Hello, I am applying for a master program in a German university. I need to write a motivation letter following specific requirement. I put the guideline in the first part. I spent a lot of time working on it, and now I need some suggestions. Can anyone help me? I will appreciate it.

Guideline:

1. Personal understanding of “Environmental governance” (one sentence)

2. Motivation to apply in relation to your previous experiences/education (half a page)

3. Motivation to apply in relation to your future aspirations / preferred occupation (half a page)

4. Name three main benefits you expect to gain from the M.Sc. programme (list)

5. Name three main contributions you could make to M.Sc. programme (list)

6. Five arguments/personal characteristics, why you should be selected according to your own view (list).

To the esteemed Graduate Admission Committee,

Majoring in Urban/Rural Planning and Management of Environment in the School of XX, University of XX, as an undergraduate, I would now like to pursue a further study in Environmental Governance.

From my point of view, Environmental governance is to make the stakeholders understand that the promotion of environment can make everyone better off and try to achieve this goal by coordinating conflicts among politics, society, economy and environment.

It is from my concerns about the earth and the reluctance to see it destroyed that my longing for the involvement in environmental governance grows. Back to my early childhood, the bedtime stories about my mum’s hometown introduced the capturing beauty of nature to me: the tweet song, the smell of wet earth, the brisk green breeze. Since then, I have gravitate towards a real touch of that nature on my own, but sadly, it is a wish my parents find difficult to meet. Clean river and fresh air have gone forever since factories flooded into the rural area.

In my third year, I obtained an opportunity of Sino-German Field Trip, which was intensely competitive and financially supported by the DAAD as well as University of XX. As you can see in my CV, our activities comprised of pedestrian exploring, conducting interviews, communicating with professional association, etc. and I think it is similar to the teaching pattern with MEG program. It is in that trip that I encountered Professor XX, who explained the German efforts to reclaim the coal mine and re-settled villages upon Rhineland’s lignite open pits, and later in his course of Environmental Economic Geography I learnt about the case of coal power plants in the Saarland class. I made a comparison of German cities to Guangzhou, where the local government spent ten billion yuan (about one and a half billion Euro) to paint the façade of buildings along the main road so as to make them look tidy and people are working hard for having their private cars due to the horrible experience to use public transportation in rush hours. In addition to concerning about the environmental issues in my study, I spare no effort to volunteer for some environmental protection activities, such as clearing up the seaside, advocating using recycle bags. However, my contribution as a volunteer is so limited and I want to be a sustainability facilitator more than an actor, worldwide more than in a city. This is the fact that impels me devote into study of environmental governance. The University of XX will definitely be a best choice. Considering your excellent education resources and internationalized environment, I can also learn a lot by simply exploring the city of XX, the environmental capital of the world.

In terms of professional career, I see myself serving as an environmental consultant in the early phase and finally a professor in a university. Hopefully I can make contributions to our environment as an advocate for sustainable development.

I am totally aware of the superb reputation that University XX enjoys for her first-class education as well as best opportunities she provides for students to enter the professional world in related fields. This is one of the reasons that motivate me to apply for your program. I believe the working experience in foreign corporations will definitely broaden my views on global environmental issues and governance. This experience will make me more competitive in the job market compared to postgraduates in China. Moreover, the courses offered in the MEG Module are quite practical. The academic training, combined with internship experience, will surely make me competent and competitive in applying for a professional consultant job when I return to China. With sufficient experience and knowledge, hopefully in my 40s, I plan to teach in a university and impart the knowledge of environmental governance to the younger generation. In the meantime, I am willing to serve as a designer about environmental policy for the government or involve in the decision-making on environmental issues. To make a contribution for the environment in China and even the world is my lifetime pursuit.

I am eager to contribute to the experience exchange between China and Germany.Chinais now in an era of rapid development and in great need of successful experience from developed countries. By applying my theoretical background learnt from the MEG program, I make a plan to travel and explore around Germany and write a series of essays with topics on successful German experience for environmental governance. Upon return toChina, I will seek for opportunity to introduce them toChina. In a word, I am sure this postgraduate program will be a great asset to realizing my academic and professional goals.

The three main benefits I expect to gain from the MEG Program are as follows:
  1. Solid academic training. Courses for MEG program are useful and practical. For example, learning the course of Economics, Institution and the Environment, I will be able to price the environmental goods if I work for the official department as a policy maker. Another course of Environmental Conflicts Management, by working in groups on real-world conflicts, I may go through possible problems coming up when managing environmental conflicts, and it will prepare me for future challenges from work. To sum up, what I learn from the MEG program will surely benefit my professional career in the future.
  2. Opportunities to build up my personal network. Firstly, I will meet friends also dedicated in the field of sustainability and environmental governance, who have great potentials to make a difference. We can assist and support each other in the future career. Secondly, chances to visit some official institutions and organizations will provide me with more internships and employment opportunities.
  3. Preparation for working in internationalized working environment. MEG program is a highly internationalized program that selects students from all over the world. It would give me a wealth of learning opportunities every day and I believe this multi-cultural environment of study will help me cooperate with people from different nations. I will be able to better interprete the globalization of environmental issues.
As for what I can do for the MEG program, I think there are three aspects:
  1. Contribute to multi-cultural perspectives. I am able to provide first-hand information aboutChinaand Chinese people.Chinais the largest developing country and is faced with typical environmental issues. Moreover, as a student in geography, I develop a deeper understanding of environmental issues grounded on my academic background. From my German field trip experience and discussions with Professor XX, I know that inGermanythe government can hardly pass a decision or policy which has negative influence on the public or even just a small group of people. However, inChina, the central government is more powerful and economic development is still one of the most important issues. The most effective way to apply environmental governance is to exert pressure on governments in every level. As a Chinese student, I will be able to explain phenomena with China characteristic and may help to solve environmental problems in China and other countries in similar situations.
  2. Able to play a positive role in the group work for the program. Unlike college students working alone in the lab or classroom, I have sufficient teamwork experience for research and field-trip assignment, as you can see in my CV. I have confidence in my communication skills as well as my abilities in disagreement settlement, time management and process control. Moreover, I have sharpened my leadership skills by serving as the Youth Volunteer Institution General Secretary in the past three years, which enables me to deal with whatever challenges in the future group work.
  3. Capable of handling complex conditions/issues and create new ideas. My undergraduate study in urban analysis and planning prepares me to deal with complex and uncertain situations of urban systems similar to those of environmental issues. It is also likely for me to explore the issue from the perspective of urban development and extend the theoretical framework of environmental governance.
I have confidence in my being selected for the following arguments:
  1. I am relatively more experienced. I was lucky to have the opportunity of field trip inGermany, which introduced to me its politics, society and economy through the exploration of German cities and the firsthand communication with German professors and students. Therefore, my plan to pursue my further study inGermanyis based on a personal understanding of what German has achieved in the field of sustainable development. I am clear of what I can benefit from the program and from researches on German practices. Achievements of Freiburg andHamburgappeal to me most. I understand Freiburg has acquired a leading position in solar energy application and intend to figure out how “Freiburg alliance” is united, which comprises decision-makers, businessmen, civil organizations and how a long term development vision, which embraces environmental-friendly policy has multiple benefits for both the environment and local economy, is built. As I have analyzed in my English essay, HafenCity Project inHamburgis renowned for its inherence of ecological sustainability to the design of individual buildings and moreover it is created as a flagship project with a continued advocating for sustainability to the world by numerous publications and newly-opened Osaka 9 HafenCity Sustainability Pavilion.
  2. I am independent. I am a big fan of backpacking. Not only do I enjoy the journey, but also I enjoy getting preparation of it. I have backpacked to some places, such as Macau, Hong Kong,Xiamenand so on. Generally, I search information of the destination, book hostels, buy tickets and most importantly, try all means to talk to someone who already has ever backpacked there. I am accustomed to make sure for every detail and will make a backup plan. To conclude, I have been educated to take responsibility for my own business and thus I stay confident for myself to conduct study abroad.
  3. I am adaptable. I have stayed in different cities in the past ten years. My father is a businessman who used to move from one city to another to take care of his business. I loved to spend my holidays with him in different cities and I could always make new friends. Entering high school, I made my own choice to go to a boarding school, which has a reputation of strict regulations and good learning atmosphere. I felt comfortable and managed daily life well from the very beginning when others suffered from homesick. My university life was in two separated campuses in Zhuhai and Guangzhou. One is a comfortable tourist city while the other is a industrialized metropolis. Moreover, I traveled a lot and experienced various lifestyles.
  4. I am perseverant. Ever since I was ten years old, I have been playing Guzheng, a Chinese classical instrument. For years, I spent three hours practicing every day and it prompted my musical appreciation as well as increasing my patience. I am that kind of person who once set up a goal then will keep up until I get there, whatever difficulties and distraction ahead.
  5. I am sportive. I am one of those few girls who enjoy doing sports on a regular basis and can do well in swimming and badminton. Last year, I fell in love with fencing and then I just got myself a professional coach to train me. So I am physically well-prepared to take the challenge from this program. Moreover, I believe people who have a great passion for sports are more likely to have a positive attitude, which is also important for an environmental advocate. Determination, confidence, open-mindedness and cooperation, these are qualities that I developed over the years on the sports ground.
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Hi Jaime,

You've done a lot of work, which is good. You have obviously given your letter considerable thought.

However, your letter needs a fair amount of work. Given your guidelines, I am not sure if the university wanted each question addressed separately, as you have done, or if it wants all the points to be covered in a business/motivation letter.

I don't have the time to provide extensive assistance, but here are some quick hits.

1) Keep your introduction simple

To the esteemed Graduate Admission Committee,
Majoring in Urban/Rural Planning and Management of Environment in the School of XX, University of XX, as an undergraduate, I would now like to pursue a further study in Environmental Governance.

No need to through in esteemed stuff. Just Dear Sir or Madam, will work.

2) Make it understandable.

From my point of view, Environmental governance is to make the stakeholders understand that the promotion of environment can make everyone better off and try to achieve this goal by coordinating conflicts among politics, society, economy and environment.

I am a reasonably smart person. Yet, I have no clue what that means. Do you? Does anyone else?

Also, stay away from colloquialisms. Rather than making everyone better off, how about trying to enhance the value for everyone. And, I don't think you want to coordinate conflicts. Perhaps reduce conflicts?

3)More of the same.

I am totally aware of the superb reputation that University XX enjoys for her first-class education as well as best opportunities she provides for students to enter the professional world in related fields.

Stay away from "totally" and junk like that. Yeah, dude, this university is totally rad. In general, avoid adverbs and adjectives. Let your actions do the talking.

Also, university are "things" not people. So it provides, not she provides.

So you need to go through your letter and clean up a lot of the unnecesary jargon. Keep it simple, straightforward and concise. I suggest using MS Word grammar checker.

I have begun writing a series of lessons to help students. So far, I have only written two lessons, the first of which is here:

http://www.EnglishForward.com/content/lessons/motivation-letters-part-i.htm

You can find the second lesson from the first.

I hope others, for example AlpheccaStars, might assist you as well. If you are pressed for time and needing assistance, you might wish to contact Mister Macawber. He provides a fee based service as well.

http://www.EnglishForward.com/user/czhq/profile.htm

Although I have never used his services, I know he is excellent with writing and communication. Perhaps he can help you eliminate some of the junk and refocus your letter.
Hello Jamie, It's so surprising to see that we are both writing our motivation letters to the same university in the same night (Thank god we're applying to different MSc programs). I was actually looking for an answer for 5th question. It's really hard to list some impressive contributions that i could make to this program. But comparing to my motivation letter, yours look way better. But it's a bit long i'd say. Anyway good luck with it, I hope you can get admitted to the program.

Cheers.
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Hi! I am really happy to know someone who is applying for the same university. Can you tell me the program you are applying for? I think they give too many requirements for the motivation letter and make it hard to write and even harder to cut it down. I hope we can make friends and share experience if you are ok to tell me your MSN or email. Good luch to both of us and see you in October.
Thank you, friend. I know my motivation letter is bit of too long. I will try to make as simple as I can. Can you comment on the content? Is it impressive or giving enough details? Thank you again!
Jaimie LinThank you, friend. I know my motivation letter is bit of too long. I will try to make as simple as I can. Can you comment on the content? Is it impressive or giving enough details? Thank you again!
As I reread your letter quickly, my initial impressions are that you are an overachiever. However, your accomplished are buried within all that text. You need to make your positive attributes and accomplishments easy to read and appreciate. Otherwise, the reader gets lost amongst all the text. And, then, unfortunately, he or she never appreciates you.

In my lessons, I have highlighted a few other letters. Look at those letters an examples. I hope that helps.
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OK, I know what to do next. Many thanks for your suggestions!
Hey Jaimie I sent you a friend request, there you can find my contact info.

cheers!
I am looking to study Urban PLanning in Europe. Can you share with me which university you are applying to?
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