Motivation Letters for future Summer Universities participants

Summer is appoaching and in only few days applications for Summer Universities will close. Writing a motivation letter is always very tiring and sometimes you don’t know what to write, maybe that’s why we keep on putting it off? Therefore here is a guide to help you write a winning motivation letter.  You have already chosen your dream destination for the Summer University of your life. You have successfully logged in (extremely important step) with working username and password from the Intranet. So what to do next?


  • aegeean 1804_1Create an IDEA for your motivation letter, which should reflect how passionate your are to participate in this particular SU and not any other. It can be some imaginary story, some personal facts which lead you to this SU, your real experience, a fairytale or an interview. We don’t put limits to your creativity. Be sincere and work on it.
  • Why exactly do you want to participate in this Summer University? Is it because you adore W.I.N.E. or just because Dublin has always been on the top of your travel list as you want to find Leprechauns? Maybe you have always been dreaming to be a part of cycling lifestyle, therefore you just NEED to participate in Burgundian Bicycles Vol. III SU? Your Grandma comes from Transnistria and your goal is to go back to your roots? Or you just simply don’t think that a trip to Lake Baikal will be complete without crazy AEGEEans? The key to a successful motivation letter is to explain your real motivation, connected to the topic of the SU (not just “I want to lie on Sicilian beaches”). It may sound too obvious, but that’s the way it is. Decide on the concept of your motivation letter and the best way to express it.
  • Be sure your motivation follows a structure. Good news – it is up to you to decide what this structure should look like. However, it is always nice to greet the one who reads your text, to introduce yourself in terms of the topic of the SU, to divide your text into separate paragraphs, connect them with the linking words, to tell some nice stories from your life etc, and to say goodbye in the end. You can establish quite formal structure or to speak to your organisers like to your friends or relatives, if your writing style allows it.
  • cforcreativityC for creativity. What about some additions? We believe that every person in the world is really talented. This is a platform to express your talents! You may sing a song, especially if you wrote it for the SU, draw a nice picture connected to the topic, make a photo collage, write a poem, make a video, do infographics, a PowerPoint presentation, a website with funny facts, whatever. Note: adding these things does not guarantee that you will be automatically accepted. Therefore you really should watch the quality of what you send, filter your ideas and follow one concept. For instance, don’t send just an introductory selfie-video: most probably, it won’t be that original for you to be accepted.
  • Be concise and try to keep your letter short! Not everyone enjoys reading novels or long films as motivation letters. Time may be the most valuable resource in the world, so be respectful about it – don’t put the same ideas twice and use only those that are worth it.
  • If you think your English is not that good… Don’t think so. Most of the participants are not native speakers, therefore, nobody will blame you if you wrote something wrong. However, for better impression you should proofread your text and correct some typos or mistakes. And practice English before the SU! 
  • Fun is always a good idea. We all are young generation of amazing Europeans who really value good sense of humour, which is suitable for this informal style of writing.If you include some jokes or funny facts, it will be easier for you to attract people. Take it in consideration especially when you answer the three questions from organisers in the end. But please remember that you shouldn’t include jokes that are too radical or too personal.


  • Read your motivation letter once again when you are finished. Not just to check the mistakes, but to answer the question: if you were an organiser, would you accept yourself as participant? If your objective answer is “yes”, then your chances are very high.

Good luck with your applications and enjoy the #summerofyourlife! We hope everyone manages to get a place in the Summer University of their dreams.


Written by Yevgeniya Gagarkina, Summer University Coordination Team