It’s a new year and people are looking for a new adventure of a lifetime. What better way to start than taking a step of faith and applying for a scholarship abroad? That thought of living independently in a foreign land, meeting new people, trying new things is so exciting! To everyone who’s on for that adventure, I’m totally with you! Go for it!
A year ago, I was ‘you‘. Always in front of my computer searching for tips and blogs that can help me with my application for the Korean Government Scholarship Program. Particularly from applicants in the Philippines as I suppose there will be at least slight differences in the application procedure, interviews, and successful candidate notifications for every country. Well, I had a tough time as it was almost non-existent. And I hope that through this blog, I will be able to help many of you this year.
But before anything else, I just want everybody to know that I did not pass KGSP 2016. So I’m not sure if you’d trust my answers to your questions. 🙂
But hey, a month after the results came out and my name was not on the final list, they called me again!!! I am still going to Korea this year with a full scholarship! You can read the story here: My KGSP Experience And I hope it will inspire you to not be afraid, take that step of faith, do not be anxious, just do your best and God will do the rest. If it is meant for you, whichever route it takes, it will be yours. Nothing can take it away from you. NOTHING.
Frequently Asked Questions for the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP)
Disclaimer: I am not in any way related to NIIED or the Korean Embassy. I speak only according to my experience. This does not guarantee anything.
FAQ #1: Which way do I have better chances, Embassy Track or University Track?
As we all know, you can only submit your documents once, either through the embassy or the university of your choice. But here are some points to consider:
- Embassy track takes a longer process than the University Track.
- But you have 3 choices of universities for the embassy track which means that if you pass the embassy interview, you only need to get approved by one university to secure a spot on the scholarship. As for the university track, you can only submit to one university of your choice, if you fail to pass the university admission, your journey ends there. (But of course, you can try again)
- For the embassy track, you are competing against hundreds of applicants from your country. Getting a call for interview is already a great feat. For the university track, you are competing against hundreds of applicants from all over the world who chose the same university you did.
- Also consider the number of slots in your country for both tracks.
Honestly, there is no certainty either way. You just have to go with your gut, which way are you more confident?
FAQ #2: What are the problems you encountered during your application?
I was volunteering in Eastern Samar at the time of my application so I guess the biggest challenge was gathering my documents such as the English Translation of my academic records, birth certificates, etc. I had to contact family members in Manila to help me, issue authorization letters to secure documents, and even fly back and forth to Manila. It took a lot of time…and money. But even with those constraints, I was able to submit my documents 2 weeks before the deadline.
To sum it up, there are 2 things you need to highly consider:
- Time – Never think you still have a month to go before the deadline. Do it now! It will save you from a lot of stress when you finally realize you only have a week and you still don’t have that document!
- Money – My case was different since I was living far from home. But if you have your documents within your reach, then you’ll have less expenses.
FAQ #3: How do I fill out the forms/complete the KGSP requirements? (Self introduction, study plan, etc)
I have one important tip on how to fill-out your forms: BE GENUINE.
Be honest. Be who you are. That’s the way I filled out all my documents especially the self-introduction. I didn’t pretend to be someone I was not. I resolved that I will not lie or cheat just to impress those who will review my documents and get the scholarship. And it paid off!
I’ll just focus on these two forms a lot of people asked about as the others are self-explanatory:
Write about who you are, your dreams, beliefs, life principles, family, work experiences, etc. Tip: Inspire! Encourage! But don’t be overly dramatic. Be on point.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE/STUDY PLAN
This is very much like a research proposal. I wrote my goal of study, why I chose it as my focus, and how and why it is relevant. This really won’t be your final thesis subject for your course but I believe that they required it for the purpose of testing how well you know your field. Showcase that.
FAQ #4: Is GRE Subject score important?
I believe that they largely look at your final average and not your grades per subject. I actually have a failing grade (oh, Math!). Haha. As long as you have the final average of at least 80%, you’re good to go.
FAQ #5: Is the Korean Language Proficiency/TOPIK Score necessary?
Not really. I didn’t have mine. I passed TOPIK Level 4 only last October 2016. It’s optional but if you have it, include it. It surely is a plus!
FAQ #6: How do I know I passed the first stage? When do I get a call for interview?
For the university track, you’ll get an email from the university informing you that you have successfully been shortlisted for the next stage which is the NIIED Selection.
For the embassy track, you’ll receive an email and a call from the embassy. As for me, I received a call from the Korean Embassy in the Philippines just 3 days before the interview. So make sure to keep your lines open!
You may also read my post on KGSP Interview Process and Tips.
If you have any more questions, please do leave a comment below and I will try my best to get back to you as soon as I can.
I’m very excited for your journey!!! God bless you all!