Packing for college can seem overwhelming. It is recommended that students work out some of the details in advance with their roommate to avoid duplication on some of the larger items!
Weather in New Hampshire is variable, with four distinct seasons. Summer weather can be expected in May, June, July, August, and September. Temperatures can reach the 90 degree range (Fahrenheit) in the summer, with lots of humidity making it feel even hotter. Autumn weather may begin in September and last into October. In autumn, the days become less humid and the nights become cool. The variety of deciduous trees in New Hampshire produces brilliant fall foliage that attracts tourists from around the world. The months of November through March bring us winter conditions, when cold winds, rain or freezing rain, sleet, and snowstorms are common and temperatures may fall below zero (F). Spring may arrive as early as March.
Because of the changing seasons, it is important to be prepared for variable weather. We recommend that clothing be cotton or a blend of cotton with a synthetic fiber for the warmer months, and wool or a blend of wool with a synthetic fiber for the colder months. Rain repellent outerwear, waterproof footwear, and umbrellas will help. Mittens, hats, insulated boots, and warm overcoats are essential in winter. Students at PSU dress casually for most functions, including attending classes. It may be appropriate to dress more formally for some social events. Your national dress is always welcome and will be appreciated at special events. To prepare yourself for New England weather, clothing choices are important. Cotton or cotton blends are best in warm weather, wool and insulated items will keep you warm in winter. Raingear is necessary. Winter is also a time when snow and ice storms frequently occur; if you don’t come from a similar climate, it is advisable to bring extra money and purchase appropriate winter clothing once you arrive. Campus staff and students would be glad to offer suggestions about what you need. Finally, student dress is casual, although at some events more formal wear may be appropriate.
Bringing Money With You
You will have some expenses in getting settled. We recommend that you plan on carrying U.S. currency in traveler’s checks and/or cash. The amount of $400 should be enough to cover early miscellaneous expenses, and another $400-$500 for text books and school supplies. Try not to carry large amounts of cash since it may be a few days before you can open a bank account. Traveler’s checks are easily cashed; ATM cards can be used, although there may be substantial fees associated with using them for withdrawals. Bank checks drawn in American dollars from your home country may take several weeks to clear; bank checks drawn in a foreign currency are not recommended. Visa, MasterCard and American Express from your home country can be used in the community. You will probably want to open a bank account as soon as you arrive, as it is not advisable to carry large amounts of cash (we can assist with this during orientation). Even if you are a graduate student with an assistantship, you must be prepared to cover your first month’s expenses as it will take time for the University to process your assistantship and get you on the payroll.
Drugstores, supermarkets, clothing stores, and bookstores where you can buy essentials are within walking distance of campus, but specialty shops and superstores are difficult to get to unless you have a car.