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7 Essential Items for Your Summer at Harvard

If you find yourself staring at an empty suitcase, here’s our top seven recommendations of things to pack for a fun and fulfilling summer.

5/16/2016 | Student Life | 5 minute read

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Harvard Summer School

You've registered for your course, submitted your housing request, and now you're ready to pack your bags for your summer in Cambridge. If you find yourself staring at an empty suitcase, here's our top seven recommendations of things to pack to prepare for a fun and fulfilling Harvard Summer School experience.

Sunscreen on the beach1. SUNSCREEN

Summer in Massachusetts is a beautiful thing. You may take advantage of this during our many off-campus trips, including visits to Martha’s Vineyard, Fenway Park, and local beaches. Don’t let your experience be sullied by a bad case of sunburn; remember to bring your sunscreen!


It may seem counterintuitive to carry around a sweater in the summer, but most of the lecture halls on campus are air conditioned. In case you start to feel a chill during class, you’ll want to have something on hand to keep you warm.

Blankets in a wicker basket3. BEDSHEETS (TWIN EXTRA LONG) AND A BLANKET

Your historic Harvard dorm comes equipped with most of what you’ll need for a comfortable stay on campus, but you’ll need to provide the finishing touches. Bring bedsheets and your favorite blanket and make your room feel more like home. Joining us for Pre-College? Don’t forget to bring your own pillow.


Do you enjoy the strategic challenge of Risk? Or testing your vocabulary in Scrabble? Gather your classmates around your favorite game—it’s a great way to get to know one another and take a mental break from your studies.

Rack of blazers on hangers5. A BLAZER

Your instructor may ask you to present a project or assignment to the rest of the class. Putting on your favorite blazer and a nice pair of shoes will add extra polish to your presentation and leave your classmates in awe of both your style and your smarts.


Although the summer promises warmth and sunshine, rain occasionally pays a visit. Rain or shine, the show must go on! Stay dry on your walk to class or during outdoor field trips by bringing along an umbrella, raincoat, and/or rubber boots.

person lying in field7. AN OPEN MIND

No matter how full your suitcase, don’t leave behind the most essential item for your time at Harvard—an open mind. You will be participating in challenging coursework, meeting people from around the world, and taking field trips to new places. Take advantage of this unique opportunity and welcome every new experience.

With these seven items in tow, you’re off to a great start in preparing for an unforgettable summer.

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