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Leiden University Essay - With A Free Essay Review

Leiden University: International studies; Letter of motivation

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am applying for a 2012/13 seat in your International Studies programme. I believe that Leiden University offers me a chance that I can’t get anywhere else in the Netherlands or even the global community. I want to realize my goal of becoming a diplomat and I know Leiden University will help me ascertain my goal.

I am currently in my senior year of high school and am going to graduate this June. During my 4 years here at Manhattan Center I have focused more on the social studies and English classes offered by my school curriculum. I currently rank within the top 75 of my school and am striving to rank within the top 25. My high school has prepared me extensively for the daily rigors of college courses.

I love politics -- especially international politics because debating is my one true joy and there is no better place for debating then in the field of politics. I am always up to date on all foreign political topics. Whether it is the Arab Spring uprising or the Occupy movement here in New York, or even the election of mayor Eberhard van der Laan in my hometown of Amsterdam. To be able to debate one must be informed about the world around him/her. Therefore, I take every single opportunity to learn about everything happening around me.

For the aforementioned reason I joined Model United Nations (M.U.N) in the very beginning of my junior year. While in M.U.N I experienced the true art of debating. I learned that without facts one cannot back up his cause or argument. I also learned that passing a motion is a more difficult a task than meets the eye. What I took most from M.U.N, is my satisfaction of contributing to the interconnected global society, which proves to more gratifying than passing a motion or resolution. The true lesson I learned from this was that I should not give up because this is how reality would be once I graduate from college. If I were to give up for every little conundrum that set me back, I would not be able to understand the purpose of life.

I was lucky to join M.U.N early as I did because it gave me a good foundation to be prepared for reality. Even though it is my final year in M.U.N., I am still as eager to participate as I was when I first started attending meetings as a sophomore. Outside my Honors Government class -- the class I most look forward to going to -- M.U.N entices me. I really learned that compromising and sometimes backing down from your original stance is the only way to be productive. I, by nature, do not back down no matter what is in front of me because I always have the mentality that I must get my way. I learned differently while in school. One must compromise with others and be willing to know that what he/she want is not always what is best for everyone. I could have only learnt this after realizing that my goal needs to be tackled realistically.

For this reason I know that Leiden University is the perfect match for me. After extensive research through all types of mediums, I have come to the realization that International Studies offers me the challenging and beneficial curriculum that will help me ascertain my goal to be a diplomat. I know that if given a seat for your 2012/13 starting class I will bring a profound level of enthusiasm and charisma to the campus. I will always challenge every one of my peers to always question everything around them and always ask why. This is because to be informed of is what international relations is all about. My background as a Dutch-Colombian student will bring great diversity to the Leiden Community.

My final reason to why Leiden is the right choice is because I personally believe that a liberal arts degree will open monumental opportunities after university. That is to say a degree free from constraints like Leiden offers is what will set me up for the future and give me a good solid foundation so I can face the real world after graduation.

Thank you for considering my application I look forward to your guidance

Sincerely Yours ,



Your second paragraph deals with your current situation, and that's a reasonable thing to spend a paragraph discussing, especially if the discussion casts additional light on why you are a good candidate for Leiden. I'm not sure it really does that though. You say that you have "focused more ["more" is awkward here] on the social studies and English classes," but it's not clear why anyone should be interested in that fact. It would be an interesting fact if the motivation behind that emphasis in your studies were known (i.e., "I've focused on English and Social Studies because ..."). You also say that you rank in the top 75. I assume that's a good thing, but in my high school ranking only in the top 75 would have placed you in the bottom third of all seniors. If you don't think it would be obvious how well you are doing from the figure you cite, you might consider using a different measure of your success. If Manhattan Center is an exclusive school, for instance, you might mention that fact (certainly don't rely on anyone in the Netherlands knowing that the fact that you made it into Manhattan Center was an achievement).

Your third paragraph is about your love for politics. Obviously, if you want to be a diplomat, you ought to have an interest in politics, and perhaps what you are trying to say here is that your desire to become a diplomat is born of your interest in politics. But you don't actually say that. So maybe you should! But if it is important in your view to demonstrate to Leiden that you have an interest in politics, then it might be a good idea, also, to explain why you are interested in politics.

Perhaps part of the reason is your interest in debating, which you go on to discuss. That discussion is reasonable enough. It is a good idea generally to explain what you have learned from your experiences. Of course it's not really necessary to debate at MUN to find out that arguments usually require empirical evidence, so that point seems a bit banal. Perhaps the sentence that is most important here is the one beginning "What I took most from MUN ..." That sentence needs revision, not just because of errors, but also because it is unclear what kind of contribution you are talking about and why you got satisfaction from it. My only other objection to the two paragraphs about your experience at MUN is that two paragraphs are perhaps one too many. I think you can condense the relevant information there into a single paragraph, and I think the essay as a whole would be better for it.

Finally, it is a good idea to express your belief that Leiden would be a good match for you. The stuff about "extensive research" comes across as very artificial, but the rest is more or less reasonable. But try not to say "always" three times in one sentence. You also must proofread very carefully ("to be informed of is"?)

Best, EJ.
Submitted by: Domino

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