Writing your Letter of Motivation for studying in Germany 2020
Writing a letter of motivation:
· Choose a focus for your essay that will illustrate why this opportunity will benefit
you and what you can bring to the organization. It is often helpful to frame your
essay around a particular experience that helped you to realize important truths
about your direction in life. Consider starting with such an anecdote.
· Remember that the people reading your application are looking for a good “fit” –
they want to know what you will bring to the program, not just what it will offer you.
You want your essay to entice them to learn more about you.
· Use your essay to tell a story in which the next logical step is the program you are
applying for (student teaching, studying abroad, etc.).
· Don’t just state your passions. Instead, explain how they developed and why you
want to pursue them further – and how this program or opportunity will allow you
to do so. Similarly, demonstrate your academic interests with examples of work you
· Discuss unique aspects of the program that have particular meaning to you. For
example, many universities offer students the chance to attend seminars on subjects
outside their own college or department; how would you take advantage of this
opportunity? You might also indicate interest in joining particular clubs that don’t
exist in the same form in Germany. If you are applying to teach, remember that you
will be able to interact with other teachers as well as students, so present yourself as
a good colleague.
· Avoid telling the admissions staff too much about their own institution. They
already know how great they are. If you want to mention specific facilities that
interest you, point out how they will be of particular use or interest for you rather
than simply praising them.
Writing a narrative curriculum vitae:
· The purpose of the narrative CV is to explain how you came to point you are now –
why you made the choices you made and how they influenced your decision to
spend time abroad. Think of it as a personal or intellectual biography that gives a
sense of who you are as an individual.
· You do not need to repeat information that you have already listed somewhere else
on the application. Instead, you need to interpret relevant experiences and show how
they shaped you as a person (so instead of writing “I won an award for school council
service in 2008”, write “My experiences as a school council member not only taught
me a great deal about cooperation and negotiation but also made me realize how
much I enjoy working as part of a team.”
· Unless your parents’ occupations, the location of your birth, the elementary school
you attended or the number of siblings you have are important for some other point
you want to make, you can safely leave them out.
· Many, many CVs begin with “My name is… and I was born …” If you can think of
another way to start, do so.
· Don’t be afraid to include personal anecdotes. You want to make your CV unique.
· Explain why you like your hobbies and what you have learned from them rather
than simply listing them.
· Don’t feel like you have to articulate a concrete career goal unless you are pursuing
a teaching degree and applying for a teaching assistantship.
· If you can make your point with fewer words, do it.
· Make every sentence count!
· Whenever possible, use a concrete word instead of a vague term; highlight a specific
experience instead of a general lesson; and balance use of active and passive voice.
· Proofread, proofread, proofread!!! A grammatical error is excusable for a non-native
speaker, but a typo is sloppy and indicates carelessness.
Potentially useful words and phrases:
· My experience as …. convinced me that …
· I discovered/realized that…
· My responsibilities as … have taught me
about the importance of…
· I am eager to
apply/hone/develop/consolidate my skills
as a …. in a new setting
· It will be a pleasure to exchange ideas
with/interact with/learn from/gain insights
· … take advantage of opportunities to…
· … explore/develop/expand/cultivate my
strong interest in…
· I welcome the opportunity to…
· … allowed/encouraged/permitted/taught
· I envision for myself a career in…
· I gained a sense of…
· … sharpened my desire to/interest in…
· I look forward to…
· I am confident I will
gain/learn/benefit/profit from …
· What draws me most to … is…
· … I gained an appreciation of/new
· This program presents me with the
valuable/unique opportunity to…
· I am excited about …
· This program would expose
me/challenge me to …
· I am particularly interested in/have a
keen interest in…
· Experience/Project/Job X demonstrated
that I could combine my
· I realized I have a knack for…
· … comes naturally to me …
· … deepened my appreciation
· I want to develop a firm foundation in…
· The program appeals to me/attracts
me/intrigues me because…
· I hope to contribute to/offer/share…