As a part of their aim to be a globalized nation, South Korea has been welcoming and even actively inviting international students to their universities. Currently, there are over 100,000 international students in South Korea and the Korean government hopes to double that number by 2020. While most major universities in Korea offer their own scholarships to foreign students that cover 30-100% of their tuition costs, the government also offers several scholarships that solely cater to foreigners. One such scholarship is the Korean Government Scholarship Program (KGSP).

KGSP has two admissions cycles – one for undergraduate candidates and one for graduate candidates. The undergraduate program fully funds four years of undergraduate education and one year of Korean language study while the graduate program funds 2 years (for Masters) or 3 years (for Ph.D) of graduate education and one year of Korean language study.Qualifications-for-Grad-School

Airfare, settlement assistance, and research fees are also included in addition to a monthly living allowance (roughly 900,000-1,000,000 won/month) for housing and food. All fields of study are allowed and while candidates can only apply to a partnered university, almost all major universities are included. Overall, it’s a great deal for those who want to study in Korea and learn Korean, but there is a small caveat. The Korean government only offers these scholarships to citizens of countries who are under diplomatic relations with Korea and one’s acceptance is based on the number of spots his/her home country is allotted by the government. For the 2014 undergraduate cycle, 110 candidates from 62 countries were chosen while, for the graduate cycle, 533 candidates from 157 countries were chosen. Fortunately, the number of selected candidates and eligible countries has been rising each year.

Countries in Diplomatic Relations with ROK

Countries in Diplomatic Relations with ROK

The admissions process can seem daunting, but the government is doing its best to ensure a smooth and fair process. While the process may seem long and challenging, there are many support blogs and Facebook groups for potential candidates, and the friendships as well as memories made from the program are sure to last a lifetime.

For more information on KGSP and its admissions process, check out NIIED and for more information on Korean government scholarships, in general, check out Study in Korea.

Photo Cred: MOFA | showbizsuperstar | NIIED


Have you applied for the KGSP? We’d love to hear about some first hand experience below!

About The Author

Kelly Heo

A Korean-American from Denver, Colorado. Kelly is now a graduate student studying educational equity at Korea University. Kelly first became interested in Korea when she started volunteering with North Korean settlers living in South Korea. When she wants a break from her research, she explores themed cafes and reads zen lifestyle blogs.