4 most common mistakes when writing a scholarship motivation letter

4 most common mistakes when writing a scholarship motivation letter

As we already know, the motivation letter is the most important document when it comes to winning a study grant in another country. In addition, a well-written argument also makes it easier to find employment and even volunteer work.

However, the motivation letter is not only about mentioning your wishes for new opportunities but about defending the idea of why it should be you and not any of the other very capable candidates.

1. Fewer words and more deeds

It is easy to express your wishes 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, broaden our vision of the world, perfect other languages ​​and improve our quality of life, but in reality, what you should do is think about what makes you worthy of that award.

He begins to replace phrases such as “it has always been my dream xxx” with “my achievements have been …”, “I consider myself the ideal candidate because …” and/or “my work is characterized by …”

Remember that the award does not go to the one who has the most winners but to the one who correctly demonstrates deserving it.

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2. Take ownership and demonstrate deep knowledge

With the above, I do not mean that your wishes are not taken into account. These are important to the extent that you show that you 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 that recently came to me to be corrected:

“What especially attracted me to the program is the wide spectrum of skills to develop it offers, the quality of the teaching staff and the internship program; all these aspects will make it possible to have different alternatives when it comes to job placement … ”

Here the applicant is staying with the basics. The underlined words can be explained to demonstrate ownership and mastery of the subject, since: knowledge = motivation. An alternative is:

“What especially attracted me to the Modern Art program is the possibility of specializing in Lighting and Sound, as well as a faculty, 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 modern art capitals of the world through the professional internships that are offered in the last semester. ”

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Another of my tips to demonstrate knowledge is that you replace words like ‘I believe’ with ‘I know’ or ‘I’m sure that…’

3. It matters more what you will do for them

That your reasons are not limited to the comfort of living in a developed country. Scholarship providers hope that you are genuinely interested in the study program and the positive impact you will make with what you learn.

To be clear: they don’t give a damn if 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.

But don’t worry, they don’t want money. The contribution you will make in terms of cultural exchange counts, what you can teach to other students or teachers, the extracurricular clubs to which you can contribute, and other cooperation projects that you have in mind.

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Tip: If the scholarship requires that you return to your country of origin at the end of the study program, it is important that you mention how you will apply what you plan to learn in your country.

4. Rules are rules

Finally, limit the motivation letter to what it is and what they ask of you. If they tell you 1 sheet, send a sheet.

Please don’t expect the motivation letter to exempt you from some of the requirements.

If they ask you for a 7 of IELTS it is 7 and not 6.5, the same with certified work experience: two years is 24 months and not 22 and a half, etc.

As beautiful as it is, the letter is to show that you deserve the scholarship and not to convince them that you have tried hard but have not been able to meet the other requirements. If you do not meet them, give yourself the time as there are always new application dates.

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