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It seems that US universities usually provide a link to the professor of the applicant, and let him/her directly upload the recommendation letter to that link, meaning that the student would have no access to it. However, when applying to Masters programs offered by German universities, I am surprised to see that they all ask the student to upload the recommendation letter in PDF format/to a text area directly, by his/her own, which seems to make little sense to me.

I'm afraid that some professors will just outright reject writing a letter which is to be handed to and viewed by the student. Or are such worries unnecessary? Is this a cultural difference between continental European and British/American system (My current university mostly follows the British/American system)? What should I do in this case. Should I ask the professors to write and hand me recommendation letters directly, or should I try to communicate with the university and let the professors email them the letter/give me a physical letter sealed within an envelop, which I will send to the university by mail later on?

1 Answer 1

Why, of course a recommendation letter should be readable by the student - and before you've sent it anywhere; or you just hand it to her/him. It's the other way around that doesn't make sense: Why should the person whom you're recommending not be aware of what you're going saying about her/him? That seems to be mostly an opportunity to "backstab" a person by "anti-recommending" them in the letter.