Hello,

I've just finished my letter for the Master's Programme in International Studies. I have read many posts and general advises and tried to follow them, but still might need help. Could somebody (native speaker?) take a glance at it and just drop me a line of what impression it gives or maybe help with my mistakes? I really appreciate your help and time.

The letter was a part of the application form, and the question sounded "Short description of your future plans/why you wish to take part in the MAIS programme".
Thank you so much for doing all this!
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I am writing to apply for the Master of Advanced International Studies.

I graduated in June 2004 from *** State University with a degree in international relations. My specialization focuses on international integration and organizations. Having a strong interest in the European region I would like to concentrate my further studies on the European integration and to deepen my knowledge in international affairs. The MAIS programme offers an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the various processes in the changing world and analyse the role of the European integration playing in it. Such skills would be essential in obtaining my career goals.

I intend to be occupied in international field of work related to multinational interactions within Europe in the global aspect. Especially, my ambition regards being a part of international organization connected with constructing multiple links, especially in the field of human rights, between the EU and Central and Eastern Europe including my country. The significant changes in the old system of international cooperation have created a wide field for research and analyse of the new possibilities and the new challenges that both sides have to handle.

Due to my various international experiences, deep interest in other cultures and strong abilities to foreign languages I have chosen to study international affairs in the university. Providing me with a wide range of knowledge it has also taught me systematical researching, analytical thinking and information evaluation. Moreover, these studies created the want to broaden my attainments concerning similar issues in order to obtain my career objectives.

The European matters have taken my interest at the third year in the university when I took several courses devoted to institutional basics of European integration in the context of globalization. Learning about the EU history and the modern processes of its enlargement provoked my desire to assess the special difficulties upon integration faced by Western and Eastern Europe due to their differences in political structure, democratic development and human rights dimension. These issues have also led me to participation in 2004 in the summer programme in Germany concerning the topical issues of growing Europe. It provided me with deeper insight of European relations and increased my interest in focusing my further education on this field.

I believe that I have a solid foundation, but through the Master’s programme I hope to develop expertise in international studies focusing on the European integration. Considering my special interest in pursuing carrier in international organizations I am highly motivated to visit their headquarters in ***. Comprehensive academic programme enriched by interesting excursions, adherence to human rights and tolerance of the studies, international reputation and multicultural environment, location in one of the most beautiful places in the world and the possibility to strengthen foreign languages are my prior reasons for applying to the ***.
Hi Valeria,

It seems we missed your previous letter. I am sorry that happened.

Valeria, your letter is much too vague. Here, let me give you some examples:

1) "Having a strong interest in the European region I would like to concentrate my further studies on the European integration and to deepen my knowledge in international affairs."

What does that mean? You need specifics.

2) "Such skills would be essential in obtaining my career goals."

Such as?

3)
I intend to be occupied in international field of work related to multinational interactions within Europe in the global aspect. Especially, my ambition regards being a part of international organization connected with constructing multiple links, especially in the field of human rights, between the EU and Central and Eastern Europe including my country. The significant changes in the old system of international cooperation have created a wide field for research and analyse of the new possibilities and the new challenges that both sides have to handle.


I think that could mean anything you want it to mean.

4)
Due to my various international experiences, deep interest in other cultures and strong abilities to foreign languages I have chosen to study international affairs in the university.


What international experiences, what other cultures, and what other languages?

The rest of your letter follows the same pattern.

This reminds me of a former classmate who wrote....

"We tested various equipment and found various inaccuracies with some of the tests to arrive at a conclusion" (or words to that effect)

The prof wrote back....

I took off various marks for various reasons and was unable to give many marks to some of the aspects of your report. (again, words to that effect)

You need specifics. If people start guessing, they will simply ignore your paper. So you need to be concise, to-the-point, and specific.

Because I don't know your specifics, I am unable to correct your letter. So I suggest you try rewriting your letter with more specifics.

MountainHiker

MountainHiker, thank you very much!

Yes, I had a feeling it was a bit of pointless too. I guess I am just trying to hide the fact that I'm not sure what exact position I want to have. I will work on it and get back with updated one at the soonest.

Valeria
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Dear Mountainhiker,
I have reorganaised my letter a bit trying to make it clearer and simpler.
I still decided to leave the last sentence of the first paragraph as it is because I start talking about my career objectives right in the next one.
I added info about the languages. But I also attach quite a detailed CV with the application from where it is possible to see my intercultural experiences. So I felt like it would be repeating of what they already know.

So, this is a second version:
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I am writing to apply for the Master of Advanced International Studies.

I graduated in June 2004 from *** State University with a degree in international relations. My specialization focuses on international integration and organizations. Having a strong interest in the European region I would like to further specialize on the European integration and to receive a wider knowledge in international affairs. The MAIS programme offers an excellent opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the various processes in the changing world and to analyse the impact and role of European integration within this context. Such skills would be essential in furthering my career goals.

My broad goal is to work in an international environment. In particular I would like to work in an international organisation that has pan-European links and that can work with the EU in its relations with other regions.

My ambition is to be part of an organization working in the field of human rights, focussing on the EU and its influence on Central and Eastern Europe including Russia. The significant changes in the old system of international cooperation have created a wide field for research and analysis of the new possibilities and new challenges that both sides have to understand.

International affairs is a natural choice for me because of my various international experiences, deep interest in other cultures and strong abilities to foreign languages i.e. English, German, French and Spanish. Undergraduate study has provided me with a wide range of knowledge. It has also taught me systematical research techniques, analytical thinking and information evaluation. Moreover, these studies created the desire for further study, and to broaden my experience.

In third year at university I took several courses devoted to the fundamental issues of European integration in the context of globalization. I was studying from a Russian perspective, but learning about the recent history of the EU made me aware of the special difficulties faced by Western and Eastern Europe countries when they have joined the EU, or are seeking membership. Each country has a different ethnic history, political structure, democratic development and human rights dimension. My interest in these issues encouraged me to participate in the 2004 in the summer programme in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, concerning the topical issues of growing Europe organised by ***. This course in turn provided me with deeper insight into European relations and made me want to focus my further education on this field.

I believe that I have a solid foundation, but through the Master’s programme I hope to develop expertise in international studies focusing on the European integration. The comprehensive academic programme, adherence to human rights, the progressive study ethic, international reputation and multicultural environment combined with a location in one of the most beautiful places in the world and are my reasons for applying to the ***.
Valeria,

This is getting better, but you got a ways to go yet.

Here's where I am still struggling....

If someone said, MH, "Describe Valeria," I'd be lost. I don't know much about you, and that is the purpose of this letter. While you need to discuss other stuff to relate your interests, this letter is about YOU. So if EU relations fascinate you, fine tell me why. Don't give me a treatise in this letter about EU relations. What I want to know is why does it fascinate you?

I think you want to provide more of a "picture" of Valeria. Tell us why you are fascinated by topic A. Give us lots of background on why. Tell us how you plan to use that knowledge. Here you can be brief and vague. "I want to gain a solid foundation in understanding the challenges and opportunities that countries joining or about the join the EU will have to take into consideration. I plan to use my knowledge to help companies (countries, citizens, space aliens) position themselves for change."

Get an education to give you options. So no need to be specific. Instead, tell us why you are interested.

With regard to the letter and CV, pretend that there is a Chinese Wall between the two documents. Don't assume that they've read your CV first. Or that they will consult your CV. Make your letter a complete stand alone document.

MountainHiker
MountainHiker,
I think I understand what you mean....
My brain is boiling, but the stupid letter has to be sent really soon:(
How long do you usually on line? I will try to post a better version in couple of hours or so, would you have a chance to take a look at it today/tonight? If not, then hope to "talk" to you tomorrowEmotion: smile
Thanks!
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Valeria,

Today is not the best day for me. What you might want to do is post your letter here on the forum and also send me a copy in MS Word format to my e-mail at (removed by moderator; please leave it in your profile) and remove the 'sleep' from my e-mail. I added the additional text to fool spam bots that cruise the Internet looking for addresses.

I find it a lot harder to edit online than I do in MS Word. Also, even though I might appear to be online, often I am not. I use Firefox browswer and often I just leave one tab on English Forums, even though I am doing something else or even away from the PC entirely.

I look forward to seeing what we can do.

The "private version" can include your school name (and anything else) etc., as obviously it won't be seen by the masses. This is not an invitation to share, but rather a note that you need not be as cautious.

MountainHiker
Ok, this is the child of my evening activity today... I have also sent the copy of it on your email address, MountainHiker. Thanx for your time!

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I am writing to apply for the Master of Advanced International Studies.

I graduated in June 2004 from *** State University with a degree in international relations. My specialization focuses on international integration and organizations. During my studies at the university I took a course devoted to the fundamental issues of European integration which influenced my deep interest in this field.

I find the European relations very interesting to study because they create a unique organization of interdependent states with different ethnic history, political structure, democratic development and human rights dimension. This affects the whole system of international cooperation. I am interested in learning and analysing the modern intergovernmental affairs in the conditions of changing Europe. I hope to use my knowledge in an international institution that has pan-European links and that can work with the EU in its relations with Central and Eastern Europe including Russia, especially in the field of human rights.

In my graduate project I analysed the widening process of the Council of Europe to the East in the last ten years. This made me aware of the special difficulties faced by Western and Eastern Europe countries in their connection development. After graduation I took part in the summer programme in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany, concerning the topical issues of growing Europe organised by ***. This course in turn provided me with deeper insight into European relations and made me want to focus my further education on this field.

International affairs is a natural choice for me as I always had passion for travelling, experiencing new cultures and studying foreign languages. My final year of high school I spent as an exchange student in the USA. Moreover, I enjoyed working in multinational environment of summer camps in the United Kingdom and the United States. These experiences influenced my development into a broad-minded person as they, no doubts, perfected my English language skills. Besides, I have studied French in the university and also taking private lessons of Spanish and German. I am fascinated to practice these languages with multiple foreign clients at my mother’s law company where I have been working for the past two years.

I believe that with my work and studies I have a solid foundation, but through the Master’s programme I hope to develop expertise in international studies focusing on the European integration. The comprehensive academic programme, adherence to human rights, the progressive study ethic, international reputation and multicultural environment combined with a location in one of the most beautiful places in the world and are my reasons for applying to the ***.