1. Figure out how to get a passport.
So, this may not be in every case, but at least in mine, figuring out how to get a passport has been its own challenge. Never having been out of the states this is an entirely new language for me. Even if you have a passport, I'm sure actually finding it or even renewing your passport can have its own challenges.
2. Figure out how much you should pack.
Packing for a new country no matter the length of the trip can be difficult. Having to reason with yourself to only bring "this" amount of shoes and "this" amount of shirts, and more can definitely be an art. Getting your suitcase to shut is an adventure of its own. One tip for the wise, roll your clothes...unlike the picture you'll probably have a much easier time fitting all of your clothes.
3.Research the country you're studying abroad in.
When going to a different country it's good to know what their currency is, making sure they speak English and if not learning some of their own language, learning about the university and/or the area you will be living in, and more. It's also necessary to know how much to budget for public transportation, meals, spare cash, and souvenirs. One of the most dangerous things you can do is to not plan a sufficient amount of money when studying abroad. Preparation is key.
4. Ask friends/family for advice when studying abroad.
Studying abroad can be a fun and sometimes nerve-wracking experience. In the process. it's always nice to seek counsel from friends or family. I've found that my peers are excellent resources for getting useful advice for when studying abroad. Most of the time, you will probably have a friend or peer who has been to the same university or at least country you are going to. You never know when their advice could help you when you need a quick fix or simple hacks when it comes to studying abroad. Don't be afraid to seek help from those around you.
5. Book your flight.
Booking your flight could possibly be one of the most important things that you can do. If you don't have a flight than you're never leaving U.S. soil. Making sure you budget money for airfare and allotting time to get the right flight will make sure everything runs smoothly and that the "abroad" part is an actual success.
6. Set up emergency contacts.
No matter where you're going it's always important to have emergency contacts set up...just in case. You never when life may throw a curveball at you so it's always good to have some back-up. Most likely, your emergency contacts will not be used, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
7. Get necessary vaccinations and/or health check-ups.
Depending on your country, you will most likely have to get certain types of vaccinations before leaving the States. While this part is definitely not the most fun it is one step closer to making your "Study Abroad" dream(s) a reality. Make sure you get all of the necessary vaccinatinons and/or checkup(s) so your trip is a success.
8. Fill out an insane amount of paperwork.
Filling out an actual application for Study Abroad can take a hot second. Getting recommendations, writing if needed that "necessary" essay, finding all of your personal information and knowing what numbers go where can all be a fun part of the paperwork experience of Study Abroad. While I haven't enjoyed this myself I try to remember that it only brings me a step closer to bringing my dream to fruition. So while it may seem pesky, it will all be worth it. Keep it up and before you know it your plane will be landing, waiting for you to start your new adventure.
9. Freak out and double-check everything... just in case.
It's easy to freak out in the midst of preparing for a trip like "Study Abroad" whether it's a few weeks, a full semester, or an entire year it can all take a massive amount of preparation. It's always good to double-check everything...just in case to make sure everything is in order and you are good to go when the time comes. And also, freak out a little bit.. you're going on an awesome trip!
10. Get excited!
After all of that hard work and preparation, it's time to get excited! Most likely, you've worked hard to get this opportunity so you should be proud of yourself for coming this far in your college career and for getting a chance for this experience! Have fun, reap the benefits of good preparation, and get ready for a trip/experience of a lifetime!