Students interested in pursuing an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral degree in South Korea have the option of applying for a government scholarship. Every year, Korean Government Scholarships are awarded to over 200 undergraduate and over 1,000 graduate students from around the world. The scholarship program has a noble purpose: To bolster a sense of international solidarity between Korea and other countries.
Moreover, the exchange of culture and knowledge through education is beneficial on an individual and international level. Keep in mind that even though the Korean Government Scholarship program welcomes all students, it has an extensive selection process. Here, we will delve into the particulars of Korean Government Scholarships so that you are armed with the information necessary to begin preparing.
Scholarship Amount for Korean Government Scholarships
Generally speaking, Korean Government Scholarships cover the costs of the recipient’s flight, university tuition, and they provide a stipend. In addition, there is a decent settlement allowance and an amount paid as a completion grant. However, there are specific amounts allotted for most items. Firstly, the cost of airfare is wholly covered. Second, tuition is included, but there is a ceiling; the maximum amount offered in the scholarship is 5 million Korean won (KRW) per semester. If the price tag for tuition exceeds that amount, either the university or the students is responsible for paying the difference.
There are supplementary benefits that are provided. All scholarship recipients must attend Korean language training courses for one year at a language-learning institution located on-campus. Korean Government Scholarships provide funds for Korean language courses of 800,000 KRW per quarter. Students should work hard to achieve fluency as there is an Award for Excellent Korean Language Proficiency for 100,000 KRW. This requirement doesn’t apply to students who have earned higher than level 5 in TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean).
There are three more miscellaneous study-related costs that the scholarship covers. The first is categorized as “Research Support”; students receive between 210,000 to 240,000 KRW support every semester. Near the end of their studies, when it’s time for students to print their dissertations, “Printing Costs” in the amount of 500,000 to 800,000 KRW is given. Lastly, a one-time Completion Grant for 100,000 KRW is awarded when applicable.
The Korean Government Scholarship program also assists students with the costs of relocating to and living in Korea. A resettlement allowance of 200,000 KRW is given one time, but a living allowance is distributed on a monthly basis, between 900,000 to 1,000,000 KRW. A monthly stipend of 20,000 KRW is paid under medical insurance. Keep in mind that the insurance has limited coverage.
Eligibility Criteria for Korean Government Scholarships
The qualifications required for Korean Government Scholarships are relatively straightforward. First, the prospective student and their parents must be citizens of their country. For example, if the student is a South African citizen, their parents must be citizens of South Africa as well. Korean citizens and Koreans holding dual citizenship are automatically disqualified.
There is a general requirement that compels applicants to have “adequate” mental and physical health that enables them to reside in a foreign country for an extended period of time. Although this may seem obvious on the surface, we must consider the added stress of relocating, studying, and adjusting to life in a foreign country. In addition to health, there are age restrictions as well. Those applying for an undergraduate program should be under 25 years old at the date of admittance, while graduate applicants must be younger than 40 years of age.
In order to be eligible for Korean Government Scholarships, students must have earned a grade point average (GPA) above 80 percent from their last educational institution. Prospective graduate students should have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in hand prior to their arrival. Please note that students who have previously attended a degree program in Korea are ineligible. There is one exception; former or current scholarship recipients who have 1) achieved TOPIK level 5 or above and 2) have earned an overall grade of 90% or above in their academic program are invited to reapply.
Speaking of TOPIK, international students must submit their TOPIK score in order to apply for a regular degree program in Korea. These students must have a TOPIK level 3 or higher to be admitted and a Level 4 or higher in order to graduate. TOPIK examinations are not required of students who wish to study courses offered in English. In lieu of the TOPIK, applicants must provide a certification of English proficiency (for example, IELTS or TEOFL). Further, these applicants do not need to obtain a TOPIK level 4 to graduate.
How do I apply to Korean Government Scholarships?
The best way to get accurate, up-to-date information on Korean Government Scholarships is through the . This website is managed by the National Institute for International Education (NIIED). It provides services in twelve languages: Korean, English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Mongolian, Japanese, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, French and Indonesian. Applications are also submitted there.
The process of selecting scholarship winners is complex. NIIED askes the Korean Embassy in the host country, or a domestic university, to provide a list of recommended candidates for Korean Government Scholarships. Although applications are submitted online, prospective students must give all relevant documents to the Korean embassy in their country or the domestic university that is part of the program. Once the embassy or university receives the applicant’s records, they will send them to NIIED. From there, NIIED evaluates each candidate then notifies the Korean embassy of their selection.
Also, the spelling of the applicant’s English name must match their passport.
Deadlines for Korean Government Scholarships
There isn’t a single deadline for Korean Government Scholarships. Instead, deadlines are set by the host country’s Korean embassy and participating domestic university. However, there are general guidelines. For example, application guidelines and the announcement of the first round of selections will commence in Mid-February. Then, NIIED will receive students’ applications and documents in March or April for graduate students and October or November for undergraduates. In addition to the Study in Korea website, their Notice Board also provides updates on deadlines.