Want to stand out from the crowd in the admissions process? Write a superb motivational essay!

The competition for seats on GNH intensifies each year, as our application numbers increase. As such, fulfillment of the formal admission requirements and the grade point average of your entry qualification may not in itself be enough to secure you a spot on the programme. It is therefore a good idea to prepare your application for assessment in quota 2, where we also take your general and personal qualifications and competences into consideration.

In quota 2 we look at what you have done after the completion of your entry qualification – you should therefore in your application list relevant activities such as work and volunteer work, travels, further studies and so on in order for us to get a complete picture of you as a candidate.

A vital part of your quota 2 application is the motivational essay. This is your chance to – in your own words – tell us about yourself, your experiences, ambitions, and why you believe yourself to be a perfect candidate for a seat on the programme. The strongest candidates are those who are able to express and demonstrate a clear motivation, a strong drive, a dedication to making a difference, and open-mindedness.

In a sense, you can compare the motivational essay to writing an application for your dream job where you would tell your prospective employer why you want the job, how you believe yourself to be qualified for it, and what you can bring to the work place. The same applies to writing a motivational essay to support your application for admission; you should tell us why you want to study nutrition and health and why it is important for you to study on a programme with a global focus and in an international study environment.

It is important that you do not just tell us that you are qualified and motivated, but that you also demonstrate why by using examples of the ways in which you have acquired competences and experiences that have strengthened your motivation and qualifications towards this programme. Providing examples and details of your personal experience and demonstrating the ability to reflect upon these – and how they have influenced your personal development – will help you stand out from the crowd.

To help you get started, here are a few dos and don’ts that you can keep in mind when writing your motivational essay:


  • Be reflective and use examples of specific experiences that contribute to you being qualified for a seat on GNH
  • Tell us why you will be an asset to GNH and how you can contribute to the multicultural study environment
  • Remember that you are applying for an international study programme – tell us why this is important to you
  • Be concise and to-the-point and write no more than 1½ standard pages


  • Use clichés or long academic quotes
  •  List your experiences or accomplishments without elaborating on their relevance in regards to you being qualified for a seat on GNH
  • Write your essay 5 minutes before the application deadline. Spend some time thinking about what you want to say, write a draft and revise your essay before submitting it

For more information about admission at GNH, please visit our website

Good luck with your application!

Maria Nørby Nielsen

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Ana Marija Plut says:

    Thank you for this blog, Maria.

    It’s already helpful, I saw on your website that the essay should be 1 1/2 pages long, but after I wrote in it everything I thought was relevant, it happened to be 2 1/2 pages long and I left it that way. It’s good I read this post, because you exposed exactly that. I will shorten it up.

    Regards from Slovenia:)

  2. Hi Ana Marija,
    Thanks for your comment – I am glad you found the post useful:-) I would definitely recommend that you revise your motivational essay so that the version you submit with your application is max. 1½ pages.
    Good luck to you,
    Best regards, Maria

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