There are a few things to consider when packing your things. Obviously you want to have everything you'll need when abroad. But you don't want to be hauling pounds upon pounds of stuff you'll use once or twice. You also want to think about what products you won't be able to get abroad (peanut butter?), what will help you feel comfortable, what kinds of situations might arise requiring different kinds of clothes, etc.
This New York Times article suggests packing the bare minimum, especially now that airlines often charge for extra luggage. This article also has lots of unexpected tips on kinds of clothes to take. And it would make sense to heed advice in this article – the tips are based on interviews with flight crews, the "pros" of packing.
If nothing else, however, it's important to have a checklist. Sit down and brainstorm everything you could possibly need to take with you. Decide how often you'll want to do laundry, how many kinds of occasions you want to have clothes for, and what kinds of electronics you'll need, for example. Make an exhaustive list, then tweak it to accomodate the fact that there are no jumbo jets with the express function of moving your entire life's possessions abroad.
This page has a great checklist you can use. Highly recommended.
If you want to know what'll be provided to you on site, go to the hosting university's website and find the international handbook. It'll tell you things like whether you'll get a set of sheets or not (and more often than not you'll get a set).
by Fedor Zarkhin