Writing a motivational essay for studying abroad at a university often confuses students. What to write in a motivation letter? How to write a motivation letter according to all the rules?

Below we will tell you all about the rules for writing an excellent motivation letter, the contents of which will be to the taste of the admissions committee of any foreign university.

What is a motivation letter?

A motivation letter is an essay 1 page A4 long that a student attaches to other documents when entering a higher education institution. Depending on the university, the presentation of a motivation letter may be needed at the undergraduate, graduate and even doctoral levels. Depending on the institution, the list of entry requirements may also be referred to as “statement of purpose” or “personal statement”.

In the essay, the student should write about himself, talk about his merits, talents and why he should be enrolled in the course. It is on the basis of a motivation letter that the selection committee can judge the identity of the applicant, its goals and its advantages.

When submitting documents to a university for the first time, most students are faced with the need to write an essay about themselves, so they often make mistakes. In this article, we will talk about the basic principles of writing a motivation letter and how to maintain the desired style and semantic balance in our text.

Motivation letter structure

The classic motivation letter is divided into three parts – the introduction, the main part and the conclusion.

Pay special attention to writing the introduction and conclusion, they will remain in the memory of the host committee and help you make the right first impression.

All three parts of a motivational essay should be clearly structured. In order for your letter to be interesting and informative, it may contain answers to the following questions:

  • How and why did you become interested in the selected subject or course?
  • How can you demonstrate this interest?
  • Why did you choose this particular institution?
  • Why did you choose to study abroad?
  • What career prospects are you considering?
  • Have you had to overcome difficult situations and obstacles (financial, social, physical) to achieve your goals?
  • What skills and personal qualities do you have?
  • What are your achievements and experiences?
  • How do you show the strengths of your personality in life?
  • What should make a person who reads hundreds of such texts daily remember and distinguish you?

Samples of motivation letters to the university

As we have already noted, a good motivational letter for a university must meet several criteria at once, so it is important to pay attention to the competent preparation of this document. On the one hand, the letter should reflect your motivation, and on the other hand, motivate the university to accept you for study.

We suggest you study a sample of a motivation letter to a foreign university:

Dear Sir or Madam,

With this letter, I would like to express my interest in studying a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at ABC University. I am interested in beginning a career in design and I am certain that this degree will help me to fulfil myself in both professional and personal contexts.

Currently, I am finishing my last year of high school, where I have spent a lot of time and effort learning arts and drawing, among other subjects. While studying in high school, I also attended art and design school courses, which clearly reflects my preferences and interests. In recent years, with the support of my school, I participated in a number of cities and regional design competitions where I often ended up in prize-winning places. Examples of my prize-winning works are presented in my portfolio.

My current goal is to start my career in design. After doing some research I realised that a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at ABC University is the best choice for me for a number of reasons.

First of all, this program covers a number of topics that interest me the most, such as Interior Design, Art History, Contemporary Design Concepts, Design Software, etc. As a future designer, I must be an expert in these fields. I am certain that the numerous traineeships and workshops I will take part in during my studies will help me to gain the necessary knowledge and skills.

Secondly, my attention was attracted by a highly international environment of ABC University. Looking at my future, I understand that I want to become a successful designer working in an international context. At your university, one of the most international universities, I will learn how to communicate with people from different backgrounds to achieve the best results which I believe will be the next big step in my development.

Thirdly, studying at ABC University will significantly improve my English skills. As one of the most important languages in the world, English will help me to form new connections and expand my social network to a global level.

Finally, a Bachelor’s Degree in Design at ABC University will help me to develop myself as a team player. The program will help me to establish strong international relations and to meet a lot of famous and influential people from the global design industry. Besides, I am attracted by the possibility of doing an internship during my studies. This great opportunity will give me the valuable professional experience necessary to build a successful career in modern competitive conditions.

Overall, I believe I will make the most of the knowledge and experience gained through the study program at ABC University. I hope to contribute my talents and efforts to your university and become a worthy member of the team.

Thank you for considering my request. I look forward to your positive response.

Yours faithfully,
Sasha Petrov

As you can see, a good motivational letter to the university is by no means a short text, which consists of several thematic parts. The above sample contains both the student’s story about himself and his strengths, as well as an explanation of why he chose this particular curriculum and university.

Tips for writing a motivation letter

So, here is a monitor with a clean sheet of Word and the need to write an essay. Follow our tips, and your letter of motivation will certainly be successful and will attract the attention of the university admissions committee!

Make an essay informative

Before writing a motivation letter, collect all the information about yourself that is worth knowing the admissions committee. Remember that your essay should be as informative as possible, otherwise it may seem superficial, and you – a person who is inattentive to details. Do not forget to carefully select the information, because you should cause positive emotions in people who do not know you personally.

Meet the interests of the institution

Some universities publish questions on their websites that students are asked to answer in a motivational essay. Do not ignore them! In your letter of motivation, try to give the admissions committee all the information that it wants to receive.

Take into account the requirements of the university

A number of educational institutions have specific requirements for students’ motivation letters. For example, you may be asked to send a handwritten essay, mentioning even the ink (black or blue) with which it should be written. Follow the recommendations of the university!

Place accents correctly

Correct semantic accents are the key to a successful motivational essay. Regardless of the requirements of the institution, in your text focus on three critical issues:

  • Why do you want to study on this course?
  • Why do you want to study at this university?
  • Why do you want to live and study in this country/city?
  • Your answers will demonstrate your personal and academic goals and help the commission understand why it is worth accepting for your studies.

Do not be afraid to praise yourself

In fact, your main goal when writing an essay is to show your candidacy in a favourable light. Do not hesitate to praise yourself, tell about your merits and talents, but do not be boring and monotonous! Tell us about your advantages, as well as how you would like to improve, and how the chosen course will help you with this.

Write in a beautiful and fairly simple language

Without being a native speaker, writing on it can be quite difficult. A motivational essay should be written in a competent, but relatively simple language. Do not overload him with long sentences and abstruse words, avoid conversational vocabulary and do not try to demonstrate on one sheet your knowledge of all revolutions of a foreign language! Remember that everything written by you should be clear and appropriate in meaning.

Be careful with your personality.

Each student, due to his motivation letter, seeks to stand out from hundreds of other applicants. You can do this by maximally showing your personality. However, do not overdo it – do not add pictures, photos, videos and graphics to the essay if this is not required. Do not try to joke or come up with an original format, all this may be inappropriate. A much better recommendation will be given to you by a structured and competent essay containing important information and written in the correct style.