What to Bring

Lewis University is fortunate to be located in an area of the United States where we experience all four seasons (Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer) each year.  Students should keep this in mind when planning what to bring.  


Lewis University students dress casually for class.  Attire worn to class can range from long slacks and a shirt with a think coat, hat, gloves, and scarf during the winter, to shorts and a tee-shirt worn during the summer.  It is also a good idea to bring several pairs of shoes and boots for various occasions and seasons.  There are likely to be special occasions when formal attire should be worn, such as when you may be asked to make classroom presentations, as well as for special social functions, interviews, and departmental events.  You may also wish to bring your national dress for special "international" events on campus where you can represent your country.


Americans are very fastidious about hygiene, and go out of their way to make or prevent body odors of any kind.  Thus, it is common here to use antiperspirants, deodorants, cologne, perfume, aftershave, mouthwash, scented or deodorant soaps, etc.  Please note, that is virtually impossible to find natural fiber toothbrushes here.

Medical Matters

If you have a medical condition, you should check with your doctor for advice and guidance. You should also do the following:

  • Carry a 30 day supply of prescription medication along with a copy of your prescription giving both the generic and trade names. Ensure that such medicines are kept in their original containers. If your medicine is unusual, check whether it is available in the United States before you leave your home country and make preparations to have the medication shipped to you if allowed under U.S. customs law.

  • For any medical condition, it is also a good idea to bring a summary of your medical history including diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.  

  • Carry an extra pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses and a copy of your prescription.

  • Seek advice from your doctor if you are pregnant.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition that could present a problem while you are travelling, it is wise to wear a MedicAlert® bracelet. Through the MedicAlert® Foundation, your vital medical facts become part of a database that can be accessed 24 hours a day from anywhere in the world. Call (800) 825-3785 for membership information or visit the MedicAlert® Web site (http://www.medicalert.ca).

You should also be aware that the health insurance provided by the University does not cover pre-existing medical conditions.  Consequently, if you need regular treatment for a medical condition, it is recommended that you obtain supplemental travel/medical insurance coverage to cover your pre-existing conditions before you leave your home country.  This coverage will be in addition to the University Health Insurance Coverage, mandated by the University for all international students and exchange visitors, which will provide coverage for any new medical problems or accidents during your stay.

Other Insurance

Theft, lost luggage and flight cancellations are frequent occurrences and can cause major disruptions in your travels. You may wish to purchase a travel insurance package that will help you in the event of such inconveniences.

Special Items

Many international students find it useful to bring items needed for the first few weeks they are here such as a set of sheets and towels, and other items needed for daily living.  It is also a good idea to bring a bi-lingual dictionary and other reference books in your native languages.  Many students also enjoy bringing some pictures of their family, friends, and country.


The U.S. Zero Tolerance Policy imposes severe penalties for the possession of even a small amount of an illegal drug. Even prescription drugs and syringes used for legitimate medical purposes come under intense scrutiny.

  • Never carry a package or luggage for someone else unless you have been able to verify the contents completely.

  • Choose your traveling companions wisely. If you are coming from Canada or Mexico, never cross the border with a hitchhiker or as a hitchhiker. Though you may not be carrying anything illegal, your companions might be and you could be implicated.

  • Be equally careful about who and what you carry in your vehicle. As the driver, you could be held responsible for the misdeeds of your passengers, even if committed without your knowledge or involvement.
U.S. Customs

Very specific U.S. regulations govern what you may bring into the United States. These cover gifts, alcohol, tobacco and vehicles. Also included are various prohibited and restricted items such as lottery tickets, liquor-filled candy, seditious and treasonable materials, obscene or pornographic material, products made by convicts or forced labor, and products, such as ivory, made from endangered species. Switchblade knives are prohibited, except those owned by persons with one arm.

A non-resident may bring in new merchandise worth up to US$ 200 free of duty for personal or household use.  You may of course bring what you need to live here during your studies.  On visits of 72 hours or more, you may carry an additional US$ 100 worth of merchandise free of duty as gifts for other people. However, there are restrictions. Further information can be obtained by phoning one of the U.S. Customs offices.