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  1. Newbie
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    • Join Date: Mar 2011
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    Letter of Motivation Graduate Programme - PLEASE HELP!

    Hello everybody, I am in the process of applying to a master programme. It would be wonderful if somebody could have a look at my motivation letter. I am not really sure if I did it well, as I had problems with the structure and how to express myself.. Any comments are welcome! Thanks!
    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I am writing to apply to the Master Programme in Global Studies at the University of XX. Having reviewed several graduate programmes I am confident that your School of Global Studies and its interdisciplinary approach best meets my goals and aspirations of furthering my education.

    I have currently completed a comprehensive undergraduate degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of XX. During my studies I gained knowledge of different cultural and social contexts and strengthened my interest in global issues. I especially focused my studies on topics concerning (inter-/transnational) migration, development cooperation and islamic history and its contemporary role.

    Through various internships I had the possibility to look into other areas of research and put my theoretical knowledge into practice. Most recently I spent six months in Lesotho where I, among other things, conducted research to asses gender sensitivity and equality among volunteers, as well as to identify gender roles of men and women in selected rural areas.

    During my time in Southern Africa I experienced the powerful impact of globalisation on the population, which made me realise that I want to continue to focus my studies on this topic and region. As the University of Gothenburg is known for its research interest in African Studies, I am confident that through this programme I will gain a solid foundation in academic theory and practice which will enable me to pursue a career in an international, national or non-governmental organisation.

    Furthermore, Besides speaking English and German fluently, I have good knowledge in Spanish and beginners knowledge in Turkish and Sesotho, which I want to improve in the near future.

    With all my experiences I believe I that I can contribute to the Master Programme of Global Studies, therefore I hope that I will have the opportunity to prove my abilities. I look forward to hearing from you in the near future regarding the success of my application. Should you require further information of any kind, please contact me.

    Yours faithfully,

  2. freezeframe's Avatar
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    Re: Letter of Motivation Graduate Programme - PLEASE HELP!

    It's hard to comment on things like this because each program has its own requirements for what they need in the letter. These should be specified on the application or by the program/department you are applying to.

    Also, be careful of copying sentences suggested by others on the internet.

    Some general comments:

    do not repeat words/phrases

    avoid abstract words and obvious/generalized conclusions: they know you want a degree to get a job; everyone believes they'll contribute; I want to improve my Swedish in the near future, but I probably wont... do you have concrete plan of action on learning the languages? -- provide concrete details and goals

    be as concrete as possible

    don't use cliches -- everyone says that "your program meets my goals" -- how? what goals? specifics?; also avoid "I am confident", maybe you are but they aren't

    Why do you want to go to this particular program? Needs details. They only have "interest" in African Studies? Or do they have some unique resources? Is some expert in the field teaching there? Etc.

    You are trying to stand out in the sea of applications. They've seen every cliche and vague generality in the book. Concrete and specific things stand out and also show that you're prepared and serious.

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