How to write a motivational letter

Writing the motivation letters is an important step in the application procedure - the basis on which the organising group selects their participants!

So, where do you start? What should you say? What should you not say?

These guidelines aim to help you write your motivation letter. However, keep in mind that there are no perfect templates or instructions, therefore these general tips and hints are mainly a starting point just to help you write a good motivation letter, increasing your chances of getting accepted!

Where to start?

  • Before applying to any event, you should read the information on the web page carefully. What kind of event will it be? What type of participants are the organisers looking for? etc. Checking the Survival Guide can be helpful in this sense!
  • Local BEST groups can receive up to four hundred applications to their course! Can you imagine reading all those different motivation letters? If you want yours to stand out, then try to be creative, original and funny and capture the attention of your reader.
  • Use only Latin Alphabet since our servers won't recognise other characters.
  • The letter must be written in English.

What to write about?

  • Something about yourself - what you study, what you do in your life, what your hobbies are, sports you do, maybe even what languages you speak... BEST courses are always a lot of fun, so the organisers should know that you will be able to contribute to that!
  • Why do you want to go abroad, and why do you want to go to a BEST event? It is important for the organisers to have internationally minded people.
  • Why do you want to go to THIS particular event you're applying for? Why is the topic attractive? How will the knowledge you gain there help you (in your studies, in your future career...)? BEST courses, for example, have a strong academical part (depending on the level of the course), so it's important for the organisers to know if you're actually interested in the topic!
  • What do you have to offer to the event? In other words, why should the organisers pick YOU? (for example, you're a star in karaoke, you can dance better than Michael Jackson,or you know more than 100 jokes).
  • Sometimes, it is required to inform the organisers that you have sufficient knowledge of the topic of the course. Read the course information on the website carefully in order to find out this sort of information.
  • Explain why you want to go to that specific city or country! It's strongly recommended that you do a small research of the place you're applying to before writing your motivation letters. Organisers like it when applicants show a real interest for the location they're applying to.

What you should avoid?

  • Your letter will be read by students, just like you. So, leave formalities such as "Dear Madam or Sir"!
  • A motivation letter is NOT a curriculum vitae (CV). Don't bother enlisting all the schools you've attended, your grades, the jobs you've done... We want to know the real YOU!
  • You aren't allowed to insert any links in your motivation letter.
  • Be careful and send the appropriate motivation letter to the right place (don't mix them if you apply for several events!).
  • Copy-pasting motivation letters is not recommended. You should aim to make each one personal and unique!
  • Should the motivation letter be long or short? Half to one A4 page is good, and should be enough for the organisers to understand what type of person you are. If it is longer than an A4, they are not going to finish reading it. On the other hand, short motivation letters show that you are not interested! So try to keep the balance.
  • Avoid submitting your applications at the very last minute in order to prevent system crashes.

These are just some general hints - take the ones you want, ignore the others, but in any case, use your own imagination and style and be creative!