Parent Resource

How to Write a Letter of Intent for Studying Abroad?

By Carol Duke

Thinking about studying abroad? A lot of educational programs require applicants to submit a letter of intent. This letter could be as short as a single page, explaining the reason you wish to pursue an education in a different country. With a well-written and highly convincing letter of intent, you can begin an exciting new chapter in your life.

If you don’t know how to get started with writing a strong personal statement, read further and check out some useful tips below:

Is it the right opportunity for you?

Before applying to any school abroad, spend some time researching all opportunities. And then, find out if the experience is right for you. 

Sometimes, the idea of studying in another country is exciting but it might not be beneficial to your academic goal in the long run. Therefore, it’s important that you find the right course and destination to match your needs and interests – not to mention your budget.

Determine the purpose of your letter. 

To write a winning letter of intent, you must know the purpose of your letter, as well as the audience you’re writing to. It’s basically a business letter. Following are some pointers to get started with writing your letter:

  • Get straight-to-the-point. Nobody wants to read a long-winded and confusing introduction. Be direct, introduce yourself, and state the reason for your application. The most important details should be at the beginning of your letter. 
  • Keep it organized. Imagine having someone read a giant block of unformatted text. Boring, right? If you don’t want your letter to end up in the bin, make it short and concise. Break it up into 3-5 paragraphs, each beginning with a strong topic sentence that summarizes the rest of the paragraph. 
  • Add personality and flair. Don’t forget to give your audience a sense of who you are. Jot down specific, relevant details about your life and be honest about your intention to study abroad. If you love traveling, for example, go ahead and tell them. 
  • Write effectively. It pays to follow the principles of writing. Avoid grammatical and spelling errors, write in the active voice, and make use of concrete language.

If you’re having trouble writing your letter, don’t hesitate to ask for help. If you have time and money to spare, you can even hire a professional editor/writer to get you on the right track. The first thing you need to do is to read essay editing service reviews online to find out which one suits your needs and budget best. 

Take every part of the letter into consideration. 

Your letter of intent should consist of the following: Introduction, body, and conclusion. Below are some things you need to keep in mind when writing each section of your letter:

  • Introduction. It sets the tone for the rest of your letter, so it must be able to grab the reader’s attention right away. Avoid long-winded explanations. Write in a way that will spark their interest, if possible in a single paragraph. Writing the introduction requires some thought so it’s okay to write it last.
  • Body of the letter. State the reason(s) behind your intention to study abroad. It’s a lot like writing an essay, where you have to back up your argument. Explain your achievements, and give examples of situations where you’ve shown certain skills or abilities. Doing so adds a lot of credibility to your letter and persuades the reader that you’re indeed their best candidate.
  • Conclusion. This part must flow from the rest of your letter. Write a high-impact, attention-grabbing statement at the end, putting an emphasis on your desire to study abroad. If possible, include the reason for choosing a specific university, as well as the unique features that tie in with your experience and academic goals. This is a good way to show them that you’ve researched the institution.

Re-read and revise.

If possible, leave your letter overnight and then re-read it the following day, with a fresh outlook. See if it flows well and make sure there are no grammar and spelling mistakes. 

Afterwards, let someone – perhaps a friend or relative – read it and ask for constructive feedback. A second opinion is worth taking the effort and can help add to your statement. Personal statements may be important, but it could be the reason for your failed application. 

A well-written letter of intent keeps the reader’s point of view in mind. The reader may only have a couple of minutes to spare to review your letter. For all we know, he or she may read hundreds of letters during the admission process, so don’t waste their time. Keep it clear, simple, and direct. 

By following the tips above, you can write a stellar letter of intent that will fulfill your dream of studying abroad. Good luck!