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Letter of Recommendation for study abroad programme: Format and tips to write


Letters of recommendation (LORs) are an essential component of your study abroad application. These external endorsements provide valuable insights into your character, dedication, and academic aptitude, providing a more comprehensive picture than just grades and essays.
Compelling LORs have the ability to boost the credibility and competitiveness of your application, increasing your chances of acceptance into your desired programme.Prioritising the creation of tailored and articulate LORs is critical, as they play a critical role in achieving your goals of studying abroad.
When choosing individuals to write letters of recommendation (LORs), it is best to consult a variety of sources. This includes professors who have taught relevant courses, department chairs or deans for a broader perspective, and current or former employers or research supervisors whose experiences are relevant to the program’s focus. Mentors, coaches, and guidance counsellors can also provide helpful insights into your leadership, teamwork, communication skills, and personal development.
Aim for a balanced mix of academic and non-academic recommendations to provide a comprehensive picture of your abilities. Each recommender should provide a unique and insightful perspective on your eligibility for the programme. It is critical to check the specific LOR requirements for your chosen programme to ensure you submit the correct number and type.
Ensuring in a well-written, personalised recommendation is essential. This will significantly improve your application and help you stand out from the competition.
What is the correct format for a Letter of Recommendation?
While the specific format for an LOR might vary slightly depending on the program’s requirements, the core elements remain consistent. However, some basic characteristics can include following a structured format, beginning with a formal header that includes both the writer’s and the recipient’s contact information. The salutation addresses the recipient respectfully, followed by an introductory paragraph in which the writer describes their relationship with the candidate, including the duration and context of their association.
The body of the letter then elaborates on the candidate’s qualifications, accomplishments, and relevant experiences, using concrete examples to demonstrate their suitability for the position. This section provides a comprehensive overview of the candidate’s strengths, skills, and character traits, which improves their credibility and candidature. The writer concludes the letter by summarising the candidate’s qualifications, expressing confidence in their potential, and offering additional assistance if needed.
The conclusion can include a professional sign-off, followed by the writer’s signature and contact information, ensuring that any further questions can be answered. Here are six things you must ensure in your LOR before submission-

  • Encourage recommenders to highlight diverse accomplishments: Ensure that each recommendation letter showcases different facets of your achievements, personality, and academic or extracurricular successes. For instance, one letter could focus on your research skills, while another may highlight your classroom performance.

  • Provide necessary details to the recommender: Even if the recommender knows you well, furnish them with all relevant information, including your CV, academic GPAs, extracurricular activities, and the submission deadline for the letter. This aids them in crafting a comprehensive recommendation.

  • Emphasize example-based content: Recommend that the letters include specific instances or anecdotes illustrating your qualities. Mere assertions about your attributes are insufficient; concrete examples, such as experiences in research projects or discussions, add credibility.

  • Showcase growth over time: Ensure that the LOR reflects your development and progress, acknowledging areas of improvement alongside strengths. Admissions committees value authenticity, appreciating letters that demonstrate your evolution and ability to address weaknesses.

  • Maintain a balanced tone: While formal, recommendation letters should avoid being overly dry or clichéd. Admissions committees favour personalised yet professional letters that speak directly about the candidate. Each LOR should possess a unique style and content, adhering to the required format.

  • Avoid plagiarism: Stress the importance of originality and authenticity in recommendation letters. Plagiarism is easily detected and reflects poorly on your application. Encourage recommenders to craft individualised letters tailored to your candidacy, rather than duplicating content or formats from elsewher
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