I have seen many bloggers from various countries wrote about their KGSP experiences. We can easily get the information of KGSP as much as we want on the internet. So here, I would love to share mine too since I haven’t seen a KGSP post that is written by Cambodian student. I will only briefly share its processes.
APPLICATION PERIOD: Normally, KGSP application is released in early February on Study in Korea website. You can find all the information you need. You can choose to apply either via Embassy or University. Applying via You can choose 3 universities via embassy track while you can choose only 1 university via university track. However, you have to be aware that the quota for embassy track is lesser than the quota for university track which is a good thing about university track. Unfortunately, university track is not available for some countries so embassy track is the only choice. Anyway, there are 66 universities in Korea (based on 2016 guideline) available for you to choose. So choose wisely! You might probably get lost and waste lots of time in choosing the university!
Tips: Do NOT start preparing your application when it opens. Start it as early as you can! The application period is only 1 month and it is surely not enough for you to prepare everything. For more information about how to prepare and choose a right university, please read Few Tips for Applying Scholarship Abroad – (Part II).
The deadline of submission is different from one university to another. So you have to be careful with that. You need to check the website of university / embassy for the actual date. Do not rely on the deadline that is provided in University Information because it can be different. This already happened with my friend.
FIRST ROUND SELECTION: After receiving the applications from all around the world, all the universities and embassies will start the evaluation and select the candidates for the 1st round selection. Each university can choose up to 20 candidates from all around the world (max 3 candidates from the one country). Each embassy can choose the candidates based on country’s quota + additional 50%. For example, Cambodia’s quota for embassy is 4 so Korean embassy in Cambodia can choose 6 candidates for the 1st round selection. At this stage, the chance of university track candidate for being selected is quite high.
The procedure of selection can be different. Some universities conduct a phone interview with the candidates while some universities don’t. However, just stay close to your email and phone. Sometimes, they give a phone call without informing first. That was just so unexpected!
All the universities and embassies have to submit all the 1st round selection candidates to NIIED before the deadline (normally, it’s in early April). They will also notify the candidates who passed the 1st round selection during that period. Some universities announce the result on their website while some universities send an email individually to the selected candidates.
SECOND ROUND SELECTION: NIIED will select the candidates from the 1st round selection based on the quota for each country. For example, Cambodia’s quota for university track is 9 and 4 for embassy track. For the embassy track candidates, the chance of being selected is quite high but this is the most nervous and sweating stage for the university track candidates. You don’t know how many candidates from your country passed the 1st round selection. Let say there are 198 candidates (3 candidates x 66 universities), so the chance of being selected is so unpredictable.
The announcement of the 2nd Round Selection is usually released in early May on Study in Korea website.
THIRD ROUND SELECTION: After knowing the announcement of the 2nd round selection, all the candidates have to take medical checkup with their local licence doctor and submit it with a copied of passport to NIIED. However, it is the 3rd round selection for the embassy track candidate. NIIED send their applications to 3 universities that the embassy track candidates chose. You need to be selected at least from 1 of those 3 universities; otherwise, you will not be selected as a successful scholar. The chance of being a KGSP scholar is 90% at this stage unless you have a serious disease like Hepatitis B, HIV, or Drugs.
THE FINAL ROUND: The final announcement is normally announced in early June. All the successful candidates will know which university will be their language institution for the first year. For those who already have TOPIK5 will automatically start their PhD / Master’s Degree. NIIED is the one who assign a language institution for you. You cannot ask to change it. They will assign you to be in a city that is different from the city of your degree university because they want us to explore Korea and learn about their culture in other regions. You will be selected to study with other scholars from other countries.
After the final announcement released, you will no longer feel worried, nervous, or curious. You will feel happy, excited, and a little sad because you are going to miss your country and family. However, the process has not done yet. It is the time for you to start preparing other documents and stuff such as sending flight information, applying for visa, getting e-flight ticket, packing your stuff, and be ready to go on an exciting adventure.
PRE-DEPARTURE PERIOD: NIIED will send you an email asking you to fill out a flight information form 1 week after the final announcement. They will also send you the Letter of Invitation for you to start applying for visa at the Korean embassy. (For me, it is the moment that I truly feel like it is not a dream – it’s real!). In the 3rd week of July, you will get an E-flight ticket from NIIED. It’s time for you to start packing. Normally, you can pack only 20kg but as a KGSP scholar, you will be allowed to pack 30kg or 32kg because they know that you are going to live there for 2 or 3 years.
CONCLUSION: This incredible KGSP experience has taught me so many great things. I have learned more than what I can imagine. I have learned how to be patient, how to get up after breakdown, how to overcome my own weakness, how to treasure everything I am having, how to think positively, last and most important is, how to live my life independently as I have ever wanted to.
SUGGESTION: Start your preparation as early as you can. You will need to work on many things and 1 month is definitely not enough for you. You should spend this 1 month of application period on document preparation such as get your certificate / transcript notarized at local office, asking for recommendation from your respective referrers. You should submit your documents to the university / embassy 1 week before the deadline. In addition to this, you have to send your application in hard copied to your desired university via post office. (It takes about 3 days up to 1 week for your application to be delivered. – please be aware of that!)
RECOMMENDED SOURCES: For your further information and tips, I recommend you to check out Lola Loves Korea YouTube Channel or From Rising Sun to Morning Calm Blog or Su & Ty Blog. They have provided really good and useful information regarding to KGSP. They had helped me a lot during the preparation period!
Good luck to the future KGSP candidates all around the world!
Please leave a comment below if you have any inquiries, comments, or feedbacks.
From: 2016 KGSP Graduate Cambodian Scholar ❤️