What to Pack for Boarding in Switzerland

It can be tricky preparing to leave home for the first time. Starting boarding school means beginning a year filled with new experiences, situations, and sometimes even a new climate! These are all exciting things, but they can also be nerve-wracking for first-time boarders who are getting ready to pack and move away from home!

At Leysin American School in Switzerland, our alpine campus is located at 1,350 meters (4,400 feet) above sea level, with many hiking paths and ski slopes reaching even higher altitudes. Students also get to participate in activities like ice climbing, surfing, and cycling. With such a variety of experiences available to them, here are the essentials we tell our students to bring with them to ensure a successful year at LAS:


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It is a good idea to do a little research before you begin packing clothing. Does your school have a uniform? What do the temperatures look like year-round? These are just a few questions to consider when you are deciding what and how much to bring. These are our suggestions for must-have clothing items at LAS:

  • Winter coat and/or jacket
  • Raincoat and/or windbreaker
  • Sweaters
  • Hat
  • Mittens/gloves
  • T-shirts
  • Pants
  • Shorts/skirts
  • Casual shoes/sandals
  • Socks
  • Undergarments 
  • Glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleepwear
  • Formal outfits for banquets and special occasions


Chances are, if you forget any hygiene products, you’ll be able to find what you need at a nearby store. Do keep in mind, though, that if you have a particular brand you like, it may be a good idea to stock up before you go—especially if you are attending school in a different country!

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Hair accessories
  • Floss
  • Toiletries
  • Deodorant
  • Chapstick
  • Hairdryer
  • Sunscreen
  • Skincare products
  • Nail clippers
  • Towels and washcloths

Alpine and Sports Equipment

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Take a look into what your school offers in terms of sports equipment. Do they offer branded gym wear? What about coats? Learning more about what your school provides will help you to pack more efficiently!

  • Ski trousers 
  • Gloves
  • Helmet 
  • Goggles
  • Ski boots
  • Skis
  • Poles 
  • Snowboard equipment
  • Athletic clothing and specialized sports equipment such as shin guards, volleyball knee pads, or mouth guards. 
  • Hiking shoes
  • Athletic indoor shoes
  • Swimsuit


  • Umbrella
  • Backpack
  • Musical instruments
  • Technology (laptop, phone, headphones, e-reader, etc) and chargers
  • Notebooks

Dorm Room Decorations

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With a few simple items, you can make your dorm room feel home-y and cozy. While linens may be provided, you can consider bringing pillow and duvet covers from home to add your own personal style to your space! Some other items you can consider bringing are:

  • Photos
  • Posters and other wall decorations
  • Lights
  • Mug
  • Journal

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Leysin American School in Switzerland

Leysin American School in Switzerland

Located in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, Leysin American School has a history of nurturing talent and motivating students to succeed in education, sports, and the arts. The boarding school bring together students from around the world to create a campus community with a global perspective and a family atmosphere. LAS offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a comprehensive US university preparatory curriculum, and, for non-native English speakers, an integrated English Language Acquisition (ELA) program.

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