You could also bring things you think your host family might like. Many of our students would bring my mom and I jewelry, and my brother and dad soccer jerseys or t-shirts.
Practice the language. You’ll struggle at first, and you’ll probably be asking people to repeat themselves and be using a dictionary a lot, but eventually you’ll be able to speak well and have conversations and understand.
I would contact your organization and discuss that with them. They can tell you if it’s better to wait for a host family or get a dorm.
It’ll be awkward at first no matter what (or, at least in my experience that’s how it is). But just getting to know them over time will help. Ask them about their interests, their country, their home, and so on, and tell them things about yourself.
Start packing (You only really need a few days, and I have a tag for that), and get together everything you think you’ll need (passport, money, phone, etc). Other than that there’s not much preparation you can do. Maybe study the language some more and message your host family if you haven’t confirmed your flight and all that with them.
Don’t focus on leaving and just focus on the present. You are in France now, so enjoy your time in France. Think about leaving only when you have to.
Hey people not with rotary or afs! :)
There is no typical freak out time. It all happens at different times for different people. But right before leaving seems to be the most common.
I think it’s just easy to be nervous about a lot of things before exchange, but if you’re host family signed up to host then I’m sure they will like you (and probably even love you) just fine. :)
I went with only a basic knowledge of German and I know several people who went knowing absolutely no German, so it is definitely possible!