Following on from my last post, I thought I would write a post of some advice I have for anyone who is planning on studying abroad; I only went for one semester but I'm sure some of it will be transferable to people going for a whole year or even for the full 3 or 4 years.
1. Save up!
This is probably the one thing I regret the most; I didn't realise how much it would cost me and I didn't even think about travelling whilst I was there or afterwards like many of my friends over there had done. Some places probably aren't as expensive, but I went to Canada and found that accommodation (as I was living on Campus) was way more than I was told by my uni, and I know places like America and Australia are even more expensive. You also want to have money so you can do fun stuff while you're there as you should make the most of your time there as well as making the most of your studies.
2. Know what you need and don't need
When I moved into halls in my first year of uni I literally took everything I owned, but realistically you can't do that when you're going to a different country. When it came to knowing what I did and din't need to bring I was sending a lot of emails to the student adviser at my uni in Canada and I also spoke to my future Canadian roommate about it and she let me use a lot of her stuff to be honest. For example, I didn't bring bedding with me. That's way too much hassle, and it was pretty cheap to buy when I got there. I brought 2 massive suitcases with me to Canada, but they were full of clothes and little things to make my room feel more homey. Living on campus also meant I didn't need to buy any kitchen stuff or food really to be honest.
3. Find people on Facebook and other social medias
My roommate added me on Facebook pretty soon after we found out we would be sharing a room, and it made so much difference as I felt like I already knew her a bit when I got there and met her. The university also had Facebook pages for first year students and students coming from abroad so I was able to find out what kind of people I would be meeting over there. I made so many good friends that I remember seeing on those pages and knew I wanted to be friends with them.
4. Research the place you're going to
Find out a bit about the place you are going to so you aren't surprised. Where I went I had never heard of, all I knew was that it was the capital city of the province I was in. But after a bit of googling I realised it was not a city like London or anywhere I had been, it was essentially a town. So when I arrived I wasn't too surprised to find it wasn't a massive place and there wasn't masses of people everywhere. Also, some research in places you can visit and sight see whilst there is a good idea; we had plenty of long weekends because of thanksgiving etc, that allowed for people to travel. Or like some of my friends did, road trips on the weekends.
5. Lastly, be open to anything
My last piece of advise is to just say yes to any opportunity you get over there. I was so nervous and worried about going and missing my family and boyfriend so much that I realise I did miss out on some opportunities. But honestly, it's only for a short time and then you'll be back with your loved ones again and you'll want to make the most of it. Go to all the parties and events and experiences you get the chance to, because it's going to be so different and you'll meet so many amazing people that way. I'm pretty luckily that I did make a group of friends I can call my friends for life, who live all over the world, and that's probably the best thing about having gone abroad.
I hope this helps for anyone who is going abroad or thinking about it. To be honest, I was a bit unprepared in some ways, so this would have helped me.
Let me know where you guys are going to study, and ask me anything if you need more advise!