A LoR Warning To European Students

US graduate programs as a european, applying to graduate programs in the united states as a european student


 

If you’re applying to US graduate programs as a European, it’s important to keep in mind the different approaches the two continents take towards application materials.
European faculty tend to take a no-frills approach to the recommendation letter. It usually reads something like: “I am familiar with So-and-So’s work. I will give you an evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses.”  In the United States a recommendation letter, if it’s meant to actually assist them in getting into graduate school, must be completely (without exception) positive. So if you’re applying to US graduate programs as a European student, it’s important to be mindful of the differences and nip any potential issues in the bud as soon as possible.
European recommendation letters have spelled the death of many a candidate applying from overseas.  For that reason, our posts on How to Write Yourself A Recommendation Letter and How to Get An Amazing Letter of Recommendation are must reads for all applicants looking for a letter from a European faculty member. These facts about US recommendations are intended to be shared with your recommenders, so that they understand the expectations of the U.S. graduate market.

 

 

An effective recommendation should include the following elements

 

> How long and in what capacity the recommender has known the applicant.
> A summary of the applicant’s research, in highly complimentary terms.
> A contextualization of the student’s research within the field. This is actually the main contribution of a recommendation letter: to go beyond mere description and articulate the wider potential of the applicant in the discipline.
> A summary of the person’s achievements such as awards, scholarships, publications, and conferences.
> A brief discussion of the applicant’s potential.
> A discussion of teaching, community, teamwork, etc skills—if the writer has reason to be familiar with those.
> A reference to the person’s character in terms of leadership, work ethic, and collegiality. If the applicant is female, beware of gendered or potentially gendered terms such as nice, sweet, helpful, self-sacrificing, supportive, etc.
> A signoff that reiterates the writer’s unconditional support for the student’s application.
> The letter should be as specific as possible with no hint of negativity in any of the content.

 

 

If you’re applying to US graduate programs as a European student, keep these things in mind before allowing your recommenders to send a letter. If you don’t, it could spell disaster for your applications!
Questions? Leave us a comment!
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A LoR Warning To European Students

US graduate programs as a european, applying to graduate programs in the united states as a european student April 18th, 2016


 

If you’re applying to US graduate programs as a European, it’s important to keep in mind the different approaches the two continents take towards application materials.
European faculty tend to take a no-frills approach to the recommendation letter. It usually reads something like: “I am familiar with So-and-So’s work. I will give you an evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses.”  In the United States a recommendation letter, if it’s meant to actually assist them in getting into graduate school, must be completely (without exception) positive. So if you’re applying to US graduate programs as a European student, it’s important to be mindful of the differences and nip any potential issues in the bud as soon as possible.
European recommendation letters have spelled the death of many a candidate applying from overseas.  For that reason, our posts on How to Write Yourself A Recommendation Letter and How to Get An Amazing Letter of Recommendation are must reads for all applicants looking for a letter from a European faculty member. These facts about US recommendations are intended to be shared with your recommenders, so that they understand the expectations of the U.S. graduate market.

 

 

An effective recommendation should include the following elements

 

> How long and in what capacity the recommender has known the applicant.
> A summary of the applicant’s research, in highly complimentary terms.
> A contextualization of the student’s research within the field. This is actually the main contribution of a recommendation letter: to go beyond mere description and articulate the wider potential of the applicant in the discipline.
> A summary of the person’s achievements such as awards, scholarships, publications, and conferences.
> A brief discussion of the applicant’s potential.
> A discussion of teaching, community, teamwork, etc skills—if the writer has reason to be familiar with those.
> A reference to the person’s character in terms of leadership, work ethic, and collegiality. If the applicant is female, beware of gendered or potentially gendered terms such as nice, sweet, helpful, self-sacrificing, supportive, etc.
> A signoff that reiterates the writer’s unconditional support for the student’s application.
> The letter should be as specific as possible with no hint of negativity in any of the content.

 

 

If you’re applying to US graduate programs as a European student, keep these things in mind before allowing your recommenders to send a letter. If you don’t, it could spell disaster for your applications!
Questions? Leave us a comment!
By
@
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