Things to Bring

Essential information to carry while traveling

Western Michigan University address and phone number

Study Abroad
Western Michigan University
B2425 Ellsworth Hall
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5245 USA
(269) 387-5890

WMU emergency contact information

WMU Department of Public Safety
Phone: (269) 387-5555

Contact information of home country consulate

Carry the name, address and telephone number of your country's consulate in the United States or another entity, such as an educational mission or sponsoring agency.

All essential identification papers and documents should be carried on your person or in your hand baggage. Do not place important documents in checked bags.


Kalamazoo experiences four seasons of weather each year: winter, spring, summer and fall. Winter can get very cold with considerable snowfall. You will need a warm coat, scarf, hat, gloves and boots. We recommend waiting to purchase warm clothes until you reach Kalamazoo.

Summer in Kalamazoo can be very warm. You can usually go out in just a short-sleeve shirt and lightweight pants or shorts. Dresses or skirts are commonly worn by women in the summer. Spring can be rainy; a raincoat and umbrella will be useful.

Most students dress casually when going to class and save nicer outfits for going out at night or on the weekend. Jeans or casual pants worn with a shirt or sweater are fine for class.

In some situations, especially if you are in the Haworth College of Business, you may occasionally need to dress more formally to make a presentation in class or when attending business functions. A suit or other clothes appropriate for an office environment are recommended in these situations.

Personal items

Linens are not provided in the residence halls. During orientation, an opportunity to shop for linens is provided for students who do not bring them to campus. Following is a list of essential items:

  1. Fitted sheet (bottom), extra-long twin size (twin XL)
  2. Flat sheet (top), extra-long twin size (twin XL)
  3. Pillow and pillowcase
  4. Lightweight blanket
  5. Wash cloth
  6. Bath towel

Introducing your home culture to people in the United States

As a member of the WMU community, international students are encouraged to share their home culture with others. Please consider bringing traditional clothing and photographs of your home and family so that you can introduce your home culture to your new friends at WMU.

Do not bring the following items

  • Food from home—U.S. customs prohibits travelers from entering the country with fresh fruit, vegetables and meat from other countries. Read more about these restrictions on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Bringing Food into the U.S. page.
  • Large amounts of cash—Carry enough cash to spend for the few days until a bank account can be opened so money can be transferred from home.
  • Too much clothing—Campus housing offers limited storage space. Laundry facilities are easily accessible.
  • Unmarked medications—Medications must be carried in the original pharmacy container, and must include a label. It is also advisable to bring an extra prescription with the generic name of the medication indicated along with a letter from a home physician stating the purpose of the medication.
  • 240-volt appliances—These are not compatible with the 110-volt outlets used in the U.S.