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Motivation letter - 4 Cities Msc. Urban Studies (max. 2 pages)

elisautzig 1 / 1  
Jan 10, 2023   #1
Hi! I am applying to a Master in Urban Studies named 4 Cities and opinions and corrections to my motivation letter would be really usefull! Hope to hear back from you soon because the deadline is next week! I transcribed the instructions and the draft of the letter below:

We are looking for highly motivated students to apply for 4CITIES.

To evaluate this, we expect you to submit a motivation letter of no more than 2 pages.

The motivation letter is a key part of your application. It should focus on both your academic interest in the Master in Urban Studies and what you hope to achieve by studying this programme. Additional relevant information can also be included, and you may refer to your CV to save space.[/i]

My interests as an Architect and Urban Planner are centered mainly in historical and contemporaneous aspects of the urbanization process of Latin America leading to perverse social inequalities in Global South countries such as Brazil, and particularly in the possibilities and limitations of public policies related to urban planning practices. Social, racial and gender discrimination, infrastructure deficits and environmental related problems such as floods, fires and landslides are some of the issues that Brazil's multiethnic society faces on a daily basis. Living in Brazilian cities can be an even harder challenge for low income citizens who struggle with inefficient public transportation and housing insecurity. The interest in learning about democratic planning practices such as the participatory budgeting implemented in my hometown, Porto Alegre, and acting on behalf of transforming unequal realities by elaborating and implementing public policies as an Urban Planner, is what motivated me most as an Architecture and Urbanism undergraduate student and what keeps motivating me in pursuing a master degree in the 4 Cities Urban Studies course.

During my undergraduate studies at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), as a committed student and citizen, I engaged in various activities such as academic research, civic activism movements, social projects and internships, which added multiple skills and perspectives to my path, as illustrated ahead. As a scholarship holder of an interdisciplinary group which provides architectural technical assistance to low income communities using participatory methodologies, I learned that architecture and urbanism studies could be effective tools for social transformation. I also understood the value of social mobilization to secure human rights and I perceived how much sensibility and contact with diverse people could contribute to this process leading me to commit to social impact activities.

Considering my profession as of great social and political responsibility, I searched for complementary experiences which could broaden my awareness and expertise in urban planning. Having this in mind, I applied for a one year academic exchange program in Medellín, Colombia, aspiring to live a rich cultural experience in a city known to be of innovative reference in urban planning experiences in Latin America. At the National University of Colombia (UNAL), I studied the strategic planning processes which took place in the city and its impacts on the local community. During this period, I also engaged in a university project in the peripheric community of Pinares de Oriente located in Comuna 8, in Medellín. My commitment with this community contributed to my know-how of the urban processes taking place in the city, which were criticized by some of its inhabitants who felt excluded from the acclaimed social transformation of the territory.

Coming back to my hometown, I reinforced my bonds with urban studies by participating in an academic research group related to the Faculty of Economic Sciences at UFRGS and acting as a Field Researcher in the "Informal Urban Areas in Brazil Research". Through this quali-quantitative research carried out by "IPEA - Institute of Applied Economic Research'' in cooperation with the federal government, I developed a particular interest in the elaboration and implementation of public policies related to the reduction of socio spatial inequalities in urban territories. After working as a Field Researcher, I collaborated with a group dedicated mainly to provide architecture and urban planning services to social movements. During this period, I worked mostly with land regularization in low income territories, which provided me a more in depth understanding of land regularization policies implemented by the city's government. Acting with this group also led me to develop my undergraduate thesis named "Demanding Right to the City for the communities of Morada da Colina and Santo Antônio" in which I incorporated technical and empirical skills aiming to provide subsidies to the land regularization process and to demand the attendance of basic constitutional rights in two specific communities of Porto Alegre.

Since I concluded my undergraduate studies, I have been working as an urban planning consultant collaborating in the development of urban projects and in the elaboration of innovative urban master plans for several municipalities of Rio Grande do Sul's state. By working in cooperation with multiple professionals, I was able to improve my geoprocessing skills which are very useful when analyzing different types of data and I could sharpen my practical and critical thinking which are important not only to develop thorough comprehension of the reality, but also to suggest consistent and contextualized proposals related to urban planning practices. Furthermore, I developed a better understanding of the institutional scenery of urban planning in the South of the Country, reinforcing my interest in participating in the design of public policies related to the urban environment.

I understand that pursuing a Master degree should be my next step in what I believe to be a continuous learning process, and the 4 Cities Master program in Urban Studies would be an interesting and inspiring option to continue my formal education. The interdisciplinary approach composed of diverse courses such as Urban Social Geography, Urban Political Economy, Contemporary Challenges in Urban Development and Government and Welfare State are of my particular interest, as I consider that they can give essential inputs in the course's main subjects of geography, sociology, history, cultural studies, and political science which are intrinsically related to urban planning.

In addition, the course's proposal of living in culturally diverse cities such as Brussels, Wien, Copenhagen and Madrid, known as important references in urban life and planning, is very exciteful and challenging for a curious student eager to explore multiple urban realities. I think that by living in distinct places we are provided the possibility to adapt to distinct realities, and being able to connect this diversity identifying similarities and differences among them can be of great value when aiming to embrace the complexity of matters which we face not only as urban planners but also as engaged citizens.

Therefore, I would be thrilled to be part of the 4Cities Master program, share my experiences, learn from professors of recognized academic institutions and from colleagues of different professional and cultural backgrounds. I believe that my professional and academic skills can contribute in developing interesting and qualified academic projects and that by sharing my experiences and engaging in projects and debates I can contribute to this academic journey with a socially aware perspective from the Global South reality. I also hope that such experience will help me build a diverse framework composed of academic and empirical references acquired in various European and Latin American cities which I aim to put in practice in my professional career in Brazil as a female Brazilian citizen and urban planner committed to social justice.
Holt  Educational Consultant - / 14,976 4812  
Jan 10, 2023   #2
my undergraduate thesis

Do you think that there is a chance that this paper could influence you master thesis? If yes then give a depiction of how that could be. Reviewers are interested and often remember applicants who can prove a continuing and connected research interest during the course of study.

As a scholarship holder of an interdisciplinary group

What scholarship group was this? Mentioning It and discussing it a bit in this essay would be beneficial since it would show your strong credentials as a candidate. Discuss it in an expanded form if you mentioned the scholarship program in your CV.

I reinforced my bonds with urban studies by participating in an academic research group

Be specific never leave out the official names as the screeners may decide to check your given information for truthfulness and authenticity.

IPEA - Institute of Applied Economic Research'

Is this the group name? If not then a clear separation between the 2 groups must be made. Reviewers appreciate clarity in the statements.

* Limited review provided due to paper length. Contact me privately ffor comprehensive review services.
OP elisautzig 1 / 1  
Jan 11, 2023   #3
Thank you for your help, I will improve my motivation letter including your suggestions.

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