How to write a motivational letter

Writing a motivational letter can be a challenging endeavor. Therefore we created a short guide to help when you are asking yourself “How can I write a motivational letter?”

Motivational Letters play an important role in the selection process. Based on that, the organizing groups select their participants! What is exactly a Motivational Letter? It is a document where you describe yourself and your personal motivation to be part of BEST Courses. All the letters are read by the organizers consisting of students belonging to BEST.

These guidelines aim to help you write your own motivation letter. You will find some tips and hints, which not only will prepare you to write a good motivational letter, but also increase your chances of being accepted. Keep in mind that there are no perfect templates or instructions! Don’t hesitate to be personal and original, show your interest in the topic and country/city you are going to visit.

Where to start?

Before applying to any event, read the information on the web page and survival guide carefully. Make sure that you know which kind of event it will be and what type of participants the organisers are looking for.

Moreover, remember to follow mandatory rules as:

  • Use only Latin Alphabet since our servers won’t recognise other characters.
  • Write your motivational letter in English and include around half of an A4 page.

Step 1 - Be personal and original

When writing a Motivational Letter, you need to present yourself in the best way possible. Your aim is to show to the people that are reading your letter what makes you special and unique, and prove to them that you are the type of participant they are looking for. For example, if you have some special skills, write about them, about your hobbies or your interests. 

As organizers of a course, people will be looking for participants that are not only interested in the academic part of the course, but also in social activities that would be included in the event and require participants’ attendance. This is not something mandatory, but the organizers will take into consideration if their participants also know how to have fun in these kinds of activities.

There are extra points for originality, so if you know some words in the language of the country you want to go to, you should use them. Simple phrases, like “Hello” or “My name is…”, will be appreciated by the organizers. Another way you can be original is, for example, if you have writing skills, you can write a short story from the point of view of a character or you can write something in lyrics. Basically, you should write anything that makes you special and stand out from the crowd.

Step 2 - Academic Knowledge

A good motivation letter will always be successful if the applicant is really interested in the topic. So, in order for you to have more chances of getting accepted to the course you are applying for, you need to show the organisers your enthusiasm over the topic of the course they prepared, and how will it help you on your future development (future career/ personal business/ your university studies/ your own curiosity over the topic). Think about all the skills, achievements, education that makes you the perfect participant for the course and focus on all the benefits they will get by choosing you.  Another thing you can do, with the aim of catching the readers eyes, is to do a small research on the topic of the course before writing the motivational letter. After that, you can add to your letter what impressed you about the topic and why you want to get more knowledge about that subject.

Step 3 - Interest about the country

Another important step when writing your Motivational Letter is to show interest about the country and city you are going to travel to. If you know something about their culture, traditions or history, you can write something about it.

Also, if you have a specific place in mind that you want to see from that city, you can start by writing in your Motivational Letter how excited you are about the fact that you are finally going to visit that place.

You can do another small research about the country. Maybe you will find some facts about the country that will give you extra motivation when writing the letter.

Other advice

  • You should start by reading all the information provided about the course you are applying for carefully, to make sure if it fits you or not. Also, you can use those pieces of information to find out what kind of participants the organisers are looking for and use them when you are writing your letter.
  • Leave formalities, such as “Dear Sir or Madam”, behind. You need to keep in mind that your letter will be read by students just like you.
  • As it was mentioned before, you can share something about what you are studying at the University, but don’t insist on that part! A motivation letter is NOT a curriculum vitae (CV). Don’t bother enlisting all the schools you’ve attended, your grades, the jobs you’ve done… We want to know the real YOU!
  • Don’t insert any links in your motivation letter.
  • Be careful and send the appropriate motivation letter to the right place (don’t mix them if you apply for several events!). You don’t want to write the name of a city/country, where a course will take place, in your letter and apply to a different one. This will look really bad in the eyes of the reader and it will show a lack of interest!
  • Copy-pasting motivation letters is not recommended, but we know that you can’t change your personality from a Motivational Letter to another. So, if you are writing something about yourself and you really like the things that you wrote, you can just rephrase the things you have written. You should aim to make each one personal and unique!

 Also it is recommended to avoid submitting your applications at the very last minute in order to prevent system crashes.

A little piece of advice: if your ideas don’t come to your mind at once and it’s hard for you to remember all of them when you start writing your letter, a good way to keep all these ideas together would be to write them in a notebook. This way, they will be kept safe and you won’t have to try to remember them.

As a final remark, originality is very much appreciated. All these suggestions are, needless to say, general guidelines. Please feel free to include anything else you might consider of importance! Take the ones you want, ignore the others, but in any case, use your own imagination and style and be creative!

 Here are a few examples of motivational letters from our BEST-ies: