Essential tips for writing a great motivation letter

When you apply to a higher education institution in Europe, you might need to include a motivation letter. This personal document details your skills and reasons for applying to a study programme. It may help to think of it as your “statement of purpose”. Preparing this document carefully could play a big role in getting accepted, because university admission officers often use them to make their final selection of successful candidates.

Be memorable!

First impressions matter most so be sure to grab the reader’s attention from the very first sentence. It can help to make it powerful, personal, and memorable. Admission officers are human too, and they often appreciate being pleasantly surprised. Make sure you have looked into the details of the study programme, and university. Prove it by tailoring your letter accordingly.

Use a winning structure!

It helps to first write an outline, then an introduction, then expand your outline, and conclude your letter. Your outline should answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to join the course?
  • What personal skills and qualities do you have that will benefit the institution?
  • Why are you interested in this specific institution? Be clear and specific.

Don’t be shy to boast about your personal strengths. They might just set you apart from all the other candidates.

Once you’re happy with the final draft, remember to proofread the letter very carefully before you submit it.

Check out Europass for more information about preparing to study abroad



European Higher Education Organization

European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe. The EHEO general plan stresses that: Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected. The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders. Thus, EHEO plans: improve academic and scientific interaction of universities; protect the interests of universities; interact more closely with public authorities of European countries; popularize European higher education in the world; develop academic mobility; seek funding for European universities.

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