<>Please, could you help me with my motivation letter?

Just to fill you in, I’m from Brazil and I’m applying for an exchange program with German universities. The deadline is 31st August (this Wednesday), at 23h in Brazil (that is, if I'm not mistaken, 3.00 am in London). I know it’s a little close to the deadline (but I’ve just got to know this forum) so I would greatly appreciate if you could help me. Even if you don’t manage to answer soon enough (i.e., you only manage to answer this post after the 31st), please do answer because I will be able to try another exchange program soon and I want to have a good model. I will be very thankful!

I know that more than one person will read the letter and I don’t know who will read this. Also, the letter is to be sent via an Internet form, so I wrote “dear sir or madam”.

By the way, I have learned that following that phrase should come a comma “,”, but I saw in this forum you suggesting it should be a colon “:”. What should I do?

We are advised to write between 1 and 2 pages – I wrote 1,5 pages, so, although it may seem, it is not too big. People in the past years who have written less than one page were criticized for not having written “enough”.

We are evaluated for the letter, CV and grades in the university. If I am approved, I will be called to an interview, which will decide if I will go or not.

I took out my personal details but I’ll post here so that it’ll be easier for you to understand.
Engenharia Mecatrônica: mechatronical engineering
Aaa: my university
Bbb: another engineering university

Also:
Aaa offers opportunity for students to learn German. And those students, like me, are preferred to enter the program.

By the way, should I sign with my initial, i. e, "J. S." if my name was "John Smith", or should I sign "John Smith" after the "Enthusiastically"?
Other doubt: is it OK to use the "Enthusiastically"?

Thanks to all those who help me.

Now starts the letter:
_____

My city, 28th August 2005.

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am a third year student of Engenharia Mecatrônica at aaa. Since I am interested in mechanical engineering and Germany is considered a reference country in that field, I am writing to apply for the Graduation Exchange with German Universities.

At the end of 2002 I have enrolled in two entrance exams (Vestibulares): one for Aaa and another for bbb, the latter being known for having the most difficult entrance exam in Engineering among the Brazilian ones. Having passed both exams, I started attending classes at BBB, as they started one month earlier. I lived on my own in BBB’s accommodations for this month, but decided at last to move to Aaa. Among the reasons, at Aaa I would have the opportunity to enter an exchange program. Then, at the end of 2004, I started the German classes offered by Aaa in order to be able to take part in this program.

The reasons for me to have chosen this exchange are many. Firstly, I want to further improve my strong technical skills, which can be achieved by studying in Germany, a country worldwide known for having very good Engineering Universities and Industries in mechanical engineering. Secondly, we live in a very dynamic world, which requires flexibility and creativity, and, in these modern times of Globalization and the Internet, it is also important for people to get in touch with other languages and cultures, not to mention networking. On an exchange program, I will meet different kinds of people and cultures that will give me different points of view, hence contributing for flexibility and creativity, besides the cultural gains. Thirdly, it is crucial to have a deep and solid education in order to solve the most diverse types of technical problems, to be able to pass on ideas, and to have a critical understanding of problems and solutions. This solid education will be certainly obtained through the analytical and abstraction abilities gained while attending classes in the exchange program, as qualities that are generally associated with German people are Methodology, Logical Reasoning and Abstraction Abilities. Last but not least, by entering this program, it will be easier to enter German and multinational enterprises, as the German Universities are reputable.

Moreover, I will be able to achieve personal development by dealing with some of my shortcomings and improving some of my qualities. One of the flaws I intend to handle is that I should learn to pay attention to what other people say, as this is something I sometimes fail to do. As I will be in a place with a different culture and language, I will need to pay more attention to the others, as they will be able to help me in the little problems I shall have. Besides that, when I was studying at BBB, living in another town, I improved my self-knowledge and learned to live independently. This time, in a longer experience and now that I am older, my personal gains will be much higher. Among the qualities I want to develop are Persistence and Responsibility. I already am persistent and responsible as I finish activities I have started, struggle for the things I want and rarely give up. Even then, there is always room for improvement and studying in Germany will be of great importance to improve myself as I will be living on my own, face adverse situations, make decisions for which I will be held responsible, and I will experience freedom that, combined with responsibility, will provide personal development.

I have always liked Engineering. I like problem solving and figuring things out. When younger, I used to take toys apart and then put them together again to understand how they worked. Nowadays I still like fixing broken things. I have always done well in math and sciences since these subjects fascinate me. Besides that, I am curious and have initiative, and I used to do chemical experiments on my own. I also played a lot of sports as a kid. I learned the values of teamwork, how to create strategies, how to work hard, how to focus and concentrate, and how to balance my time and priorities. In addition, communication and languages are two areas of knowledge that attract me. I now speak seven languages and do not want to stop learning new ones. The reason why I chose Engenharia Mecatrônica is because I have always had a special fascination for robots, mechanical devices and electronics and I have always liked building things and creating devices, specially those that were similar to simple robots, for example, I created a presence alarm and I motorized a car when I was younger. After I graduate, I intend to pursue my career in Engineering and work as a Project Engineer in a multinational automation or mechanical industry. Then, after some years, I have the intention to do a master’s in a subject relationed with my future work.

To sum up, I consider my qualifications and interests, as exposed above, to be sufficient to enable me to make a good course at one of the German Universities from the Exchange program and make good use of all the knowledge I gather throughout this program in the future and later career. At the same time, having this opportunity would mean very much to me, as it would be the result of three years of work.

I look forward to your positive response.

Enthusiastically,

alhd

Hello Alhd,

I'm sorry we were not able to help you in time but I hope your application is successful.

Your letter is answering their questions and gives a good sense that you are strongly motivated to do this particular course and in the exchange programme.
Thanks for the answer. I will continue to work on this letter because I want to try other exchange programs.

As the results for this will take time to be published, I'll continue to improve this letter, to send (of course, slightly modified) to other exchange programs.

Please, could you help me with the ideas? Correcting English is not so important, as some of my future letters will be sent in other languages, but the ideas I wrote in it MUST be very good.

Can you help me with that? Can you help me improve my letter?