Ideally, you should ask a teacher, your school, a non-profit NGO or similar institution for a letter of recommendation before you leave.
With the letter of recommendation from an institution in your home country, you may find it much easier to get a scholarship than if you apply yourself and alone.
With a letter of recommendation you can collect important bonus points.
Where do I get a letter of recommendation?
Typical letters of recommendation are from educational institutions and public institutions or NGOs.
Before studies begin
Applicants who have just finished school do not usually have any experience in research or social responsibility. Here you can prove your motivation through extracurricular activities, for example
- Membership in a social or educational institution
- Voluntary organization of activities and events
- Membership or assistant in a school association
Before and during studies
You can receive a letter of recommendation from a legal institution through voluntary commitment:
- Voluntary work in a public awareness campaign
- Voluntary work in an NGO supporting minorities
- Internship at an organization with a focus on, e.g.: justice, nature protection or freedom of public speech
Although internship certificates are not letters of recommendation, they can also be attached to an application.
During your studies
You receive a letter of recommendation from a higher education institution (in your home country) or a professor by special achievement:
- Good grades in studies and great motivation on further research topics
- Participation in the organization of university activities
- Social commitment outside the university
A professor’s letter of recommendation is often a kind of entrance ticket for a scholarship. There is no guarantee, but the chances increase considerably, at least on a partial support for your studies.
If you are already a student in Germany, you can volunteer during your studies. Often, great commitment is rewarded with a letter of recommendation. You can use this document to apply for a scholarship.
Many universities even offer their own scholarships or can help you get a scholarship from a local organization, institution or NGO.