Common Mistakes in Student’s LOI When Applying for College Abroad


Simple mistakes in writing a Letter of Intent (LOI) when applying for admission to a college abroad may reduce your chances of acceptance.

Choosing a college and arranging finances and housing are not the only things you must do. In order to gain student admission to many overseas educational programs, you must also write a well-thought-out letter of intent.

According to experts, the letter of intent is a make or break document. It explains why a study abroad student wants to study in a different country, at a specific institution, and what his or her future plans are. In a nutshell, it should distinguish the student.

It is much easier said than done. Students frequently make basic mistakes when writing a LOI, which reduces their chances of getting an application for admission in university selected. Here are some things to consider:


Avoid Superlatives and Stay Relevant

According to Ankur Dhawan, President of e-learning provider, candidates should try to give a holistic presentation of their credentials, but more importantly, it should be relevant to their aspired domain—especially achievements they believe will set them apart.

And one should not use superlative adjectives to please institutions in a subservient manner. Rather, be realistic about what drew you to the institutions in order to apply to them.

“The jury is experienced and can tell the difference between honesty and adoration,” Dhawan says.


Conduct Research and Never Copy

Candidates should research the institution’s faculty, infrastructure, research facilities, and industry partners before submitting a LOI, he advises. “Only include details that you have thoroughly researched,” Dhawan advises.

In the meantime, Pragati Singh Parihar agrees that doing some research before writing a LOI is beneficial, she cautions students not to copy ideas they come across during the process.

“A college admissions department receives hundreds of LOIs, so they will find out if your LOI is a copy of something they found on the Internet,” says Parihar, who has a Masters degree from University College Dublin and was a UCD Global Scholarship recipient.

Plagiarism has an impact on decision-making. An LOI is intended to highlight your abilities and make you stand out. It must be unique and personal.

If you apply for admission to a political science course, for example, and simply state that you have been interested in politics since childhood, you may not be able to make a good impression, according to Parihar.

Your chances improve if you can back it up with work experience, publications, or a record of relevant volunteer work.

“Your LOI can set you apart from thousands of other applicants, increase your chances of admission, and even pave the way for a scholarship,” Parihar adds.


Never Express a Desire to Stay in the Host Country

According to Sayantan Biswas, the biggest mistake students make when writing a LOI is expressing a desire to stay in the host country because it is your dream to work abroad.

“Ideally, your goals should be driven by the type of work you want to specialize in, not the country you want to work in,” says Biswas, co-founder of education consultant.

In most cases, citing immigration as a reason for wanting to study abroad reduces your chances because universities prefer to recruit students who are willing to return to their home countries for employment.

Biswas deduces that this is simply due to the fact that as more international students take up existing jobs in countries where the job market is already shrinking for locals, employment opportunities for local students are impacted.

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What is LOI format?

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is a non-binding contract that comes before a binding agreement, such as a share purchase agreement or asset purchase agreement (definitive agreements). However, some provisions, such as non-disclosure, exclusivity, and governing law, are legally binding.

How long should a letter of intent be to study abroad?

The length requirements vary depending on the university and the program, but ONE PAGE is generally considered acceptable.

What should a letter of intent contain?

In most cases, a letter of intent is simply a cover letter. It is a three to four paragraph description of why you are qualified for the position. It begins with a hook, then shows a sample of your accomplishments before asking for an interview. In some cases, it can be used when no jobs are available.

How to Write a Letter of Intent for Studying Abroad?

The letter does not need to be complicated or lengthy; it simply needs to be brief and address a few key issues. Rather than a large block of text, try to divide your application into small paragraphs. Each passage should be pertinent to the topic and concise.

Give the reader an idea of your personality. Give some information about your life and be honest about your goals and reasons for studying abroad. Describe your interests and enthusiasm for some activities that are related to the program in question.

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