11 Skills Needed to Study Abroad

Studying abroad is really a long-term challenge for young people, and not all students are suitable for this difficult route. A guide by Thao Pham.

11 Skills Needed to Study Abroad

Studying abroad means going to another country to study a certain program or course, and one must be prepared at least a few months in advance with necessary and sufficient skills. I hope that my pieces of advice can help you to study abroad, so that you can be best prepared for your important future plans.

You have to make your own decisions and steer your life

This is the first skill that any international student or young people intending to study abroad should have. Being independent and mastering your life simply means deciding for yourself what is necessary in your life. This is reflected in the fact that students have to make their own choices about which country to study abroad, what program, what field, etc.

Being independent also means that you have to be able to figure out how to deal with difficult or easy problems that are going on around you even if you have never experienced them. For studying abroad, this skill helps you to take care of your own accommodation, handling procedures and documents, making new friends, finding a part-time job, etc.

Instead of depending on the change or assignment of the learning environment where you come from, actively seek out short courses, part-time jobs that match your interests to the extent permitted by law.

Money management

Studying abroad is like mobilizing yourself in a foreign country, you will not be able to immediately ask for help from others, especially relatives. Nowadays, money management skills are more important than ever.

Foreign countries have a lot of new and interesting things, sometimes it can be "excessive" to spend money on new experiences, this is really not a good thing for your pocket, especially when you don't have a job. Therefore, the habit of overspending must be eliminated.

You want to buy something, you must learn in advance about its price and use, so you can set the most reasonable spending plan. Necessary items to buy such as school supplies, public bus tickets, food, daily necessities, etc. You also need to plan to buy and use them, to avoid leaving important things when needed.

Never leave yourself alone

Studying abroad, you will be living in a multinational environment, with the interference of cultures together. Therefore, being active and adapting quickly is essential so as not to be left behind, not to be alone. In fact, not knowing and not being able to integrate can have a very bad effect on the study and daily life of international students. Many international students have had to drop out of school  because they can't communicate with anyone.

Integrating but still keeping your own nature is important. Many international students, because of their respect and immediate desire to play, make them rush into games or hobbies, making them forget their learning goals.

However, in many cases, you need to identify your strengths and weaknesses to know how to refuse and limit yourself to rush into the different games and hobbies of many international students.


Group work is almost a regular occurrence in the study of international students, no matter what program or field you choose. Vietnamese students are highly appreciated for their academic ability, but they do not really know how to coordinate when working in groups, especially in an international environment.

Working in groups gives you a lot of benefits, although for some students it can be a bit difficult. In addition to completing group assignments, you can also build relationships, practice leadership skills, and seek out other opportunities through your peers.

Note-taking and critical thinking

These are two essential skills for study and research. Reading is almost non-existent when you study abroad, even this is rejected in some places. The duration of lessons in schools under the international education system is usually very short, while the amount of knowledge that teachers need to convey is a lot. At this point, you must have the skill of taking notes, recording annotations and important knowledge before the lecturer finishes.

Critical thinking means students express opinions and debates to practice critical thinking and public speaking ability. This skill is not easy and requires practice as well as experience, requires confidence and logical thinking. You can practice by practicing speaking in front of a crowd, actively answering the teacher's questions, etc.


This is a must for you to be eligible to study abroad, you need a professional background in the industry, and a solid plan to study. No matter what language you study, Russian is also a language you need to know to be able to use in everyday communication.

Choosing friends

In an unknown environment, you will almost meet completely different people. Studying abroad, having a friend is difficult, but choosing the right friend is a harder task. There are friends who are very suitable to share their thoughts and interests, but do not have the same views or attitudes in learning.

You should also remember, it is better to have a few friends, but they are all good people, than to have many bad friends. If someone doesn't like you, your job is to "ignore and live", try to perform well your academic duties.

However, to attract others, be yourself, be a friendly, sociable, smile a lot and talk politely. The international study environment is usually an open and civilized one, so don't worry about division, or discrimination.

The ability to say “no”

When studying abroad, you can live in a liberal, open environment. It's very easy to meet friends who "have fun", with exciting parties that you have never seen, or are afraid of. So when making friends, you must always be prepared to say "no" to what you don't like, especially those that affect your studies.

Not only do you need to say “no” to others, but sometimes you have to say “no” to yourself. Especially when you have the opportunity to go shopping, or someone asks you for something that you do not understand. The skill of saying “no” can sometimes help you to avoid big risks, and other negative things.

Take care of yourself

When you come to a place that is completely unfamiliar, you will inevitably encounter problems such as not being used to food, being sick due to not being used to the climate, not being used to how to cross the road, etc. At first, you will certainly not be able to avoid stress due to environmental differences, so you must prepare skills to take care of yourself.

First of all, you have to learn how to cook, wash dishes, do laundry, clean your own place, because no one will help you with those things when you study abroad.

When preparing to study abroad, bring some preventive medicine, which is antipyretic, digestive medicine, allergy medicine that you think you will have to use at some point. Once you've settled in, take the time to explore the living space around you, especially essential services such as supermarkets, medical centers, post offices, and banks.

Time management

Everyone's time is equal, some people are always busy, others are always free. But it is certain that those who are idle have fewer opportunities than those who keep themselves busy. When studying abroad, you have a lot of work to do and have to do it by yourself, so you have to arrange a reasonable time for each job.

Studying is the most important thing, so it should be given the most priority in your time - part-time work or extra-curricular activities, for example.

At the beginning of each week, you should spend at least 30 minutes planning for the whole week. In short, time will never be enough to let you do all the things you want to do, you are forced to prioritize your time for more important things. If you manage your time, you have it all. If not, your life will be overwhelmed with pressure.


Studying abroad means also enjoy everything that surrounds you. Even Russian winters)

The guide by

Thao Pham