LOR (Letter of Recommendation): A complete guide for international students

LOR (Letter of Recommendation): A complete guide for international students

Sat Feb 10 2024 Effa Iqbal


Recommendation letters are beneficial for supporting applications for scholarships, employment, internships, and educational opportunities.

Understanding the value of reference letters and learning how to request and utilize them effectively is essential for newcomers.

In this beginner’s guide, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions, practical tips, and real-life examples to help you master the art of securing compelling letters of recommendation highlighting your strengths and potential.


Understanding the Basics:

Understanding the basics before writing and obtaining letters of recommendation is essential.

Recommendation letters are written by individuals who can attest to your qualifications, skills, and character.

They provide insight into your abilities and achievements from someone who knows you well professionally, academically, or personally.

These letters serve as endorsements that lend credibility to your application and can significantly impact your chances of success.

Who to Ask?

Choosing the right individuals to write your letters of recommendation is a critical first step.

As a beginner, consider approaching professors, supervisors, mentors, or colleagues who have witnessed your skills and accomplishments firsthand.

Select recommenders who can provide specific examples and tales that illustrate your strengths and qualifications.

Avoid choosing recommenders solely based on their title or position; instead, focus on individuals offering genuine and insightful endorsements.

Requesting Letters of Recommendation:

A few crucial procedures are involved in requesting Recommendation letters for students who intend to study overseas.

Initially, it is essential for students to carefully choose recommenders who are aware of their academic standing, degree of flexibility, and preparedness for experiences abroad.

The best candidates are mentors, academic advisors, or professors who know the student’s talents thoroughly.

Recommenders should be reminded of particular experiences or coursework—like language skills or cross-cultural exposure—that show they are prepared for this undertaking.

Letter of recommendation

Letter of recommendation length and format

1. Length:

  • In general, recommendation letters are one to two pages long.
  • A brief, targeted letter that emphasizes the student’s skills and qualities is best.
  • Steer clear of too-long letters that could overwhelm the reader with information or lessen the impact of the suggestion.

2. Format:

  • Header: At the beginning of the letter, include your contact details(name, title, organization or institution, address, phone number, and email).

  • Salutation: Letters should start with a formal salutation, like “Dear [Recipient’s Name]” or “To Whom It May Concern.”

  • Introduction: Introduce yourself and your connection to the candidate in the introduction. Give background information to support your recommendation and briefly discuss your qualifications for the candidate’s endorsement.

  • Body: In the body of the letter, discuss the student’s experience, education, accomplishments, and personal qualities. Provide precise instances and tales highlighting the applicant’s advantages and making them a good fit for the position they’re looking for.

  • Conclusion, briefly restate your support for the applicant and convey your belief in their skills. Offer to help if you need it or to provide more details.

3. Tone and Language:

  • Throughout the letter, use formal language and a formal tone.

  • Avoid using language that is too complex or full of terminology, as this could make it difficult for the reader to understand it.

4. Personalization:

Customize the letter to the opportunity or organization the applicant is attempting to apply to. Emphasize your relevant experience and abilities that fit the job or program’s needs.

5. Editing:

  • Ensure the letter is well-proofread for punctuation, grammar, and spelling mistakes before sending it.

  • Make sure that all of the information is current and accurate.

USA F1 Visa Interview Question and Requirements

Sample Email Request:

Subject: Request for Letter of Recommendation

Dear [Recommender’s Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I am requesting a letter of recommendation for [specific opportunity you’re applying for, e.g., graduate school, internship, job position].

As someone who has mentored me throughout [describe your relationship, e.g., coursework, research project], your insights would provide valuable support for my application.

The application deadline is [insert deadline], and the recommendation letter is due by [insert due date].

I would be grateful if you could write a letter on my behalf. Please let me know if you require additional information or materials to complete the letter.

Thank you for considering my request. I genuinely appreciate your support.

Sincerely, [Your Name]

What details need to be in a Recommendation letter?

In addition to providing academic, skill-based, and personal grounds for your recommendation.

The letter of recommendation should reflect the writer’s background and qualifications to speak highly of the student.

If the admissions team needs to contact the writer, it should also contain their contact details.

Tips for Writing Letters of Recommendation:

If you’re asked to write a letter of recommendation for someone else, there are several essential tips to remember.

  • Begin by formally addressing the recipient and introducing yourself and your relationship with the student

  • Provide specific examples of the student’s skills, accomplishments, and attributes, and explain why you believe they are well-suited for the opportunity they’re pursuing.

  • Don’t use general or unclear language; provide specific examples.

  • Before signing off on your letter, you must let them know that you’ll be happy to share further information should they want it. Let them learn how to contact you.

Sample Letter of Recommendation:

sample of LOR


Writing a recommendation letter for a student applying to study abroad is a big responsibility that needs careful thinking and attention to detail.

You can effectively highlight a student’s qualities and appropriateness for the desired academic program or scholarship by following the principles provided in this article.

Which emphasises the student’s academic achievements, extracurricular activities, personal attributes, and potential for success.

As a result, approach this assignment with professionalism, sincerity, and a genuine desire to support the student in their overseas pursuits.

For personalized guidance and assistance in choosing the right course and university, contact our counselling service at Edify Group of Companies.


Q. How do I write a good letter of recommendation?

Select precise and powerful adjectives rather than generalizations.

Consider the questions that the recipient of the letter might have.

Q. What are the skills of a recommendation?

Traits like composure, listening skills, creativity, motivation, reliability, and patience.

Steer clear of personal remarks unrelated to your work performance.

Q. What is the recommendation format?

There is a specific format and layout for recommendation letters. Typically,

The format contains 1) The letterhead, 2) a salutation, 3) an introduction, 4) an overview, 5) a personal story, 6) a closing sentence and 7) your signature.



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