1. Let your personality Shine! through!
2. Remember that you need to write in the style of a letter. We're not looking for a CV or a straight list of your achievements. Last year's winner, Rose Melissa Ilboudo, says: ‘I wrote my letter one hour before the deadline. I was working on my dissertation and the last thing I wanted to do was write another 1,000 words!’ But she did, and her spontaneous style paid off.
3. Don't worry if you feel you can't write in perfect English – the judges won't be assessing your language skills. What matters is how you convey your experiences; immediacy and genuine enthusiasm are more important than flawless grammar.
4. Focus on activities that best illustrate your enthusiasm for your new life in the UK.
5. By all means tell us if you're doing particularly well in your studies, or have made an important contribution to research. Such information is certainly worth including, but the judges will be most interested in your broader experiences.
6. Think about the opportunities you have enjoyed that are unique to the UK and stand out from the student experience you could have anywhere in the world. Have you become involved with your local community or taken up any cultural activities that have particular meaning in your local area? Has the way UK institutions or British society work opened doors for you, or changed the way you see yourself and the world?
7. Think of examples that make you stand out from the crowd.
8. The experiences and achievements you write about don't have to be glamorous or unusual – if they're important to you, then we want to hear about them.
Enter the Shine! 2011 awards