1. Reconsider it.
Hehe, this may be a bit off-putting, but I'm also a bit serious about this.
Are you really prepared to leave friends and family, and your comfort zone, for a whole year (taken you don't go home for Christmas/winter break)? Are you ready to be thrown into a culture where everything's different, everybody speaks a language you don't speak (very well), and meet people you will have to leave after that one year?
If the answer to these are a big, fat YES!, then this is the thing for you!
Luckily in these modern ages we have sooo many way to communicate, and I can't wait calling my mom and the rest of my family through Skype or something similar! And, to use eg. Facebook, Twitter og other social media to keep in touch with the friends you made overseas will become very handy, so I look forward to meeting lots of new people!
Find out if your country has exchange programs you can sign up to, or if you can take a bachelors degree where you live. Now if you want to eg. teach English, the JET Programme is the one for you. Go to JETs homepage, and watch the video under "Aspiring JETs" to learn more. Google has a lot more answer than I do, but what I've heard about the JET programme is that it's a professional company that gets you overseas and back home safely :)
Now for my part, I wanted to learn more about the language and culture before going there, I like to plan ahead. I signed up for a bachelors degree in Japanese at the university of Bergen, and I'm now going to Japan through their exchange program :)
I'll be going to Waseda University in northern Shinjuku, Tokyo, where they have a program for me to follow, called the Intensive Japanese Language Program. I go to lecture for four or five days a week, and to get more credits (which I actually need to get my exchange program approved), I have to sign up for 3-4 more classes (these will be in English).
I'm super excited, I've now also gotten my room details at campus! I'm living way too near a McDonalds, haha!
I got a single room, equipped with (according to the document I recieved;
Bookshelf (I'll probably be bottom shelves for my shoes, haha)
Lamp stand (Lightbulb included)
Refridgerator (AWW YISSS)
Internet Modem (Which is weirdly not included in the rent...)
So it's pretty basic stuff. The say nothing about a closet, maybe the "Hangers" they mention is this kind of thing? because that' not nearly enough. No no no. Luckily I have a little "foldable" closet from Ikea that I'm bringing.. I need shelves, not hangers! Haha!
I also have now applied for the student visa needed, I went to Oslo (from Bergen, 6-7h train ride) last Tuesday night, arrived Wednesday morning, applied, and went back home again the same night. Phew! I slept a lot when I got home again, hehe. It was easy applying for the visa, they were really helpful at the Japanese Embassy in Oslo :)
I don't know if this post was very helpful, I'm just very good at rambling.. Have a nice day!
Yum yum yum! @ Meiji jingu, Tokyo 2010
Days until departure: 22