Make sure you have the basics in order: Passport, visas, and travel insurance should be arranged up to six months in advance. Start your application processes as soon as possible, then think about transportation and accommodation.
More tips: Print multiple copies of tickets, insurance information, program acceptance letters, and emergency numbers. Make note of the contact details for your country's embassies, your go abroad program officials, insurance company, and any other relevant numbers. Have your passport, visa, and all proof of identity and purpose at the ready. This will keep your mind at ease.