This guidance is designed to describe appropriate clothing, the cultural context where you will be living and working, and the professional expectations of your workplace.
As you decide what to bring, keep in mind there is a 100-pound weight limit on checked baggage.
In general, most items you will need are available in country and locally acquired items are often the best at helping you integrate into your community. However, locally available items may not be the brands, quality, prices, or sizes you are used to. Bringing some key items from home might make your transition to service more comfortable.
This guidance has been compiled by Peace Corps staff and Volunteers and is based on their experience. Use this information as an informal guide as you make your own packing list, bearing in mind that each experience is individual. There is no perfect packing list!
This packing guidance is designed to help you think through different categories of items and consider what you might want to bring, considering work expectations, cultural considerations, and your own personal preferences.
Summers are hot and winters are quite cold. Classrooms and offices are often not air-conditioned or heated. Bring warm layers for the cold winters and cool clothing for the hot summers. Clothes should be wash-and-wear, as well as breathable, durable, and able to endure rough washings. Laundry is all line-dried, so consider fabrics that will dry quickly. Also, white clothes will turn off-white very quickly.
Peace Corps/Georgia provides the following items:
- Smart phone
- Water filter
- Mosquito net
- Power bank
Peace Corps Volunteers are not allowed to take:
- Radio transmitters (shortwave radios are permitted)
- Automobiles or motorcycles
- Flammable materials or liquids such as lighter fluid, cleaning solvents, hair spray, or aerosol containers
- Valuables such as precious jewelry or family heirlooms
Do not bring any drug that has not been authorized by the Peace Corps for medical purposes without prior consultation with Office of Health Services Pre-Service. This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Illicit drugs, including marijuana and related products such as CBD and herbal substances such as kratom, are prohibited during Peace Corps service, even if they are legal in your home of residence. If you use, possess, or distribute illicit drugs, you will be administratively separated from service.
Below is guidance on clothing expectations and cultural norms for work as well as leisure and recreation.
Georgians traditionally tend to favor black and other dark colors, and this is still reflected in the dress of the older generations, especially in rural areas. Georgians generally dress professionally and fairly modestly. Professional dress means neat, clean, and conservative—not necessarily dress suits or coats and ties, but business casual.
As noted above, most items that you will need are available in country; regional centers and larger cities will have a range of goods available. Some items, such as shoes and sports clothing, may be quite expensive. Note that some Volunteers have also used intermediary shipping companies for the delivery of items purchased online.
- Thick sweaters
- Winter coat (wool or down)
- Rain coat
- Winter hat and scarf
- Long underwear (thermal cotton, silk, spandex, or fleece-lined)
- Long- and short-sleeved button-down shirts (light and heavy materials for seasonal temperature changes)
- Slacks and casual dress pants (avoid light-colors, as these show stains very easily; consider bringing pants with belt loops so, if they stretch, they can still be worn)
- Tailored jacket or blazer
- Wool, dress, and good-quality cotton athletic socks (many pairs of differing thickness, as you will likely be layering them)
- Skirts and dresses (formal, midi or longer length) and everyday styles for both warm and cold weather)
- Short-sleeved polos
- Flannel shirts
- T-shirts (can be used as undershirts)
Leisure and recreational clothing
- Bathing suit
- Jeans (nice quality, professional looking)
- Sweatshirt or fleece hoodie
- Warm pajamas or nightgown
- Winter boots
- Lightweight ice grips to wear over shoes or boots, for walking on packed snow and ice
- Sandals (such as Chacos or Tevas) or flip-flops/shower shoes
- For women: Dress and casual shoes (flats and heels are both worn; nice enough to wear to school or the office). Boots (in addition to winter boots, bring at least one nicer pair, as well as a pair that can serve as rain boots)
- For men: Dress and casual shoes
You should bring a three-month supply of any prescription and/or over the counter medications you use that are authorized/approved by the Peace Corps.
Note: Prior to service, Peace Corps supplies all volunteers with a medical kit containing basic, over-the-counter medications, as well as multivitamins.
The medical unit will replenish prescriptions after the initial three-month training.
If you wear eyeglasses, bring two pairs (of the current prescription) with you. Contact lens use will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Additional guidance for Peace Corps/Georgia:
- Feminine hygiene products are available in Tbilisi and district centers, although particular brands or styles may not be.
- Shampoo, conditioner, soaps, and toothpaste are readily available and inexpensive.
- Dry shampoo (a lifesaver in the villages and during water shortages)
- Lint brush
- Towels (quick dry/microfiber)
- Shoe freshener balls
- Wrinkle release spray/sheets
- Fabric refresher
- Laptop computer (Volunteers find this very useful for personal and work purposes)
- USB drive
- 110-/220-voltage adaptor (note: most laptop and phone charges may be used with 110V and 220V)
- External hard drive
- High-capacity USB power bank
- Headphones/earbuds with built-in microphone
Note: There are electronics stores in the large cities, but repairs/replacement parts are expensive. It may be more economical to bring extras from home or have them shipped in a care package as necessary.
You are advised to purchase personal property insurance for your electronics, as Peace Corps is not responsible for loss or theft of personal property.
Based on your interests and personal preferences, there may be additional items you will want to consider bringing with you. Below is a description of common activities Volunteers engage in and what different Volunteers have said they enjoy having that might be more difficult to find in-country. Note: these items are not required or even recommended, but they might be nice to have.
- Good-quality sleeping bag rated to 0 degrees F
- Sturdy water bottle
- Swiss Army, Leatherman, or an equivalent multipurpose knife (useful to keep at home, note that there are restrictions on carrying around a large knife)
- French press or pour over coffee maker (if you like American-style coffee; Georgians usually drink Turkish or instant coffee)
- Zip-close storage bags in a variety of sizes and heavy-duty
- Spices and other baking supplies (your favorites may be difficult to find, especially in winter; vanilla extract can be difficult to find locally)
- If you plan to travel to other countries for vacation, you may want to bring extra money to suit your travel plans; credit cards are preferable to cash. There are ATMs in larger cities, and most towns so you may want to bring an ATM card to access a bank account in the U.S.
- Small gifts for host family and Georgian friends (not required); knickknacks for the house; pictures, books, or calendars of American scenes; souvenirs from your area; hard candies that will not melt or spoil; photos to give away; etc.
- Luggage, such as duffel bags and hiking backpacks; should be tough and flexible (strong enough to haul in and out of taxis, minibuses, trains, and carry around on foot; should be durable, lightweight, and easy to carry)
- Good-quality backpack, daypack, or messenger bag
- Eyeglass repair kit
- Sewing items (iron-on mending tape, straight and safety pins, etc.)
- Musical instruments (with music books and spare parts, as needed)
- Money belt
- Flashlight and accompanying batteries (a headlamp is a good alternative for reading when the power goes out and for night trips to the outhouse)
- U.S. stamps and envelopes (to send mail with friends who make return trips to the U.S.)
- Journal, diary, or organizer/date book
- U.S. and world maps, stickers and posters (good as teaching aids and wall decorations)
- Games that can double as English teaching tools, like Bananagrams, Scrabble, etc.
- Baseball, football, Frisbee, hacky sack, or other “American” sports equipment
- Index cards for making flash cards (hard to find in-country)