How to Write a Motivation Letter for Study Abroad [+ 5 Tips & Examples]

Motivation Letter for Study Abroad
Created by Cake

Are you looking to take the first step to independence and study in another country? Well, a letter of motivation to study abroad, also known as a letter of intent to study abroad, is a good place to begin! Studying abroad is a challenge, and a motivation letter is a great way to boost the strength of your application package and show admissions officers that you have what it takes to survive and thrive in a foreign country, and develop both personally and professionally.

A motivation letter for studying abroad differs from a cover letter in that the former is written to apply to an educational institution, whereas the latter is strictly used for job applications. 

Motivation letters reflect the person you are and show your individuality that makes you a strong applicant by describing your strengths, skills, and personal interests. A strong motivation letter for studying abroad will show that you are qualified to pursue higher education at the institution of your choice, prove that your personality extends beyond what your academic records say, and show that you have the potential to make the most out of the opportunity that could be given to you. 

Need help writing a motivation letter for studying abroad? These tips and tricks will help you to craft your motivation letter for studying abroad and land the opportunity of a lifetime!

The Structure of Motivation Letter for Studying Abroad

Similar to a traditional cover letter, the components of a motivation letter for studying abroad are as follows:

The letterhead for a motivation letter for studying abroad, much like a traditional cover letter, is divided into three sections: your information, the date, and the addressee’s information (in this case, the admissions officer). 

Letterhead

The letterhead for a motivation letter for studying abroad, much like a traditional cover letter, is divided into three sections: your information, the date, and the addressee’s information (in this case, the admissions officer).

Introduction

The introduction of your motivation letter to study abroad is where you introduce yourself and your motivation for writing. Express your interest in the program you are applying to and give personal and professional reasons for wanting to study abroad. 

Remember, studying abroad is not easy or cheap! When reading your motivation letter for studying abroad, universities place great importance on the reason for you choosing to study abroad as opposed to studying in your home country. 

Body

The body section of your motivation letter to study abroad is where you sell yourself. This section will comprise the bulk of your letter, which gives you the space to fully prove your potential. In this section of your motivation letter to study abroad, you can include your:

  • Education history: Your motivation letter for studying abroad should contain your relevant educational background, including any degrees, certifications, or training that you have undergone.
  • Work experience: Highlight your prior working experience to show your ability to apply your skills and qualifications in a practical setting. 
  • Soft and hard skills: Studying abroad extends beyond academic competency. Your motivation letter for studying abroad must include the skills you possess that will aid your success in a foreign country. These skills range from simple prior international experiences to fluency in other languages!
  • Career goals: Describe your plans for the future. Universities will consider you as a stronger candidate if you have the vision to see HOW you will achieve your dreams!

Conclusion & CTA

Your motivation letter for studying abroad should include a call to action by relating your anticipation of further communication with the university. Close your motivation letter for studying abroad with a brief statement that highlights your competencies and shows that you are ready for the opportunity of a lifetime! 

How to Write a Motivation Letter for Studying Abroad

Writing a motivation letter for studying abroad requires a level of introspection, as you have to formulate your letter in a way that convinces the admission officer that you are the best candidate for the opportunity.

Here are the most important things to remember when writing your motivation letter to study abroad:

Review the program requirements.

Before writing your motivation letter for studying abroad, review the requirements of the university and program you are applying to.

Some important points to look out for when writing your motivation letter for studying abroad are:

  • Matriculation requirements for your applied program
  • Required qualifications (language, degree, etc.)
  • Cost of living, tuition, travel, and other expenses
  • If writing a motivational letter for a scholarship to study abroad, consider the terms and scope of the scholarship

Describe your relevant qualifications.

Embellish your motivation letter for study abroad through a detailed explanation of your relevant qualifications, including work experience, training, and other skills that make you a more competitive candidate.

Qualifications that reflect well on a letter of intent to study abroad include:

  • Fluency in the language of the country you are traveling to
  • Work experience
  • Cultural intelligence

Talk about the motivation for wanting to study abroad.

Mention the importance of studying in a foreign country in your motivation letter to study abroad. Admissions officers look for candidates who want to study abroad for reasons other than the sake of traveling. In your letter of intent to study abroad, demonstrate how the opportunity to live in a foreign country aids in personal development and would help achieve your professional goals. 

The motivation to study abroad is highly personal, and your letter should be the same. You can use these as a guide for your letter of motivation for studying abroad:

  • Experience a new culture that is different from that which you have been raised in
  • Personal and professional development 
  • Learn in a high-quality education environment

Recall any previous study abroad experiences.

Studying abroad means time away from your home and family. Including prior experiences in other countries in your letter of motivation to study abroad shows admissions officers that you understand what being away from home is like, and that you are capable of adapting to foreign circumstances.

A lack of international exposure is no problem, too! The opportunity to study abroad is the first experience that many will have in another country.

Here are some replacements you can include as part of your letter of motivation to study abroad:

  • Prior volunteer/work experience away from home
  • An adaptable personality
  • A desire to learn from and experience new cultures and ideas 

Explain the personality traits that make you suitable for studying abroad.

Studying abroad is not for everyone. Studying abroad will require you to be open to new cultures, people, experiences, and ideas. 

Stand out among others in your letter of motivation for studying abroad by including personality traits and characteristics that make you an ideal candidate that will both learn and grow from exposure to these things. These can include:

  • Adaptability 
  • Cultural awareness
  • Interpersonal communication
  • Open-mindedness
  • Resourcefulness
  • Independent mindset

Motivation Letter for Study Abroad Example

Here is an example of a motivation letter for studying abroad you can use as a guide to crafting your own!

Valentin Jovana
Undergraduate Student
2062 Rose Avenue
Metairie, LA 70007
504-335-3369
[email protected]

July 20, 2022

Beatrice Earnestine
Admission Officer
Northern University
Berlin, Germany

Dear Mrs. Earnestine, 

I am writing to express my intent to pursue a master’s degree in European Studies at your prestigious institution. 

When I was young, my parents and I took a trip to Germany where I was exposed to a culture of which I had no subsequent knowledge. The diverse language, people, culture, and society amazed me and instilled a deep-rooted passion to someday return and experience it in its entirety. This year, I came across your institution and realized that I had the potential to realize this long-standing dream of mine. 

Growing up, my parents instilled a deep sense of service which later translated into a passion to be a part of the change I wish to see in the world. I have a bachelor’s degree in international relations with a minor in German and three years of working experience in the Foreign Ministry. I believe that my strong academic background and professional experiences have equipped me with the necessary skills and qualifications to meet and exceed the demands of this degree and will both support and drive my personal development and career objectives. 

My adaptability and appreciation for culture are key strengths that will lend a hand to my acclimation to life in Germany. I am an open-minded person with a passion for new experiences, and I believe that my acceptance into your reputable European Studies program will be influential in helping me realize my personal and professional dreams. 

I would like to close my letter of motivation for studying abroad by thanking you for evaluating my application. I would be honored to be considered for a seat in your program. I look forward to hearing from you soon. 

Respectfully, 
Valentin Jovana

Tips on How to Write a Letter of Motivation for Study Abroad

Now that we have seen a sample letter of motivation for studying abroad, here are some killer tips for writing and nailing your motivation letter for studying abroad.

💡 Show your knowledge & sincere interest in the program.

In your letter of intent for studying abroad, present a genuine and sincere interest in the program you are applying to. Universities appreciate and will consider your application highly if you display knowledge of the country you want to move to and the program you are applying to. 

💡 Express yourself and add a touch of personality. 

Personalize your letter! Your letter of motivation to study abroad should, above all, be a reflection of you and your goals. Distinguish yourself in your letter of motivation by including why studying abroad is important to you. This reason is unique to you and adding an anecdote or other personal tidbit of information will go a long way in individualizing your reasons for studying abroad and writing your letter of intent!

💡 Be direct and clear.

Don’t beat around the bush. Your letter of motivation for applying to study abroad should only include relevant information that directly supports your odds of acceptance into the program you applied to. Adding extraneous information dilutes the message you are trying to make and can shift the focus from your skills to the unnecessary information. 

💡 Demonstrate a genuine need. 

Seats in university programs are always limited and demand is exceptionally high for more prestigious institutions. In any letter of intent for studying abroad, and especially for motivation letters for a scholarship to study overseas, ensure you state a genuine need to receive the opportunity you are applying to. 

In the case of motivation letters to receive a scholarship to study abroad, highlight why you applied for the scholarship and domesticate the need to receive the financial assistance that it will provide.

💡 Ask for other people’s opinions.

Before submitting your motivation letter to study abroad, seek the opinions of others on how your letter reads. Oftentimes, while your writing and tone are appropriate to yourself, they may fall short to others. Ensure that the tonality, grammar, and punctuation are all in order before you submit your letter of intent to study abroad. 

🔑 Key Takeaways 

Whether it be a motivation letter for a scholarship to study abroad or a simple letter of intent for studying abroad, taking the time to craft a well-written one sets you apart from other similarly qualified applicants, and can potentially redirect attention from weaker parts of your application package to focus on your strengths!

When writing your motivation letter for studying abroad, remember to keep in mind the following points:

  • Your motivation letter for studying abroad should have only relevant information, including your motivation for writing, work experience, international exposure experiences, educational background, and skills that make you a more competitive candidate.
  • A letter of motivation for studying abroad should convince the admissions officer that you have the most potential to gain from the experience of studying abroad. Include details of yourself that will distinguish you from other applicants.
  • Make sure that the tone, grammar, and word choice in your letter of intent for studying abroad read well to other people. Ask for help in reviewing your letter after you write it!

A powerful and engaging motivation letter for studying abroad can make the difference between your acceptance or rejection from the university of your choice. Take the time to reflect on your life experiences and skills before writing to ensure that your letter of motivation to study abroad is a true reflection of yourself and your dreams of personal and professional development! Best of luck!

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--- Originally written by Alexander Coye ---

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