KGSP Application ~ Required Documents (Part Two)

There is a word in Japanese 職業病 (shokugyoubyou). Shokugyou means “profession/occupation” and byou means disease. Originally it is a disease or affliction that people in certain professions are particularly susceptible to. These days, however, it is commonly used to refer to quirks or habits acquired due to one’s profession that overflow into private life and may seem odd to people outside of that profession. For example, soldiers walking in line and in step when going home drunk from a night on the town.

In my case, I used to be a coordinator for international exchange programs, so now, even when I’ve switched to the student side, I see things from the coordinator’s perspective, and feel the need to explain and be helpful. I’m sure I can be rather wordy, but hopefully some people will find it helpful.

So without further ado… here are the remaining documents you will need for your application. See my previous post for information on the forms that are included with the application. The following are additional documents that you will have to prepare on your own.

But first a general note about notarization. For the following documents, there will be ones that you need to have officially notarized. In the application information it says “confirmation of collation should be indicated in the photocopied documents.” I, personally, had never heard “collation” used in this particular way, but maybe that’s just me. In any case, it means that if there are documents you cannot send an original of (like your diploma or passport), you should have the photocopy notarized. You will also need notarization for translations of documents not in English or Korean. It is best to get an official Apostille (or the equivalent). An Apostille is the international form of notary, but it will only be available in countries that have joined the Hague Convention of 1961. You can find information about Apostilles at the official site for Apostille along with the list of contracting states. If your country is NOT a member of the convention, then I would try to contact the Korean Embassy in your country. Sometimes they can authenticate your documents, and if they can’t they can probably tell you where else to go. Before getting an Apostille or Embassy authentication, you may need to get your document notarized locally, according to the laws of your country. Please check about this process, and the process for Apostille/Authentication in your own country.

7. Diploma or Certificate of Graduation from Undergraduate Institution
If you will have already graduated by the application deadline then you should send an official copy of your diploma. DO NOT send your actual diploma unless you are specifically requested to by your embassy, and they have specifically stated that they will return it. The general guidelines do state that no documents will be returned, and you do not want to give away the one and only original copy of your diploma. There are two possible solutions. The first is to get an official copy of your diploma from your university. Many will provide a substitute document for this purpose. The other is to have a photocopy officially notarized (see above). Make sure that you submit a “certificate” form of proof. For a variety of reasons, I originally submitted a letter from my university stating when I had graduated, but was told to resubmit a “certificate.” However, if you have not graduated yet (but will do so before August 31 of your applying year) then you may submit a letter from your university that states your expected date of graduation. If any of these documents are not available in English or Korean, you will need a translation. (Despite going to a university in the USA, my diploma was in Latin (“old school” you could say) and I did include a translation.)

8. Official Transcripts and Student Records from Undergraduate Institution
If you are a current student, request a transcript after the last term to finish before the deadline. For example, if you have grades that will be available in February then wait for those. My university gave me my transcripts in a sealed envelope, with a signature (or stamp) across the seal. I did not open the envelope, and submitted it just like that. They seem to be quite concerned with tampering and faked credentials, so anything you can do to alleviate these fears will help. In my case, transcripts were free so I just asked for four copies (one for each set of documents you are asked to submit), but you can also include just one with the original set of documents and ask the embassy/university to copy that part for you. As mentioned in my previous post, if your university does not grade on a 4.0-5.0 scale, then you should also have your transcript officially converted. If your university provides this service, that is probably easiest, but if not you should ask around for suitable services. (I’m sorry, this is not something I dealt with, but if I learn anything I will update you.) You should also ask for an English version of your transcript, or have it translated.

9. Diploma or Certificate of Graduation from Graduate Institution
This is only for people who are applying for a PhD, or perhaps if you have received a Master’s degree in another subject and are applying for a second Master’s. The instructions are the same as for the undergraduate degree above. (And note, if you are applying for a PhD then you will need to submit both undergraduate and graduate documents.)

10. Official Transcripts and Student Record from Graduate Institution
Again, just for PhD/additional Master’s candidates.

11. Certificate of Korean Language Proficiency (original copy of TOPIK), if applicable
Like the diploma, do not send the score certificate you received in the mail. You can request official copies from the organization that administers the TOPIK in your country.

12. Certificate of TOEFL or IELTS (original copy), if applicable
I have no experience of these exams, so I am not sure what is available. When possible order an official report to send with your application.

13. Published papers, if applicable
If you listed papers in your personal information, then include copies.

14. Awards, if applicable
If you listed awards in your personal information, then include copies. For me, I did not have award certificates from my awards, only the program from the award ceremony. I just included copies of those, and didn’t actually bother to have them notarized. I figured the awards were just a “plus alpha” and if they trusted that then great, and if not then hopefully the rest of my application would speak for itself. Of course, the more official you can be, the better.

15. Copy of Passport
I personally didn’t have this notarized either, but if you are getting notarizations for other things, then definitely do it. (And even if you aren’t. I took a chance that worked out, but it’s better not to risk it.)

16. Certificate of Citizenship for applicant and parents
I also included a copy of my birth certificate, and copies of my parents’ passports. They want to make sure that you cannot claim Korean citizenship because Korean citizens are not eligible for the scholarship. Anything that shows your parents citizenship (birth certificate/national ID card/passport/etc) will do. Your birth certificate will show that your parents are your parents. If one or both of your parents were Korean citizens you may need to show proof of expatriation (proof they gave up Korean citizenship).

17. Adoption documents
This is for Korean adoptees only. (Although I suppose if you were an adoptee from elsewhere, you might want to show proof that your parents are legally your parents as part of the above proof of citizenship.)

** Possible Additional Documents **

There may be other things you need to submit depending on your particular situation.

1. Study abroad related
As mentioned in my previous post, the current KGSP guidelines state that people who have studied in Korea on a D-2 visa previously are ineligible for the scholarship. (This seems to exclude people who did language study on a D-4 or tourist visa.) But, there is the exception for situations where such study abroad was a requirement of their degree at their home university. If this exception applies to you, then I would include proof of this from your university.

2. Additional University specific documents
You should read the KGSP application instructions carefully for the universities that you choose. Some may require additional documents, such as an additional recommendation or the online application. If you are applying through a designated university, you should include these documents with your original application. If you are applying through a Korean embassy, then you may be requested by the university to send these documents later (after NIIED has selected you and sent your application to the three universities). At this point, there will not be much time to prepare these documents, so you should prepare them ahead of time. The only university I have noticed that does this is Yonsei (online application and 1 additional recommendation), but read the university information carefully to make sure whether it applies to you or not.

I have not noted it everywhere, but remember to have everything translated into either Korean or English if they are in another language, and have the translations notarized.

You will need to send one set of original documents (or original notarized documents), and three sets of photocopied documents. This is true whether you apply through a university or an embassy.

Make sure you send your application with a tracking number so that you can confirm it has arrived. And make sure that you send it with plenty of time to arrive before the deadline. It is a good idea to research ahead of time how long mail will take to your first selection institution. The deadline is the deadline for arrival, not for sending (as is often the case with universities in the US).

And good luck with your application!

23 thoughts on “KGSP Application ~ Required Documents (Part Two)”

  1. Hey, question here. The 3 photocopies that we have to make from the legalized docs, do we have to notarize them as well? Thanks in advance! 🙂

  2. Hello, Are All these documents are to submit for 1st screening office (Korean embassy)? I can’t find the application form to download from website. and Korean embassy in our country wont give any detailed information. please, let us know where we can dowload the required forms and document checklist. Thank you.

    1. If you go to and click on GKS, you’ll see a list of links on the right. Click on “Notices” and the first one should be about the 2015 KGSP Graduate Scholarship. Download all of the files in that notice and read them all carefully. The file called “01. 2015 GKS Graduate Program Guidelines (English-Korean)” has all of the important application instructions and also the application forms. It’s a Word document so I just copied those pages and saved them in a separate file.

  3. Oh my god! Thank you! Thank you so much! I literally going crazy because of
    “confirmation of collation should be indicated in the photocopied documents.”
    I now stuck with this only part

    I personally have not seen collation to apply in the particular way either, but maybe because of I’m not a native English speaker.

    Please allow me to add some detail here and kindly correct me if I’m wrong:

    “In case of submitting photocopied documents, applicants must submit the original to the 1st Selection Institution and have the original one and the photocopied one collated. The confirmation of collation should be indicated in the photocopied documents”

    1. For document like diploma, passport, birth certificate, we couldn’t send the original one anyway so there is actually no original one to collate or to put together with the photocopied one, right?

    2. Thus, we send the photocopied and the notarized translation one to the 1st selection institution,

    3. Then we required to make 3 photocopied extra from what we submit (except recommendation letter, diploma or transcript, whatever with the sealed envelop)

    4.So do we need to notarize the 3 photocopied extra? For example, I have to send the photocopied of my birth certificate with its notarized translation for the primary, original set. Then when I have to make 3 photocopied extra of my photocopied birth certificate, can I photocopied “the notarized translation” or I have to request actual 4 notarized of my birth certificate?

    Thank you in advance.

    1. I would say you are fine with one set of original and/or notarized copies and three sets of plain copies. BUT different university/embassies (mainly embassies) may interpret the rules slightly differently, so ask them for the correct way to do it.

    1. Both. If you apply for the KGSP scholarship, you send one application that will be used by embassies, NIIED and universities for selection. In some cases, universities may have a requirement of additional recommendation letters. Any additional letters are only necessary at the point your application goes to the university.

      If you apply to a university independently of KGSP

  4. Hello, Thank you for your kind advice about KGSP. I am planned to apply KGSP in 2016,
    My question is – I have a bachelor degree a Business Administration of Major an Accountant. But I want to apply master of Human rights. Of course i have working experience in human rights issues. Is it possible to get Korean government scholarship for Human Rights master degree. Also which documents should I prepare in this study field?

    1. The KGSP selection process does not worry too much about whether your desired field of study matches with your bachelor’s degree. What you will need to worry about is the specific universities. When you are researching what universities to apply to check on their requirements for your background. If there is someplace that looks like it has a good program, but you are unsure of their requirements (or they say that an undergraduate degree in a Human Rights related field IS necessary) try contacting them directly to inquire about the requirements. The basic documents you should prepare are the same for all fields, but check with the university to see if they require anything else. You will need to submit a recommendation from one of your university professors, but it might be a good idea to get a recommendation from someone you have worked with in the field of Human Rights, who can speak more about your experience in that field as well. To be clear, the professor’s recommendation is required, so this would be an extra recommendation. It is unclear what happens to documents once they get sent to the Embassy or NIIED (it is possible that extra recommendations like this are taken out), so you might want to send it directly to the university. (If you apply through the university for the scholarship then send it at the beginning and if you apply through the embassy then wait for NIIED to make its selection and send it to the three universities that you chose).

  5. Hi. I am not an English native speaker and I figured it is a bit late to actually take an IELTS test. However, both my undergraduate and master’s degree were taught in English. Do you think it’s okay if I can get a confirmation letter from my institution stating this fact for my English ability? If I take an IELTS test but the result will be announced after the dateline, what should I do? Thank you so much.

    1. In the past IELTS and TOEFL were not required for the scholarship application. (You probably know better than me about this year.)

      They may be required by specific universities or departments though. If that’s the case, you should really contact them directly and ask what they will or will not accept. Some may be strict and require an official test result, but for others it may be enough to show you’ve done your previous degrees in English. It’s really up to their discretion.

      So unless this year’s application or a university mentions that IELTS/TOEFL is required, you may not need anything at all. If they do require it, then ask them directly what they would accept instead.

  6. Hey I am applying from the U.S., but my dad was born outside of the U.S. so he doesn’t have his birth certificate. I was wondering if you think that notarized copy of his social security card would count for proof of citizenship?

    1. It depends on where your father was born. If he was born anywhere other than Korea then there is probably a little leeway as to what counts. A passport is best, but if he doesn’t have a current passport then his social security card might work (except that one doesn’t need to be a citizen of the U.S. to get a social security number).

      For employment purposes in the U.S. he would need documents as described here:

      So these will definitely work.

      Remember, NIIED only really cares that your father does not have Korean citizenship, so you need to show that he was never Korean, or if he was he renounced it and became American and that you are American too. If you do not have any of the documents in the link above, I would try to order them just in case. If they won’t arrive until after the application deadline, send what you have (like the social security card) and see if they care. It is likely that even if they decide the social security card is not good enough, if you are someone they want to choose then they will give you a conditional acceptance and more time to provide the right documents. That’s the best you can do now if you can’t get others in time.

  7. Hi and thanks for this. One question: If your diploma is in Latin and you therefore obtain both a notarized copy and a notarized translation, which one gets the apostille, the copy (in Latin) or the translation? My Secretary of State charges for each separate document that gets apostilled, and I’d rather not pay for two if I don’t have to.

  8. Hello,
    I was selected by the Korean embassy in my country (passed the first round), now I’m waiting for NIIED’s results (kinda freaking out, but trying not to think about it too much). I honestly can say that I did my best to make my application as strong as possible, but I kind of messed up: I didn’t put the numbers on the application papers as they asked 😦 I don’t know what happened in my head that made me completely misunderstand that part. I put the labels and I put the numbers just like they did on the applicaion check-list, like I kept the same order, if you know what I mean? So my papers are not numbered “1, 2, 3, etc.” but “1, 3, 7…” depending on the docs I submitted. And some of them don’t have numbers (cause they’re additional documents I put that were not in the check-list…). Ughhhh. Do you think it can be a problem? My country’s quota is 3, and I heard from the embassy that they selected 5 so I don’t have a very high chance and it makes me so rieoghzjlekg.

    1. Embassies are allowed to choose 1.5 times their country’s quota, so you have the same chance as most embassy candidates. Don’t worry. You numbered and labeled the documents, and in a way that at the very least is easy for them to follow. If it was not what they wanted, they most likely have themselves to blame for not explaining it clearly. I can only see it making a difference if there is someone exactly your equal in every single way, who numbered correctly. Relax, breathe, all you can do now is wait😄

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