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    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 2

    Smile Motivation letter for University in Amsterdam- can somebody please have a look???

    I have to write a motivation letter in order to be admitted to a university in Amsterdam but I am unsure about the following questions:

    -is my opener too formal? Do I need something more sharp in order to distinguish myself from other applicants like a question or a quote?
    -do I write too detailed?
    -is it right that I mention my deficiencies in th natural sciences or rather not?
    -are my paragraphs divided ina logical way?
    -what about the closing paragraph?

    Thank you so much for your help!!!

    by the way: I have to cut the letter in half as it is too long, so I'll post the secong part as well

    Letter of motivation

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I appreciate this opportunity to provide further background information in support of my application for entrance to the Amsterdam University Collage for the 2010 autumn term.
    I am a German citizen and lived most of my life in Hamburg. I graduated from high school in 2008 and have been travelling around the world as well as working abroad ever since.
    In school I was always highly passionate about politics, history, philosophy and sports but nothing could ever surpass my enthusiasm for languages. Therefore I chose French and Spanish as my intensive courses and in addition to that attended a volunteer English Proficiency course. I was always a very ambitious and active student and keen on debating important questions affecting human life, whether they were of an ethical, political or philosophical nature. My grades in the natural sciences however might give a different impression, but I am ready to do everything possible within my power to change this state by taking a mathematical summer course for instance, and I am sure that I will overcome my deficiencies.

    Regarding my aspiration to become fluent in the languages mentioned however, I also want to state that I did not only put a lot of effort into studying them at school, but also tried to extend my knowledge by reading books and watching movies in different languages, travelling, participating in language tests such as DELF (official French proficiency exam) and also took part in a one-month-school-exchange to Chicago in 2006. Most importantly though did I join Couchsurfing, an international cultural exchange organization, that helped me both furthering my language knowledge as well as broadening my horizons. Couchsurfing is a non-profit community that connects travelers with local people (you stay with a local in their home as a guest) and gives them the base for reciprocal learning about a different culture as well as founding friendships. Henceforth I hosted plenty of people from all over the world: Kanada, South America, The U.S.A or France but also used it whenever I went travelling myself. Apart from sharing hospitality Couchsurfing also enables people to connect in different ways: by offering regular meetings and camping trips for example, which I used to help organize when I was still in Hamburg. For me, Couchsurfing has changed my life, as I have met so many diverse people, I would have never met without it, with dissimilar mindsets, points of view and values, that often triggered me to question my own perspective.

    Aside from my fascination for languages, different cultures and travelling, a lot of my free time is spent going to art expositions and concerts, spending time with friends, reading and above all exercising sports. While I was still in Hamburg I used to be a member of a circus school and played tennis in school whereas I now, depending on the country I am in, primarily go surfing and mountain climbing.

    Furthermore I consider myself a highly environmentally-minded person. As my mother is an exceedingly nature-loving person, she taught me from early on a lot about plants and energy and how to treat and respect my environment. It concerns me when I see in our nowadays world how for example already one fifth of the Amazon rain forest, an essential source of life on earth, has been deforested for economical reasons, neglecting future generations. That was the reason why I joined Greenpeace to change something as an active member, attending gatherings and lectures and also helping in various projects.

    However as I have already mentioned before, one of my great passions is travelling. My mother always raised me to be very independent and so I worked since the age of 14, saving money to be able to go travel and explore the world whenever given the chance. And my big dream, to travel the world, finally became true, after I graduated from high school. As I was still uncertain about my choice of major and knew a lot of people who had hastily made up their mind about this important decision and then regretted it later and dropped out, I was happy to have this perfect opportunity to think carefully about my study choice and get inspired.

    Anyway since over a year I am traveling and already had the chance to explore parts of South East Asia, the whole of Australia and almost all of South America, where I currently still am. During my journey I have met remarkable people with very interesting and varied study subjects and job positions, who influenced me and helped me to develop my personality. I am not as fearful anymore regarding my future as I used to be as I know that I can achieve almost everything I want, provided that I work hard for it.

    In order to afford my travels I worked in hospitality for two months before my departure and also in the same area for four months from May to August 2009 while I was in Australia. This was a useful experience for me as it taught me about working moral in other countries and teamwork in general but also helped me in increasing my level of English proficiency. Moreover I just recently worked for several weeks as a volunteer in the highly under-staffed Bolivian orphanage ‘Millenium’ in Cochabamba (November to December 2009), another shaping station of my journey. During my time there my tasks included washing and feeding the children, but also playing, teaching them songs, numbers and basic English. For me working in an orphanage was very rewarding as I was able to give the children the feeling of love and security, even if it was only for a short amount of time. And seeing the children being so happy in spite of their extreme poverty and their problems, made me realize how happy I should be for coming from a world where education is given to anyone and where everyone has basically the same chances. Hearing about the low living conditions of other countries in the news and then witnessing it oneself, are like chalk and cheese, and this experience reinforced my wish to be able to change something and contribute to decreasing the world’s inequality in my future.

    However I am planning to return to Hamburg soon to be able to be fully prepared in the case I have the chance to start my studies in fall semester in Amsterdam. There is a vast array of reasons why I think that studying ‘Liberal Arts and Sciences’ at the Amsterdam University College is the right choice for me and vice versa why I am the suitable candidate for your institution. First of all I can identify myself very well with your description about who should apply to AUC. I am hard-working and exceedingly motivated and also meet the requirement of feeling at home in an international environment as my travelling and international working experiences show. Also I am curious to learn and discover more about other cultures and have an open frame of mind, which are also indispensable assets if you plan to study on an international campus.

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 2

    Smile part 2: Motivation letter for University in Amsterdam

    Apart from that does the AUC appeal to me for its unique academic programme, which offers a broad range of courses I am interested in and also its great location in the multicultural city of Amsterdam, which I had already the chance to visit several times.
    I dreamed about a University that would somewhat resemble school in terms of choosing many courses and also different learning methods as in offering projects, and thus not restricting one the way most single-subject university programmes do. Hence I would be able to combine all of my academic interests by having the possibility to study or rather continue another language as a first-year requirement, but also be able to choose a Social systems theme and an elective course in Classical and Political Thought and thus incorporating my curiosity for politics and history and last but not least even be able to further my interest for the environment as in electing the Introduction to Environmental Sciences course.

    What I also admire also about the AUC academic programme is the opportunity to take part in an internship or to study abroad for a semester in the second or third year. During the years I studied Spanish and French in school, but also on vacations I spent in the named countries, I learned a lot about their amazing culture and lifestyle and would therefore like to spend an exchange semester there. Other than that I also think that a small student to teacher ratio contributes to a good learning atmosphere, the way it is at AUC. Finally it also appeals to me that the students live together on one campus, as this creates a more familiar ambiance and brings students closer together. When I contacted a student of AUC she also told me that in only one year the student body has already managed to establish a newspaper, a drama class, a band and a student bar. If I would be admitted to AUC I would love to have the chance to join one of those student activities like the drama class or build up a new sports club for example.

    My plan after finishing AUC is, as far as I have decided, to study International Relations, as this subject integrates various themes I am interested in such as global politics, cultural studies, anthropology, philosophy and history and I think that the AUC academic programme would give me a solid and well-rounded base for that. Subsequent to that I I would like to work internationally in a governmental or non-governmental human rights, foreign policy or international aid organization. My dream is to change something for the better in this world . It is a coincidence where we are born and doesn’t mean we are in any way more valuable or better than another individual. In my opinion we have to be grateful for the luck to be born in such a cultivated world, full of possibilities, and it is our responsibility to help the disadvantaged and exploited on this planet, who are not able to help themselves.

    Yours faithfully,

  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner

    • Join Date: Jan 2010
    • Posts: 1

    Re: Motivation letter for University in Amsterdam- can somebody please have a look???

    I am currently studying at AUC. =)
    I am not a professional at all, but your motivation letter does seem a bit on the long side to be honest..

    With kind regards,

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