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How to Write a Motivation Letter for a University abroad?

EducateOnline
Date: 25.05.2022

How to Write a Motivation Letter for a University abroad?

Motivation letters are an integral part of the admissions process to Canadian, American and European universities.

What is a motivation letter and what does it include? How to write one and what mistakes to avoid. You can find this information in our Educate Online ‘Motivation Letter’ guide.

What is a motivation letter and what does it include?

A motivation letter is similar to a cover letter required by most companies during the hiring process, and on which 70% of the candidate's success depends.

With this letter, universities (and companies) are trying to understand:

question

Do the values ​​of the candidate coincide with the values ​​of the university? For example, you might come across questions such as “Tell us about your three core values?” or “What is really important to you?”.
Each educational institution has its own features and values: some focus on sports, and some on research activities. İf your values do not align​​​​, then there is a risk that you may feel out of place on campus.
question
What is the motivation of the student to enter this particular university and program?
Here, the university expects depth from you. İf a student sincerely wants to enroll, they should share why in detail. For example, what have they done to familiarize themselves with the institution? Have they learned about the history, explored the curriculum of the program, met with faculty or reviewed their work, talked with alumni, etc.
question
What is the motivation of the student to enter this particular university and program?
Here, the university expects depth from you. İf a student sincerely wants to enroll, they should share why in detail. For example, what have they done to familiarize themselves with the institution? Have they learned about the history, explored the curriculum of the program, met with faculty or reviewed their work, talked with alumni, etc.
question
How will the university be beneficial to the student? And how will the student be beneficial to the university?
Universities and colleges abroad are interested in producing successful professionals who will later create new technologies, change the economy and ımprove other areas of our lives. Therefore, it is important for the university to learn about the hidden talents of the student and how they are already exploring these talents. This may include, launching a joint project with friends, winning a competition, writing a scientific article, etc.
The main thing to remember is not to be shy while talking about achievements, even if your child helped to babysit their little sister once in a while. Yes, this is also appreciated. The main thing is to present it correctly. There is no need however, to go to extremes and list all the certificates achieved from childhood. It is enough to select only 2-3 of the strongest achievements.
If the selection committee, reading the letter, understands that studying at this university can help the student to further develop their talents, it will be a big plus for the candidate.

Features of writing a motivation letter in the USA, Canada or Europe:

Universities are looking for a story that will intrigue them. For example, there was a girl who wanted to enter the Urban Planning Engineering field, and her letter began quite atypically: "On a summer evening, my father and I were sitting on the terrace, and at that moment I realized ...".
Something like the process of writing a story which, from the first sentence, should capture the emotions of the reader. Right? :)

Usually, universities request more than one letter on different topics.

Writing algorithm and common mistakes

It’s important to allocate at least 1-3 months for writing a motivation letter. As Coco Chanel said, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression."
Sit down with your child and write down all of their important achievements, risks, talents and how they manifest. In Educate Online we usually do in-depth interviews to help identify the important aspects worth sharing.
Study the website of the university, its specifics and values.
Learn about the faculty; study their work.
Lay out the structure of the letter; what do you want to indicate; what arguments to use.
Ask your child to write several drafts. Review and be attentive to any structure or grammatical errors. Provide insights, so that your child may try again.
What not to do:
Don’t use templates. Otherwise, you're just templating yourself.
Do not send the same letter to different universities
Do not joke in the letter, since humor in different cultures has its own characteristics that you may not be aware of.
Do not insert emoticons (emoji).  The letter is written in a formal style.
Bonus
Usually the topics for a motivation letter become known in advance. For example, it’s possible to find them on the website College Essay Guy.

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