As little as possible! Bring only what you need or truly can't replace or buy here. There will be a shopping trip during International Student Orientation and other opportunities to shop during the first weeks and throughout the semester, so don't bother packing things easily replaceable.
What will you really, really need the first few weeks or first month of school? What is absolutely essential for the first few days, in case your luggage is lost? Things in the first category go in your checked luggage. Anything in the second category should be carried with you on the plane. Other items can be shipped, purchased online to await your arrival, or purchased here after you arrive (see suggestions for each category below.)
Remember to bring photos and small mementos of home—your friends will want to see these! Bring one national festive outfit if you can, since you may wish to wear this for special occasions.
Immigration documents, including your passport/visa, I-20, documents showing financial support, and admission letter from Millikin.
Cash: Bring at least $100 with you in case of emergency, if you want to purchase something to eat/drink when you arrive at the airport, or if you have any problems. Don't rely on bringing large amounts of your national currency or using airport exchanges, since these may not be open if you arrive late.
Money: It is best to bring a bank card with you, so that you can directly access your bank account at home from an ATM machine. A credit card will also be helpful for larger expenses, such as textbooks. Travelers' checks are also accepted.
Record of your required immunizations and any other required health forms.
Medication: If you are on any special medication, make sure that you will have a sufficient supply. You may wish to consult your doctor about generic names of the drugs you must take rather than specific brand names.
The weather in Illinois is unpredictable. Weather can be quite hot in August, getting cooler through September and October. November and December are cold, with bitter cold and snow possibly lasting into March. Be sure to bring a variety of clothes for these extreme temperatures. More fall/winter clothing can be purchased after you arrive. Students dress informally on campus.
Bring an outfit representative of your country to wear for special events and any other special things you think could be interesting to share (recipes, traditional objects…)