TIPS AND TRICKS FOR KGSP (KOREAN GOVERNMENT SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM): PART 2, Filling Out the Application Form
While in the first article I talked about general information related to KGSP, I will write more information on filling out the application forms. As the form is the first step in applying to this program, making sure that everybody gives his best in applying is very important, particularly for those coming from countries with very tight selection (in 2012, Indonesia is country with toughest selection rate).Sorry for this, but personally I don’t have the application form for 2013 KGSP period. I only have that of 2012. However, I assume there will be not major difference between the two. You might want to download it from this link, please refer to the document #4 on that pace, entitled “2012 KGSP Graduate Program Guideline.doc.” This document has almost all information that one requires in applying for KGSP.
Once the document has been downloaded, one might consider the following tips in order to increase his chance to be selected in the program.
1. The given form is not merely an application form, but it also shows the level of willingness of the applicant to be selected in this program, his character, and of course his competency. Therefore, one needs to make sure to give his very best in filling out and sending his documents.
2. This can be done by making sure that he fully completes filling out each and every required document.
3. Typing the application nicely and double-check the grammar before printing are very good practice to improve your chance to be selected.
4. To make yourself stands out among the others, make a simple yet unique difference in your application. For example, you can print your application in very good-quality papers (80 gsm instead of 70 gsm), attach some of your research publications (the most important only), print in light brown papers instead of plain wait ones, etc. It might not be helpful on the selection process quantitatively, but it could be very helpful in attracting good interest from the selection committee and shows them one’s strong willingness to be accepted.
In Detail Tips
According to KGSP’s website, here are required documents for the applications:
1. Personal Data (Attachment #1): This part is basically very similar to one’s resume/CV. I really recommend everyone to download this from, make another digital copy, and edit it with Word Processing program, rather then print it out and fill it out with pen. In the language proficiency part, if one has TOPIK score then it will be great advantage. However, if one does not have, stating that he has Korean language course would be better rather than leaving it empty. For the papers and awards, they only ask applicant to put two, so it would be really nice if he puts two, two of BEST papers that he published and some of BEST awards that he received. (Unless if one really has some other very important awards that he thinks leaving it out will be bad idea, he might still write some extra. Last time I wrote down up to 6 awards, but only put 2 publications since my publications are not worthy enough to be all stated).
2. Self-Introduction (Attachment #2): In this part, applicant need to write some sort of cover letter. In very limited space, one need to include every of these following items:
a. Your course of life, your view of life, study background, your hopes & wishes, etc
b. Your education and work experience, etc., in relation to the KGSP program
c. Your motivations for applying for this program
d. Reason for study in Korea
I would recommend applicant to write the essay in following basis:
a. Your past (great) experience and achievements;
b. Your future goals
c. How KGSP can help you achieve such goals
By doing this, there will be more correlation among those 4 required items, and one’s application will much better than just merely answering those questions.
3. Study Plan (Attachment #3): The first section is very similar to research plan; what applicant will do during his research. It’s been public secret now that almost nobody will have his own privilege to conduct his research, but he needs to work on project his lab has/offers. So what is the point of this part? It merely measures applicant’s seriousness in applying to the program and to check his understanding on his research field. Almost nobody will do the one he once wrote on his research plan but accepted student normally has solid background of research and clear vision of his research. The second part deals with applicant’s plan after completing the program. The purpose is almost very similar to the 2nd item and to the 1st part of this item: to check the long-term vision of applicant. Saying that he wants to get master degree for a long life work (such as becoming diplomat for his country, Chemistry teaching professor, etc) will be much better then just saying willingness to explore Korean culture.
4. Letter of Recommendation (Attachment #4): Providing 2 or 3 LoR will be just great. One of them should be from people with quite good reputation in the university one’s studying now, such as rector/president of the university, head of the faculty, head of the department, head of some research institute in the university. Legal positions always posses trustworthy recommendation. The other one should be from professor that one’s working with for quite long time, so he/she knows applicant personally. It would be great if you can get some Korean professor recommendation, since Koreans trust other Koreans more than other people.
5. Pledge (Attachment #5): Very clear. It’s just commitment between two parties: applicant and NIIED.
6. Personal Medical Assessment (Attachment #6): This document is for general and personal medical assessment only. Once one is accepted, he needs to provide more detail medical assessment from hospital/medical institutes. S. Korea is highly concerned with health, so make sure one does not have severe disease(s).
7. Copy of diploma or certificate of graduation from undergraduate institution. If one is already graduated, then there will no problem with this. But for those who have not gotten his/her diploma can write ‘Letter of Expected Graduation’ signed by the Head of Department.
8. Official transcript of previously attended undergraduate institution(s): It’s important to make sure that everybody provide such document in Korean/English (or with such translation). If the document issued by the university is not in Englsih, then finding legalized/certified translation institute would be great idea.
9. Copy of diploma or certificate of graduation from graduate institution, almost similar to item #7, only this certificate is for those applying for doctoral degree.
10. Official transcript of previously attended graduate institution(s). Silimar to #8, only for PhD applicants.
11. Certificate of TOPIK score (original copy), if available. If one does not have any TOPIK score, presenting certificate of Korean Course experience will be better then just leaving it blank.
12. Certificate of TOEFL or IELTS score (original copy): Very clear. In case of absence of TOEFL score, doing as suggested in #11 is good idea.
13. Published papers, if available (one or two). One might need to provide some copy (of his best) published papers, particularly ones related to his future research.
14. Awards, if available (one or two). It is also important to attach copy of certificates of one’s awards, select only those related to Korean life and/or research field.
15. Copy of passport (possible to submit after selection)
16. Certificate of citizenship of parents of applicant : birth certificate, passport, etc. (* applicable only to overseas Korean immigrants)
17. Adoption documents (*applicable only to overseas Korean adoptees)
Those are few notes on filling out the forms. I wish it will be very helpful for applying the KGSP scholarship. I will see you guys again in 3rd article.