Every season, local BEST-groups organize academic courses for students of technology. The courses are either on a technical subject or focused on different soft skills. The courses vary from one to two weeks and are attended by 20-30 students from all over Europe. To participate in a BEST course, you send in a motivational letter, motivating why you want to take part in a particular course. As a participant at a BEST course you will get the opportunity to increase your international experience, establish contacts, improve your English and have a lot of fun while at the same time learning something that you are interested in. Social and cultural activities are organized in the evenings and food, accommodation and activities are organized and provided by the local BEST group.
Find more information about how, where and when to apply for a BEST Course at our international website.
Participant Report: A Summer Course in Moldova!
The BEST course Why play good games? Create one! in Chisinau, Moldova, was my first BEST experience. I had not even heard about the organization before applying. That meant I had no idea what to expect.
I jumped on a plane to Bucharest and spent four days on my own there before taking a night train across the border into Moldova. I went with two new friends I met in Bucharest who were also going to the course.
The topic, in case you didn’t guess, was to create games. Browser-based computer games, to be specific. It was hilarious and our productions were broadcast on Moldovan national television. This means I was actually on TV in Moldova before I was on TV in Sweden, which still has not happened.
Ten days in Chisinau felt like ten minutes. Not only did I have a wonderful and hilarious time, I saw a completely different side of Europe than I’m used to and made some really nice friends I hope to see again someday. We not only saw what Chisinau had to offer, but also spent a weekend out camping in the woods. When we weren’t fighting mosquitos (thank you anti-mosquito-cream) we enjoyed the scenery and the lake.
Oh, and the parties. Let’s not forget the parties. I was so tired when I got home and don’t think I’ve enjoyed sleeping in as much before (after being used to be awakened early to do morning gymnastics).
But it was so worth it.
Written by: Marcus Näslund
How to write a Motivation Letter – a little piece of advice!
Check the website of the event. You will find important information such as: learning objectives, academic level, special skills you need etc. The schedule will display the social activities that you and 20 other European students will take part in and the organizers will most likely provide a survival guide, with all the practical information you may need before your departure.
Use informal language. The people reading your motivation letters are students, just like you, so there is no need for formalities such as ”Dear Madam/Sir”.
Be yourself! Give a personal touch and be honest. Don’t write things you don’t really mean just to get accepted. Let the organizers know who you really are. Remember that you will be meeting these people later on (hopefully!).
Try to be creative and original: Use your imagination! Do you have some crazy, innovative, out-of-the-ordinary ideas? Put them down in your letter! Remember that your motivation letter should stand out (in a positive way). This should go without saying, but please don’t write the same motivation letter to all courses you apply for and be careful not to mix motivation letters if you apply for more than one event!
Remember a good sense of humor gives extra points.
Make sure you state all the reasons why you want to attend that specific BEST course.
Are you passionate about the topic of the course? Prove it! What related topics have you been studying so far? How will this course help you in what you want to do in the future? Topic-related jokes or stories are always welcome.
Show your interest in the country the course takes place in: the culture, the language, the place etc. After all, BEST courses are also a good opportunity for cultural exchange. Writing a few lines in their language or writing about the places you really want to see there show that you did your research before applying.
State your interest in meeting new people. Show you are friendly and open-minded. Are you eager to spend at least a week with 20-30 other European students of technology? What about this course makes you enthusiastic?
Convince the organizers that YOU arethe perfect participant for their course. They are looking for people with a great personality, that they would like to meet and spend time with. Do you have a special talent? Write about it! Whether you can juggle, speak a rare language, solve a Rubik’s cube in 45 seconds or play an odd musical instrument – don’t keep it for yourself ’cause it can help them remember you easier.
The letter should be about one page long.If you write too much, people will get bored reading it, and too few lines show that your interest in the course is very low. Make sure the letter is well structured, with different ideas in different paragraphs, and easy to read.
Correct spelling and grammar mistakes. Your English doesn’t have to be perfect. After all, the organizers are not native English speakers and to err is human. But don’t be sloppy. Many mistakes might give the wrong impression.
Save what you wrote from time to time, just in case technical problems appear. It’s good to have a back-up, just in case. Plus, we recommend to not apply in the last moment to avoid system crashes. The good news is that you can edit your letter anytime (and as many times as you want) before the application period ends.
Re-read the letter in the end and make necessary adjustments. Make sure the letter expresses exactly who you are and why they should definitely select you.
Two extra pieces of advice: In case the organizers asked some questions in the application form, answer them. Be original, ironic, funny or serious, depending on the question. But don’t ignore them, as if a great motivation letter is enough. In case you are not accepted the first time you apply, even though you respected all the advice above, don’t give up! The more you try, the better you get, the more your chances of getting accepted increase!
Now that you read all of these tips, put theory into practice and apply for a BEST Course here ! Best of luck!