Honestly, I wish I'd been able to stay longer. I love my host family, and loved my time abroad, so my only advice would be that if you want to go abroad, or even just thinking about it, start planning and researching as soon as possible.
I was already in my senior year of high school and enrolled in college when on a whim, I decided I wanted to go to Finland. I only wish I'd given myself more time to be there. Aside from that, another piece of advice is to experience as many new things as possible! This trip is about learning, exploring, and having fun; don't let fear or insecurity get in the way of that.
An average day or week will definitely depend on what you're interested in and what your host family is interested in. Hiking, fishing, swimming, and other activities in nature are very popular in Finland due to their abundance of beautiful forests and lakes. Many families also have a summer cottage where you can really enjoy nature out of the city.
There's also roasting sausages over the fire, shopping in the city, and maybe even a trip to an amusement park (such as Linnanmäki or Särkänniemi) if you're lucky. Oh, and of course, you can expect to see lots of ice cream stands!
I didn't really have any fears before the trip, aside from the nervous week or so while I waited for the results of my scholarship application. Luckily, things worked themselves out, and after that, I wasn't afraid until I was sitting alone on an 11 PM flight to New York.
What if this was a huge mistake? What if I missed my layover flight? I had worked so hard to get here; what if this was a waste of time and money?
I overcame it by keeping myself busy; I went over my itinerary and airport maps, organized my papers and plane tickets.
Airports can be stressful, especially if it's your first time travelling alone, but by the end of my trip, I had been on 8 airplanes through 7 different airports through three countries, and everything worked itself out fine. In fact, better than fine, it was really cool and fun! I got to fly over the Pentagon and watch the sunrise over Iceland!
I loved everything about my trip, and I am especially grateful for the amazing family I was paired with. I was also very lucky that my family loves to travel, and took me to lots of different cities all over Finland.
My favorite trip was probably to the city Tampere. The city was built between two lakes, and it was built right over the river connecting the lakes. I loved all the bridges, trains, and the old industrial brick factories, and the cool malls and art galleries many of those old factories now contain. One of the days we were there, we left the city to go hiking. After making our way down a small ravine, we got to roast sausages and marshmallows by a lake, before walking on wooden planks through a bog.