6 Essential Tips for Preparing to Study Abroad

The importance of spending time as a student abroad is often highlighted by counselors and professors. This is in hopes that we will take advantage of the opportunity to escape our comfort zone and step into unfamiliar territory. I am currently spending the school year abroad, and as a result of running essential errands last minute, checking extra luggage, and worrying about whether Amazon orders would arrive on time, I wanted to make this guide for other students on how to prepare for study abroad.

PHOTO: Natalie Miller

1—Start planning early

While your departure may seem decades away at first, time flies. It’s important to make sure you have everything you need instead of stressing at the last minute. It’s super helpful to start jotting down a list that you can add to anytime something you’re missing or may need to pack pops into your head. It is nearly impossible to keep all of these in your head.

2—Unlock your phone

This is a vital step for moving abroad if you wish to be able to use your phone outside of Wi-Fi range while abroad. After this, you can start a small plan with a local provider and use your data free of international fee fears!

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

3—Pack in layers

It can be very tempting to bring along your favorite (yet also heaviest) heels and sweaters and dresses. But consider it rationally. You will come back with more than you left with. Take this from someone who had to check an overweight carry-on bag.

4—Make sure your luggage complies with your airline’s luggage restrictions

You do not want to get stuck at the end of the check-in line while running late for your flight to find out you have to take a few pairs of shoes out of your suitcase.

5—Stay open-minded and curious

If there is a foreign language spoken, don’t be afraid to butcher words and ask questions. Locals will only appreciate your efforts. Also, be aware of cultural differences and customs. It is always useful to do some research prior to your arrival.

PHOTO: Lex Kelly

6—Be prepared to experience a culture shock

We all react to change differently, and this may never occur, or occur one month later. Don’t be afraid to step back and take things at your own pace. We’re all human!

Where are you studying abroad this semester? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to share your travels with @CFashionista on social media.

Finding a Summer Adventure Without Breaking the Bank

While this lovely season often makes us want to spend our days on the coast of some tropical paradise, that can often become a little difficult when we’re busy with internships or on a student budget. FOMO becomes a reality with all those Instagram stories of white sandy beaches. Even if you do have an exciting trip coming up, it may seem years away while waiting for it to come around.

Perhaps it’s time to break out of routine for a bit, take a little adventure, and fulfill some of that wanderlust. There’s so much around us that we often don’t think about. So pack a backpack and get out there. You’d be surprised what you can find close by when you just search for things to do. For trips like these, it can be best to dress light, along with some comfy sneakers for walking.

If you’re in the New York City area, one of my favorite places to visit is Old Westbury Gardens. It’s a historic mansion surrounded by a hundred acres of fields and gardens. You can take a tour, but we chose to just walk around the home and gardens as we liked. We walked through rooms of classic decor and bright maze gardens. There was so much to see that it’s easy to get lost, and it was exciting to explore the place with that in mind. It was so entrancing that I would often forget to take pictures

It was comforting to know that I could get so much of an adventure out of something that was “right in my backyard,” without having to spend all I had saved up. So don’t be afraid to get outside in order to get the most out of your summer. It’ll be gone before you know it!

Do you have any summer adventure tips? Let me know in the comments.

All-American Colors for Memorial Day Weekend

As we recognized Memorial Day and remembered those who lost their lives for us, it was also a chance to appreciate time with loved ones who are around, and show a bit of American pride. I took the opportunity to show my pride this weekend by pulling out my all-American colors through my wardrobe, while also taking advantage of the much warmer weather. I paired some of my best summer pieces: a white top, some jeans, and a statement red purse to tie it all together.

For this weekend look, I pulled out this Forever 21 all white off-the-shoulder top, with a bit of embroidery around the top and bottom. I paired this with a simple pair of mid-rise indigo blue jeans to keep the look casual. I opted with a pair of black open-toe sandals, with little tassels on the back. For accessories, I have my favorite bright red cross-body bag from Prince & Fox. I kept my jewelry to be more gold, with a little gold heart necklace, a couple of rings, and gold and black watch and my favorite flower bracelet from Hawaii, and kept the nails a light nude.To be prepared for cooler weather, I brought along an essential denim jacket.

While the outfit itself was made up of basics, I tried to make the look a little bit more colorful and fun with the pop of color from the red cross-body. Also, I added a bit more dimension with the embroidery on the top and tassels on the shoes. It was great to get in the spirit of summer with this look.

What pieces do you wear as we start getting used to some warmer weather? Let us know in the comments or show us @CFashionista

STYLE ADVICE: Bombers and Backpacks

While the summer weather hasn’t exactly hit yet, the last days of spring are still wonderful. However, it’s still a little breezy even though the sun is out. I was so glad to run into this Fashionista on my walk home. Her outfit had the quintessential NYC college student look while also being three of my favorite things: trendy, comfy, and cute.

The first thing that caught my eye about this Fashionista’s look was definitely her awesome forest green bomber jacket. This jacket got my attention right away and made me want to run to the store and find one just like it. The color was great along with the silver hardware on the jacket; the overall design of it was great, especially because of all the little pockets. I also really loved her little light gray mini faux leather backpack and its minimalist detail. Also, while heeled sneakers aren’t usually my cup of tea, I felt that this shoe definitely added a little something to the outfit. I was in love with these all white ones and their simple gold zipper detail. To tie it all together, she went all black under these accessories, which kept the minimalist look together.

This Fashionista’s look was perfect for the season. What worked so well for this look was the pairing of these great pieces toned down by the monochromatic black outfit. So don’t be afraid to wear a few statement pieces together. I also appreciated how comfortable this Fashionista came off in this look, as if it suited her. We should all take a hint from this lovely lady in order to tie together some great pieces.

STYLE GURU STYLE: Sunny Spring in the City

We’ve had some lovely weather for some of this month, and I definitely took advantage of being able to dress for summer in the middle of April, as eighty degree weather is not the norm during this season. I wanted to create a versatile look that would work for spending the day in the park but also for a late evening dinner. For this, I pulled a little bit of inspiration from everywhere, embracing the bohemian country look in the middle of a bustling and contemporary city.

For this look, I pulled out a simple, white, frilly, cold-shoulder top and paired it with my favorite pair of bootcut, medium wash Madewell denim jeans, which are also high-waisted and are perfect for the warmer seasons. I added some lace-up, black Madewell sandals. I also added some dainty accessories to complete the look, including a gold heart chain, a plain black choker, a lovely souvenir bracelet from Hawaii, and a thin gold watch. The tote is an Etsy find with a classic advertisement illustration print. This is the perfect everyday piece, as it also works for any occasion.

This sort of boho-country look remains a constant trend during the summer months, and as a whole, this look is my sort of go-to look during the warmer seasons. It’s casual enough, yet can easily work for grabbing dinner or drinks. A little bit of flair was added to the outfit with the tote and the gladiator sandals. This outfit represented my go-to summer style and ultimately served as an early nod to the warmer months to look forward to. While I do wish that this weather would linger a little while longer, it was nice to get in the summery spirit with a great look and to be able to walk through the city without a jacket on.


While I am all about this weather and love how it makes the entire city look like one massive snow-globe, it can be a little challenging to stay chic and trendy on days like these. This Fashionista pulled this off To a T with this quintessential “running to class” look. She was so put together while also seeming as though she just woke up and threw this outfit on. What works so well is that it puts together all these monochromatic pieces while topping it off with a killer coat.

What this look does so well is keep everything simple without too much going on. It also uses a great piece to bring it to its full potential. She matched a white V-neck top with a pair of high-waisted, light wash “mom” jeans and a pair of white Vans to match the snow. She added this gorgeous blue leather book bag. However, what really made the outfit was her faux fur coat. This dark brown, bulky piece with a strip of white running through the middle tied it all perfectly. While I was all about this Fashionista’s outerwear, one of my favorite things about this look was the earrings. I loved the minimal design and the little stars inside of the hoops. I wanted a pair of these the second I noticed them.

As a minimalist and lover of comfort, I love that this look made all of that happen. This gal’s outfit had all the aspects of a great school day look. It was effortless, cohesive, and comfy. This look serves as a perfect guide for how to get some more z’s in while also keeping it modern and fresh and still staying cozy.


This look had me chasing this Fashionista down the street. For me, this outfit was all about simple and classic with a bit of personality. With the weekend bringing in some snow, it was perfect for running errands while staying stylish and comfy. Being all about the simple and minimalist look, I was instantly drawn to the all black outfit, yet what really caught my eye was how she accessorized it like a pro.

The layering of this outfit is perfect, with a simple black scarf layered over a large black coat, only revealing her faux-fur hood, with a pair of plain black leggings. She added a bit of contrast to the outfit with some platform white sneakers. However, what it was that made the outfit, and what stuck out to me initially, was her stunning purse—a gray, suede, loose tote with chain handles and detailing around the bag, which resembles a classic Stella McCartney bag.

Even some smaller pieces and details added to the outfit; on her hands she had a stacked gold rings and a white and gold manicure, which coordinated perfectly with her “lazy day” look. Nails can add some spark to any outfit, and this look allowed them to pop even more, especially with their edgy shape and design. These nails definitely had me craving to take a trip to the nail salon.

What’s so great about this outfit is how it all came together with just the right accessories and a cool pair of sneakers. We should all definitely take a cue from her when taking a chill day. Advice of the day: don’t be afraid to dress up a monochrome look with some cool accessories, and great nails always top off any look while also making us feel polished—pun intended.

STYLE GURU BIO: Alicia Cepeda

Hi all fellow Fashionistas/os! My name is Alicia, and this my first semester as a Style Guru for CollegeFashionista, and I’m so excited to join the team this spring. Born and raised here in NYC, I’m proud to continue to call this fashion capital of the world home at New York University. I’m on my second year of liberal studies here, and I can’t wait to share all the rad looks I find around campus.

For me, fashion is all about individuality, shaped by a person’s own distinct experiences, influences, and inspirations. It’s an expression of all the little bits and pieces that makes a person themselves, and it’s awesome that we share this as a society, especially with the increasing number of social platforms.

My individual style tends to follow a trend of simple and classic with a bit of quirk. However, this is ever evolving based on the looks, art, and the people that impact me. One day it’s the timeless cozy sweater and the next, it’s all rock-and-roll. Even the seasons impact this style, being a bit more free-spirited during the warmer months.

New York has had some lovely weather lately, which is why for my first bio, I went for an outfit that truly embodied my go-to look. Being from New York, black and white hues occupy most of my wardrobe. My go-to look is an oversized white button-down, paired with my favorite high-waisted black jeans and brown vagabond boots. To top it all off, I added a pop of color with a bright red cross-body bag and accessorized with a simple black choker, arrow necklace, and aviator Ray-Bans. Just like icing on cake, my outfit is complete.

I am so excited to embark on this creative journey where I have the chance to share my passion for all things fashion and lifestyle related. I am also looking forward to being inspired by all of you Fashionistas/os out there. So, stay tuned; more is yet to come!