Motivation letter for a postgraduate program
Hi, I am a swiss-italian student who is applying for some master degrees in International Relations and Peace and Conflict Studies. I am pasting my letter of motivation hoping that someone will be so kind to read it and tell me if you believe it's ok :-)
Thank you very much for your help,
I am hereby applying for entrance to the International Relations program at the*..................... for the 2011 fall term.
First of all, I'd like to present myself: I am ................, a student born in the Italian part of Switzerland in 19XX from a sicilian mother and a swiss father. After completing compulsory education and high school in ................. - my hometown - I lived in Geneva for three years as a student of the local University. In september 2010 I obtained my bachelor in International Relations, after which I decided to spend a year pondering my future options. I therefore moved to China for some time, studying at the Beijing Language and Culture University during two months and spending two other months traveling on my own throughout China in order to grasp – although superficially – the character of the society of this growing power.
After a deep reflection, in part stimulated by my chinese experience, I decided I am going to continue my academic cursus in International Relations, with a special focus in Peace and Conflict Studies.
My interest in International Relations is deep, and stems from my long-standing interest in politics. I've been interested in the organization of society since I was very young, which has always led me to try to understand how and why societies choose to allocate and manage power the way they do. My early commitment in student's committees and unions testifies my beliefs: I am convinced that participation and constant involvement in political matters are the keys to understand political, social and economic developments in the XXI century.
During my high school years, this interest in general politics gradually led me to consider studying Internationl Relations: firstly, the complexity of power management in an anarchical environment hugely fascinated me; secondly, I started to believe that one can't understand national and local politics without understanding the challenges a State must face on the international level, which many political analysts tend to overlook.
The years I spent studying in Geneva proved me right: proceeding in my bachelor studies I realized that every course was greatly improving my ability to analyze – under different and peculiar perspectives – not only international events, but also national politics and the link between the two levels.
During this period the main landmarks in the development of my academic interests have been the courses of Prof. Baudouï (Terrorism and International Relations) and Prof. Clément (Compared Politics II, with a focus on fragile states and civil conflict).
The topic of development and expression of social conflict intrigues me: my “transnational” background – that is, living between Switzerland and Italy – always led me to compare these two political realities, where a multicultural and fragmented State such as Switzerland has a far more peaceful history than Italy, a – relatively – unitary State who has experienced – and to a far lesser extent is still experiencing – phases of severe social unrest.
I therefore decided to shift my bachelor thesis from the analysis of press freedom to the link between the level of participation and the risk of civil war. This experience helped me to realize that civil wars and transnational conflicts are the main sources of violence in the present world, and this trend will become even more pronounced in the future. I am therefore considering to undertake a career in international organizations involved in conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
I decided to apply to your …............... program because I firmly believe that a first-class education is one of the main foundations for a successful career in any serious international institution, which will allow me to acquire greater responsibilities in order to fully exploit my analytical skills and my knowledge.
Preventing violence and discovering new and effective conflict management strategies has always been a key challenge in the field of international relations: I believe I'll be able to bring a valid contribution to this effort, and I would be truly honored if you decided to believe in my commitment and my skills.
Hoping to hear from you soon, please accept my best regards,"