I'm going to be a senior. Should I bother studying abroad now?
I asked a bunch of people (students, teachers, people from work) whether I should study abroad, and based on everyone's reaction: Yes. Everyone who had studied abroad never regretted it, and those that haven't always regretted it.
Will I make it back to Winter Quarter in time?
Yes. Teachers are flexible about student schedules, so I just had to ask them before if I can take the final exams early. The semester in Taiwan ends January 16, but I'm leaving January 10 (just in time for week 2 in Winter). My friend is leaving December 31, so she can actually make it back before Week 1 if she wanted to.
Would it be easy to make friends?
I found the easiest way to make friends is through school clubs or courses with group-based projects. I'm in a user experience class where I do one project with the same 5 people for 18 weeks, so it's an easy excuse for weekly meetings and lunch. Also easier if you can speak Chinese relatively fluently. I was too lazy to join a club, but my friends in tennis club or coffee club all have friend groups with local students. You also end up having a lot of international and exchange student friends simply because they're the ones you see most often.