Programs that Require Recommendations
Exchange programs that require one recommendation as part of their Guarini Institute application:
Exchange partners who require at least one recommendation as part of their own internal application process include:
- AIT Budapest
- Chulalongkorn University
- The Federation of German-American Clubs
- Hebrew University
- Keio University
- University College of London
- Waseda University
Students who apply to programs that require a recommendation only on the part of the exchange partner do not need to provide that recommendation at the time that they submit their application to the Guarini Institute. However, students should be aware that if they are accepted and commit to these programs via the Guarini Institute they will be asked to provide the recommendation to the exchange partner at a later time.
Recommendation Request Process for the Guarini Institute (Keble College Exchange only)
1. Prior to requesting an online recommendation, students must contact each potential recommender directly to ask if they are willing to serve as recommenders. Recommendations cannot come from anyone with a "student" status and should not be the faculty director of the program.
2. After receiving approval from the faculty member(s), students will need to identify their recommenders in the application system.
3. Each recommender will then receive an e-mail message requesting that a recommendation be completed on the student's behalf along with information about how to complete the recommendation online. Recommenders must submit their recommendation by the application deadline (February 1st) in order for the student's application to be considered complete and eligible for review.
Tips on Selecting Recommenders
Who knows you well in the academic setting, regardless of their title?
The most important recommender you can ask is someone who knows you well and can speak to your character, attributes, and abilities as a student and person in a positive light. Think about the audience of the letter - the faculty director and institution. What are their values in applicants for the program? What do they want to see most in their group cohort? It may help to speak with the faculty director to find out.
The professional title and accolades the recommender has don't matter as much as hearing from someone who knows you. Teachers' assistants are fabulous recommenders as well since they spend the most time with you. And it's even better if the recommender has several years of experience as well; their statements can carry more weight.
Do remember that the recommendation should still be academically focused. If you're unsure of where you stand with a recommender, ask and tell them you appreciate their honesty. It's hard to hear but it's better to weed out any recommenders that won't write a glowing recommendation for you.
Who will be most reliable and actually take the time to write a recommendation?
If you're trying to pick between your high school Spanish teacher whom you worked with for many years or the Senator you worked under for a summer internship, both may be valuable but think about what you're applying for when selecting the right person. That said, you also want to choose someone who not only is a good writer but will take the time to write you a good recommendation. That Senator may be a better fit for your program, but they may not have the time to write one for you, whereas the Spanish teacher might. One letter is better than no letter at all.
Some additional considerations are to find someone who can write a letter to complement your application and provide a variety of information that shows how well-rounded you are and how much experience you have in the area you're applying to.