I've been thinking about different levels of student exchange experience. Before I left the UK, various people said I was doing something really demanding. Having arrived and settled in, I have concluded what I am doing pushes my boundaries, but in the greater scheme of things, is really quite small beer. I am studying in a foreign country and have travelled alone. But I am studying in my own language, and script. There are other students from my home university. My husband will be joining me soon.
There are other students who are using English as a foreign language, and whose mother tongue has a different script, who are completely on their own with no-one from their own country to talk to when things get tough.
Other students are doing more dramatic things than me.