I have seen many bloggers from various countries write about their KGSP experiences. We can easily get the information about 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 a Cambodian student. I will only briefly share its processes.
APPLICATION PERIOD: Normally, the 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 the Embassy or University. You can choose 3 universities via the embassy track while you can choose only 1 university via the university track. However, you have to be aware that the quota for the embassy track is lesser than the quota for the university track. Unfortunately, the university track is not available for some countries so the embassy track is the only choice. There are 66 universities in Korea (based on 2016 guidelines) available for you to choose from. So, choose wisely! You might probably get lost and waste a lot of time choosing the university.
Tips: Do NOT start preparing your application when it opens. Start it as early as possible! 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 the right university, please read Few Tips for Applying Scholarship Abroad – (Part II).
The deadline for submission is different from one university to another. So you have to be careful with that. You need to check the website of the university/embassy for the actual date. Do not rely on the deadline that is provided in University Information because it can be different.
FIRST ROUND SELECTION: After receiving the applications from all around the world, all the universities and embassies will start to evaluate 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 one country). Each embassy can choose the candidates based on the country’s quota + an additional 50%. For example, Cambodia’s quota for the embassy is 4 so the Korean embassy in Cambodia can choose 6 candidates for the 1st round selection. At this stage, the chance of university-track candidates being selected is quite high.
The procedure of selection can be different. Some universities conduct phone interviews 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.
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 the 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’s 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 a medical checkup with local licensed doctors and submit it with a copied passport to NIIED. However, it is the 3rd round selection for the embassy track candidate. NIIED sends the applications to 3 universities that the embassy track candidates chose. You need to be selected from at least 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. Those who already have TOPIK5 will automatically start their Ph.D./Master’s Degree. NIIED is the one who assigns 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 you to explore Korea and learn about Korean culture in other regions. You will be selected to study with other scholars from other countries.
After the final announcement is released, you will no longer feel nervous, curious, or worried. You will feel happy, excited, and a little sad because you are going to miss your country and family. However, the process has not been done yet. It is time for you to start preparing other documents and stuff such as sending flight information, applying for a visa, getting an e-flight ticket, packing your stuff, and being 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 a 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 20 kg but as a KGSP scholar, you will be allowed to pack 30 kg or 32 kg 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 I can imagine. I have learned to be patient, to get up after a breakdown, to overcome my weakness, to treasure everything I am having, to think positively, last, and most important is, 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 not enough for you. You should spend this 1 month of the application period on document preparation such as getting your certificate/transcript notarized at the local office, asking for a 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 copy to your desired university via the post office. (It takes about 3 days up to 1 week for your application to be delivered. – please be aware of that!)
Good luck to the future KGSP candidates all around the world!
Please leave a comment below if you have any inquiries, comments, or feedback.
From: 2016 KGSP Graduate Cambodian Scholar ❤️