Plan ahead and save! I knew that I wanted to study abroad several years before I actually applied to the program. In the years leading up to my application, I saved as much money as I could, and it definitely paid off. Having extra money to spend on a spontaneous trip to Wales with friends is so much more fun then staying home on the weekend.
Unfortunately, I know of one girl in my program who signed up for the whole year, but didn't have the financial means to do so and left after the first semester. In order to get the most out of your time abroad, you need to save your money and go on as many adventures as you can!
An average week would probably have you going to school three out of the five school days. I only took the equivalent of 12 U.S. units per semester and would spend my downtime hanging out with friends, going to the beach and chilling at pubs. Brighton has a young demographic and a lot of nightlife so you definitely don't have any excuse to be bored!
My biggest fear was just doing something so independently. I felt like I had never been put so far out of my comfort before. Arriving in a new country where you don't know where to go, you don't have any friends yet and where nothing is familiar to you is very daunting. Luckily, once you get to your campus, you'll find approximately 30 other students feeling the exact same way! Bonding!
Also, after completing my year abroad, I can tell that I am a much more confident and assertive individual. Because I put myself out there and took the leap to study abroad, I now know how important it is to have that kind of bravery in my everyday life. I'm much more likely now to say yes to new adventures and challenges that once might've seriously intimidated me.
It's not so much of a story as it is an awesome fact. I went to Edinburgh, Scotland during my three week long Spring Break and stayed in the Castle Rock Hostel. First of all, yes our spring break was three weeks long and also yes, I would definitely recommend staying at the Castle Rock Hostel if you ever find yourself in Edinburgh.
Anyways, the Castle Rock Hostel holds a beer pong tournament every Saturday night and I can now literally say that I won a beer pong tournament in Scotland. My teammate was someone I didn't even know before the start of the tournament, but who for sure became my best friend when she threw the winning shot. My picture is now up on their "Wall of Champions" for 2016 beer pong tournaments, how cool is that!?