Write a letter for Foreign University Internships, How to

Its been a while since I was here. I had been really busy with my search for my internship and then with the actual internship.

I got accepted at a few universities but alas! my crap luck meant I could not go to Japan/US/Sweden/Scotland. The passport office lost my police verification form and then the form was found but was not signed by the police (he missed it, how can one miss it, either there is a problem and you don’t sign or there is no problem and you do sign!!!!) and my passport got delayed by over 1.5 months. By the time I finally got my passport it was too late.

Anyhow, during all that mailing and searching and communicating I came to learn some valuable lessons about writing international mails.

Here’s a lowdown on the important points to be kept in mind.

1. Never Mass Mail.
They want you to be sincere and making an honest effort.

2. Always try to make the letter as personal for a particular professor as possible.
Open his profile page and find out his interests. Find out his designation. Find out if he has recently won some award or something in the same field. Then incorporate these in your mail.

3. Don’t make a mistake in the first addressing.
If you are unsure about the sex of the professor from the name then google the name, you’ll get enough search results to understand. If you are unsure about the marital status then just go for Ms. or Mr. or its best if you just say Prof. or Dr. Just a plain Sir or Madam is also acceptable.
Also don’t mess up the prof’s name. Those of you who are going to do in a list manner, this is important. I made a stupid mistake once. I wrote one prof’s name and then put in another’s mail address. Both down the drain.

4. Always mention the university/college name in the mail.

5. Never mail to all the professors in a particular department at one go.
Send 1 or 2 mails to the same department. Wait for a week. Give them time to respond. I have had mails from professors after even a month after I had mailed them – even positive replies. They are sometimes away from university, on holiday or just plain busy. If you don’t get any reply then mail to other profs (again 1/2 at a time).

6. Always keep a record of whom you have already mailed.
Profs don’t like you mailing them repeatedly, specially if they are not replying – get the drift – they are not interested. Usually if you write a good mail then you can expect to get a response.

7. Never sound like you will do anything they might offer you.
That indicates you are desperate. They want students but only dedicated students – NOT desperate ones just interested in adding to your own CV.

These are the important points to be kept in mind while drafting the letter. If you are interested in knowing exactly what letter format I used then visit my forum post at www.internshala.com forum.

the forum is about helping young students and professionals find internships and job opportunities through collective effort and knowledge. everyone is very helpful and if you need more help then you could just PM or mail the moderators (I am one) directly.


9 thoughts on “Write a letter for Foreign University Internships, How to

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