Student using tablet in the hallway - students need a motivation letter for erasmus to be accepted into the program

Motivation Letter for Erasmus with Example Templates

The Erasmus Programme is a student exchange program based in the European Union that allows students to study in, experience, and participate in sports and other activities in other countries within the European Union.  More than 9 million students have participated in the program since its inception in 1987.  Currently, about 300,000 students participate in the program every year at this point.  This is an opportunity to see other parts of the European Union and participate in some amazing programs.  With the competition of the program, a student can help their chances of acceptance by including a strong, well-written motivation letter for the Erasmus Program with their application.

Erasmus Program
Copyright 2017 European Commission


What A Motivation Letter for Erasmus Does For Your Application

With the competition of the program, you are trying to ensure that you appear as competitive as possible when applying for the Erasmus Program.  With over 4,000 schools participating and over 30 countries, there are a lot of opportunities and benefits from a program with that sort of breadth.

A motivation letter is similar to a cover letter.  A cover letter is for employment positions. You can use a motivation letter for almost anything. Some things really lend themselves to a motivation letter.  This is especially true in a world with electronic applications with checkboxes and dropdown menus.  You want to stand out from other candidates.  Your checkboxes look like every other applicant’s and are often read by a computer.  A motivation letter (which could actually be an email) is written to someone (or a group of people) that are reviewing your application. It gives you a chance to tell your story and to show where you can be a start for their program.

The motivation letter allows you to ensure that anyone reviewing your application will have the chance to understand why you are applying for the program.  A strong letter will show why you should be chosen over other candidates.  It shows your passion for the program and what you hope to attain from being part of the Erasmus program.  You need to tell a story that motivates the reader to choose you.

Preparing to Write Your Motivation Letter for the Erasmus Program

To prepare to write your motivation letter for the Erasmus program, you need to consider why you want to be part of the program and why you think you can excel in the program.  Here are a few questions to get you started.  It’s a good idea to write down your answers on a piece of paper.  You will need them in the next part.

  • What in your background prepares you to be competitive? – What courses, jobs, or experiences have you had that will help you in the Erasmus Program.
  • What Are Your Long-Term Career or Educational Goals – Think about where you think you want to go in the next few years, professionally or in your education.
  • How Will The Erasmus Experience Help You Meet Your Goals? – How will completing your Erasmus experience prepare you for the future that you want?  Consider things like cultural awareness, education, living in a whole new country, or other aspects that make the Erasmus Program unique.

These questions will help you draft your letter.  We are going to propose a simple letter consisting of several paragraphs.  You want to keep the letter down to one page.  Many people will never make it to the second page, so keep it easy to ready quickly.

We recommend a three-part structure for all motivation letters.  Here’s the basic structure:

  • Introduction – This is a simple paragraph with just a few sentences. You want to introduce yourself, what you’re interested in and a sentence or two about why you think you would make a great candidate.
  • Body – This is the bulk of your letter.  Usually, 1-3 paragraphs are enough.  We’ll cover more detail on this in just a moment.
  • Conclusion – One closing paragraph thanking them for their time.  Offer to meet with them or have a call for any questions and provide your contact information so that it’s easy.

The introduction and the conclusion are fairly straightforward.  We’re going to spend most of our time discussing the body.  That makes sense because you should spend most of your time writing that section too.

Use your answers above to craft 1-3 sentences on why you would make a great candidate for the Erasmus program.  You might discuss your academic achievements.  Extracurricular activities like sports and volunteer activities are another great source of motivation.  Sports are a focus area of the program and can be a good way to connect with an admissions team.

For a program like the Erasmus program, it’s worth discussing why you want to be part of the program.  It’s great if you can make a connection from your background or goals to tie them to the social benefits and goals of the Erasmus program.

Overall, your body should have 1-3 well-crafted paragraphs on why this program is important to you, what it will allow you to achieve and why you would make a strong candidate.

Then, you can go back and write your introduction with opening information and then your conclusion wrapping up your message and excitement.

Best Format for Your Motivation Letter for the Erasmus Program

There is no best format for your motivation letter for your Erasmus application. A lot will depend on the application where you could include it as an email or you could send an actual physical letter.  No matter how you send it, make sure that it is professional and properly formatted. That’s why we tend to include all of our samples as letters.  Many of us don’t write letters anymore and having a sample to work from helps you to format your letter correctly.

Here is a short checklist of things to check before you send your letter.

  • Check Your Spelling.  At a minimum use a spell checker.  This won’t check everything but will eliminate the largest errors.
  • Check Your Grammar – Review your letter for proper grammar, language usage and punctuation.  A great tool for this and checking your spelling is Grammarly.  The free version will call out most of the largest grammar errors.  It also has the added benefit of pointing out most issues when you use the wrong word (“to” versus “too”).
  • Be Polite and Respectful – You want to make sure you strike the right tone with your letter.  You want to be polite and respectful without being too stale.  You want to be a real person and tell a real story. After all, your goal is to motivate the reader to select you.  However, you want to be aware of their role.

The Erasmus Program is “places a strong focus on social inclusion, the green and digital transitions, and promoting young people’s participation in democratic life.” You want to consider these aims when you are completing your application.  Saying that you want to learn a language is nice, but you should consider talking about the social benefits fo the program and what that means to you.

Just doing these few simple things will help make your letter that much better.  This is a program for education abroad.  You want to appear educated.  Having someone else read and critique your letter can be very helpful.

Erasmus Traineeship

You can use these tips whether you are applying for a semester, a full year, or a traineeship.  The traineeship is a great opportunity to learn skills that will prepare you for your future career.  These programs can last from 2 to 12 months.  You can even do more than one traineeship.

If you haven’t decided where to go yet, you might want to take a look at some of the best cities in Europe to do your Erasmus.  There are some great resources online to help you find places to live, learn about others’ experiences or how to get accepted.  Erasmusu has some great resources that are worth checking out.

Other Resources to Help With Your Motivation Letter for Erasmus

We have an editable version of the template motivation letter for the Erasmus program that you can use to add your own story to. It is easy to use, gives you a great starting point, and is very affordable.

If you need more assistance in writing your motivation letter for Erasmus, Fiverr is a great resource to hire someone to help you. They have several writers available with experience in writing powerful motivation letters. If it’s your first time on Fiverr, we have some resources to help you get started.

If you don’t need writing help but want something a bit more than the guidance here, Grammarly makes a great resource. Yes, they have a terrific spell checker but that’s no unusual. What is unusual is that their tools do a great job of giving you editorial feedback on your writing, including the tone, better phrasing, poor grammar, and a lot more. Definitely a valuable resource.

Sample Motivation Letter for the Erasmus Program

Below is a sample motivation letter you can use when you’re applying for the Erasmus Program.  Remember that this is just a guide and not something you should submit.  You have your own letter to write and your own story to tell.

The hardest part of any writing is getting started.  We are trying to give you a place to start.  You can use our sample and then add your own story.

Good luck. The Erasmus Program is a great opportunity for any student in the European Union.  Get as much out of the experience as you can.  That starts with your application.

Printable Motivation Letter for Erasmus


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