I've found that the best way to avoid the affects of culture shock is to try and avoid it altogether. Of course, some things are inevitable - missing your family, facing nasty weather for a month and a half straight, having so much work you're not able to travel - and they will definitely impact how you feel over the course of your experience. But there are a lot of precautions you can take and preparations you can make that  will lessen the effects of culture shock, and just enhance your time abroad in general. While this is geared toward students who aren't abroad yet, it's never too late to get yourself situated abroad!

As Soon As You Can (i.e. when you arrive at your host school or home stay)

1.  Call Home

I would hope this is obvious. If you’ve never been abroad before and are a bit nervous, this should calm your nerves. If you’re not the slight bit nervous, well, this will calm your parents’ nerves. I find Skype to be the best way to communicate with people (family and friends) back home, but you could also get a calling card if you wanted to go that route.