I emailed some tutors from several years ago to ask for a meeting (as described in this question). I am happy to tell you that I have received another reply from my former school teacher. She had a trip to Japan for weeks and had not read any emails. She agreed to meet me at my former school.

I want to further my study and I want to seek more information from her.

I know that she is very busy, so should I make use of this opportunity to ask her to write to any recommendation letter for me even if I have not applied for any programms at a university?

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    What degree are you applying to ? Is She a professor or what? I do not know what you did few days ago. Please make your question self-explanatory.
    – seteropere
    Jan 7, 2015 at 18:51

3 Answers 3


Definitely, you should tell her that you would like to further your training. And since your former tutor know you well, she is one of the capable person to write this letter.

Meanwhile, she doesn't have to write it now and then - if you manifest the possibility of asking her in a near future for such a letter and she agree, this will still stand in a year or so.

It is hard to write a good and relevant letter in advance without knowing on which desk it will land on - so better make precision when you know more details, such as the institution, concentration, which possible supervisor, with hyperlinks to relevant pages in case she want more context.


I'm not quite sure what you're asking. What "more information" do you need?

I think it is unlikely that any professor or teacher will write a recommendation letter for you in the absence of an application deadline. Otherwise, she might be wasting her time (e.g., you never end up applying or decide that a letter from another professor would be better). Since you say that "she is very busy," I would be careful about asking her to write a letter if you aren't applying anywhere right now.

The only situation where I would even consider asking about a recommendation letter in the absence of a plan to apply soon would be if you think her memory of you will substantially wane between now and when you apply. If that's the case, maybe reconnecting with her will help jog her memory. On the other hand, many professors will ask for a CV or draft statement of purpose before writing a letter, which can also serve the same purpose.


Take the opportunity to ask if they would be willing to write a reference for you at a later time (when you email them the details), giving an indication of when you expect to be doing applications.

(As I have said elsewhere, if your referee is busy (or even if not), try to allow your referee to write their letter and send it to as many places as needed in one sitting, rather than spacing out requests and so taking up more time.)

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