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Tips and Tricks for KGSP (Korean Government Scholarship Program): Part 1

January 22, 2013

3 Votes More complete guide: First article | Second article | Third article on KGSP Korean Government Scholarship Program, or KGSP in short, has now been one of prestigious scholarship in the world. As the fame of South Korea raises up (perhaps partly because of KPOP and somehow because of Samsung as well), now more and more people are curious about South Korea. Moreover, as one of the fastest developing countries in this planet, studying in South Korea not only provides profound knowledge in ones field, but it also give wonderful life experience witnessing the South Korea rapidly develop. Therefore, no wonder every year the selection to be granted as KGSP scholarship gets tougher and more competitive. This year, 2012, there are 337 students from around 90 countries all over the world that come to South Korea.

KGSP Students Experiencing Taekwondo Practice. (For general information about KGSP, please refer to this NIIEDs website)

In this article, we will discuss about the KGSP for Graduate Program (Master or PhD), so if youre looking for the Undergraduate Program this is not the right page. As I read from the NIIEDs website (NIIED is South Korean governments institution that is responsible for managing KGSP), the following items are provided for the scholarship:

Round-trip airfare ticket from ones country to S.Korea (and back) Monthly allowance of 900.000 KRW per month (around $850 USD) Research allowance of 210.000 KRW (social science) and 240.000 KRW (for natural science) per semester Settlement allowance of 200.000 KRW upon arrival FULL COVERAGE of language training (including 2 chances of TOPIK tests registration fee) FULL Coverage of all admission and tuition fees to university. Dissertation printing costs: 500.000-800.000 KRW (depending on actual costs) Medical insurance with the value of 20.000 KRW per month. Extra monthly allowance of 100.000 KRW per month for those with TOPIK 5 or 6.

Two Types of KGSP Programs In general KGSP Programs can be categorized into two groups: The Embassy Quota and University Quota. What are the differences? In case of Embassy Quota, selected countries are provided with quota of number of students that it can recommends to South Korea (e.g. United States 15, Indonesia 2, etc). In order to apply for this, one should contact Korean Embassy in his country. The selection method normally depends on the requirement of the country. Whereas in case of University Quota, one needs to apply to one of South Korean University, without having to contact South Korean embassy in his respective country. Each university has also maximum number of students it can accept (normally 15 students per university). Difference Choices of University University Quota One can only apply to one university Embassy Quota Via this program, one can apply up to 3 universities

Depends on the quota of that Depends on the university. The country given by the Korean more famous and highly Competitiveness government. US for example favoured university will of has 15 slots while Indonesia course be more competitive. has only 2. Selection Process 1. One sends his application to respective university. 1. One sends his application to Korean Embassy in his

2. University will then select up to its maximum quota (normally 15 students) 3. The selected students will then be recommended by the university to NIIED 4. NIEED will finally select the students based on the country quota, university quota, and (of course) applicants application.





respective country. The embassy will select up to 150% of its maximum quota (e.g. Indonesia will select 3 students since it has 2 quota). The Korean Embassy in that country will nominate the applicant to NIIED. The NIIED will send the students applications to universities he applies. Selected students will then qualified for the scholarship.


If the university that one applies rejects the application, then he cannot do anything, since he can only apply to one university. If one applies to well-known university, and then be selected, his probability to be selected is very high.

Since the selection to university is conducted later, normally the allocation for many good university is already full (or only few left) so it could be tough and most people will have to choose his 2nd or even 3rd choice. One can apply to 3 alternative universities, if some reject him, then he still have opportunity to be selected on the other one(s).

Good points

One applicant can only apply via one method. If the NIIED finds that he applies on both ways, then automatically he will be disqualified. So prior to applying, one needs to consider the best method for his goal. If the main goal is to go very good university, then applying via University Quota will give more chance (but of course it requires more efforts and great trade records). In reverse, if ones country has more quota then applying via Embassy Quota will bring him more opportunity to be accepted. (Nonetheless, this is only my own PERSONAL opinion, so its very debatable). I personally do not really know about this year selection process. However, here are some very useful documents from last year selections. For those who are intending to apply, these would be very good resources.

1. action=view&boardNo=1497 2. action=view&boardNo=1494 Thats all for the first post. I will be coming back soon with the second article. Good luck for those who wanna apply.

January 26, 2013

4 Votes More complete guide: First article | Second article | Third article on KGSP While in the first article I talked about general information related to KGSP, I will write more information on filling out the application forms. As the form is the first step in applying to this program, making sure that everybody gives his best in applying is very important, particularly for those coming from countries with very tight selection (in 2012, Indonesia is country with toughest selection rate).Sorry for this, but personally I dont have the application form for 2013 KGSP period. I only have that of 2012. However, I assume there will be not major difference between the two. You might want to download it from this link, please refer to the document #4 on that pace, entitled 2012 KGSP Graduate Program Guideline.doc. This document has almost all information that one requires in applying for KGSP.

KGSP students Field Trip to Palgongsan Once the document has been downloaded, one might consider the following tips in order to increase his chance to be selected in the program. General Tips

The given form is not merely an application form, but it also shows the level of willingness of the applicant to be selected in this program, his character, and of course his competency. Therefore, one needs to make sure to give his very best in filling out and sending his documents. This can be done by making sure that he fully completes filling out each and every required document. Typing the application nicely and double-check the grammar before printing are very good practice to improve your chance to be selected. To make yourself stands out among the others, make a simple yet unique difference in your application. For example, you can print your application in very good-quality papers (80 gsm instead of 70 gsm), attach some of your research publications (the most important only), print in light brown papers instead of plain wait ones, etc. It might not be helpful on the selection process quantitatively, but it could be very helpful in attracting good interest from the selection committee and shows them ones strong willingness to be accepted.

In Detail Tips According to KGSPs website, here are required documents for the applications:

1. Personal Data (Attachment #1): This part is basically very similar to ones resume/CV. I really recommend everyone to download this from, make another digital copy, and edit it with Word Processing program, rather then print it out and fill it out with pen. In the language proficiency part, if one has TOPIK score then it will be great advantage. However, if one does not have, stating that he has Korean language course would be better rather than leaving it empty. For the papers and awards, they only ask applicant to put two, so it would be really nice if he puts two, two of BEST papers that he published and some of BEST awards that he received. (Unless if one really has some other very important awards that he thinks leaving it out will be bad idea, he might still write some extra. Last time I wrote down up to 6 awards, but only put 2 publications since my publications are not worthy enough to be all stated). 2. Self-Introduction (Attachment #2): In this part, applicant need to write some sort of cover letter. In very limited space, one need to include every of these following items: o Your course of life, your view of life, study background, your hopes & wishes, etc o Your education and work experience, etc., in relation to the KGSP program o Your motivations for applying for this program o Reason for study in Korea I would recommend applicant to write the essay in following basis: 5. Your past (great) experience and achievements; 6. Your future goals 7. How KGSP can help you achieve such goals By doing this, there will be more correlation among those 4 required items, and ones application will much better than just merely answering those questions. 3. Study Plan (Attachment #3): The first section is very similar to research plan; what applicant will do during his research. Its been public secret now that almost nobody will have his own privilege to conduct his research, but he needs to work on project his lab has/offers. So what is the point of this part? It merely measures applicants seriousness in applying to the program and to check his understanding on his research field. Almost nobody will do the one he once wrote on his research plan but accepted student normally has solid background of research and clear vision of his research. The second part deals with applicants plan after completing the program. The purpose is almost very similar to the 2nd item and to the 1st part of this item: to check the long-term vision of applicant. Saying that he wants to get master degree for a long life work (such as becoming diplomat for his country, Chemistry teaching professor,

etc) will be much better then just saying willingness to explore Korean culture. 4. Letter of Recommendation (Attachment #4): Providing 2 or 3 LoR will be just great. One of them should be from people with quite good reputation in the university ones studying now, such as rector/president of the university, head of the faculty, head of the department, head of some research institute in the university. Legal positions always posses trustworthy recommendation. The other one should be from professor that ones working with for quite long time, so he/she knows applicant personally. It would be great if you can get some Korean professor recommendation, since Koreans trust other Koreans more than other people. 5. Pledge (Attachment #5): Very clear. Its just commitment between two parties: applicant and NIIED. 6. Personal Medical Assessment (Attachment #6): This document is for general and personal medical assessment only. Once one is accepted, he needs to provide more detail medical assessment from hospital/medical institutes. S. Korea is highly concerned with health, so make sure one does not have severe disease(s). 7. Copy of diploma or certificate of graduation from undergraduate institution. If one is already graduated, then there will no problem with this. But for those who have not gotten his/her diploma can write Letter of Expected Graduation signed by the Head of Department. 8. Official transcript of previously attended undergraduate institution(s): Its important to make sure that everybody provide such document in Korean/English (or with such translation). If the document issued by the university is not in Englsih, then finding legalized/certified translation institute would be great idea. 9. Copy of diploma or certificate of graduation from graduate institution, almost similar to item #7, only this certificate is for those applying for doctoral degree. 10. Official transcript of previously attended graduate institution(s). Silimar to #8, only for PhD applicants. 11. Certificate of TOPIK score (original copy), if available. If one does not have any TOPIK score, presenting certificate of Korean Course experience will be better then just leaving it blank. 12. Certificate of TOEFL or IELTS score (original copy): Very clear. In case of absence of TOEFL score, doing as suggested in #11 is good idea. 13. Published papers, if available (one or two). One might need to provide some copy (of his best) published papers, particularly ones related to his future research. 14. Awards, if available (one or two). It is also important to attach copy of certificates of ones awards, select only those related to Korean life and/or research field. 15. Copy of passport (possible to submit after selection)

16. Certificate of citizenship of parents of applicant : birth certificate, passport, etc. (* applicable only to overseas Korean immigrants) 17. Adoption documents (*applicable only to overseas Korean adoptees) Those are few notes on filling out the forms. I wish it will be very helpful for applying the KGSP scholarship. I will see you guys again in 3rd article.

February 18, 2013

1 Votes

*Click to download the Application form (.doc file) ==> Application Forms for Graduate KGSP (University Recommendation) More complete guide: First article | Second article | Third article on KGSP Few weeks ago the application and guide book for KGSP 2013 has been posted. For those who have read my first and second post related to KGSP, this is the next article following those two. I hope you guys that are preparing your application will have good time in preparation and will be joining us next semester. You might want to download the application (and guideline) from the following link KGSP Graduate Program Apppication (pdf document) or you can go to NIIED website for the doc (MS Word) file by clicking this link. There are few major change in the current KGSP application. What are they? Some of them are really good changes compared to last year, while a few might be very undesirable ones. 1. MUCH More Number of Grantees According to the current KGSP guide, (page #1, second point) it says that there will be 760 students granted the scholarship. That is just a very significant boost compared to last year, in which only 337 applicants were qualified to pursue their graduate studies in South Korea. The number increases more than twice. It

also means that applicants chance to be accepted raises more than twofold. What a good change, isnt it? 360 of them are allotted to embassy quota, in which China has the most number of grantee students, as many as 20 applicants. While there are 73 countries which have only 2 quota, such as New Zealand and Cambodia. Here is the list of given slot for each country for more detail:

KGSP 2013 Embassy Quota The next 400 spaces are given to students who apply via designated Korean universities. Most of them (389) are selected to 60 universities, while the other 11 quota are given to 2 (two) specialized universities. Here is the more detail information for such quota:

KGSP University Quota 2. Change of Countrys Quota As the number of selected applicants increases significantly, then the allocation for each country also raises (compared to last year). For example Indonesia has only 2 slots in 2012 but now the quota raises to as many as 7 students. 3. More Number of University This is also another good news. Last year NIIED only gives 51 universities in South Korea to select students. while in this year there are up to 60 universities that students can apply. As stated in the KGSP Graduate Program Apppication, here they are: Ajou University, Cheongju University, Chonbuk Natl University, Chonnam Natl University, Chosun University, Chung-Ang University, Chungbuk Natl University, Chungnam Natl University, Daegu University, Daejeon University, Donga University, Dongguk University, Dongseo University, Ewha Womans University, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gyeongsang Natl, University, Hallym University, Handong Global University, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, Hannam University, Hanyang University, Hongik University,

Inha University, Inje University, Jeju National University, Jeonju University, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Kangwon Natl University, KDI School of Public Policy and Management, Keimyung University, Kongju Natl University, Korea University, Korea University of Technology and Education, Kumoh Natl Institute of Technology, Kyunghee University, Kyungpook Natl University, Kyungsung university, Myongji university, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pukyong Natl University, Pusan Natl University, Seoul Natl University, Seoul Natl University of Science and Technology, Silla University, Sogang University, Sookmyung Womens University, SoonChunHyang University, Soongsil University, Sunmoon University, Sunchon National University, Sungkyunkwan University, The Graduate School of Korean Studies in the Academy of Korean Studies, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, University of Science & Technology, University Of Seoul, University of Ulsan, Wonkwang university, Woosong University, Yeungnam University, Yonsei University 4. Limitation of Applicants As many things in our life, good things normally also come with their bad sides. Not like in previous years, in 2013 (and probably in the following years as well) students with studying experience in S. Korea are no longer qualified to apply. As stated in bold text on the KGSP Graduate Program Apppication on page #5, Applicants who have ever enrolled in a university in Korea will be disqualified from applying to the KGSP program. Specifically, an applicant who has previously enrolled in an undergraduate program, a masters program, a doctoral program or an exchange program in Korea cannot apply for this program. Good luck for the preparation! *NB: Im not part of the NIIED, Im just a student granted with the scholarship, so please re-check the information that I provided in my blog. Even though Ive done some researches, comparing many NIIED documents, theres some probability that I make mistakes. Feed backs from you guys will also be very helpful.

HOME Core Business Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) Korean Government Scholarship Program

[Office in charge] KGSP Team under the Department of International Exchanges [Graduate Program]

Tel : 02-3668-1389 Fax : 02-743-4992 Email : Related Website :

[Undergraduate Program]

Tel : 02-3668-1357 Fax : 02-743-4992 Email : Related Website :


To provide international students with an opportunity to conduct advanced studies at higher educational institutions in Korea, to develop global leaders and strengthen Korea-friendly networks worldwide.
Qualifications [Graduate Program]

Master's course Scholarship Period Doctoral course

1 year of Korean language + 2 years of Master's course requirements 1 year of Korean language + 3 years of Doctoral course requirements


1. The applicant and his/her parents must hold foreign citizenships. * Applicants who hold Korean citizenship are not permitted to apply for this program. 2. Applicants must be under 40 years of age as of Sep. 1st, 2013 (born after Sep. 1st, 1973). 3. Applicants must hold a Bachelor's or Master's degree as of September 1st of the selection year. * Applicants who have previously enrolled in or graduated from an undergraduate program, a master's program, or a doctoral program (including exchange program) in Korea cannot apply for this program. 4. Applicants must maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.64 on a 4.0 scale, 2.80 on a 4.3 scale, 2.91 on a 4.5 scale, or grades/marks/score of 80% or higher from the previously attended institution. If the applicant does not satisfy the above GPA requirements, he/she will be ineligible to apply to this program.

[Undergraduate Program] 5 Scholarship year Period s Prospective applicants must meet the following qualification criteria; Qualification s 1. Must be a citizen of the country to which the scholarship is offered, which also applies to the applicants' parents 2. Have graduated or will be scheduled to graduate from high school as of March 1st of the invitation year 3. Must possess above 80% (out of 100%) cumulative grade point average (CGPA), or must be within the top

20% (out of 100%) in rank in high school. Selection Procedure [Graduate Program] 1st SelectionThe 1st selection institutions (Overseas Korean embassies or Domestic designated universities) will draft a selections standard based on the criteria provisioned by NIIED, and will recommend qualified applicants according to its respective standards. 2nd SelectionThe NIIED selection committee will select the most successful candidates from the pool of applicants recommended by the 1st selection institutions. 3rd SelectionOnly candidates who were recommended by a Korean embassy and have passed the 2nd selection successfully will be evaluated for admission. Successful candidates will gain admission from at least one of the three universities. [Undergraduate Program] 1st round of selectionKorean Embassies will recruit and select qualified candidates * Applicants should apply for the program THROUGH their local Korean Embassy 2nd round of selectionNIIED selection committee will screen qualified candidates selected by the Korean Embassies 3rd round of selectionKorean Universities will screen candidates for admission Announcement of final successful candidates will be made Scholarship [Graduate Program] Airfare Monthly Allowance Research Allowance Round-trip economy class ticket 900,000 won (KRW) per month 210,000 won for scholars in the field of humanities and

Per Semester

social sciences; 240,000 won for scholars in natural and mechanic sciences

Relocation (Settlement) Allowance

200,000 won upon arrival

Language Training Fee Full coverage All admission fees are waived by the host institution (university). The tuition will be provided for by NIIED.


Dissertation Printing 500,000 ~ 800,000 won, depending on actual costs. Costs Medical Insurance 20,000 won per month will be provided (limited coverage).

Special funding for scholars who are proficient in 100,000 won per month the Korean language (TOPIK Level 5 or 6) [Undergraduate Program] - Round-trip economy class airfare - Monthly Stipend (800,000 won) - Medical insurance - Settlement Allowance - Repatriation Allowance - etc.

* Additionally, grantees with a good command of the Korean language (level 5 or higher in TOPIK) will receive an additional 100,000 won