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This is is a formal internship application letter. What I'm trying to say is that the same shebang happened last year, and I got to go and it was great.

Is this sentence correct?

"I had already been given the opportunity to apply for an internship abroad a year prior, which had given me the opportunity to ..."

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    I would say in the previous year, or even last year. – Oliver Mason Sep 16 '16 at 14:56
  • Already doesn't work with the past tense. You can't say I already went.... You would need to say I have already been . You could though say I went previously, but it would be superfluous to say I previously went last year. – WS2 Sep 16 '16 at 15:12
  • You can't say I already gave at the office? – michael.hor257k Sep 16 '16 at 20:48
  • @WS2 Can't you use already with the past tense if you follow it with imperfect? Or is your answer specific to the verb to go? – Unrelated Sep 16 '16 at 20:49
  • @Unrelated Do you mean like, I already gave money to the Syrian Refugees, whilst I was in Germany? I'm not terribly happy with that. I think I might say I have already given to the SRs while in Germany. Some people may challenge this. – WS2 Sep 16 '16 at 21:33
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"I had already been given the opportunity to apply for an internship abroad a year prior, which had given me the opportunity to ..."

A few observations:

  • It's not clear that you were "given the opportunity to apply" so much as that you seized it. Only you would know who could and couldn't apply.

  • Not only did you apply for the internship, you received it. Your sentence doesn't make that as clear as it should.

  • The use of "already" in a sentence concerning the past is problematic.

  • The meaning of "a year prior" is unclear. A year prior to what? Why
    not say "last year" (or whenever)?

  • The sentence repeats the word "opportunity", which is less than ideal.

Adding all this up, you might want to consider using something like the following in this year's internship application letter:

"I had the privilege of participating in this program last year. I look forward to extending that experience this year. Last year's program enabled me to ..."

A few comments:

  • "I had the privilege of participating in this program last year" makes it clear not only that you applied, but that you were selected for and participated in the program.

  • "I look forward to extending that experience this year ..." makes it clear that you expect to receive the internship again this year, because you've received it before.

  • There is no use of "already."

  • "A year prior" has been replaced by "last year".

  • There is no mention of opportunity, because you capitalized on the opportunities provided by last year's program when you participated in last year's program.

There are many possible ways to write the desired sentences ... and for you to use your participation in last year's program to help you make the case for yourself in this year's application.

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I wouldn't say it's ungrammatical, but it's certainly ungainly.

Instead of "I had already been given the opportunity to apply for an internship abroad a year prior, which had given me the opportunity to ..." I would write something like "I applied for an internship abroad last year, which gave me the opportunity to..."

This version is clearer and more engaging while saying the same thing.

By the way, if you applied for that internship last year and got it, don't just say you applied! Make your success very clear! "I had an internship with {x company} in {City, Country} last year, which gave me the opportunity to..."

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