The motivation letter is what sets you apart from the rest when applying for a scholarship. A winning motivation letter has not only helped us win scholarships (academic and professional practice) but also to find employment with large companies.
Now we want to tell you everything you have to keep in mind when writing a motivation letter. Here we will teach you to develop your own template so you can apply to multiple calls, saving time and increasing your chances of winning scholarships abroad and traveling the world.
Note: This does not mean that academic performance, experience and recognition do not matter and that just having an attractive and clear motivation letter will be enough to get the scholarship. No! your achievements and skills make you a candidate for that scholarship to travel abroad, the motivation letter helps you excel as indicated.
Before Writing your Motivation Letter for Scholarship:
Investigate the institution and the country you want to travel to and study.
What profile does the institution or grantor of the scholarship looking for? Browse its official page, review the sections: About, Our Culture, Philosophy, among others, and analyze the institution.
Do they value leadership more or the ability to work as a team? Are they socially responsible and concerned about the environment? What is the role of ethics? Or are they more quantifiable, that is, more focused on numbers and concrete results?
This research not only helps you shape your motivation letter according to the interests of the institution but also to find out if this is the opportunity what you really want. This will help you to discern if you want to look at other options; or maybe not, and still want to earn your exit ticket. It’s up to you.
Strategy 1: Review the Mission and Vision of the institutions and study faculties to analyze their profile. Use synonyms of the words they use in the motivation letter.
Strategy 2: Check the section of testimonies of students (scholars or not) or employees of the institution. Sometimes they have official videos and what they say also helps you to analyze and find out if you like the program and then address your motivation letter accordingly.
How to write a winning motivation letter for Scholarship?
Now that you have made the respective analysis, it is time to write a winning motivation letter for scholarship. The letter of motivation must have the following points:
(1) Title and header:
Title: “Letter of motivation for [scholarship to which you are applying]”
- Full name
- Address + postal code
- Optional: Skype and social networks
- Header position : I recommend upper right but upper left can also be.
Start with formal greeting and to the point, mention the reason for this letter. “Through this I want … apply to the scholarship … published in …. “. Also answer briefly: why are you applying to this scholarship, what motivated you from the program? In this way, you can write concisely about what you like about the institution and / or country to which you are applying for scholarship. And finally, do not forget to mention your objective and how it relates to the objectives of the program to which you are applying.
Example: “… I’ve been looking for an international experience for … And I trust that the study program X in the institution can help me …. “
(3) Who are you?
This is the second paragraph of the motivation letter where you should write:
- Your academic achievements.
- Why are you the ideal candidate?
Tip: No matter what kind of achievements you have had, write them down in a way that demonstrates the value they bring to the institution or country to which you apply.
(4) How do you contribute?
Just as you really want to learn and travel, how do your skills and abilities contribute to the university or country? You can place things like “increase the knowledge of my colleagues about my country, participate in sports or art activities etc”
(5) Demonstrate in advance that you know who you are addressing (institution and / or country):
You mentioned it in the introduction but here you must give more details of your motivation. According to the previous research: Why does the program mean so much to you? How the research projects and facilities of the institution and country will help you to achieve your goals?
(6) Final words:
You and I know that you really want to do this, prove it! Show the desire that you want to go not only to eat the world, but also to learn and contribute new knowledge. Here are words like “I am very motivated by …” “it would be an honor and the beginning of a road full of …” etc
(7) Acknowledgments and dismissal:
Again, time is supremely valuable, so we must thank the reader for giving attention and make it clear that you are looking forward to work with them. Finish with “Cordially” or “Cordial Greetings” is more than good.
Template for writing a Motivation Letter for Scholarship:
I know that you want to apply for several scholarships but you do not have to write a different motivation letter for each candidacy. Develop a template that allows you to adapt the content to the specific situation. But how do I do this?
You already did!
Once you have carried out the 7 steps of the previous section, you already have a template that you can edit so that your motivation letter corresponds to the application you want to apply for. However I have provided motivation letter sample below.
Tips on writing a Brilliant Motivation Letter for Scholarship:
Structured: If your ideas are not clear and the letter does not have a natural flow of reading, it will be very difficult for the examiners to continue reading. Identify your strengths and show them in a concrete and coherent way with the program to which you are applying. Write convincing and results-oriented sentences.
Clear: Easy to read, avoid complex words and separate the paragraphs by the sections about which you speak.
Short: If you are clear, you do not have to extend more than 1 page. In fact, it is often necessary for the motivation letter to meet this requirement. If not, a page and a half is enough … remember that time is the most important resource we all have, even those that examine your application
PDF: Although you write it in Word, you must save it and present it as a PDF document, unless otherwise specified.
Formal: The letter should be formal, but this does not mean you should write words that you cannot even pronounce, be practical, be yourself.
Deadline: Remember the deadline to send the application and do not miss the opportunity of your life.
Review: Do not forget to correct spelling and writing. Someone in your family or a good friend can help you with that if you’re not very good … my spelling has been terrible since school, but I’ve had to put the batteries
Correct Title: Also make sure that it is addressed to who it should be … I am looking for work, for the efforts I sent a letter of motivation to a company with the title addressed to another. Hahahaha 😀 ! That is really embarrassing and unprofessional and should not happen to you.
Language: In case you apply in another language, make sure you make proper use of the language, the writing and the translation.
4 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Writing a Motivation Letter for Scholarship
As we already know, the motivation letter is the most important document when it comes to winning a scholarship in another country. In addition, a well written motivation letter also facilitates the attainment of employment and even volunteering.
However, the motivation letter for scholarship is not only about mentioning your desires to obtain new opportunities, but about defending the idea of why it should be you and not one of the other very capable candidates.
Less Words and More Facts
It is easy to express your desires to travel or study in a certain country but it is difficult to express the reasons why they should choose you.
Many of us want to travel, expand our vision of the world, improve other languages and improve our quality of life, but in reality what you should do to make you worthy of that prize.
It begins to replace phrases like “my dream has always been xyz” because “my achievements have been …” to “I consider I am the ideal candidate because …” and / or “my work is characterized by …”
Remember that the prize does not go to the one who most want it, but the one that correctly demonstrates deserving it 😉
Take Ownership and Demonstrate Deep Knowledge
In the above paragraph, I do not mean that your wishes are not taken into account. These are important to the extent that you prove, you clearly know what you want and why you deserve it.
As an example I want to show you an excerpt from one of the motivation letters for scholarship which come to me recently to be corrected:
“What particularly attracted me to the program is the broad spectrum of skills to be developed that it offers, the quality of the faculty and the internship program; all these aspects will make it possible to win different opportunities at the time of employment …”
Here the applicant is staying in the basics. Underlined words can be explained to demonstrate ownership and mastery of the topic because: knowledge = motivation. An alternative is:
“What particularly attracted me to the Modern Art program is the possibility of specializing in lighting and sound, as well as the teaching staff, which has world-renowned professors. Another reason why I prefer this program is the opportunity to have direct contact with exhibitions in one of the capitals of modern art in the world through the professional practices that are offered in the last semester.”
Another of my tips to demonstrate knowledge is that you replace words like ‘I believe’ with ‘I know’ or ‘I’m sure that …’
It matters more what you will do for them
That your reasons should not be limited to the comfort of living in a developed country. The study scholarship providers expect you to be genuinely interested in the study program and the positive impact you will make with what you learn.
To make it more clear: they do not care a whistle that you feel safer, happier, richer or healthier living in the country offering the scholarship. What they want to know is how the hell you will return to society the investment they will make in you.
Tranquil! They do not want money. Count the contribution you will make in terms of cultural exchange, what you can teach the other students or teachers, the extracurricular clubs you can contribute to and other cooperation projects that you have in mind.
Tip: If the scholarship requires you to return to your country of origin upon completion of the study program, it is important that you mention how you will apply in your country what you intend to learn.
The rules are the rules
Finally, limit the letter of motivation to what it is and what they ask you. If they tell you 1 sheet, send a sheet. Please, do not expect that the scholarship provider will exempt you from some of the requirements for the motivation letter.
If they ask you for 7 of IELTS it is 7 and not 6.5, the same with certified work experience: two years are 24 months and not 22 and a half, etc.
However it is beautiful to show that you deserve the scholarship and not to convince them that you have worked hard but have not been able to meet the other requirements. If you do not comply, give yourself time because there are always new application dates and scholarship opportunities.
Motivation Letter Sample:
[Your first and last name]
[Your phone number]
[Name of the university / school]
[Name and surname of the person to whom the letter is addressed]
[Address of the university / school]
[Your city] , on [Date]
Subject: Application to the Master [Title of the study to which you apply]
Dear (o) [Name and surname, or institution to whom the letter is addressed] ,
Very motivated (or) to carry out the [Name of the Bachelor or Master you wish to perform] , I would like to complete my training and acquire the necessary knowledge in [Knowledge that you wish to acquire with such training] , with this career to consolidate my professional career. I believe that thanks to the good quality of education and the programmatic content that your institution offers, I will be able to better train as a professional and achieve my life project in the future: [What do you want to be in the future or what position would you like to occupy?] .
Thanks to my studies and my extra-school work, I have been able to develop new knowledge in [Knowledge that you have developed] and my desire to experience new challenges has increased.
The development of several projects during my studies and my few professional experiences have trained me in decision making and teamwork. In addition, the [the area in which you wish to train) is an area that I am passionate about and of which I want to continue learning much more.
I believe that these experiences will be useful to develop this master, to be able to share my knowledge with the other students and to finish with success my professional career.
I hope to have the pleasure of developing your Master’s program (License) in [Title of the study you apply for] in your institution.
Receive a cordial greeting,
Now its your turn!
I hope these tips will help you to prepare an impressive Motivation Letter for Scholarship and to win scholarship or whatever else you propose. If you have some tips that worked for you, let us know in the comment section.
Thanks for reading and wishing you success with everything!