How to write a good motivation letter

Your selection to the Summer School depends on an excellent motivation letter. This means that you need to convey all your points in 400 words! It is very difficult to say who you are in so little space.

But here are a few pointers that will help you:

  1. What kind of students are we looking for? We are looking for people who can be leaders and who can make a difference in the world we live. The world desperately needs good professionals who can plan and design sustainable, fair and inclusive cities. But in order to be able to do that, you need to have a few qualities and skills, but most importantly, you need to understand what “sustainable”, “fair” and “inclusive” mean. These are not just beautiful words: there is A LOT of literature exploring these concepts. If you are curious, entrepreneurial, motivated, idealist, you need to express this in your letter (but just “saying” doesn’t help: you need to be able to demonstrate it!)
  2. What do you need to say in your letter? Basically: WHO ARE YOU? What are your dreams and aspirations? What are your worries? What are your goals?
  3. Tell us the highlights of your CV. Your education, the languages you speak, your internships and training.  Have you graduated with honours? Have you followed extra-curricular courses?
  4. Tell us what makes you different: do you have hobbies? Do you have a business? Would you like to have a business? Are you an artist? Are you a geek? Do you read novels? Are you an activist or do you have a cause?
  5. I am a very shy person, what shall I do? There is nothing wrong with being shy. You need to value your personality for who you are. But you must try to express yourself.
  6. What qualities can you bring to the Summer School?
  7. How can the Summer School contribute to your education?