Are you a student of the Graz University of Technology? Great! This and a bit of motivation is all you need to go on a BEST course. BEST provides courses four seasons a year (winter, spring, summer and autumn) in all over Europe. Every season starts with an application period. In this period the application is open for all students. You don’t need to become a BEST member to participate in BEST courses.
How to apply
In order to apply for a course, there are a few steps that you have to follow:
- Go to the BEST application system.
- Enter your email address and your password. If you do not have an account, register here. Don’t forget to fill out the University you belong to. Otherwise your account can not be validated!
- Enter the application to the BEST application system. You can apply for up to 3 courses per season. You will need to write a small Motivation Letter.
- Then contact us and ask us to validate your account.
- Please read the Never Alone Guide.
- Pay the deposit if you were accepted to one of the courses.
- Arrange everything for your travel to the course.
- Participate in the event (actively following the program prepared by the organisers) and have a lot of fun!
- Pay the fee if there is any.
- Evaluate the course on BEST application system (after participating in it).
The motivation letter is the most important step of the application. It is the foundation for the acceptance.
There are no perfect templates or instructions on how to write your motivation letter because everyone is unique, and this should be reflected in this letter! However, there are some general tips and hints that might be useful, and might help you in getting accepted more easily!
First of all – when writing a motivation letter, keep in mind that it is going to be read by students, just like you. They get many applications from which they have to choose – and the only tool they have to choose is the student’s motivation letters. It might be that the organisers have to read a few hundred motivation letters, so to attract their attention, try to be creative and funny. Do not write a formal letter, do not start it with “Dear Madam or Sir”, and importantly, do not make it look like a CV – do not state all the schools you visited, all the jobs you did during your life, etc.. Write an interesting letter in prose style! Write something you would like to read!
The motivation letter should depict:
- Something about yourself (studies, life, hobbies, sport, languages you speak, etc.)
- Why you want to go abroad
- Why you are interested especially in the course
The letter need not to be longer than the text box you can see, it does not need to be formal – you are writing to students just like yourself. Try to be creative because these students often have to read hundreds of motivation letters. And of course the letter has to be written in English.
What to bring
On every BEST event, there is an international evening. On that occasion, you will be able to present your country a bit, which is normally done by bringing/cooking traditional food and drinks from your country! You might wonder what you can bring as typical food/drinks from Austria?!
What to expect
When applying to a BEST event it is very important that you read the course description carefully, our courses can vary a lot in different aspects. Below you can read some of the most important things:
Accommodation can vary a lot from event to event. At some courses you will sleep at a hostel, at some in a cabin or a dormitory. Before applying for a course you can read about this under the course information. Normally accommodation at our events are pretty good, but keep in mind that all work is done on a voluntary basis and getting money is not always easy, so keep an open mind in case things are not perfect.
When reading the course information you should be able to find the schedule of the event (be aware that smaller changes can happen), here you can see how many hours are scheduled for lectures and you can also see if there will be lab exercises or company visits. Also under the course information you can read the estimated level of the course, in BEST there are three levels: introduction, intermediate and advanced, make sure that you select a course that fits you skills and ambitions.
At every course there will be a survival guide, make sure to read it before you leave. In this guide you will be able to find all the details you need. It will include information about the country you are travelling to, like their currency, weather, language and so on. There will also be more specific information concerning the course itself, like the schedule, how to get to the place and contact information of the organisers.
During the course the organisers will provide you with three free meals a day. You can expect at least one of these meals to be warm. It is important to keep in mind that not all countries have the same food culture as yours or dinner times, so be prepared to learning how people dine in different countries.
It is a good idea to bring some pocket money for the trip. During the event organisers will be paying for you accommodation, food and social activities, but it is usual that you will have to pay for drinks during the parties.
One thing is sure at a BEST event, the parties are crazy. You should be prepared to party all night and still stay awake the next days during classes. This is part of the famous BEST-spirit!