Filling up the application of Erasmus Mundus, contacting professors, writing the best motivational letter possible and even paying for the language certificate… Have you done that all and still received the email saying “we regret to inform you that you are not accepted”. In this article, I have collected several rejections from different students and consortiums and analysed what are the most common mistakes in your application, which can cause you were not accepted. What are the most common reasons why Erasmus Mundus applications got rejected?
First of all, congratulations. Congratulations that you have collected all the materials, dedicated the time and you have applied. Believe it or not, many people don’t even try. While you might think yeah, but I am still not accepted, the fact that you were not accepted can have various factors. Without a doubt, if you don’t obey the requirements you lower the chances of being accepted. Therefore, you should do exactly what is required from the cohort.
The first and most common reason is simple. Erasmus Mundus is a worldwide full-ride scholarship which has enormous competition. You compete with the entire world. It is possible that everything in your application was correct and well done, yet you were not accepted because the spots are limited. Maybe the other applications were just extremely good. Don’t take the rejection personally.
Incorrect reference letter
The second thing which causes the rejection of many applications is the incorrect headed paper of the letter of recommendation. A headed paper is an official paper from the institution, whether it is a university or company. It includes the address, contact information as well as signature. If you ask your referee to give you a reference on a headed paper, they will very likely know what you want. It is also important that you make the reference letter digitally. I have seen some headed paper written by hand – this is both unprofessional and unreadable.
Typos and Errors
The third thing, I see over and over is the poor punctuation, grammar errors and lack of structure. This might be annoying, but if you submit an official document you MUST avoid any mistakes and typos. I have seen also people missing paragraphs and the general structure of the paper. Even as a non-native person you are not allowed to have mistakes in your text. I recommend that someone read and correct your paper, preferably a native speaker. Don’t forget to use any auto-correct software. I use Grammarly. Then print it out. When you see it printed, it’s easier to notice some mistakes. Then give it some time and read it aloud. Look at every single word.
Poor academic record
When you apply, I believe you know what background is required and what knowledge is needed for the master’s programme. However, it is still possible that your insufficient academic results and portfolio doesn’t match fully the master’s. This can be poor academic records, not enough experience or not great performance during the interview (not all programmes have interviewed). The programme is about a complex package of your experience, motivation and skills gathered through years of your studies. Therefore it’s important that you keep your profile consistent, but as rich as possible.
This is definitely a personal choice, but believe it or not, my application was very short. I have read many applications which include a motivational letter on 5 full pages! I don’t think this is itself a reason to get a rejection, but it shows that you are not able to pitch your most valuable skills. In the master’s, you should be able to do this whenever you present a project, thesis or presentation. My motivational letters for Erasmus Mundus didn’t exceed two pages. The same applies to your CV. Make it short, clear and simple. It’s your opportunity to stand out.
If you are too generic, too vague and not enough clear about your experience, you can’t fully show your potential to the Erasmus Mundus Consortium. Try to read your application again and see where you wrote generic sentences like “I want to help people in my society,” or “I have a lot of marketing experience”. These sentences say nothing. You should always say exact events, numbers or results to prove.
If you have received a rejection, don’t forget that you have the opportunity to write an appeal. The consortium partners will review your application. and you have still a possibility that they might accept you. Honestly, this happens rarely but you have nothing to lose to try. Please, don’t give up. If you feel that Erasmus Mundus is really a programme for you then apply next year. Take the year as a time to make your application better, make your skills more valuable and your profile more strong. I know people who were applying 5 years in a row. They didn’t give up and were eventually accepted!
One of the possible reasons why you were rejected or didn’t receive a scholarship can be a late submission after the deadline. As with any public institution, I don’t think they make some exceptions, therefore make sure that you stick to your deadline. I recommend setting your own deadline at least a week before the real deadline. All Erasmus Mundus programmes open on October 1st and the deadline for scholarships end between December and February.
I have made a video talking about this topic. You will find it on my Youtube Channel Chica Checa Study Abroad.