NIIED Orientation

So remember ESID?

Well, it applies to situations between KGSP year groups as well as those within year groups.

If you’ve followed my advice and watched Lolaloveskorea on YouTube, or found her on your own, or found other blogs from 2013 KGSPers or earlier that talk about NIIED orientation… yours may not be like that.

Mine certainly wasn’t.

And I’m not necessarily complaining.

Last year it appears they bussed everyone to the same place and did a two day orientation/tourism thing – in matching yellow polo shirts.

This year, they are being more economical and practical. We were divided into 4 groups of 2-3 language schools plus people in the area who are exempt from language study. And we got a tote bag and towels instead of polo shirts.

I love KGSP totebag
Towel gift
Inscribed towels. If you spend long enough in Korea, you’ll probably end up with a lot of these.

My group went right to the NIIED headquarters in Seoul, but other groups are gathering at one of the language schools nearby.

NIIED Headquarters in Seoul

Instead of all the touring and socializing at the past years’ orientations, ours was pretty no nonsense, and went something like this…

1. Video about NIIED (fun fact – it started in 1962 and has been facilitating educational exchange between Korea and the world since then)

2. Video about KGSP

3. Greetings from the President of NIIED (in English)

4. Greetings from a student representative (in Korean and English)

5. Traditional Korean performance of gayageum and samulnori

Pungmul nori (the music with the streamer hats)
Pungmul nori with samul nori instruments

6. Group photo

7. Coffee break

8. Explanation of Rules and Regulations following the handbook (mostly just reiteration of what is in the handbook, but it seemed to be based on things that people routinely ask questions about)


9. Speeches from two former scholars (one from 2011 and one from 2009, good information especially if it’s your first time abroad or in Korea)

10. Dinner

And then we went home. All told from checking in to going home, we were there for about 5 hours.

Some of the things they mentioned:

  • If you achieve TOPIK 5 (or 6) then you MUST start your degree program at the earliest opportunity (September if you do it before you arrive in Korea, or March if you get it between September and February of your language year). You cannot choose to do more language study.
  • You CANNOT change your degree university under any circumstances (and keep the scholarship). It has never happened in the history of KGSP.
  • During the application process they got between 400 and 800 emails a day! With a relatively small staff, that’s a lot of emails, so refer to this post and think carefully before you send them email. Again, I’m not saying don’t send them email, just think about it carefully.

And that’s what our orientation was like. Yours may be similar or completely different.


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