I was informed that I got into the top 20 out of 100+ applicants that qualified for the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP) interview at the Korean Embassy. It was the Friday before the interview week. I only had three days! I immediately booked my flight and began searching online for interview tips hoping to find good sources of information regarding the KGSP interview in particular. Unfortunately, blogs about KGSP interviews are almost non-existent. So I’d like to help out those who will be shortlisted for the KGSP interview by sharing my own experience. Hopefully this will guide you on your preparations in nailing that interview!
Overview of the KGSP Process for Embassy Track:
- Embassy Selection (Application, Shortlisting and Interview)
- NIIED Selection
- University Selection (you need to pass in at least 1 of the university choices you indicated in your application)
This is purely based on my experience as a KGSP applicant from the Philippines. In our country, out of the 20 shortlisted applicants, only 5 will be recommended to NIIED. There will be 2 or 3 more people on the waiting list. Most of the time, when you get to the Final 5, the probability that you’ll go all the way to Korea is very high ^^ As for our batch, the 2 shortlisted applicants also passed the NIIED selection.
How is the interview done?
- You’ll be scheduled in groups of 4 with a panel of 3 interviewers.
- Questions will be given and the applicants take turns in giving their answers. It is quite a challenge especially if you have to go last!
How long does the interview take?
Approximatley 30 minutes. It doesn’t take too long considering that there are 4 of you in a group and there are 5 groups to be interviewed.
What are the interview questions? (This is only based on my experience and I might have already forgotten some. Most questions they asked are spontaneous and are based on our introduction and answers)
- Introduce yourself. I’d say this is the most important question they asked. It could make or break your whole application! Be sure you will be able to set yourself apart from the others.
- Why do you want to study in Korea? Do yourself a favor and DON’T answer because you watch a lot of Korean dramas and gush over KPOP.
- How are you going to adjust to the language barrier? Especially to those who had no background of the Korean language
- Give a positive and negative thing about Korea.
- How is your chosen major gonna help in the Philippine-Korea relations?
Any more tips?
- Be prepared! Think of possible questions other than those I’ve specified above. Prepare your answers, write them if you need to.
- Establish why your chosen major is beneficial for Korea and the Philippines. Or why you are choosing to study in Korea with that major.
- Talk about your achievements. It’s not bragging. The competition is tough and you are sitting with 3 more applicants with excellent credentials fighting for a spot in that scholarship!
- Make your answers brief and straight to the point.
- Learn about Korean culture, politics, economics, and why it interests you.
- Relax. Be confident. Smile 🙂
- Pray. The battle is not yours, but God’s. If it’s meant for you, nothing can take it away from you.
Take note that the KGSP scholarship gives an edge to those who will be majoring in natural sciences but it’s still worth a try. You see, I am pursuing MA in Social Welfare. It didn’t go exactly as I have planned (which I will be blogging about soon) but surely I want to encourage everyone to just go ahead, chase your dreams!!! It is better to try and learn from the experience than spend your lifetime wondering about what ifs.