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How to Write an Essay to Win a Scholarship Abroad

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This document is the opportunity to appear before the selection committee, to highlight information that cannot be included anywhere else in the application. Also, it demonstrates the ability to express oneself, to write, the motivations to continue studies, passion, leadership skills, among other aspects.

The students generally face difficulties writing a scholarship essay, among the reasons, we can find that the majority of students do not read a lot. Consequently, they face problems in writing. The students tend to do things at the last moment. Also, most are not familiar with the practice of writing a personal essay to present it along with the application for admission. Here are some tips to write an extraordinary scholarship essay.


The essay topic must have a personal meaning. It must reveal something about who you are, what your values and interests are and why you are different from other applicants. Write something about yourself that is not visible in your notes, the list of courses you took, or any other document in the application.

Selecting the correct subject is very important. To start thinking, here are some questions we can ask ourselves: Who am I? What have I done? What do I want to do? Where do I want to do it? Why do I want to do it? Why in that place?


Writing takes time; We should not rush or wait to finish the essay in one afternoon. We must carefully read the instructions - subject, number of words, size and type of letters, margins etc. Use simple words to express ideas. You do not need to use a large vocabulary to show how much the language in which you are writing is mastered. We must use words to express ourselves and not to show how intelligent we are. Each statement must be illustrated with an example.

If the essay is in English, it is best not to use contractions such as don’t, can’t or any other; they are not well received by scholarship selection committees. Contractions are used to write to people close to you; they are not used in serious documents such as an application. Do not write in the first person, do not use "I" if possible.

If there are no precise instructions, we suggest:

- Essay size: 5 to 10 paragraphs, from 5 to 7 lines in each paragraph.

-Size of the letter: Times New Roman 12; This is the one most used by international universities for the preparation of essays.

- Normal margins.

- Spacing: Double-space to facilitate reading and give space to the reader to make their observations.

In the structure and writing of the essay, it is advisable to consider the following:

- Do not write in a row, divide the essay into five or seven paragraphs; the introduction, three to five intermediate paragraphs or body of the essay, and the closing paragraph.

- Give special attention to the introduction; you should try to capture the interest of the reader, so he will be interested in knowing what the rest of the essay says or reveals.

- Organize the paragraphs chronologically, past-present-future.

- Do not leave topics or paragraphs open, close them! Do not pick up a topic later.

- To excel in the competition, you must respond in the best possible way to the requirements and objectives of the scholarship to show that you are different and better than the competition.

- Sustain your prayers: comment, evidence; comment, evidence; for you to convince.

- Clearly express the career of your interest, it is not right to apply for a scholarship with indecision, since the scholarship programs opt for those that have defined vocations.

- If you are going to write about the advantages of studying abroad, you can do it, but without expressing badmouthing your country or the universities.

- If you talk about academic aspects, be cautious, whoever reads your essay may be a specialist in the subject.

- If you are going to talk about the university or the academic program, inform yourself before speaking, otherwise, you can commit errors.

- It is recommended that in addition to your goals and aspirations, you also express in your essays how you will contribute in the future to the development of your country or the welfare of your citizens.

- Avoid talking about religious or faith aspects and politicians in your essays, except in those cases that are priority aspects of the program.

- Close the essay requesting the scholarship, do not be afraid to express your reasons and limitations.

- Make sure you write correctly: It never hurts to say that it is necessary to check the spelling, the syntax, the use of punctuation marks. Do not trust the computer's word processor to check the spelling, take all the time necessary to carefully check the letter or document to verify that it is well written.


Take your time to write your essay, after you write it leave a few days to review and rethink it - even a week - and then go back to it. This will allow you to appreciate your essay from a fresh perspective.

Do not stop refrain from showing your essay to friends or your family - they will be able to see things that you have missed or forgot to mention, also ask a student advisor to review it.

If you write in a language other than your native language, ask someone who is fluent in the language that reads your essay to review your spelling and writing.

There are some programs that in the voice of an essay or free interest letter, make a "directed essay" formulating some generating questions, such as:

- Explain why you want to study for a degree or study at the university.

- Is there anything that motivates you to study in our country?

- Explain through concrete examples. What has been your experience with the career or speciality of your interest? (may refer to work experience, acquired knowledge, skills or abilities).

- Refer to an important situation you have faced in your life (challenge or problem) and how you managed to resolve it.

- What impact do you think your studies and/or the scholarship will have on your life?

- How do you expect to use what you learn in the future?


- When they ask you direct questions, give direct answers that are clear, concise and broad at the same time.

- Do not make comments without sustaining them, for example, do not write that you have social commitment or leadership, without evidence that you have those qualities. Also, these concepts should be evident in your extracurricular activities. For example, you can express that one of your objectives to study an MBA is to know more about how to sell and market products, if the MBA to which you are applying has that emphasis, the comment is appropriate. Otherwise, if you are one of those who focus more on administrative, financial aspects, you will subtract points with the comment.

- To start the essay or to draw conclusions, avoid phrases such as: "Let me introduce myself, my name is ...", "First of all, I would like to thank the admissions committee for reading this letter ...", "I was born in the town of ... "," My parents come ... ".

- It seems contradictory to say "concise and broad at the same time" but it is not, let's see an example: if you apply to study the degree in Agricultural Sciences and Management of Natural Resources at Cambridge University, and they ask you why you want to study at the Cambridge, you can be very brief and concise and just say: "I want to know and learn new agricultural technologies to achieve better harvests taking advantage of the available natural resources". Or you can be concise and broad at the same time, saying:

"I want to know and learn new agricultural technologies; My main motivation is to learn to produce conserving natural resources, forests, soils and water, without degrading the environment for the benefit of present and future generations. I wish in the future to improve crop yields by reducing the ecological impact, I hope at Cambridge University, I can learn how to replace conventional practices based on the intensive use of chemical products to fertilise and control pests, with alternatives, such as organic and ecological management. Not only do I think about my family and me, but I also want to learn and share my knowledge with other families of farmers to promote the sustainable development of my region.”

Have fun, take your time, show yourself and tell your story well!

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