motivation letter

#Foititips: How to write a motivation letter

Translated by Nancy Panagoulopoulou

Based on the original article in Greek by Gianna Anagnostou

Dear postgraduate student,

The first thing you need to consider, if you are ready and you fully intent to continue your studies abroad for a Master’s degree, is your motivation letter. This is a letter that you sent to the university you have applied to, and its main goal is to give a first good impression and shortly present yourself.

Before you start though, you need to know the difference between a motivation letter and a cover letter. The first kind is addressed to universities and has a more personal character, while the second is meant for job applications.

Before you start the letter

The best strategy is to really know the university in which you aim to study. Visit the website to find anything you need to know about its demands, its expectations, the institution’s philosophy and the requirements for all prospective students.

How to start a letter

If you know whom you are addressing to, use their name- if not, start by addressing them as “Dear Sir/Madam”. Start by aiming to win them over with the very first sentence, thus grabbing their attention. Don’t use clichés or platitudes, but explain why you want to join the program.

How to write a motivation letter
  • Write an outline with your main ideas and anything extra you might want to add.
  • Why do you think this particular University and Master’s Degree are interesting and right for you?
  • The font, the paragraph structure and the physical outlines of your letter are also very important.
  • Focus on your relevant experience, your qualifications and your positive personality traits. You can refer to your CV for more details.
  • Don’t write more than 1 page. Most motivation letters are about half a page long. Also, take good care of your letter’s structure (3 paragraphs).
How to close the letter

Sum up the most important points of your letter, speak again of your desire to participate in the program and don’t forget to add your full name and signature.


Remember to maintain a formal writing style, to be authentic and mainly to not write false information about yourself. Your vocabulary should be simple, without pompous or stuffy expressions, so that reading your letter is easy to read. You can also ask advice from someone else, someone who has sent a motivation letter herself/himself, before you send it –a friend, professor or anyone else. Hearing another person’s opinion can be really useful.

Even if you fail in your first attempt, keep trying and you will succeed! If your motivation letter proves successful, start preparing for the interview.

Αν επιθυμείς να διεκδικήσεις υποτροφίες στην Ελλάδα ή το εξωτερικό, ο Οδηγός Υποτροφιών του citycampus που μόλις κυκλοφόρησε σου προσφέρει ό,τι χρειάζεσαι!