The Winning Motivation Letter: get a scholarship abroad

The Winning Motivation Letter: get a scholarship abroad

The scholarship motivation letter is what differentiates you from the rest and will help you show yourself as the ideal person for the program to which you apply.

And that is why below I want to tell you everything you have to take into account when writing a motivation letter. Here I teach you to develop your own template so that you can apply to multiple calls, saving time and increasing your chances of winning international scholarships.

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 obtain the scholarship, no! your achievements and skills make you a candidate for that scholarship to study abroad, the motivation letter helps you stand out as the one.

Before starting

Research the institution and the country to which you want to travel.

What profile is the institution or grantor looking for? Browse its official page, review the sections: About, Us, Our Culture, Philosophy, among others, and analyze the institution.

Do they value leadership or teamwork skills more? Are they socially responsible and do they care about the environment? What is the role of ethics? Or are they more quantifiable, meaning more focused on numbers and concrete results?

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This research not only helps you shape your motivation letter according to the interests of the institution but also to realize if it is what you really want. Maybe yes and that’s great or maybe not, and you want to look at other options; Or maybe not, and you still want to win your exit ticket. It’s up to you.

Strategy 1: Review the Mission and Vision of the institutions and faculties of study to analyze their profile. Use synonyms for the words they use in the motivation letter.

Strategy 2: Check the testimonials section of students (scholarship or not) or employees of the institution. Sometimes they have official videos and what they say also helps you analyze it, find out if you like the program, and send your motivation letter.

Writing the motivation letter

Now that you have done the respective analysis, it is time to write. The motivation letter must have the following points:

1. Title and header

a) Title

“Letter of motivation to [scholarship to which you apply]”

b) Header

  • Full name
  • Address + postal code
  • Telephone
  • E-mail
  • Optional: Skype and social networks
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Header Position: I recommend the top right but the top left can also be done.

2. Introduction:

Formal greeting and to the point mention what is the reason for this letter. “I hereby want to apply for the scholarship published in…. ”. But also briefly state why you apply to it, what motivated you about the program? In this way, you can write shortly what you like about the institution and/or country to which you apply. And finally, don’t forget to mention your goal and how it relates to the goals of the program you are applying to.


“… I have been looking for an international experience to…. And I trust that study program X at institution Y 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 you apply to.

4. How do you contribute

Just as you really want to learn and travel, how do your skills and aptitudes contribute to the university or country? You can put things like “increase the knowledge of my colleagues about my country, participate in sports or art activities, etc”

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5. Show beforehand that you know who you are addressing

You mentioned it in the introduction but here you must give more details of your motivation. According to previous research: Why does the show mean so much to you?

6. Final words

You and I know that you really want to do this, show it! Let the desire be noticed 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 path full of …” etc.

7. Acknowledgments and dismissal

Again, time is extremely valuable, so thank them before ending the letter.

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