Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP)

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!

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2016 KGSP Graduate Degrees Application Guidelines

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!

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Interview Schedule for The First Round Selection

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.

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The First Exciting Moment!

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.

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The Most Exciting and Nervous Moment!

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.

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The Very Final Stage For All The KGSP Candidates

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.

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My new life journey is about to begin…

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 ❤️

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80 thoughts on “Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP)

  1. Hello Ponika
    What will be hostel cost and living cost during first year language course? Do they permit us to work in Lab during degree course?

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  2. Hi Ponika.
    I have summitted by transcript with 75% since my undergraduate university has no system of percentile and GPA. I have also send letter from college stating that I am above 80 percentile student during my undergraduate as well as I have send WES converted version. Is there any chance of selection by NIIED or they will just cancel the application in second round. i have been selected in first roung from the university.

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    • As long as your GPA is above 80%, it’s fine. You have chance to be selected by NIIED but you have to compete with other candidates from your country. In this round, your competitors are those who’re from the same country. NIIED will compare your application with those candidates. GPA is not the only criteria to be considered. If your application stands out comparing to other applications then you’ll be selected. Good Luck!

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    • Hello Ponika
      Can KGSP scholar work as graduate research assistant during degree course in University?
      How high is the chance of selection if I have passed second round university track and submitted good medical report? (I have not received medical conformation mail from NIIED yet).
      Can KGSP scholar work part time during Language course?

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  3. Hi Ponika! How did you label your recommendation letter envelopes? Did you put sticker labels on them too? Did you put all the documents in an envelope? How did you label that envelope?

    I’m sorry for the questions; hope you are doing well in Korea. 🙂

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    • Hi Mitchell, yes, I printed out the labels with number and sticked on them. I arranged all the documents in the order as the requirement in the guideline and placed it in an A4 envelop. As I applied via university, I had 4 A4 envelops (1 for original copied documents, 3 for copied documents) and put them in an A3 envelop and label with ‘The Application for Korean Government Scholarship Program’ as well as my address and university’s address. Good luck for your application!

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  4. hello.. ponika.. am a an aspiring international candidate for the new undergraduate KGSP.. and I want to apply through university track, so I was thinking if it will be ok if I can e-mail my documents to them..@ university of Korea..

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  5. hello.. ponika… am a Nigerian and I want to apply through university track, will it be ok If I e-mail my documents to them.. @ university of Korea.. thanks

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  6. Hi Ponika,
    Thank you for the useful info about the KGSP.

    I have 1 question related to the letter of recommendation. It is said that “the letter should be put in an official envelope”, does it mean the envelope must have the university/company logo, info etc. on it? Or can I ask my recommender to use the plain envelopes? Cuz my professor told me he could not get an official envelop from my university.

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    • Maybe your professor can ask from a school to get one of the university envelop. You can try to ask them by yourself too. If you cannot, just a plain envelop that is sealed with a school stamp and your professor signature is fine too.

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  7. Hi Ms. Ponika!
    I’m applying this year at HUFS as well, and I would like to know if HUFS is strict that the 2 recommendation letters should come from the head of department and the advising professor? This worries me a bit since I couldn’t contact those people, and I only got recommendation letters from previous professors instead. Thank you for your help!

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    • 2 recommendation letters is a requirement from NIIED so HUFS and other universities have to follow it. You can also get a recommendation letter from your superior either supervisor or manager (if you are employed). In my case, I have got my recommendation letters from dean of my department and head of department that I worked. Recommendation letters is one of the important documents that you should be well prepared. It does weight a lot in your application. Good luck!

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  8. Hi! Thank you for this informative post~

    I have a question, I hope you don’t mind answering 🙂

    It says that the documents “must be numbered and labeled on the top right corner”. Did you write directly on the documents? Won’t that render them void (especially for transcripts, etc.)?

    Thanks!

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  9. Hi Ponika,
    I am Yeni from Indonesia. I hope you will always be okay there 🙂
    The KGSP guidelines has been released. I have read the requirements but I am still a little bit confused about the notarized document.
    For academic transcript, my campus released the bilingual version (Indonesian and in English) on the same page. My queation are
    1. Do i have to make it translated into english version only? or I can attach this to Embassy?
    2. Where should I notarize the photocopied of academic transcript? Is it enough to get in my campus or must in public notary?
    I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks 🙂

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    • Hello Yeni!

      1. In that case, you don’t need to translate your transcript. You can use that one to attach.
      2. If your transcript can be issued more than one then you don’t need to notarize it. Just submit the original copy that issue from your university. In case, it can’t be issued more than one then you can get it notarized at your campus if it’s available.

      Good luck!

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  10. hello ms Ponika, i hope you are doing good. the 2018 kgsp application is out and they have made some changes. it reads that
    1.if applicant has to submit the photocopied documents,the applicant must have the copy notarized apostiled and then submit the notarized or apostiled copies.
    2. for any academic document that can not be reissued,applicant must submit the notarized or apostiled copies of the original version.
    >for the proof of published papers and awards,applicants can submit photocopied versions.
    my question here is
    ‘do i need to notarize my publish paper and award?
    do i need to notarize the application form, self introduction form, statement of purpose form, personal medical assessment form and the kgsp pledge form?;

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    • Hi Nana, the requirement was as same as the last 2 years. you don’t need to notarize your publish paper, award, and other KGSP forms such as application form, self-introduction, statement of purpose, personal medical form, and pledge. you only need to notarize academic documents that cannot be reissued such as degree certificate, applicant and parents’ proof of citizenship. for the documents that can be reissued, you should submit the original one. for example, academic transcript report, language proficiency report, and so on.

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  11. Hi Ponika.

    I plan to apply for KGSP via university track for my master’s degree. I would like to know if I should also include the reason for choosing a particular university in my letter of self introduction.

    Thanks

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  12. hello ponika. please i am applying for the
    kgsp undergraduate scholarship. we were told to write three universities. where do i write down the names on the application form.

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  13. hello maam,
    i wished to know which universities are good in engineering? also i am applying for undergraduate category so please guide me which stream/course should i opt for in engineering (that is recognised and maximum applicants desire)
    your views are highly appreciated

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  14. Hi Ponika! Thank you so much for posting this 🙂 I am looking to apply in 2018. I worry it will be really difficult for me since I am in the US… There are many people here that want to go to Korea these days and speak Korean well. So I am studying for at least TOPIK level 5. Luckily I’ve been studying Korean for a while but self studying for the TOPIK exam is pretty difficult.. Wish me luck!! Ps. you are really pretty!

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    • Dear Rachel, first, I am very sorry for very late response. I was a bit busy with my studying here. I wish you all the best for your application process. I am pretty sure that you will be able to get it. 🙂 I am looking forward to hearing good news from you. Let me know if there is anything I could help you with. 🙂

      Like

  15. Hi Nith,
    please i need your help… Apart from chung-ang university, please suggest (3) three universities that are suitable for “performing arts” in Seoul… thanks.

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  16. Dear, Ponika
    It’s me Tete again, I received a mail from Kookmin today. Notice for GKS successful candidates of the 3rd Round.Greeting from Kookmin University!
    First of all, thank you for your interest in our Graduate school and congratulations once again on passing the 2nd round.

    Before we start the final round, I’d like to confirm your desired major again.
    Please find an attached file and let me know which department and major you want until May 10th, this Wednesday.

    And applicants who want to apply for the department of Design or Fine art, please send me your portfolio by e-mail.
    Is it mean just a notice of admission start, right?

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    • Did they just mention “Notice for GKS sucessful candidates of the 3rd round”? It sounds like you were accepted already. According to their email, they are now working on finalising and clarifying the application. Still, I am not 100% sure that you are selected but the chance is around 80% i think.

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    • Dear, Ponika
      Its me Tete,again. I did it 🙂 Big thanks to Ponika for being so helpful and kind to me. Today i did medical exam. Now i’m confusing about Drug test. In my country drug test is not common:( What should i do?

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      • Dear Tete, I am happy to hear that. Regarding to drug test, you may try to find a place that you can take it. You don’t need to take all the required test at one place. You can take it at different places and take all the results to the doctor who sign on your medical report form. Good luck!

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  17. Hello, Ponika…
    I am so thankful your blog and your gold advice. Recently i’ve chosed by one of the 2nd round successful candidates KGSP and now am waiting for admission of university. I’ve realized that Embassy track has less chance than university track 😦 I’m so nervious…..Topik6, 3.9/4scale, Major – innovation management, but i’m afraid of that” You need to be selected at least from 1 of those 3 universities; otherwise, you will not be selected as a successful scholar… Im applying to Kyunghee, Kookmin, Sogang… Is Ponika’s opinion, I have a chance to accept?

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    • Dear Tete, first, I’d like to say congratulation to you! No worry! According to your brief information, I’m pretty sure you’ll be selected at least by 2 of these 3. You’ll have a little problem with choosing one of them. Don’t be nervous! Relax! You’ve come so far to reach this stage. I’m waiting to hear good news from you! Good luck! 🙂

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  18. Hii Ponika! Thanks for the information. I applied for KGSP in this year, and I prefered to apply via university. It’s HUFS. But, I’m a bit worried about phone interview. I heard that it chooses applicants after an officer in HUFS has an interview by phone. How was your interview? What did he or she ask to you? Furthermore, was the person whom you interviewed, an academician from the department that you applied?

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  19. Hello,
    This blog is really cool and helpful.well i want to
    apply for the kgsp.
    I have grade percentage of 86/100 and I have an
    IELTS score 6.5.
    I have one award and one publication and i have
    a letter of appointment from my university which
    entails i have chosen to participate in a project
    because i have been found worthy both in
    character and learning.
    I want to apply for Hanyang university and the
    course i have chosen is Entrepreneurship which
    is under Humanities/Social and management
    Science.Please what are my chances of being
    accepted regarding my documents since Hanyang
    university is one of the most popular
    university.And can you please give me some
    advice on which university i should choose if
    Hanyang is not the best for me because my grade
    percentage is kind of low.Thank you

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    • Hi Tee J, well I am not quite sure about that since I am not majoring in that field. However, I have heard my friends said Chung Ang University is one of the universities that is good in this field. You may check out for more information about it. Good luck!

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  20. I am applying for graduate program but my recommendation letters are from head of my high school and my senior manager from workplace, do you think is that appropriate?

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    • hi! i really want to get some advices in choosing a track in applying. my gpa is 91% ,i’m in a top 2 rank in our whole class, i got many awards in highschool, (most of them are academic division level competitions, leadership training,division and regional school press conferences,journalism,etc. ) i’m also the editor in chief in our school publication org and vice president in our student council. the thing is i’m really not sure if i should include all my accomplishments (competitions,awards,honors cert. ) even though it’s not kind of “national or international ” awards or competitions? do you think i have the chance?i’m from philippines

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      • yes, i applied via University Track and I applied to HUFS. well. i dont know how strong my documents were. it was combination of every documents such as statement of purpose, self introduction, work experiences, IELTS, awards, recommendation letters, and GPA. they all have to relevant to one another.

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  21. Hi! I’m actually applying for undergraduate and I’m not sure if i can pass through via university track, my grade is 90% and i am planning to take toefl , do you think i can make it?

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    • Hi Kim Chen, do you mean graduate or undergraduate? Currently, only graduate program is available. 90% is already good plus TOEFL, you will have a high chance. However, it depends on the competition in your country. If most of applicants apply via Embassy then it’s a bit competitive. However, I am sure you are good enough to compete. You will make it, don’t worry. 🙂

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      • our Embassy quota is 4 and for University it’s 8. based on your reply, should i apply via university track? :–) also is there a bigger chance of acveptance if i go for a regional university?

        you’re such a big help. thanks Ponika ♡

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      • yes, there is a bigger chance to be accepted if you apply for a regional university. however, unless your major is in Science, Technology, and Engineering. if you meet this criteria then go for University Track and a regional university. 🙂

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      • But my problem is im going for MBA (Business). And Im planning on applying to a General University (UOS). 😦 what do you think?

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  22. Hi
    I am so curious about the first step of the admission..if i want to apply by university, is that mean i have to send the kgsp forms to the university or i have to submit based on the university requirement?

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    • Hi Rose, thank for your comment. yes, you have to send the KGSP forms as well as the university required documents to the university. however, you have to make sure with the university first that you want to apply through KGSP; otherwise, they will tell you other required documents which are different from KGSP program.

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      • dear, being notarized is different from being translated. being notarized means getting an official stamp from a local authority. you can also get a notarized stamp when you translate your document at the translation company. as long as you get a stamp on your copied document, it’s called “an official copied document” or “an original copied document”.

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      • Thanks for your reply. Another question for proof of applicant and parents citizenship, is that mean id card and passport? Or we need birth certificate and family card?

        Thanks, Rose

        On Jan 20, 2017 13:45, “Ponika’s Random Thoughts” wrote:

        > PONIKA | 포니카 commented: “dear, being notarized is different from being > translated. being notarized means getting an official stamp from a local > authority. you can also get a notarized stamp when you translate your > document at the translation company. as long as you get a stamp on” >

        Like

      • Thanks for your reply.
        Another question for proof of applicant and parents citizenship, is that mean id card and passport? Or we need birth certificate and family card?

        Like

  23. I am currently an aspiring kgsp undergraduate student from Nigeria and I wish to be a part of this wonderful journey. I really need your help to get my documents to Wonkwang University And the deadline is 26th of october. I contacted the courier service in my country EMS and DHL to ask about how long it will take to get my documents to Korea and they said that it will take longer than that. So I need your help to send my documents to the university at the latest 25th. I am ready to pay for any expenses incurred during your movement and the things you have to do if you will help me as I will scan my originals to you. I was not able to apply early due to the fact that I had to morn my late uncle whom just passed away (pls don’t pity me) that’s the reason for this delima. I hope you would be of help to me as I am looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks

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    • Hi Jerry (I hope this is your name), I’m sorry to get back to you late as I’m a bit busy here. Well… I’d like to help you if I can. Please send me all the scanned documents and I’ll print it here. I don’t know if they will accept scanned documents. I think you should email to ask them about that. Please clarify with them if it’s ok. However, I’ll have to check with the postoffice here as well. It might takes max. 3 days to deliver within Korea. I’m in Busan right now and Wonkwang is in Ulsan (I’m not sure about that). So again, please send me your documents and the address that you want to send to via my email: nithponika@gmail.com.

      Like

      • Hi,
        Thanks for the warm reply. I have already submitted the documents to the university and have already been interviewed. Thanks again for the help and good luck as I looking forward to meeting you in person

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    • Dear Jerry, I am sorry for late saying congratulation for passing KGSP-U. Finally, you made it. A wonderful journey is now waiting for you. Be ready for your new adventure and incredible experience in Korea. Welcome to Korea! 🙂

      Like

  24. Hi! Thank You so much for the info! 🙂 Btw, I am Emily, an incoming second year college student currently taking up an International Studies major. I am actually thinking of applying for the undergraduate scholarship and having thoughts of choosing HUFS as one of my choice universities. Would you mind if you’ll share some of the questions that were asked to you during the interview in the embassy? (or in the phone interview, if you ever got one). I would really appreciate it and it would really be a great help. Thank you! 🙂

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    • Hi Emily, thank you so much for the question. 🙂 I applied via university and I had a phone interview with HUFS coordinator. Actually, he didn’t ask me a lot. He only asked me if I am sure that I can pass topik 3 within one year of Korean language program? In my opinion, I think phone interview was just to make sure that i can speak English. He interviewed me just few days before the first result released and he interviewed only with 20 candidates (those who were selected for the first round). I am not sure if they will change the way they interview for undergraduate. 🙂

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      • Oh, okay. I see. Thank you for your answer sunbae-nim! By the way, can I ask for your gmail account? I can’t reach the facebook link that you’ve provided here. I’m really sorry for bothering but there’s some matter I want to tackle with you. Kindly reach me out on this e-mail: emnazareth01@gmail.com. Thank you!

        Like

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