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!