Embassy or University?

So you’ve decided to apply for KGSP, and even have some schools you’re interested in. Now you have to decide whether to apply via a Korean embassy in your country or directly through the university in Korea.

There are some advantages and disadvantages to each, but first the basic process for each.

Designated University

Early February – Download the application instructions from NIIED, and check with the university for the application deadline

Mid March – Application deadline. Make sure you send your application materials so that they will arrive BEFORE the deadline. Remember, your application is going to Korea, so especially for some countries you will need lots of time. Make sure you send it express, and it’s best to have a tracking number.

Late March – Deadline for universities to report their decisions TO NIIED. They may or may not inform you at this time. (This is the “first selection.”)

May 1 – NIIED chooses candidates based on the country quotas. (This is the “second selection.”)

If you apply through a designated university then you are guaranteed a scholarship at this point UNLESS you do not return your completed medical exam results by the deadline, or fail it for some reason.

Rest easy until mid-June when the final list is posted with language school assignments.

Korean Embassy

Early February – Download the application instructions from the NIIED website, and check your local Korean Embassy for the application deadline. You must apply through the Korean embassy in the country of which you are a citizen. Check the NIIED guidelines for the location of the appropriate embassy, especially if there is no Korean embassy in your country. If you are American you will apply through the consulate in charge of your state of residence. You can check at the Korean Education Center in DC for the list of which embassies cover which states. If you are an American living abroad then apply through the embassy that has jurisdiction over the state where your parents live. (Confusing right?)

Mid March – Application deadline. Again make sure you send your application with enough time to arrive before the deadline. Usually, the embassy will be in your own country, so it will probably take less time than sending your application to Korea, but still leave plenty of time, and again get a tracking number.

Mid April – Deadline for the embassy to send their choices TO NIIED. Again, you may or may not be informed at this time.

May 1 – NIIED publishes the list of “second selection” candidates, and sends those applications on to the three universities each person has chosen in their application.

You may be contacted by your universities for extra materials or interviews at this time. (Look in the university information and on their kgsp info website ahead of time so you aren’t surprised by a request for another recommendation, or something equally difficult to get in a pinch.)

Late May – The universities will tell you if you are accepted or not. (This is the “third selection” which only applies to embassy candidates. If you are not accepted by any of your three universities then you cannot get the scholarship.)

Early June – You will tell NIIED which university you choose. As long as you also return and pass the medical exam by the deadline, you now have a scholarship.

June 17 – NIIED will post the list of all scholarship recipients and the language institute they will attend.

The differences are:

1.) The number of schools you can apply to (only one by university but three by embassy).

2.) The timeline (university applicants are basically done after the second selection, but embassy applicants have to wait for the third).

3.) The quotas (each country has a different number of places for embassy versus university. Some countries have only one or the other, so those people don’t need to decide.)

So, if you do come from a country with both university and embassy quotas, which method should you choose?

I personally don’t think there is a one-size fits all, simple answer to that question, but I will talk about what I think are the major considerations.

First, regarding difference (1)…

If you have one school that you are really interested in, and you are reasonably confident about getting in, then university may be the way to go.

As mentioned in an earlier post, you should research this school, and your desired department thoroughly to see if you really are a match (specifically regarding language ability, undergraduate experience, etc.)

If you want to apply to a top-ranked university (SKY, POSTECH, PNU, KAIST, etc), you should either be very, very confident, or consider applying via embassy.

On the other hand, if you are undecided about your first choice, or want to go somewhere that might be more difficult to get in (for you), then embassy might be a better choice. You can apply to a high-risk school (or two) along with a less risky choice. You can also delay your final decision until later.

Second, about the timeline…

This is not as big an issue for most people, but if timing is an issue, here are some considerations…

If you apply via embassy and are accepted in the first selection, you have a reasonably good chance of going all the way (if you have chosen your three universities wisely), whereas the guarantee is less for university applicants (for reasons I will discuss later).

On the other hand if you apply via university and make the second cut, then you are guaranteed the scholarship (as long as the medical check goes well), whereas embassy candidates still have to wait for their university acceptance.

If you are considering going to Korea even without a scholarship from NIIED (and there are numerous other scholarship programs, along with money available from the universities themselves specifically for foreign students) then you should consider which timing will work with your backup plans, and how much you want to risk.

This would also apply if you have other things such as job opportunities waiting for you.

By far the biggest concern, however, is quotas, and it is a complicated one.

The advantage of applying through university is that you may have a better chance of making it through to the second round, especially if your embassy quota is small.

If you apply through your embassy then the embassy will choose 1.5 times their quota to send to NIIED. That is 3 people if the quota is 2, or 12 if the quota is 8. If you are not one of those people NIIED will never even see your application, and if there are spaces left empty because other countries do not fill their quotas then you will not be considered.

On the otherhand, each university can choose up to 3 people from any one country (and 20 people total), and there are 60 universities. This means that in theory, up to 180 people from your country could go on to the second round, and at least have their application read by NIIED.

SO, university candidates are possibly more likely to go from round 1 to round 2, BUT embassy candidates are potentially more likely to make it through round 2.

The odds for embassy candidates in round 2 will never be less than 66% because the embassies can’t choose more than 1.5 times the quota, and as there are currently a number of countries that don’t fill their quota, the chances are actually much better. There were 63 countries in 2014 that exceeded their embassy quota after the second selection.

University candidates, on the other hand, will be faced with the same issue embassy candidates faced in the first round, small quotas and an abundance of candidates.

Ultimately, you are probably facing very similar odds either way, and these will vary significantly depending on the country you are applying from. This is not an easy scholarship to get, and if your CV is not strong, you should consider other back-up plans. BUT in as much as you increase the chance of your application going to NIIED, the university option may be better for those less confident about their chances.

If, however, your application is pretty strong and you are looking to go to SNU, Korea University or Yonsei (along with other popular choices), applying through the embassy is a better option.

Annually over 50 KGSP students (each) end up choosing SNU, Yonsei or KU.

If they all chose to apply through the university, they would be caught by the university quota of 20 students each (and no more than 3 from any one country).

Through university, you are also limited to choosing just one school. At top schools like these, where most of the candidates will be strong, there is an element of randomness to the selection, so if it is important to you to attend one of them, it is better to apply to multiple schools, as you can by applying through the embassy.

Of course if you have some connection with the university, or great confidence in the strength of your profile, then university still may be the way to go. (But if you are that awesome it probably doesn’t matter how you apply…)

In the end, as much as you may analyze and agonize there is a large element of chance. The country you’re from, the number of people who choose one method or the other, the other people who choose the same universities, etc. Try to maximize your chances and find the method that fits your situation, but also stay realistic and consider your backup plan as well.

Some numbers…

10 Most popular schools (2014 Final selection)
SCHOOL 2014# (2013#)
1. SNU 76 (86)
2. Yonsei 59 (50)
3. Hanyang 45 (38)
4. Korea U. 44 (48)
5. HUFS 35 (19)
6. Dongguk 32 (13)
7. Kyunghee 31 (30)
8. Ehwa Women’s 28 (21)
9. Pusan Nat. 27 (21)
10. Kyungpook 21 (23)

As you can see, the most popular schools all have more than 20 students each. Ultimately, no school admitted more than 12 people from the university selection (KU only had 3, Yonsei only 8).

There are several possible reasons for this. 1) Few people applied to popular schools via university because of the competition. 2) People were cut in the second selection by NIIED (although if someone is strong enough to be accepted at one of these, I find it unlikely they would be cut). 3) The schools only selected the strongest candidates at this early stage to leave room in their programs. I personally think it is a combination of 1) and 3).

4 = The number of people missing from the university quota between the 2nd and 3rd selection.

67 = The number of people missing from the embassy quota between the 2nd and 3rd selection.

The people who did not make the final cut for the university quota probably either decided not to take the scholarship and pursue other plans, or possibly had some problem with the medical exam.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people missing from the embassy quota were not accepted at any of their three choices. This emphasizes the importance of making wise choices in your university selection. These were all people who had been selected as representatives of their countries, and should have been worthy of selection at one of the 60 universities.


101 thoughts on “Embassy or University?”

  1. Dear Admin,
    I am From Ethiopia And I really love the comparison between two ways to apply for KGSP.
    As Of my Case, i will Graduate in July2015 and I already know that i am eligible to apply for my masters degree So to tell you my academic achievements and The likes;
    =I have earned a grade point of 3.75CGPA till this term and Left two semseter to boost it to 3.8
    =I have extracurricuar certificates from a humanitarian organization and also Students’ Club cerificates from my University!
    So,So,SO, So Which way is Better for me in your Eye, and I dont really don care to go big university or small, i just need the acceptance to upgrade my carrer, so Please Give me an advice me on this issue!

    1. I am just a fellow KGSP student, so really my only qualification to give advice is the fact that I was successful. I hope others can learn from my experience, but I worry about saying one way is better than another because there are too many different things I don’t know about.

      Personally, I chose to apply through the Embassy. The reason for this is that I think the Universities are the hardest judges. If you are one of the best from your country you will pass Embassy and NIIED selection. If you’re not, then you won’t no matter which way you apply. BUT just being good enough for NIIED doesn’t mean being good enough for every university, and it is hard to judge how good is good enough. SO, I wanted 3 choices of universities to increase my chances of being accepted at at least one.

      BUT, if your country is exceptionally competitive for embassy spots there may be some advantage to applying by university. If you are a student now you probably have a better idea than me about what interest is like in your country.

      And remember to check the quotas for your country. Some countries do not have a choice. There may be changes for 2015, but this years info should give you a general idea.

  2. Do you mind me asking a question?
    Do you think it’s possible for me to apply for this through another country (UK) since my country doesn’t have Korean Embassy? Would it work? (Bachelor Program)

    1. The scholarship is very strict on this matter. You can only apply for the scholarship if NIIED has selected your country to provide scholarships to. You can find 2014’s list of countries in the application documents at http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr (GKS-Notices). The list for 2015 will likely be slightly different, so check back in February (for graduate scholarships) for the new list and application documents. That said, not having a Korean embassy in your own country does not necessarily mean your country is not on the list. It is possible they are there with only a university quota. Or it is possible they have an embassy quota through an embassy in a neighboring country. Smaller countries may not have an embassy, but there will usually be an embassy nearby that deals with visas and other issues for people from that country. If your country has an embassy quota you will apply through them (and that information is also listed in the application info).

      So to summarize:
      *You cannot apply through any country that you are not a citizen of. (You must hold a passport from the country)
      *You cannot apply at all if your country is not given a quota by NIIED (check application info)
      *BUT, even if your country does not have an embassy it may still be possible that it is included in NIIED’s list of countries.

    2. Sorry, just noticed you are looking at the Bachelor’s program. The undergraduate scholarship is (from what I recall) much smaller than the graduate scholarship, with a much smaller list of countries. This year there are only 110 spots from 64 countries. The UK is not on the list for undergrads (nor is the USA) and the same rule applies that your own country must be on the list. There still might be countries on the list that do not have their own embassy.

      The undergraduate application becomes available in September and the application deadline is in October. You can check the 2015 info now, but as the deadline has passed you would not be able to apply until next September (to start school in March 2016)

  3. Thank you for your answer. I am constantly mixing up information for graduate and undergraduate on the internet, my country was mentioned in some of the lists but I guess I’ve seen a graduate or an old one. What’s interesting is that someone from my country applied through Denmark’s embassy in 2009 (according to an internet) for a bachelor but I guess times have changed.

    If you don’t mind advising me again, how possible is it to study undergraduate on scholarships aside from kgsp? (Considering I’ll have level 3 Topik). Universities usually provide scholarships for high gpa or similar yet it’s crazy to go there in hopes of actually getting it. Will I have to compete with International people or Koreans too (which is obviously not gonna do)? I’m talking about actually surviving there for 4 years (with a budget for a 1st year only). I am sorry, you probably don’t know much about this yet I’d appreciate your opinion.

    1. You’re right, unfortunately I’m not very well informed about undergraduate scholarships for Korea. I can say that it is likely that most universities offer separate scholarships for Korean and foreign students. The application process is completely different for foreigners than it is for Koreans which means they cannot be compared directly, and scholarships are also separate. As universities in Korea are trying to become more international, I think a higher percentage of foreign students are able to get scholarships, but I can’t speak about what that percentage is (and of course it differs by university).

      If money is a big concern, I would look into universities outside of Seoul, and especially the National universities outside Seoul. They will be cheaper to begin with (living expenses will be cheaper as well), and probably slightly less competitive for scholarships.

      Denmark is currently the embassy in charge of Greenland, so if that’s where you are from then your friend would have had to apply through Denmark. But also, yeah, the rules and the list seem to change from year to year.

  4. I was a journalism major but Id like to take up international relations for my master’s. My university has partnered with HUFS and they also offer the exact course I want to apply for. What are my chances considering that I have profile which is competitive enough in my country?

    1. I can’t tell you for sure, but the fact that there are exchange programs between your schools does seem like an indication that HUFS considers your University to be of a similar level. Regarding the switch from journalism to IR, they seem to me like there would be a fair amount of overlap… But I’ve never studied Journalism, so I’m not sure. Explore the webpage for the department you plan to apply to, and look for those requirements. Quite often there will be a list of acceptable majors. If not you could try asking directly to the department. Either way, really emphasize any foundation you have already regarding IR in your application.

  5. Greetings to ‘From Rising sun to Morning Calm’,

    I am sorry for throwing ‘a brainstorm’ in this letter, but prepare for a long reading hahaha. I hope you will understand why am I writing such massive letter in order to hear your opinion about the question/s that I will ask at the end of the message.

    I am interested studying the same program as my current undergraduate program – International Studies – in universities such as SNU, Yonsei, or Korea. Actually, I have done the research about every possible teacher, their degrees, read their doctorate works (only the ones, that are available to access from my University Library). Therefore, I consider my top pick Korea University, if not, then Yonsei and last one SNU for numerous reasons – Competence of teaching level, the acclamation of teachers on an international scale and, most importantly, provided curriculum of studies.
    I am already an first year international (Lithuanian) student, studying in the Netherlands – Leiden Universiteit – International Studies, focusing in East Asian studies and South Korea as specialized territory of economics, politics, and language. I have familiarized with the information about high requirements and quotas (Lithuania has 2 places for admission) to get accepted, but my university is 5 years program put into 3 years (International Studies and Psychology + Honors College) and the admissions office have never seen people applying to Korean University, nor maintaining a GPA higher than 3.2 (which is an equivalent of 8). Currently, I am holding an average of 7.5 (a little bit above 3GPA) and I am at the top of my class. I am a little bit afraid that they will not take into consideration of the grueling competition in my study program, because my goal is to study in SKY universities and aim for research on South Korea-United States of America foreign policy management in export of products coming from Conglomerate businesses. Personally, I believe that ‘Chaebols’ are imposing so-called ‘business culture’ to Small-Medium sized business companies/corporations. Therefore, Small-Medium Sized Business corporations are left as ‘suppliers to Chaebols’. BLUNTLY SPEAKING, I want to work with foreign policy on exports and allow national markets (SMBs) to become familiarized with international markets via international trade and increased quotas ( I am sorry for speaking in such manner, but it is the only way I am able to express my importance towards South Korea and why I want to study there. I am not interested in KPOP, nor the increasing boom of Korean-American Culture in Europe. I love the heritage, customs and business culture of South Korea and I want to improve my knowledge by studying at one of the best universities.)

    My University (Leiden University) is partnered with top 25 schools in the world and, apparently, we have a lot of graduates doing their master degrees in Harvard, Oxford, John Hopkins, Bologna, Chicago and Northwestern Universities – such partnership already provides information how other universities regard our competitiveness. Most importantly, we are also partners of SKY universities and Hangyang University. But the thing is; I have mentioned before that I am afraid that Korean Universities are demanding superbly high GPAs (in my university, teachers just don’t have a 10/10 (4.0 GPA), because they consider it as perfection. Thus, no one has ever reached perfection. Might sound ridiculous, but I support their view to a certain extent.) and I would not get admitted to any of the SKY universities.

    Thus my question; from the information provided, what would be the best option to apply for SKY universities? Is it better to apply through the government, or directly to university through my university? the latter is more about that I believe that they have prioritized picks for universities, and I do not believe that SKY universities love to be second or third picks regarding application, or admission. Also, what could improve my chances to get admitted ( I have played basketball for 7 years, 1 year professionally in 3rd division of Lithuanian basketball league. Also, I am tenor from critically acclaimed Lithuanian men and boys’ choir ‘Azuoliukas’, and played piano for 13 years. I can still sing and play basketball, but have not touched Piano for 2 years already because, sadly, I have not access to any facilities where I could play the piano…)?. Nonetheless, I do not speak Korean, but I am taking korean language classes. Therefore, If I pass TOPIK before the application for the KGSP, will it increase my chances to get admitted into one of the SKY universities?

    Once again, I really apologize for such mess, but I tried to organize as much as I can.


    A Keen Lithuanian student.

    1. Sorry to reply so late! You seem to have done your research, so that will add to your essays and improve your application. Every country and university has different grading standards, so you have a couple of options for showing what your grades really mean. 1) Have your grades professionally converted. This can be very expensive, though there are less official but cheaper options. 2) With your transcript, include extras like official documents regarding your personal class rank, or information about the grading standards at your university. These should come directly from your university if they are available. 3) Have your professor write about the grading standards in your recommendation.

      But if Harvard and Oxford have recognized the level of graduates from your university, then I don’t see why the SKY schools wouldn’t. The standards are different for students coming from inside the Korean school system and those coming from outside, so do what you can to help them understand what your grades really mean and hope for the best.

      As for the best way to apply… I know plenty of people who applied to all three SKY schools for KGSP, and more who applied to at least two (me included). Most were successful at at least one if not all. Just don’t put any indication of which is your first choice, and they’ll all assume they are number one.

  6. Hello, I want to ask regards embassy applications.

    – Do we need 3 recomendation letter for 3 desired major? Because there’s option “Desired Major” written in the form, or we could just leave it blank and the embassy will help us to write it?

    – For Study Plan and goal of study, do we need to write 3 for each university, or just write one for all with interesting field?

    1. First, unless one of the universities indicates otherwise (read the university information carefully in the NIIED documents) you only need one recommendation.

      The recommendation letter should be by a professor who has taught you in the past or is currently teaching you and knows you well (and will say good things about you). If they are from the field that you are applying for then that is a plus, but not absolutely necessary.

      I haven’t looked at this year’s application, but I’m assuming there is a desired major option for each university. You should basically choose one desired major, but each university may call it by slightly different names, or focus on slightly different aspects of the same subject. Look at the university information and figure out the major that most closely matches what you want to study. This is your choice, so the embassy isn’t going to help you with anything.

      For the study plan, you only need to write one. Since your desired majors are all basically the same, the study plan should be similar for all universities. Be specific, but vague enough that it applies to all three universities. How you write it will depend a little on what field you are applying for, but instead of listing specific class names write about your research interests and the problems you are interested in exploring/solving.

  7. Hello,

    I’m from Malaysia. I heard about this scholarship and it is super-duper helpful for a student who comes from low-income family but still want to further their studies. As I still new about this, may I ask you some question and tips?

    1. Application for Graduate Study. Is it only available for fall season? Spring?
    2. How to promote myself better? – besides saying that ‘I am better than others’. As you said, some candidates even not 3.70 above, but still success. And they also do not have higher level in language proficiency. So, a big ‘?’. How? Can you share yours?

    I do hope you can answer me. I really want to get this scholarship, as I am also one of girl who comes from low-income family (not very affordable to pay full tuition to further study, even in my own country).

    Thank you.

    1. Easy questions first… The graduate scholarship is currently only available for fall admission, and this year’s deadline has probably already passed for most if not all schools and embassies. But there is no problem if you’ve already graduated or have been out of school for a while, so you can apply next year or the year after that, etc.

      As for how to get the scholarship… You really just need to prepare the strongest application you can. That can include everything from test scores to work experience to transcripts and recommendations. If your academic record is not as strong then work experiences can show your dedication and practical experience.

      If you can take the initiative to learn Korean that could help and is possible with little to no monetary investment. If you can afford to take the TOPIK test that’s even better.

      If you don’t want to say yourself “I’m better than others” then find a professor who can say it for you in your recommendation. If there is a professor that you have a good relationship with then they can put in a good word for you.

      Also, describing your circumstance and how you’ve overcome any difficulty may help as well. Work hard on your self-introduction and study plan (and have other people read it and make suggestions, particularly professors if they’ll do that for you.)

      Honestly, some students with weaker academic records were probably in countries with fewer (or no) other applicants. Malaysia is probably a little more competitive, but you still can never know exactly what your competition will be. Just try to make your application as good as you can.

  8. Hello, I want to ask regards embassy applications.
    i applied via embassy and the quota of my country is only student , today the embassy told me that i have been pre-selected to be on the Waiting List for those who passed through the 1st round of selection for the Program.
    so could you please tell me the next process and if i have still chance to get the scholarship?

    1. Yes there is still a chance though it’s hard to say how much. Normally a country is allowed to recommend 1.5 times the number of students as they have in their quota. If the quota is only 1 I’m guessing they get two recommendations, so one person who passes the selection and one waitlist person.

      There is nothing else you need to do. Your application will be sent to NIIED. There are usually countries that send fewer applications than their quota because of lack of applications, or strict selection stsndards. So after NIIED has counted the definite passes if it has not reached the total embassy quota (for example the total is 500 but they’ve only selected 460) then they will choose people from the waitlist like you. From what I’ve seen, there have usually been quite a few of these extra spaces, but not enough to take everyone from the waitlist. All you can do now is wait.

      Congratulations for making it this far and I wish you luck in the next selection.

  9. Hello. I really appreciate your analysis between the differences in the two application procedures especially with the inclusion of insightful numbers. If I understand correctly, you are saying that getting a university recommendation to NIIED will have higher chances of getting through since not many apply through this procedure?

    What about the selection process? If you get recommended by a top school, will you get preference over other candidates?

    I don’t want to count the eggs before they hatch but I am crossing my fingers even harder now, coz I just got notified that I got recommended by Hanyang University. I knew it was a larger gamble so getting the news I was very excited.

    1. The most I can say is that you may have a better chance of getting your application to NIIED through uni rather than embassy. But you’ve already made it that far (Congratulations!) After that top schools tend to have more university recs on the final list, but it’s almost never all 20 of their available recommendations (usually 10-15 for the top schools).

      Now whether that is because they didn’t recommend 20 people to NIIED or because some got cut in the 2nd round I don’t know. It will really depend on how many people from your country applied by university and were also recommended by top schools though. If you’re from a country where studying in Korea is relatively less popular then you might be pretty safe. If you’re from a country that usually has a lot of applicants then you can’t be sure yet.

      You’ve definitely passed a major hurdle, but you won’t know for sure until NIIED’s list goes up.

      1. Hmmm. I’m from the Philippines and I’m pretty sure there are many applicants going through the embassy route. I applied through university because I always thought that the recommendation is harder to obtain since it also meant guaranteed admission. And corroborated by my experience of two failed applications through Dongguk and Postech (while some people I know got through the first selection on their first attempt).

        In any case, you are right. It’s not official until it gets announced. Crossing all my fingers including my toes until early May. Haha

        Great blog btw. Very insightful. I am reading through the entries now.

  10. Hello! From Rising Sun to Morning Calm!
    My Questions are;
    1)Can a Higher National Diploma (HND) Graduate apply for a KGSP Scholarship.
    2)What are chances of getting the Scholarship as a Humanities/Social Science Graduate? To my understanding I think the Scholarships are basically for Natural Sciences/Engineering Graduate.

    1. Hello Gee! Thank you for reading!

      1) Are you asking about applying for KGSP undergraduate or graduate? I’m not from the British system, so I was unfamiliar with HND, but as far as I understand from my internet search, HND is equivalent to about 2 years of uni. For the graduate KGSP (or just applying to any Korean graduate school), you need the equivalent of a four-year uni degree (I say equivalent because many countries actually do it in three), so the answer would be no. If I have understood HND correctly you would not be able to apply for the KGSP graduate program.
      Regarding the undergraduate, I’m less familiar, but as far as I know transfer students are not allowed. (Those who start their degree at one place and want to finish in Korea.) At the very least you would probably need to start from the beginning of a four-year course. I’m not sure whether they let you do this, however. Please read the guidelines for undergraduate thoroughly, and if it is unclear ask NIIED directly.

      2) Natural sciences and engineering are strongly pushed, but the reality is that they can’t (or don’t) fill all of the spaces with students in those fields. A majority of my friends, my self included, are in humanities and social sciences.

      That said, however, I have heard if particular embassies (I believe India was one of them?) restricting applicants to certain fields (mostly sciences and Korean studies if I recall). If your country is like that there’s really nothing you can do, except apply through the university option (unrelated to the embassy) if your country has a quota for university applicants. For more information about requirements of the embassy in your country, please check with them directly.

      I wish you luck in your studies!

  11. Hello and thank you for your explanation about the comparison between two ways to apply the KGSP, it really helps!
    Im from Indonesia, interested in applying through university track. However i still confused on how to understand the quota listed by KGSP in their guideline. It listed that indonesia & vietnam has 8 quota for general and 4 quota for regional univ.
    What I still dont understand is what the meaning of the quota :
    Is the 8 quota for general univ means all 33 univ listed on general univ that year each accept 8 quota? Or all the 33 general univ only accept 8 quota?
    I hope you can answer me, since i really want to apply for KGSP in 2017.

    Thabk you 🙂

    1. The quota is for all students from every university. In the first selection each university has a quota of total KGSP students they can choose. Usually 20 with more spots at those designated as regional universities. This is for all students from every country together and there is usually a three student limit for students from one country. Then during the second selection, NIIED will look at all of the students selected by the universities from Indonesia. If there are more than 8, then NIIED will have to use their own standard to choose just 8 students. (Though sometimes they will choose more if other countries don’t use all of their own quota.)

      Good luck!!

  12. Hello,
    I’m currently in the 11th grade and I’m thinking of applying for the kgsp, I’ve been researching as thoroughly I can but it’s hard to find information about applying for undergraduate studies. I plan to study industrial engineering after school at a reputable korean university. I’ll be in my final year of high school In 2018. I can speak very basic korean but not enough to hold a proper conversation…but I’m actively studying korean on my own. I’m from South Africa (it’s an actual country by the way). I’m not sure if the standards are higher or more difficult for African students, but I’d really like to pursue this scholarship I’m a very hard working student… All I want is to know more about the application process for undergraduate students. I also plan to apply is it advisable? Also the education system in south Africa is quite different to that of Koreans… I’d appreciate any advice or information

    Thank you

    1. Don’t worry, I studied International Relations so I know that Africa is not one big country, but that South Africa is a country 😉
      Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about the undergraduate process. The first thing you need to do is make sure that South Africa is among the countries where a KGSP scholarship is available. I don’t want to discourage you, but as far as I can tell it wasn’t on the list for 2017. That doesn’t mean it won’t be there in 2018. The application information is usually available in late August or September. Try checking back then. If KGSP does not work out for undergrad, then you may still be able to do a graduate program in Korea, if you decide to go that far in your education. Unfortunately, the undergraduate program is much smaller than the graduate one.
      You can find more information at http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr Click on “Scholarships” in the top menu bar, and select “GKS Notice.” There you can look through past year application information and find the most recent application in the fall.

  13. Hi there!

    I am planning to apply to KGSP through the university track and choosing Kyung Hee University. Though, I’ve done research and Kyung Hee University is one of the top schools in Korea. Kyung Hee is the leading school for the graduate program that I want to take and because it is one of the best schools in Korea, it has really made me want to study here and choose this school. Though I’ve decided that if I apply through embassy, I will also apply to Kyungsung University and Silla University — two universities that are not as popular as Kyung Hee but upon research, have good programs and schools for the major that I want to study.

    I am pretty confident with my extra-curricular/organization/leadership experiences because I am the President of the business organization in my school, Head Organizer for the TEDx conference in my school, representing my school at a national competition for business students, and many more activities.

    With regards to my academic grades, my grades are fairly high but so far with the KGSP conversion table, it says that my GPA is at 84% but I will still ask my school if this is the right conversion for our grading system. I feel as though 84% is not a high enough average if I want to be applying to a school like Kyung Hee University. Although, I have been chosen to represent my school at competitions related to my major which must mean that they think my grades and skills are outstanding. Most of the grades I get are at 86% and above.

    I have also started writing my study plan and letter of self-introduction so that I can make any needed edits to it after getting critique from my fellow friends and other professors in time for the submission of applications.

    I am from the Philippines where I’m sure many people apply to the KGSP and last 2016, the quota for Embassy track was at 5 people while University track was at 9 people. I feel as though embassy track would be much harder to go through because of the many people who apply whilst if I choose a university that isn’t a top school, I could have a chance to be accepted into the KGSP and the university.

    I am also worried that even if I would pass the university track, I may not be able to pass the NIIED selection because of the many people who apply in my country — considering that if a lot of applicants from my country apply through university track and a lot of them also get accepted.

    Really sorry for this long message and inquiry! I was just wondering what you think of my background/experience. Sometimes I feel confident in passing with the leadership experiences I’ve had but most of the time, I feel as though my credentials may not be enough for NIIED, the embassy, or the university that I would choose.

    Also, thank you for this post! I have gone back to this post time and time again as I have been very torn on deciding which track I want to apply to.

    1. I’m not an expert on the grading systems in any country other than my own, but I do know that quite many are more strict than either the US (my home) or Korea (where it is the end of the world if you don’t get an A). If your class rank (school wide and in your major) then try to emphasize that rather than percentage. (You still have to write the percent, but you can use your personal statement, and ask your professor to write those kind of things in your recommendation.)
      This year the Embassy quota is 4 and the University is 5 (because you are not applying to a regional university). Those are similar, but you are also right that the Philippines might have a lot of competition for the embassy track. The first important step is getting your application to NIIED (passing first selection by university or embassy). That way if there are spaces not claimed in other countries, you have a chance to still be chosen even if you’re not in the quota. In this case I would lean slightly toward the university track.
      I would say be confident about what you’ve done and accomplished, but also be honest about yourself. 84% might be too low for Kyunghee, or percentage might be a bad way to express what you have achieved. In that case you should find a better way! Convince them about why they need you!!
      Good luck!

  14. Hello~
    Firstly thank you so much for writing this info. It gives me additional infos about embassy and university track. But still the more i read it the more i contemplate my decision…pls give me more advice which track i should take regarding my situation.
    I come from Indonesia and I’m planning to apply KGSP 2017. I graduated from Food science and Technology with GPA 3.75. I had been actively participated as Laboratory assistant and joined Agriculture association. I was also in a part of professor’s research project and it was published in international journal. I have no idea if my CV is considered great or not.
    For proficiency certificate, i was not aware that this year Toefl ITP is not acceptable. I only have TOEFL ITP (560) and TOEIC (685) score, but unfortunately my TOEIC will be expired in March this year. I have no enough time to take IELTS or IBT bcs of the deadline. Should i attach my english test? As for TOPIK, i already registered but the test will be held on April so it must be impossible to attach it in the application, but i was studying korean for long ago and i have certificate for 2 semesters of learning it, should i just attach it or not? I know that proficiency test is optional, but i’m quite worried of it.
    For this year, Indonesia has 8 quotas from embassy track, and 11 (7 general, 4 science) from univ track. I’m very interest in studying Nutrition&food in Yonsei as it is the best major in Korea. I was thinking of applying through univ track but as u said, Yonsei is quite popular. If i apply through embassy track, i would apply in SNU, Yonsei, and Institute of SNU. Which track do u think is better for me?
    And if you dont mind, may i know your personal contact like email or kkt? I want to discuss and ask more questions abt kgsp. But its ok if u dont want to, i’m alrd appreciate your effort in writing this post, reading my comment and even giving and advice. Thank you in advance! 🙂

    1. First, I would say don’t stress and overthink things. You can only send what you have. Obviously, you do need to send everything that is required, but for the language tests send what you can and don’t worry about the rest. The TOEIC will still be valid when you start your application so go with that.
      As for how to apply, your profile seems pretty strong to me, but remember my own application is the only one I’ve ever actually seen and I don’t know anything about the Indonesian university system and what a typical or excellent student looks like there. I’m sure you have an idea of where you stand compared with other Indonesian students.

      First, Yonsei is not a regional university, so the total quota that you should worry about is 8 embassy and 7 university. So, that’s pretty similar.
      But, like you said, Yonsei can be quite popular and they can only choose 20 people (up to 3 from Indonesia) for their university quota. Obviously, though, that’s 20 people who make it through, and I’ve been acquainted with a few of those people, so it’s not an impossible feat. I think that many people are cautious about applying to Yonsei or SNU on the university track, so the numbers are probably not as high as they might be.
      In terms of advice, I don’t have much to say beyond what I wrote in the blog, except to say be honest with yourself. Think about your profile objectively. Would you say you were one of the best students in your department? Are you one of the best in your school (top 10%, top 20%)? How does your school rank in Indonesia? You’ve been a lab assistant and published with your professor, so I assume you’ll get a good recommendation. Those things will definitely help. If you are relatively confident in your profile then the university track can be a good option. If you have some doubt, however, the embassy option can be safer.
      If you are on Facebook, I would also advise you to join the KGSP NIIED Scholars 2017-2018 group. There you will find people who have already been accepted and people who are newly applying. You’ll probably find a lot of people from Indonesia in both categories as well. Read through all of the past discussions and ask questions. It’s a really good resource.

      1. Thank you so much for your advice. I’ll think more which track i have to choose, and i hope that it’ll be the right choice. Thank you very much! I hope u a great success 🙂

  15. Hello guys,
    I am going to obtain a Master’s degree of nursing this year in one of the two best-quality Medical University in my country. I desire to continue a PhD program in Korea in nursing major in SNU. Currently, my IELTS score is 6.0 and I am trying to upgrade into at least 6.5. I have a self-introduction paper, a SOP, two recommendation letters (1 from an American professor (my research advisor from Colorado Uni) and 1 from a Vietnamese professor (my research advisor and he is also a Dean)), I am conducting a research and going to submit it to an international journal as soon as if possible. Because currently I have not finished the Master program yet so I have no exact GPA but I think it can be 8.0-8.1/10 (it is 7.95/10 at the moment). I have an abundant extracurricular-activities experiences as a volunteer or extra-curricular organizer in my university…
    I don’t clear about what is “general” and “regional & science” quota. In 2017, Vietnam has 11 slots for embassy track and 6 for each general and regional & science (12 total).
    I don’t know how many candidates from Vietnam applying via embassy track and how many international candidates (both nursing one and other majors) going to SNU years ago. I don’t know how GPA is good in SNU.
    Does KGSP prefer any major or give equal chance for? and I see this scholarship is for both MS and PhD applicants, so usually, which group will get more chance?
    Thank you so much for your advices.

  16. hi! i really want to get some advices in choosing a track in applying. my gpa is 91% ,i’m in a top 2 rank in our whole class, i got many awards in highschool, (most of them are academic division level competitions, leadership training,division and regional school press conferences,journalism,etc. ) i’m also the editor in chief in our school publication org and vice president in our student council. the thing is i’m really not sure if i should include all my accomplishments (competitions,awards,honors cert. ) even though it’s not kind of “national or international ” awards or competitions? do you think i have the chance?i’m from philippines.

    1. Hi there! Since you mention high school, I assume you are applying for the undergraduate scholarship? If you are applying for the graduate scholarship, I would not include any high school accomplishments unless they are really amazing national/international awards. If you are applying for undergraduate then include all of your high school awards even if they aren’t national/international ones.

      Going on the assumption that you are applying for undergraduate, please read all of the information at http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr carefully. The university track application option is only available for a limited number of universities in Natural Sciences and Engineering. And there is only a limited number of spaces that is smaller than the number of applicable countries, which means there is no guarantee that someone from the Philippines will be accepted.

      For the Embassy track there is one spot allotted specifically to the Philippines, and you can probably apply with any major. (There are sometimes additional rules for specific countries.) If you are not applying for a natural science or engineering major, then this is the only way that you can apply.

      Unfortunately, I only have limited information about the undergraduate scholarship. I don’t know much about the process or the experiences of people who have applied. If you haven’t already, try to join one of the Facebook groups for KGSP. You’ll find many people with experience of applying.

  17. Hello,
    My name is radiyah and am from Nigeria,i want to apply for the 2017 graduate program but my CGPA is 84/100,which i think is low.please i need your advice should i apply through embassy or designated university concerning my low cgpa.what are my chances.And which university do you think i should choose because of my low cpga i think it will be hard to pass the top universities.Thank you

    1. Hello! I can’t make any definitive comments about your chances because I don’t know much about the Nigerian system or the kinds of people who usually apply. Remember, your biggest competition for KGSP is from your own countrymen. Every country has their own grading systems and while 84 might be quite low in Korea (where grades tend to be quite inflated, meaning more people are given very good grades), in other countries grading systems are much stricter.

      If 84 is on the lower side in Nigeria as well, your chances still depend on how many of the best students in Nigeria see Korea as a good option for studying. All of these factors will affect what kind of competition you are up against.

      As for what universities to look at, in general the schools outside of Seoul will be less popular among both foreigners and Koreans and are a good place to start. (KAIST and POSTECH are outside Seoul, but still some of the best schools in the country, so perhaps not them either.) National universities tend to be more highly ranked and popular than private universities. So in terms of difficulty:

      Seoul National Uniersity > POSTECH/KAIST > Korea U. & Yonsei > other private uni’s in Seoul > public/national uni’s outside Seoul > private uni’s outside Seoul

      Within the universities you also should look for places that have the specific major that you are interested in.

      But in the end, remember that 84 means different things in different countries. Work hard on other aspects of your application. Make sure you have a good personal statement, choose your recommending professor wisely and ask them to emphasize your strengths, tell the reviewers why you want to study in Korea and why you think you can be successful here. Etc.

      Best wishes and good luck!

  18. Hello
    It’s me again,i hope you are doing good.
    My question is about submitting documents through the designated university.Please,do i need to notarize all the application documents(self introduction,statement of purpose,the pledge and personal medical assessment).Or am i just going to notarize the document that i can’t send the originals of them like my birth certificate,parents proof of citizenship and Certificate of graduation.

    Thank you

  19. Hi I really need your help!!!

    Sorry if this has been answered before but I’m a little unclear. I’m thinking of applying to Yonsei through the University track. From what you said, on the University track each school decides if they want to accept you, then they send their top applicants to KGSP and then NIIED decides if you get the scholarship or not. My question is if you get rejected by KGSP, are you still considered an accepted student by the University (even without KGSP), or is your entire application thrown out and you need to start over? I really want to go to Yonsei but I’m worried if I apply to KGSP I’ll get rejected by NIIED and I won’t be able to go. I was thinking of just forgetting KGSP and applying directly to Yonsei through their website, but I also wanted to try KGSP if I had a chance.

    Thank you,


    1. For Yonsei, I had to apply through the website anyway. Make sure you check the Yonsei KGSP information on the Yonsei website for the process of applying. (My guess is you still need to register with the website, but they may have streamlined the KGSP process.)

      And, to answer your question, yes I believe you can continue through the regular admission process. I know someone who was not accepted to Yonsei for KGSP through the university track, but was accepted for admission. But I would ask Yonsei about this and how it works because I haven’t talked in detail about this situation. I’m not sure if the application continued through as is, or if they reapplied. (The deadline for foreign student applications is quite late, so you still have plenty of time to apply after being turned down for KGSP.) Also, it may be different for different departments. GSIS, which is where this person applied, is conducted all in English, so Korean ability isn’t an issue, but other departments will usually require some Korean. (I’m sure you’ve considered this issue though.)

      Anyway, I definitely recommend contacting Yonsei to ask. But before you do, make sure you’ve looked at all the info Yonsei gives about applying for KGSP (if you haven’t already). It’s better not to ask anything they’ve already answered.

      1. Yes I’ve taken a look at it and contacted the Yonsei email. Waiting to hear back. I intend to go to GSIS which I believe has a different process from the rest of the Graduate schools at Yonsei.

        Thank you so much for your help!!!!

  20. Just got back to me and they said if I’m rejected by KGSP I don’t need to re-apply and my offer won’t be declined, so hurrah! (Posting just in case any one else had the same question)

    1. That’s great… But was that your question? It sounds like they are saying that if they choose you for KGSP, but NIIED does not then your offer of admission is still ok. But what if they decide not to include you in the 20 students Yonsei is allowed, but you would qualify for regular admission? I’m pretty sure they will still consider you, but even if you don’t ask again, I would make it clear in your application that you want to stay in the pool for admission.

      1. I would still qualify, in either case. I asked Yonsei what you asked me and they said I’d still be offered a slot at the school.

        Do you know by any chance how high the competition usually is for the US embassy slots? I assumed it would be high just because I live in NYC but someone from Texas who got accepted two years ago told me there was barely any competition, so now I’m second guessing.

        Also I’m determined to go to Korea even if I don’t get KGSP funding. If I fail to pass the first and second rounds of the embassy tracks, would I still be able to apply to those schools for this fall? Or would it be too late? Does NIIED/the embassy trash your documents or do you get them back?



  21. Hello! Thank you for this post, it has helped tremendously in answering some questions that have been bugging my mind ever since the scholarship opened for application. I am from Malaysia, and I am applying for Comparative Literature, and am just curious whether the course would matter in university or NIIED selection? Would they discard courses they consider less critical?

    I graduated with a 90%, 3.53, and gained an 8 for IELTS. I’ve worked for a couple of years as an English lecturer before taking up an editorial position up until now. As a former student at Yonsei (I assume you are?) do you think I am eligible to apply at all? I have emailed the office and some professors for my course and have yet to receive any replies. I am really curious whether my marks are considered really low, as I’ve heard rumors saying that the candidates must have at least 3.8, 3.9 cgpa with a few paper published. What do you think of this? Should I opt for other universities with my grades and not SKY?

    It would sound silly but I actually managed to get more than 2 recommendations. Would that help with my application? I am trying to find ways to strengthen my application by contacting the faculty but to no avail.

    I wanted to apply via embassy but heard some really unpleasant news about the selection so I have to resort to university track haha!

    1. Hmm, if you could apply through the embassy it would probably be safest to have three choices, but I have heard that some embassies have certain issues (I don’t know any specifics for any embassies), so I can understand if you’d want to avoid that.

      The problem with applying to SKY with a good, but maybe not great, record via the university quota is that they are probably the most strict at this point. It is basically early admission and they have a strict limit of 20 students (or it was 20 three years ago. It’s probably still similar.) They have to be sure that you are someone they would accept from all the applications they will eventually get, and you must be in the top 20 of all people who apply for KGSP through Yonsei.

      BUT, GPA is not the only important thing. They are probably not going to recalculate your GPA with only “important” courses. But, you can use your personal statement to direct their attention to certain things. For example, if you struggled with math, but had an excellent GPA in your major courses then calculate that yourself and tell them that in the statement. If your grades started weaker and got better then highlight that. Use your personal statement to highlight all of your strengths, but also to explain any weaknesses and what you’ve done to improve them.

      Use your study plan to tell them why you want to go to Yonsei and also show them why Yonsei needs you.

      As for whether Yonsei is the right choice… I’m only a Yonsei student (soon to be graduate) not admissions staff, and I don’t go around asking my friends what their undergrad GPAs were. My instinct tells me that there are many people with similar profiles to you, but I don’t have hard proof. But again, they may be stricter for KGSP university applicants.

      You should consider your options. If you choose another university will it improve your career once you are back in Malaysia? If you decide Yonsei is best, do you have a back up plan for next year if you aren’t accepted? Is going to Yonsei most important or is just getting a degree in Korea good enough? Depending on your answers to questions like these your solution will be different.

      If you decide it is worth the risk of applying to SKY, do everything you can to point their attention to the right places.

      1. Thank you so much for your time, your answers and your willingness to help each and everyone of us here. Your words really do put things into perspective. I will factor all your points in writing out my essays.

        Thank you again!

  22. Hi, I am Karyn from Indonesia. I want to apply for KGSP graduate program 2017. I am wondering if I can apply for both Embassy and University Tracks with different universities for each tracks? For Example, I want to apply University A,B,C for Embassy track (since I can choose until 3 universities for embassy track) and University D for University track. 4 of them are different universities with similar majors (all majors have connection with film studies). Is it possible if I do so?
    And what is the safest score of iBT TOEFL for applying KGSP Graduate program?
    Looking forward for your answer. Thank you very much.

    Best regards,

    1. No. You have to choose either the university track or the embassy track. If NIIED finds out that you applied for both they will disqualify you for all.

      As for TOEFL, I don’t know of any specific data. Some universities with a large number of classes in English will have their own requirements and so your score should be higher than that if you plan to apply. In general, 100 or more is enough to get into most American universities and 80-100 is still very good (Yonsei’s all English Graduate school of International Studies requires a 92). 60-80 is an intermediate score and as long as your score is above requirements for your school or department it should be okay, but your fellow applicants may have higher scores. A “safe” score depends on the level of English education in your country and requirements of the universities. Also, remember this is Korea and the English score is mostly optional. A high score will help your application, but it won’t guarantee your acceptance.

      1. Hmm i see. Even if it’s for different universities but still I cant apply for both embassy and university track then? What if I apply for more than 1 university through university track by sending different applications to different universities? Is it possible? Just in case if i didnt get accepted in one university I might still get a chance to be accepted in another one.

      2. Nope. You can only send one application for KGSP. If you want to apply to more than one university then you can choose to apply through the embassy. Of course you are free to send regular, non-KGSP applications to as many universities as you choose, and if available, you may apply for other scholarships there. But for KGSP only one application to either one university or one embassy is allowed.

    2. Hmm i see. Even if it’s for different universities but still I cant apply for both embassy and university track then? What if I apply for more than 1 university through university track by sending different applications to different universities? Is it possible? Just in case if i didnt get accepted in one university I might still get a chance to be accepted in another one.

  23. Hello,
    Thanks a million, this post has been really insightful. I plan to apply via the university track (decided to skip the embassy drama as it is likely my job would not allow me attend an interview if i happen to get invited) and my choice is Chonnam National University, a regional university. But I am kinda rethinking my choice of institution cos My country quota is General Uni-4 and Regional Uni-2. I am applying for a Phd in Public Health(mentioning cos of the stated priority given science and technology based courses in Regional Unis) and i graduated with a fair result from my last program(90%), I would appreciate any advice you can offer seeing my country quota and my choice of institution. Already thinking of changing my choice to Konkuk.
    Thanks again

  24. Hi! I’m sorry I’m getting confused with the submission of required documents. I’m applying via the embassy track, and one university requires additional documents, do I submit that directly to the university or include it in the documents that I’m going to pass through embassy?

    1. In my case, one of my universities asked for the additional documents after I had passed the embassy and NIIED screenings. (I did not send them with the initial application to the embassy.) For KGSP applicants it is likely that a university will let you know about additional documents if you are an embassy candidate. But, I would send them with your embassy application if you have them ready. Clearly mark which application sets are for which university and put a post-it or something on additional documents explaining why they are there. And, just in case, if possible, have an extra set of those additional documents that you can send in if things don’t get to the right places. That last part is probably unnecessary, but there are a lot of applications being dealt with, so things happen.

      1. Thanks! You are a great help! I’ll just have it ready just in case. Crossing my fingers already. 🙂

  25. Hi there, thank you for the information you provided in the article. I’m applying for this year KGSP Track this year to KAIST. Therefore, I have a question for you, I have looked at previous KGSP batch that has been admitted to KAIST and it’s pretty low number, last year was 9 from both university and embassy quota. According to your opinion, is it because KAIST only accepted few students or they were cut in the second process? It’s pretty unusual though since KAIST is one of the best higher institution in Korea.

    Thank you for your time

    1. It’s really hard to tell… I would guess, like you, that KAIST students would have a good success rate with NIIED, but there are a lot of factors at play.

      If KAIST is particularly popular with people from certain countries then they may end up competing with each other. (KAIST can only choose 3 people from any one country, or so was the rule three years ago, so if there are 5 then they need to turn down two even if they are qualified and even if they have space in their total quota.)

      The same problem comes up at stage two. If there are two people accepted by KAIST, two by SNU, two by POSTECH and one by Yonsei all from the same country, and that country only has 3 people for their university quota then some have to be turned down by NIIED.

      Being the best school in the country, some people may be discouraged from applying there for the university quota.

      From the embassy quota people may be accepted by all of their schools and choose someplace other than KAIST.

      And also the obvious – it’s just really competitive to get into.

      But, in past years they’ve had more students, so last year might just have been an off year where they were more competitive or fewer people applied for whatever reason.

      You must be fairly confident to apply to KAIST by university, so just believe in yourself and your record and don’t worry about what other people in other years did or did not do!

      Good luck!!!

      1. Yep, thank you for the reply. I do think so too, many factors and I’ve prepared as best as I can. So fingers crossed, lol. I chose KAIST University Track because I do want to study a specific topic that only KAIST provide in Korea and already contacted and got professor approval. Hope that increases my chance of being accepted, lol.

        Anyway, I heard several questions regarding can we apply for regular admissions just in case we don’t get the KGSP one. In the case of KAIST, I already asked the admissions office, and yes you can apply for both KGSP track and regular admissions track. But you will have to start all over again with their regular Fall Admissions process. Hope this help answer some of the questions.

        Wish me luck! *fingers crossed

      2. A specific research topic (especially an understudied one) and support from a KAIST professor should help. Make sure you write your study plan etc. so that NIIED can also understand the uniqueness and significance of your research. Best of luck!

  26. Hi this is a really dumb question, but for form 2 (the actual application form where it asks what schools you want to go to, your GPA, etc) would it be okay to just print it out and fill that in by hand? The table in the word document they provide is a mess and it’s very difficult to get it to fit on a printable page

    1. Also do they want the self introduction and statement of purpose in those small little boxes because this is a NIGHTMARE to format!!!

      1. Yes and no. The self introduction should be one page, TNR, 10 point font, so it should fir in that box. (Delete the explanation text about what you can write though.)

        The statement of purpose can be up to two pages for both the study plan and future plan together. As it is in its original form it is only one page total, so you can expand one or both boxes (or contract) until it is two pages.

    2. Haha, I know it is annoying, but I would type it if you can. The recommendation instructions say that the professor can print or type, but the application forms advise you to type, so that would be the safest option. Feel free to play with font sizes and all that to make things fit.

      1. Thank your clarifying and for your speedy responses. I’m so stressed out and the people at my embassy are not responsive / helpful so I feel like I’m doing this all alone! You’re really a huge help!! Also one more question, where it says “institution receiving application” on page one (application form), should I put each of the three Unis I’m applying to on there, or just one on each copy? What about the copy I give to KGSP? Also should I maybe organize the four applications into folders or is that overkill? I’m actually going to the embassy to drop them off in person just to be clear.

      2. It’s totally not clear on the form itself, but you don’t need to fill that part out at all. That is for the receiving institution, which in your case is the Embassy. They will put their name and the name of the individual who processed the application. You don’t have to do anything. Just start with 1) Name of Applicant.

        I, personally, did put the sets in individual clear plastic file folders. It is not a bad idea to do that, or at least attach them in some way so that they don’t get mixed or separated.

  27. Thank you! Also, *ONE* more question (seriously sorry for bothering you so much) but does the photo you put on the application need to be a passport photo or will an appropriately-sized headshot on a white background be suitable?

    1. If it is decent quality and 3×4 inches then just a regular headshot should be fine. They don’t make any detailed specifications for that, and I don’t think they used it for anything other than their own records/reference.

  28. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog. I am an applicant from the Philippines and is applying for a regional university in the field of Natural Sciences and Engineering via University Track. Philippines has 8 slots for U track — 5 for General and 8 for Natural Sciences & Engg. I applied for my university’s partner university, as I assume this would give me an advantage in the application.

    In your opinion, do you think I have an increased chance in being granted the application, considering all facts stated above? Thank you very much! Looking forward to your reply.

    1. Yes and no? If you have a strong application you will get in, if not then you won’t.

      Applying to a partner university is a good idea because it means those schools have mutually recognized each other and the level of their students. If you are a strong student, the Korean university will recognize that. Of course, if you are not a strong student then the uni will recognize that as well because they are used to the standards of your school.

      At NIIED, you will have the slight advantage that applying to a regional university gives you, but you still need to have one of the 8 strongest applications from the Philippines.

      So, yes, you’ve made good choices, but there is no guarantee. You still have to wait and see.

      1. Thank you for replying! You are truthful and accommodating. 🙂

        I understand that there are no guarantees, as NIIED does not disclose any information on acceptance or rejection of any candidate.

        However, in your opinion, how would you define a strong candidate? Well, of course, aside from the following:
        1) A high GPA
        2) Commendable essays
        3) Language certificates (although, in the university I applied to, they only say they give “little” preference to this)

  29. Hello
    I’m Patience and I’m Zimbabwean I’ll be completing my final year of high school next year and I’m really interested in applying for the kgsp-u. wikipedia says that Zimbabwe is an eligible kgsp country but when I Check the gks notice I don’t find any previous Zimbabwean recipients… I really don’t want to get discouraged so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
    but does it ever happen…(even by chance) that a citizen of a country that Is not listed on the number of grantee countries gets admission to Kgsp let’s for instance your Grades are extremely high. …Thank you in advance for your help

    1. Did you check the KGSP-U application guidelines? That is the best source of information about whether you are able to apply. As long as Zimbabwe is listed in the countries then you have a chance. You just have to be the first who is interested, or the first who is qualified or whatever. But do check the GKS notices at studyinkorea.go.kr to make sure Zimbabwe has an undergraduate quota.

  30. Hello,am really interested in Soongsil university.Please i need someone who’s in the school or applying to chat with.Thanks in future.
    here’s my email Maryamummi1@yahoo.com
    i hope am not violating anything by posting my email if so am deeply sorry.Am just so desperate.
    Thanks again for creating this amazing blog.

    1. No problem. Hopefully you don’t get tons of spam email because of this though. And I hope you find fellow Soongsil applicants and students. If you are on Facebook and haven’t joined a KGSP group then I would recommend doing that.

      Good luck and thank you for reading!

  31. Thank you for this post! I am really nervous about this year selection! I am from Brazil, and I passed the first round selection throught Embassy. And now It is NIIED selection round… Your post help me with a lot of doubts that I had But anyway, still I did not get the schollarship yet. And for far as I know, I think that maybe the University round is going to be the harder, since I applied to two SKY universities… I am quite worry though…

  32. Hello,
    I want to know if you can email your application documents to someone you know in Korea to print and submit to the school on your behalf when applying through the University track.

  33. hello, i hope you are doing good. the 2018 kgsp application is out and they have made some changes. it reads that
    1.if applicant has to submit the photocopied documents,the applicant must have the copy notarized apostiled and then submit the notarized or apostiled copies.
    2. for any academic document that can not be reissued,applicant must submit the notarized or apostiled copies of the original version.
    >for the proof of published papers and awards,applicants can submit photocopied versions.
    my question here is
    ‘do i need to notarize my publish paper and award?
    do i need to notarize the application form, self introduction form, statement of purpose form, personal medical assessment form and the kgsp pledge form?;

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