There is no way to foresee everything that will be needed, but the following is a list of recommended items to bring, based on what we are planning to do. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but is a beginning place.
Toiletries are more expensive here, so you might want to bring as much as you can. It is hard to bring enough for the entire time but I recommend several months' worth. This is especially important if you are sensitive to additives or need certain brands. The same brand name here may have different additives than in the US. Even if you aren't sensitive to the chemicals, bringing a good supply to start with gives you one less thing to worry about until you are well settled in.
You will have access to washing machines, but dryers are rare. Clothes are hung out to dry and in the rainy season it may take several days. You need to plan your clothes so that you can go a few days while your clothes dry. Here it is normal to re-wear clothes as long as they don't seem too dirty.
Comfort foods can go a long way to help relieve home sickness and culture shock.. Many foods that are available in the States are available here but the taste may be different. For example, the local taco seasoning does not taste like a mix from the US. If there are foods you know you will miss try to bring some with you, or at least the seasoning packets. If you have a favorite taco or chili seasoning throw several packets into your suitcase. Grits and Velveeta cheese are not available here. We often bring Velveeta and Rotel tomatoes for nachos. It's especially great when watching the Super Bowl at 3 AM.
You are free to bring your musical instruments such as a guitar or whatever. But the IMB is not responsible for them. The required travel insurance has a $200 deductible if it is stolen or damaged. I don't recommend you bring your favorite or special instrument. One summer intern bought a second guitar and brought it because he wanted his own, but his other one was very special to him and he didn't want to chance it being lost or damaged.
We have a guitar available. It actually belongs to our daughter, but you are free to use it while you are here. It is a medium priced instrument that has been bounced all over Romania and eastern Hungary. A lot of teams have used it instead of bringing one and have been pleased with it.
Family pictures and favorite posters help to make your room feel more like home. Plus pictures of yourself with your family are good to bring to show new friends and acquaintances. If you bring electronic copies we can print them out for you to use as gifts. Postcards of where you live, or other small things that can be carried very easily, also make good gifts for new friends.