plug you need for your destination.

6. Cotopaxi Travel Pack

cotopaxi study abroad backpack

Nothing says “Have a blast abroad” like this gorgeous, multi-colored (not to mention well-built and super high quality) backpack from Cotopaxi. A daypack is a wonderful gift to give your traveling loved one, especially since it’s oft-overlooked and can make their weekend jaunts (and cheap budget flights) a breeze.

What to put in care packages for students studying abroad RIGHT NOW

Is your study abroad bud currently abroad? They’ll love these surprise treats.

7. GoPro Hero 7

gopro for study abroad

Nothing says “We miss you a ton!” like this incredible camera, the perfect companion for all of their wild study abroad adventures.

8. A travel scarf

travel scarf for study abroad

No matter where the study abroad student is headed, a travel scarf is a must-have. Not only are scarves a simple way to dress up an outfit, but a travel scarf also has a compartment where you can store your phone and wallet. 

9. Spa day set

spa day before study abroad

Being a student is stressful enough, but being a student in a foreign land can be extra stressful. An at-home (or at-dorm) spa day is a great way to relieve some of that stress. It’s an easy way to temporarily disengage from everything going on, slow down, and recollect yourself. Plus, certain smells like lavender can aid in stress reduction.

10. Coffee and tea set

coffee and tea for study abroad student

Whether you’re studying close to home or across the seas, there is one thing all students have in common: the hours and hours spent learning material. Sometimes this means pulling an all-nighter or two, and many times this means having some caffeine for the much-needed energy boost. 

11. Spotify Premium gift card

spotify gift card for study abroad

Most students like to study with some music in the background, but music streaming services like Spotify can offer even more to students studying abroad. Podcasts are a great way for students to practice listening to foreign languages. There are many podcasts dedicated to language learners of all levels that will help students speak naturally and not like they’re reading from a textbook.

12. Personalized home state necklace

homestate necklace for study abroad students

Even though we have FaceTime and Skype to stay connected with someone studying abroad, there will still be times when the homesickness kicks in. A personalized necklace with their home state will ensure that they always have a little piece of home with them. Adding a necklace to care packages for students studying abroad is perfect because they’re small and easy to bring along everywhere.

Pre-made study abroad care packages

Don’t have time to whip up something custom? No sweat.

Me to You Box

me to you box care package for study abroad

If you don’t have time to go to the store or wait around for items to arrive, you can use a service like the Me to You Box. They curate care packages packed with high-quality items, and you can build your own care package online. This option is great for people who are in a time crunch and want to cross off “Go to the post office” from their to-do list.

Toiletry Kits

toiletry kit for study abroad

You can also buy this sweet travel kit with all the necessities Keeping track of all the TSA rules is a hassle, even if you are a travel veteran. Instead of looking up whether this shampoo bottle is good to go or if that lotion is acceptable, pick up a travel kit with all the necessities. Everything in a travel kit is TSA compliant and fits in a compact case, making it easy to quickly freshen up after a long flight or in a busy airport.

Here’s the men’s version, too!

Carry-On Friendly Cocktail Kit

cocktail kit for study abroad

Give them the gift of six delicious cocktails to make that long haul flight more bearable (ideally, they’ll share them with a new friend!). This simple, yet cute little kit is one of our favorite pre-made care package ideas for students studying abroad.


crave box study abroad

We all the know the way to their heart is byway of their stomach!

Having a snack from home means more than you think. The smell and taste of certain foods can bring you back to your childhood, which makes a snack gift basket a staple for study abroad care package ideas. Sharing snacks is also a way for a student studying abroad to connect with their new friends.

Make their day with these study abroad care package ideas!

Whether a student is preparing to start their study abroad journey or already there, a study abroad care package will always be appreciated. This simple, yet powerful gesture tells your study abroad student that you support them no matter how far apart you are. Who knew snacks and treats had this much influence!

Authored by Arianna Fangonilo

Arianna Fangonilo

Arianna Fangonilo, who also goes by Arianna Lynne online, is a freelancer from Kodiak, Alaska who decided to take her life into her own hands and pursue a lifestyle outside of the typical 9-to-5 job. She spends her days doing what she loves most: writing and creating. In her spare time, she can be found taking and teaching dance classes, binge-watching anime, or cuddling with her cats, Hurricane and Pippins. She also creates content for her lifestyle and fitness blog called Chasses ‘n Lattes where she hopes to inspire, encourage, and empower women by promoting a healthy mind and body through dance and fitness.

Exchange Student

10 Great Gifts for International Students

Coming to America from a foreign country can be difficult, and finding gifts for international students that make them feel welcomed can be an overwhelming challenge for their hosts. After all, everything is new and confusing for these students, and life can be a bit overwhelming—especially around holiday seasons.

Friends and coworkers often try to extend their help and companionship but may feel at a loss as to what gifts to get for exchange students and how to best integrate them into this new culture. For example, how does one know what to get a foreign exchange student for Christmas? What are good gifts for exchange students during holidays both new and old? Are American gifts for foreign exchange students appropriate, or would they rather have something more familiar? Navigating cultural differences is a challenge for everyone. 

Of course, it is important to extend invitations to social gatherings and events, and it is always kind to offer assistance when needed. However, in order to truly show you care, offering a gift for a foreign exchange student is a unique and personal way to extend your companionship and introduce them to new aspects of our culture. Seriously, you can give them a whole cultural lesson if you play your cards right and find the perfect American gifts for foreign exchange students.

Whether you’re shopping for something little and personalized or bigger and more extravagant, you’re sure to find the perfect gifts for exchange students below! 

10 gift ideas for foreign exchange students

1. Kindle Paperwhite

kindle paperwhite

If you want to truly go all-out, the Kindle Paperwhite is one of the best gifts for international students and is a fantastic way to spoil any traveler. International commutes are long, and jet-lag can often make sleeping difficult. Help students pass the time with the extremely lightweight Kindle Paperwhite. Containing an extremely long-lasting battery life and being waterproof, this device is the ideal travel companion for any exchange student. Help them remember home with texts in their language and practice their English or discover new passions with American books, podcasts, and more. If you’re wondering what to get a foreign exchange student for Christmas, look no further! 

2. Action Camera

action camera

If you’re looking to be a little extravagant with your gifting without going overboard, this action camera rules. Pair it with the travel journal listed above, and help the foreign exchange student in your life document their travels digitally and create a sort of scrapbook to remember their time in America. This camera is designed for travel and water resistance, so it can be taken and trusted to deliver breathtaking photos anywhere throughout the U.S. 

Want to upgrade? Consider the GoPro Hero7!

3. Hot Dog Toaster

hotdog toaster cool gifts for exchange students

Silly, awesome, or… just plain awesome?

As far as American gifts for foreign exchange students go, what’s more American than hot dogs? However, they don’t make the most ideal gifts. Therefore, these hot dog toasters make the best gifts for international students. Use them as a funny and functional way to remind exchange students of all the quintessential American activities and foods they partook in and consumed during their travels.

These hot dog toasters also serve as the perfect gift ideas for Chinese exchange students (or others) to be introduced to the American white elephant tradition. Delight in their confusion and laughter as they unwrap this truly unique present and learn of this strange custom of gag-gifts. Coming in at a fairly affordable cost, this item is sure to bring a smile to the recipient’s face for years to come as they remember the fun memories behind it.

*Adds one to personal shopping cart*

4. Personalized Christmas Ornament

ornament for exchange students

Still wondering what to get a foreign exchange student for Christmas?

As previously stated, one of the biggest obstacles for friends and hosts during an exchange student’s stay is often knowing what to get a foreign exchange student for Christmas. However, there’s no need to spend hours searching for the perfect item, because these personalized Christmas ornaments is one of our favorite gift ideas for foreign exchange students, no matter where they’re from. Pick your favorite memory, their favorite place, or any other special moment.

Then, add dates, lettering, and more to create a truly heartfelt present that can be kept for years to come and will serve as a reminder of your friend’s special time in America and of you. 

5. A Nice Passport Wallet

passport wallet gifts for international students

More convenient than the typical passport holder, these passport wallets are cool gifts for exchange students as they make traveling a breeze as they allow for easy access to passports, credit cards, cash, and anything else students may need. Compact and affordable, these passport wallets also come in a variety of colors to fit any outfit, season, or personality. 

6. State Necklace

state necklaces gifts for exchange students

These necklaces are a perfect gift for international students to help them carry a piece of their temporary homes with them wherever they go. Making the perfect Christmas presents, these necklaces can easily be customized to include any state and are the perfect addition to any outfit. 

Tip: This is a really popular goodbye gift for an exchange student!

7. International Power Adapter

travel plug adapter

In today’s world, everyone is always plugged in, and ALWAYS looking for a charger it seems. However, when traveling across countries, not all outlets are created equal, and students may find themselves needing to buy entirely new electronics when the correct cords cannot be found or used. Save them the trouble with this affordable international power adapter.

These ideal gifts for international students can be used wherever they go. That way they can save money and hassle and stay in better touch with loved ones through familiar devices. 

8. Travel Journal 

travel journal from wandrd

These travel journals are one of our go-to gift ideas for foreign exchange students, as journals are every bit as sentimental as they are useful. Add on a pack of colorful pens, and let the foreign exchange students in your life document their journey, wherever it takes them.

9. Long Distance Touch Bracelet Set

bond touch bracelets for international students

Traveling any amount of distance can be daunting. It’s easy to get swept up in the magnitude of the world, and constantly moving from place to place can feel lonely. Let the foreign exchange students in your life know they are always in  your heart with this long distance touch bracelet set. Coming in at a very affordable price, these easily answer the question of what to get a foreign exchange student for Christmas, particularly those leaving after the first semester of classes is finished. Simply touch your bracelet to let them know they’re on your mind and never alone or forgotten. 

10. Face Masks

face masks for exchange students

It’s no secret that traveling can take a toll on one’s skin, and international flights are no joke. Whether the foreign exchange student is traveling right away or staying in town, these masks are a fun way they can treat themselves to a pamper night to unwind and destress after a long day of learning a new culture or traveling back home. 

Buy meaningful gifts for international students

Whether you want to help the foreign exchange student in your life feel closer to home, better immerse them in American culture, or simply show them you care, all of the items on this list make amazing gifts for international students and come in at a variety of price points to meet your needs.

Feel free to mix and match items to create the perfect gift for in your life. However, no matter what you choose, it really is the thought that counts, and these cool gifts for exchange students are sure to touch the student in your life. Whether you choose something sentimental, useful, or a combination of the two these gifts for international students are a gesture that will remind students of their precious time in the United States and the lifelong friends they made along the way.

Authored by Shyanne Reynolds

Shyanne Reynolds works as a Virtual Assistant and does copywriting on the side. She graduated from Indiana University in May of 2019 with an English degree. Her skill set includes Tailwind, Convertkit, Canva, Excel, Microsoft, Squarespace, WordPress, and more!

Keep up with Shyanne on LinkedIn.

Moving Abroad

11 Ideas for a Going Away Gift for a Friend Moving Overseas

Scrolling through your Instagram feed today generally leads to accounts posting pet pictures, glamour food shots, or friends posting enviable travel photos, but when a friend decides to move overseas to study abroad or start a new career, they will need a lot more than a suitcase of Insta-worthy outfits. 

Choosing a going away gift for a friend moving overseas can be challenging. You have to consider climate, the living situation, and of course, you want it to be personal. Here are some helpful tips to buy meaningful gifts for someone moving abroad.

11 awesome gifts for someone moving abroad

1. TSA-Approved Travel Backpack

TSA-Approved Travel Backpack

Travelling overseas means planning for TSA checkpoints. Depending on the country your friend is travelling to, there may be a few layovers and more checkpoints. Choose gifts for someone moving abroad that provide style and function with a leather backpack. A backpack allows for packing away valuable items like laptops and tablets (pro tip: confirm first that it’s TSA compliant!).

Backpacks today also come with built in radio frequency identification (RFID) and ez scan that allow you to pass through checkpoints without having to remove any electronic devices, saving your friend a lot of time. This backpack comes in three leather colors to match any outfit!

2. Universal International Travel Power Adapter

universal power adapter

Power outlets in the United States let out a higher wattage of power than those in European and other countries. A universal international power adaptor is a great gift for a friend moving away because they can charge their phone, laptop, or tablet and stay in touch more easily. This power adaptor is highly rated on Amazon and comes with one USB-C port, three USB ports and one universal AC socket, which allows for five devices to be charged simultaneously.

3. Travel Space Saver Bags

Travel Space Saver Bags

Moving anywhere involves a lot of packing, so travel space saver bags are a helpful going away gift for a friend moving overseas. These bags are easy to use and do not require a vacuum to remove the air. They are sold in packs of nine and shrink the volume of luggage down by 75 percent optimizing suitcase capacity.

4. Personalized Journal

Personalized Journal for friend moving overseas

Give a personalized going away gift for a friend moving overseas. A personalized journal is a meaningful gift that allows your friend to write everything from packing lists to how their trip is going. Relying on cell phones and technology has become so common, but it can be more meaningful to write important events or information down.

5. Hair Brush and Money Stash

Hair Brush and Money Stash

Traveling alone can be intimidating. Providing your friend a sense of security is one of our go-to going away gift ideas. This functional hairbrush is an inconspicuous way to prevent outside attention from strangers while safely stowing away some emergency cash. It can also fit other smaller, important items and can easily be packed in carry-on luggage. Money stashing items are becoming more popular, so even if a hairbrush would not work, items like water bottles and picture frames have also been updated to include small spaces to stowe away some extra cash.

6. Meaningful Keychain

keychain gifts for friends moving overseas

Regardless of living arrangements, your friend is going to have new keys. A meaningful keychain makes a personal going away gift for a friend moving overseas. Keychains can also be used for USB drives, small flashlights, bottle openers, and Swiss army knives. Since keychains are inexpensive gifts, you could also consider giving a Swiss army knife or other attachment along with it as a package-gift for a friend moving away.

7. Travel Sweatshirt

travel sweatshirt for friend moving overseas

Give a cozy going away gift for your friend moving overseas. Having a collection of staple pieces of clothing and different layers is important to consider when trying to condense and move a wardrobe. A sweatshirt makes a great top layer when traveling. Choose something fun that reminds you of your friendship. Who says a practical gift can’t also bring sentiment?

8. Travel Scarf

travel scarf

Many clothing and accessory companies include scarves and infinity scarves in their fall and winter collections, but some materials are better quality and better for the environment. This infinity scarf is made from a soft, sustainable bamboo material. Like the hairbrush, it is also made with a secret pocket for stashing away a passport, quick cash, or anything else needed on hand when traveling. These are eco-conscious gifts for someone moving abroad that are sustainable, fashionable and functional.

9. Phone Charging Passport Holder

Phone Charging Passport Holder

Traveling anywhere out of the country requires a passport. Instead of choosing a passport holder that simply holds a passport, choose one that is multi-functional. A phone charging passport holder rocks as going away gift ideas because it provides another way to stay connected. This passport case can charge a cell phone and still has room for a passport, some cash, a boarding pass, and some cards.

10. Parka Jacket

parka jacket for traveling

Depending on where they are traveling, a parka is a good going away gift for a friend moving overseas. A quality coat is an important staple, and seasons are likely to change when living somewhere for an extended period of time, so it is important to pack lots of varying layers.

11. Foot Rest Hammock

foot hammock for travel

Pillows are the obvious choice for plane travel, but foot hammocks help with blood flow when traveling far distances in a plane. They are a good gifts for someone moving abroad because they prevent stiffness and swelling during long flights. Foot hammocks are easy to include with carry-on luggage because they are easily foldable.

Buy a meaningful going away gift for a friend moving overseas

Traveling anywhere for an extended period of time is a major decision and transition in someone’s life. Selecting a going away gift for a friend moving overseas should be both thoughtful and practical. Making such a far move, your friend will likely have to downsize their lifestyle. While paring down will become important, choosing items to pack that have meaning will become more important. Ultimately, whatever you choose will bring sentiment and nostalgic memories because it is from you.

karen doerfer

Authored by Karen Doerfer

Karen manages communications for a local environmental non-profit in New Jersey.

When she’s not creating digital content, she enjoys hiking with her two dogs.

Best Friend Birthday

10 Awesome Birthday Gifts for Study Abroad Students

Studying abroad can be a thrilling and life-changing experience. It gives students a chance to interact with a new culture, meet people from all over the world, and grow out of their comfort zone in more ways than one. Perhaps you’re getting your bags ready for your own experience abroad? Or maybe you’re searching for inspired gifts for study abroad students in your life? 

If you’re hoping to find that perfect piece of equipment to gift to your adventurous loved one, this list of gifts for study abroad students is for you.

10 gifts for study abroad students

1. A sturdy backpack that can double as a travel bag

sturdy backpack for study abroad students

A trustworthy backpack is essential for any student who takes their education seriously (and for any traveler who wants to pack light and be ready for adventure at a moment’s notice). This bag will be your travel abroad student’s best friend, offering a comfortable fit, a rugged style, compartments to keep their belongings in order, and a durable body that will survive the heavy burden of books and binders as they run to their next class.

2. A travel adaptor to keep you plugged in

plug adaptor for study abroad

This small item can be a life-saver abroad, especially if your friend / student is planning to do some additional travel while abroad. It fits all types of plugs and allows you to charge via USB directly. It is an essential item for all globetrotters, no matter the destination.

3. A Kindle so they can magically pack their library

kindle for study abroad

Yes, nothing beats that fresh book smell, but let’s be realistic. Books take up space and are heavy. However, if your traveler is a bookworm, a Kindle will become their best friend during their time abroad, allowing them to carry their library in a single device. You can even complement it with an Amazon gift card so they can start picking some new reads right away.

4. A pair of noise-canceling headphones

noise canceling headphones for study abroad

Whether it’s a long layover at the airport or a long night camping in the library for finals, a good pair of noise-canceling headphones is a study abroad student’s best friend. The noise-canceling feature will be more than welcome when they don’t feel like listening to anything, but also don’t want the outside world to distract them! For noisy libraries or crowded commutes, this can be a game-changer as a gift for a friend going abroad for studies.

5. A battery pack to charge their devices

portable charger for study abroad

Staying connected is everything these days, and a battery pack is key to doing just that. It can be a life-saver when you’re doing airport layovers, long buses or trains, or when you head for camping adventures.

6. A world map to track their adventures

world map for study abroad adventure tracking

Nothing beats a bit of decor to give their new (and possibly generic-looking dorm room) a homey feel. Plus, this scratch-off map lets them keep track of all the amazing places you’ve visited during their time as a globetrotter, and might motivate them to see even more of the world!

7. A handy buff

buff for study abroad

A buff is a versatile piece of fabric that can act as a scarf, a sports accessory, or even an eye mask during a long trip, making it one of the more practical gifts for study abroad students. It packs light, and the variety of colors and designs means that you will surely find the perfect one to match your student’s style and personality.

8. A nice reusable water bottle

hydro flask water bottle for study abroad

A good reusable bottle is a must-have for anyone who cares about saving the environment and staying hydrated. It’ll be a trusty companion during those long nights at the library or those impromptu adventures that you’re bound to have as a study abroad student. Our pick, the Hydro Flask, gets extra points for its insulation, which helps keep their cold drinks cold and their warm drinks warm for longer.

9. A phone lens to help you capture special moments

camera lens kit for study abroad

Pictures help us keep memories alive—which is why we couldn’t pass up recommending this lens kit as a great gift for a friend going abroad for studies. This lens kit can be easily attached to their phone. It includes a wide-angle lens that is perfect to capture large ranges, such as landscapes and groups of people, as well as a macro lens that will let you zoom into those little details that make life worth living.

10. A portable Bluetooth Speaker

a portable bluetooth speaker for study abroad

A portable Bluetooth speaker can be an excellent companion for a student going abroad. Need to feel at home in a new place? Need to get a party started with people you’ve just met? Throwing an impromptu get together and need some tunes? This waterproof speaker packs a punch, packs light, and can help bring people together in any situation.

Make your gift one to remember!

Finding gifts for study abroad students can be a challenge, but this list of essentials will surely give you some inspiration. Remember to look for something that matches your loved one’s travel lifestyle and personality. They will surely appreciate having a piece of home with them as they explore the world!

Authored by Valentina Bravo

Valentina Bravo is a globetrotter and wordsmith on a mission to see as much of the world as possible. She is currently traveling around SE Asia in search of new friends, new foods, and the wisdom of ancient cultures. While she’s on the road, she works as an editor, translator, and content creator.