The Global Korea Scholarship is an educational aid program organized by the Ministry of Korea to provide international students with opportunities to study at higher education institutions in Korea at undergraduate degrees. These opportunities will enhance international educational exchanges and deepen mutual friendship between Korea and participating countries. In 2010, the program which was originally named as “Korean Government Scholarship Programs” was officially re-branded as “Global Korea Scholarship” (GKS).
In 2020, the Korean Government expects 1,276 candidates to apply, with 1,266 quota available for Master’s and Doctoral programs while 10 candidates for research programs.
145 countries will participate to send their best candidates to take part in this scholarship through a general application path with a quota of candidates reaching 606 people. For ethnic Koreans who do not hold Korean citizenship, a quota of 20 candidates from 18 countries is available. They include Korean adoptees and offspring of Korean diaspora or Korean immigrants living in other countries outside of the Korean peninsula. For the university track, there are 610 quota for applicants from 77 countries. If you want to know which countries are eligible to join the scholarship, please access the information through the official website available at the end of this article.
For more detailed information about the fields of study offered by universities in Korea, please refer to the “University Information” file attached under the GKS Notice post on the official website of Study in Korea. The list of participating universities can also be checked in the same file. The applicants are required to choose their majors which are only available in the list.
Please note that even if departments or majors from a university desired by the applicant offer English-taught courses, it may vary from lectures offered in each period. Therefore, candidates must always be careful and double check with the universities they are inclined to apply. In addition, it is also important to remember that Korean is the main language used in every Korean university. The applicants are not allowed to register and attend admissions at night schools, short-term seasonal programs, distant-learning and online programs.
Costs incurred in the scholarship include:
- Resettlement allowance
- Living allowance
- Medical insurance
- Language courses
- Tuition fees
- Award for Excellent Korean Language Proficiency
- Research support
- Printing costs for dissertation
- Completion grant
- The applicants and their parents do not have Korean citizenship. Koreans are not eligible to apply.
- Must be under 40 years old by September 1, 2020.
- Applicants must hold a Bachelor, Master or Doctoral degree by 31 August 2020. Prospective applicants who have received one of these degrees in Korea are not eligible to apply.
- Applicants who have previously studied at a Korean university as exchange or visiting students can apply for this program.
- The former or current GKS scholars who have attained or is expected to obtain the degree as of August 31st, 2020 are eligible to apply under following conditions: 1) Submit their applications either through the Embassy Track or the University Track and must be selected from one of those two institutions in the 1st round of selection; 2) Can only re-apply for a higher degree program once and must have overall grade point average equivalent to or higher than 90%.
- All applicants must have maintained the overall grade point average (CGPA) equivalent to or higher than any one of the following from their respective universities: 2.64 on a 4.0 scale; 2.80 on a 4.3 scale; 2.91 on a 4.5 scale; 3.23 on a 5.0 scale; or score percentile (80% or above on a 100 point scale or be ranked within the top 20% within one’s class). If an applicant has a CGPA below the minimum grade requirement, the applicant will be disqualified and application will be disregarded.
- All applicants must be in good health, both mentally and physically, to study in Korea for the full period of degree or research programs.
- Applicants who received outstanding scores for their proficiency in Korean or English may be given preference. Some examples include: proficiency in Korean (TOPIK or Test of Proficiency in Korean) and proficiency in English (TOEFL, TOEIC, or IELTS Academic).
- Applicants from low income families or underprivileged backgrounds will be given preference.
- All application documents must be written either in Korean or English. Documents written in languages other than Korean or English must accompany a complete Korean or English translation, authenticated by the issuing institution or notarized by a notary public.
- All application documents must be presented in their original forms. If an applicant has to submit photocopied documents, applicant MUST have the photocopies notarized or receive consular confirmation and submit those certified documents.
- Any fraudulent or incomplete applications will be disregarded.
To find out more information about the list of documents needed to apply for the Master’s and Doctoral programs, applicants should refer to the “Application Guidelines” file which can be downloaded at http://studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/gks/selectBoardArticle.do.
How to Apply
Applicants must apply either to a Korean Embassy where they hold citizenship or directly to one of designated universities, with the following exceptions:
- Chinese applicants must submit their applications to the China Scholarship Council, in accordance with the agreement between the government of Korea and the government of China.
- The Czech Republic applicants must submit their applications to the Ministry of Education of the Czech Republic, in accordance with the agreement between the Korean government and the Czech Republic government.
Submit application form (download at http://studyinkorea.go.kr/en/sub/gks/selectBoardArticle.do) along with the documents required at each Korean Embassy.
- Applicants submit applications to the relevant Korean Embassies or Korean universities designated by NIIED. Each embassy and university selects candidates among the applicants based on NIIED’s selection criteria.
- The NIIED Selection Committee conducts the 2nd round of selection among candidates that passed the 1st round of selection.
- The applications of the 2nd round successful candidates will finally be reviewed by the universities for admission. The final round successful candidates must receive admission from at least one of the universities they applied in order to be selected as GKS Scholars.
Application deadlines are determined by each university or Korean embassy. All applicants are expected to check the deadline of application submission by contacting the relevant embassy or desired university directly, but applications for this program are expected to be open from February to March 2020.
Applicants can refer to the contact from Korean Embassy in their respective countries for more information regarding the details of the scholarship (attached to the “Application Guidelines” file).