Admission or rejection. To some extent, your motivation letter will influence your application to a university abroad. It’s either you get in or just try again. 

Getting to a university in itself is a competition. And even with outstanding grades and a long list of extracurriculars, you may find yourself at a disadvantage with a poorly written motivation letter. 

How can you write a motivation letter that could guarantee you a spot in your dream university? It’s a challenging process but it’s not impossible.

Quick Things to Remember

In some cases, universities would provide you with the specific mechanics of writing a motivation letter. But it’s more frequent that students are required to come up with their own letters.

The tone is essential in a letter. Too much specificity sounds mechanic, inauthentic, and devoid of creativity. But sounding laid-back and more informal eliminates conviction.

The motivation letter is a personalized essay but you shouldn’t make too many personal points. You can mention your weakness but highlight your strengths for the most part.

Lastly, don’t try to impress the selection committee with highfalutin words. They’re highly intelligent people and have encountered all types of complex words before. What they need to read are fresh and new ideas. Give them something to think about.

Start With an Engaging Introduction

Hook the selection committee’s attention with a catchy introduction. This is the most vital part of your motivation letter. Whether they’ll proceed to read your letter or dismiss it depends on how well you write this part.

Don’t start with a common thought or a quote that has been used countless times before. Make it unique by personalizing the idea but refrain from sounding informal. 

Share Your Reasons for Studying Abroad

What was it that pushed you to study abroad? Think about what compelled you to pack your bags and apply for a school overseas. Is it your passion for learning or the chance for meaningful personal growth?

Don’t include reasons that are simple and shallow such as meeting foreigners for fun. Remember that studying abroad is competitive and students often apply to one because they truly need it.

Adding irrelevant reasons makes your case seem less important than a student going abroad for bigger goals. You’re robbing yourself of a chance when you do this.

Outline Why You Want to Take a Specific Program

Each university has its specific criteria with its programs. Make sure that your motivation letter is aligned with your program’s requirements.

It’s generally effective to discuss how you think your program will benefit you in life. Then move on to discuss what motivates you to attend your courses.


Read your motivation letter and fix grammatical errors and technical mistakes. You can also have someone else read your letter and get their thoughts.

Proofread many times and revise if necessary. Once you’re totally happy with your essay, it’s time to send it.

A motivation letter would either get you admitted or rejected to your dream university. To get more tips on preparing entry requirements for your admission, make sure to stay updated with the latest stories here at MSM Unify.

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