Taking an iPod onto the plane is fine, because there are somethings you just cannot live without, mine being music.
However, expensive things like iPhone/Blackberries and super-pricey stuff are best left home, especially if you are going aboard for only a short period of time.
Australia is a very luxurious nation compared to many other countries. Most Australians have a place to stay, food to eat and safe clean water, meanwhile some people survive on $2 a day. (I did the World Vision, 40 hour famine, :P)
Many host families have a limited amount of technology, since most of the time, with any country, you are placed further away from the city to experience the real culture. Some unfortunate exchange students were not able to trust their host families and there are stories and blah, blah, blah (let's not get depressing but...). Some host families might envy or become curious about your valuables and might fiddle and touch without permission. I haven't heard of this much in Japan much but you never know.
Things like laptops are convenient but might affect your learning experience. Social networks like Facebook are useful for contacting and such and such but talking to your friends and family might develop some homesickness and consume your time. Your friends might scold you for not keeping up to date with them but it's worth it. If you are forgiven, you know they are friends to keep forever. People going for less than 6 months are recommended to not take laptops. Besides, you can learn to live without the Internet and that increases your chance in surviving a zombie apocalypse and alien invasion. Yeah, it'll come in handy.
To avoid telling the same stories over and over and over again, to your loved ones, write a blog/ record vlogs like me :)
Just tell me even if my exchange program is already over, I want to know how other people experienced things, if I missed out on something or didn't go to that country.
I actually really wanted to go to England, South korea, Germany and Hong kong and many other places. I'll go to one of them as a volunteer program after all of my studies including university/college.
I got new crayons and so far I drew a dinosaur with wings, a mini comic of my epic fail in Xbox and a face of a hipster.
I got to lose weight before I leave. I'm the okay weight in Australia but Australia is now 'the fattest nation'. Yeah, that sucks. Those Japanese girls? Thin as Pocky. Haha.