How To: Handle Long Distance Summer Internships (pt.1)

First of all - Congratulations on your Internship! I know you worked hard and absolutely deserve this job! 

Depending on where your summer internship is, you can be pretty far away from home for a period of 2-3 months and can't really take that much with you. First, I'm going to describe what I brought with me on my (current) summer internship to California to survive living out of two suitcases for the next three months. 

First, I should clarify that I was lucky enough to be able to receive corporate housing for the summer so this list doesn't include things you might need for an apartment. Here is what I brought/stuffed into two suitcases for the next three months: 

  1. Clothes - both casual and workwear. Try to get a good spread/mix of clothing including dresses/pants/whatever you are most comfortable with. Look at the average weather for the area you are going to be in and plan for 15 degrees (F) warmer and colder to be safe. 
  2. Medication - Don't forget it! Make sure you have all of your prescriptions and you know you can get more of them when you run out. Plan ahead so you don't accidentally miss medication! 
  3. Laptop/chargers - I brought a spare charger and cords with me just in case I forgot something or there were only two plugs in my apartment (it turns out I absolutely needed to bring them). Any additional electronics you need (hair dryer anyone?) should also be packed 
  4. Notebooks/school work- if you have any. I am taking two courses this summer, so I made sure to bring a binder and the materials (like a calculator) I would need for my class. 
  5. Something to remind you of home. This can be different for each person but it's important that you can have something to remind you of home/give you comfort if you get homesick. A phone call can always help from home but if you are/do get homesick, it might be nice to bring your favorite pillow or blanket to remind you of home. 
  6. A lunchbox/food containers. Save that money you make from your internship! It's cheaper to walk/bike everywhere you can and meal plan/cook food at home to save money instead of eating out all of the time. Don't forget a water bottle either!! 

Of course, anything else you need that you can think of is something you should bring on your trip. Make sure you check in with your internship coordinator to find out what the dress code is/what's expected of you on your first day! This is it for part 1, look out for part 2 next week....