Hey guys! So it's been over a year since I got back from my exchange! While doing this blog last year, I left my insta username for readers to DM me with any personal questions, and to this day I've still been getting them :) At least 10 times, I've gotten the 'what advice do you have' question, and seeing that I'm still able to access my blog, I'll just post my main points here for future readers!
1. be open-minded: it's best not to have strict expectations (or any). most things probably won't turn out the way you expect, but it may be for the better!
2. take every opportunity you can to meet new people and try new things. my personal mantras were, 'what's the worst that could happen?' and 'this could be the best decision of my exchange'. Just keep reminding yourself that you are on exchange to get OUTSIDE your comfort zone, to try new things, and to adventure! Take advantage of that!
3. keep yourself busy: you're less likely to get homesick if you keep your mind occupied.
4. be social/friendly!: sometimes strangers can seem unwelcoming so we're afraid to talk to them but I'd say whenever you get a chance to meet someone new, just be friendly and say hi, most of them would be ecstatic to meet you. (if not, their loss!) also, be patient. you will get TONS of questions about your life in America, so have fun with that!
5. talk to your host family if you're having any issues, shutting them out is never a good idea (and if you can't talk to them talk to your coordinator...that's what they're there for)
6. PACK LIGHT. TRUST ME. I learned this the hard way... only bring what you absolutely need, because you will have more things to bring home at the end of your trip, GUARANTEED.
finally, try not to get too stressed about anything & have fun!