Embassy or University Track?

To obtain a bachelor or master’s scholarship via KGSP-G you can apply via embassy or university. In the end there is no difference between people who got their scholarship via embassy or university. The only difference is the way of application. I’m going to explain how to choose between both!


1/ Check the quota

First of all, you need to check the number of scholarships allocated for your country depending on the application way.


For french people, there are 3 scholarship via the Embassy track and only 1 via the Uni Track. So basically it is more interesting for us to apply via embassy. But the biggest difference between both is the universities you apply for. Indeed, via University track you can only apply to one while via the Embassy Track you can apply to 3 different universities.


2/ Embassy track


Application: The application file is available on the application guidelines of NIIED (2018 KGSP-G Application Guidelines (English)). Applying via Embassy Track you can choose to apply to 3 different universities!!! That is important! That means that you have 3 more chance to be accepted in an university!

1st round of selection: For the one applying via the embassy, the first selection is made within people having the same nationality. In some countries, South Korea is not a big deal so there are only few applications. For instance, in France, there are every year approximatively 10 applications for 3 scholarships: so it is not impossible to get one of them. Warning! In some countries, this scholarship is requested a lot so it’s harder to get a chance via the Embassy Track.
Most of time, embassies run interview to choose their scholars. Questions vary a lot. For me, it was a 10 minute-interview with really easy questions. They mostly wanted to check what I wrote in my Motivation Letter.

2nd round of selection: Once you have been selected by the embassy, your application is given to NIIED. The number of persons selected depends on the countries. In France, for 3 scholarships allocated, the embassy recommends 3 students. In some countries, most of time when they have many allocated scholarships, they send more students than their allocated number: for purposes of having some students being rejected by their 3 Universities. The NIIED selection is more like an examination of the quality of the scholar, I don’t think a lot of people are rejected by NIIED after being selected by the Embassy.

3rd round of selection: Once NIEED reviewed your application, everything is sent to the 3 Universities you wanted to apply for. Some universities conduct interviews but some don’t. It is also depending on the department you apply for. For instance, the politic department of Yonsei may conduct interview while the biology department doest not. In my case, I was not interviewed by any of the universities (Yonsei, Hanyang and KAIST). By the beginning of june, each university had to send us the result so that we can know whether we are accepted or not.


I received these emails saying that I was accepted to both Yonsei and Hanyang. As for KAIST, I was the only one applying to KAIST that did not receive any answer (either positive or negative). Once the deadline reached, you have only 1 week to choose the one you want so I was in a hurry to know whether I was accepted in KAIST. But despite sending emails to KAIST’s administration I never received any answer. The day before the deadline to choose the University, I received an email from the NIIED saying my name was on the successful applicant’s list for KAIST. So I basically made it! I was accepted to Yonsei, Hanyang and KAIST! (curious about my final choice? –> check it out!).

4th round of selection: The medical examination is not really a selection in itself. At this step you are already a successful scholar! But you still need to prove that you have a good health condition.


3/ University Track


Application: This time, you need to apply directly to the korean university you are interested in. So you have to check the university website regularly to wait for their directives. Indeed, each university has different prerequisite and different deadlines. Some will ask for many more documents than needed for the embassy application. And some will have a really early deadline so you better anticipate and have your application ready. Do not forget that the application needs to be sent directly in South Korea!

1st round of selection: For this selection you are against worldwide students applying to the same university = highly competitive!! And very dangerous if you apply to a good university and your grades for instance do not reach their expectations, you are eliminated quickly. Most of universities do conduct interview so be prepared!

2nd round of selection: Once every university has sent their list of successful scholar, NIIED will choose the winners according to the countries’ quota. For instance, if 2 french students apply and are accepted to their chosen university, only one can get the scholarship because the french quota is 1. So NIIED will review their application and choose one of them as a successful scholar. Once you are selected by NIIED, the hardships are over for you! Only the medical examination remains!


4/ My personal opinion

Despite all the explanations, you may hesitate about the best way to apply for you.

-If you only want to study in one specific university, it is better to apply via Uni Track because you will be able to write a personalized motivation letter.

-If your grades are not that good, it is better to apply via the Embassy Track so that, in the case you pass the 1st selection, you will have 3 more chances to be accepted. And one of your chosen university should be a not reputed university, like one in Daegu or Daejeon, to protect its rear.

-If you apply for a doctoral degree it may be better to do it via the Uni Track. Indeed, a PhD is something really specific so it may be better to already have a researcher that accepted you. In my case, I applied for a doctoral degree via Embassy Track but I already had the acceptance of laboratories in the universities I applied for.


66 thoughts on “Embassy or University Track?

Add yours

      1. Hello sis,
        How they select for scholarship?
        Did they take any type of exams and if they take then what is given in exams ?
        Thank you

      2. hello, i do not understand the question… what do you mean?
        KGSP is not based on a selection exam but on application files.
        please read KGSP notice first and all my articles

  1. hi. i’m applying for PhD as well. i wanted to apply through university track. can i apply both KGSP and the university internal scholarship at the same time? anyway, did you send research proposal to the university or your potential supervisor?

    1. Hi! To know if you can apply to 2 scholarship at the same time, you better ask directly to the university you want. As for the research proposal, i did not submit anything. I just sent an email to different supervisors with my resume and motivation letter. Actually i still don’t have any research topic. And many of us don’t even know who are their supervisors yet. If you have a research proposal, send it directly to the supervisors you want to work with.
      Best regards and good luck!

      1. if you want to study in one specific university then…. well apply by the university track for sure
        but having low gpa is not a good criteria as you can imagine.
        especially for indians i am sure the competition is fierce so you might get pass the university selection but not the niied one >//<

    1. Hello! Via University you have to choose only one. I don’t recommend you to send your application to multiple universities. If you apply to 2 universities and they both accept you, your application will arrive in double to NIIED… so they will know you did not follow the rule.

      1. thanks for the quick reply! I’m a US student and the embassy quota is 19. do you think there are better chances with embassy or uni track? (I am aiming for a SKY university)

      2. I want to ask many questions…
        1. I can choose ant university or for gks they have some specific university?
        2. Which will be good for me to choose as I will be undergraduate?
        3. Of course gpa is required but I don’t have certificate so it is necessary to have certificate I have my small classes certificate?
        Please reply my answer 🙏

      3. 1. kgsp has a list of universities that participate in the program, you have to pick one of those
        2. depends on your major and the city you wanna live in
        3. I have no idea how the application for undergraduate works I am sorry

  2. Hello, I cant find a way to apply for the KGSP. Is there any application form to apply for this? where can we find it? And how can we apply through embassy track? online or we have to visit the embassy? Please reply.

    1. Hello! You still can’t apply to KGSP because the 2019 guideline is not out yet. Here is the website you have to follow: Studyinkorea and here is the page with notifications of GKS information: http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/fr/sub/gks/selectBoardList.do?bbsId=BBSMSTR_000000000461
      Last year the guidelines were uploaded the 2nd of february so starting this date (approximatively) you will find the informations you want and you will be able to apply^^
      If you really have no clue about how applying, go check the guidelines of last year (http://www.studyinkorea.go.kr/fr/sub/gks/selectBoardArticle.do), it will probably be the same.
      To apply by embassy, everything is explained on the guidelines^^ if you still have question or don’t understant some things, feel free to message me again^^ fighting!

      1. Je veux une bourse d’étude en corée du sud mais le problème ce que Je sais d’où je commence.

      2. Bonjour, je ne vois pas comment je peux t’aider plus. Toutes les informations relatives à la bourse sont disponibles sur le site studyinkorea -> KGSP notice, pour les informations plus précises sur comment postuler, j’ai rédigé plusieurs articles à ce sujet, merci de bien vouloir lire et te renseigner par toi-même….

      3. Hey,
        Can you share with us some advice in writing the statement of purpose and study plan please?😊😊

  3. Hi, I’m wondering what happens if I apply for the scholarship and I don’t get in. Like can I still get into the college that I wanted to through the application, or do I have to apply again directly to the college without the scholarship.

    1. Actually wait nvm, different question now. Okay so if I apply for the kgsp in October or whenever it’s due, can I still apply to the colleges I want to go to in January as a normal because I’m scared I won’t get the kgsp and because the “winners” aren’t really anouced till April or something like that and if I don’t get the kgsp, I’ll have to wait a whole another year to apply.

      1. Hello! I wich I could answer this question but it is a bit difficult. The best is to ask directly to the departement and university you are interested in.

  4. hi! for kgsp undergraduate program, can i apply for dentistry? i read that you cannot apply any course more than 4 years. but some uni like yonsei, snu, kyung her they have 4 year dentistry program. so can i apply for it?

    1. Hello! Indeed undergraduate dentistry is 6 years so it looks complicated. The best is to ask directly to university. Where are you from?

  5. Hi… Maybe it’s too late.. but congratulations to got kgsp scholarship. When I checked the guideline.. for health certificate and copy of passport are applying after 2nd round.. I want to ensure.. so.. when we firstly submit the documents, we don’t need both?? We only need copy of passport and health certificate after passing documents screening?? Thanks

  6. Hi! I have been loving your blog posts. I am interested in applying for the KGSP scholarship for my masters, but I was not sure if my intended topic of study would be approved (I am interested in Performing Arts!). I was wondering if you could direct me to where I could possibly find a list of approved fields? Thank you!

  7. If you apply through University track can you send your documents through email or you must send them to Korea. Thanks in advanced.

  8. Hi, I am interested in applying for the KGSP scholarship for my undergraduate (Civil Engineering). My CG-PA is 86%, but I have no proficiency in English or Korean. Have I any chance to get scholarship?

    1. Hello! I am not NIIED so it is difficult to tell you if you have a chance or not. It depends on your country, your application, the university you apply to…. As your GPA is not high I advise you to take your time to apply so that you can prepare your application better : english and korean proficiency test and more if you can (awards, korea-linked-experience….)
      Good luck!

    1. If your country has no quota then you can not receive the scholarship. I advise you to contact NIIED so that they know people from your country are interested… so maybe they can open quota^^

  9. hello, I tried the uni track, the university doesn’t interview me, and when I asked them the interview deadline they told me that the second round will be announced on the GKS site. does it mean my documents were forwarded to NIIED and I passed the 1st round without the interview?

    1. Hello, some universities do not conduct any interview. among them, some notify the students about the applications forwarded to NIIED or not, it really depends so I can not give you a clear answer on that
      indeed, you will have to wait for NIIED second round
      Good luck!

  10. Hello Anyelf,
    I wanted to ask you that according to niied requirements it is not mandatory to have TOPIK or English proficiency certificate but university itself in their requirements say that it is mandatory to have these certificates. So I was asking that if I am applying via university track for gks scholarship so I must have proficiency certificate or should I go with the requirements of niied for scholarship???

    1. Hello, I am not really sure about this matter,
      But I think if you plan to apply via university track and the university requires language proficiency…. then you most probably have no chance of being selected without them
      They will receive hundreds of applications, if yours does not contain as many information and proficiency proof as others, why would they pick you?
      That is only my opinion, maybe the guideline is different for KGSP?

  11. Hello and question! What do the quotas mean (rn there are 2 for my country)? How many students are chosen by the embassy? and What is the difference between the UNi and Embassy track? Thank you!

    1. Hello! If the quota of your country is 2 then only 2 students can get the scholarship (either embassy either university track)
      What is the difference between the UNi and Embassy track? I don’t think I understand the question…. the whole article I wrote is supposed to answer this question XD

  12. Hello!! Ah, this was so helpful…
    I want to apply for a PhD, however, I have not contacted any professor. What do you think I should do? Contact professors right now or just let it be?

    1. Hello! Among all PhD students, I was the only one who contacted a professor before applying.
      The reason was that I wanted to study something really specific so I applied and make sure to have the lab before getting the scholarship.
      Among the other students, some had to do interview with professors of their department and some did not have any choice as the university decided for them which lab they will go and what they will study. It mainly depends on you.

      1. Hi again!
        I checked my preferred universities and it seems they have very few (2 or 3) international students in the PhD I’m interested… what do you think about this? I’m afraid it would be too hard to get in.

  13. Hi anyaelf! Your article were superb and super duper helping. I want to ask some questions. Im applying for phd through embassy track. Do i need to give some requirement form certain university ask in their website for the 1st stage of applicants? Or i will provide the form after I pass the 1st round from the embassy? Thank you!

    1. Hello, thank you!
      As long as I know, if you apply by embassy you don’t have to bother about university requirements.
      But make sure that some universities do not have special things like “KGSP applicants applying by embassy MUST provide XX in order for the application to be reviewed”

  14. one doubts lets say i am in 12th and next year i want go to korea next year for undergraduates and the aplication forms will be available in september 2021 and the results will be declared in february 2022 and in march there will be my final exams (boards) and results will be out on may or june so i want to start my university from the fall semester 2022 that will be SEPTEMBER next year so if i get selected how will i be able to go to south korea??

    1. hello, i do not really understand your question.
      what do you mean “will i be able to go to sk?”
      do you mean application wise? in that case it is possible to apply before graduating, many do that, you need to provide proof of graduation given by your school and professor. and if it is not possible then I advise you to wait one more year to apply.
      do you mean corona status wise? KGSP students have a special status and so far I do not think they were affected by the corona situation

  15. Hello
    As I want to apply for undergraduate kgsp scholarship.
    So can I join university here in my country untill the results declare. Or should i wait for results.
    What is best please tell .

      1. How can I submit my documents if I apply through University Track for Associate Degree? Is it available to submit by email or do I really need to send them directly to Korea by post office or airline? please reply me 🤗

      2. Hello I am not sure but in my memory, all documents have to be sent by post office. To make sure you better contact the KGSP representative of the university you wanna apply to, they will know better.

  16. Hii
    As I will complete my high school till July 2021.
    So did scholarship for undergraduate is announced or not for those who will complete there high school in 2021 .
    When scholarship for undergraduate is declared?
    Please answer
    Thank you

    1. Hello, the application for undergraduate students usually starts in September so you can start applying once you get your high school diploma but the process takes several months so even in the case of getting the scholarship I advise you to find a job or still enroll in your local university

  17. Hi! Your article was really helpful. I want to know if it is necessary to take IELTS/ TOEIC or TOPIK examination for applying for Master?

    1. Hello, it is not mandatory but I highly advise you to provide at least an English certification. Not everyone can provide the TOPIK and you will have 1 year to learn korean anyway but English is not that difficult.

  18. Hello! It was a really great article! I have a question if the required documents didn’t reach in time for the embassy tracking then are there any chances that they can still be accepted? and for that matter should I apply for university tracking also to get a safer side?

    1. Hello! So first of all, as long as I know, you can’t apply to both the embassy and university track (it may have changed in the recent guidelines so you will have to check).
      As for the deadline, I guess it depends on your embassy. but honestly, considering the number of applications they receive, I am pretty sure they won’t bother accepting one more application if it arrives too late

  19. If I want to apply through the embassy track will they clear all my doubts / answer all my questions and help me know about detailed essential informations ?

    1. Hello, what kind of doubt do you have? Because the embassy’s job is not to answer your questions, they actually expect you to be well prepared. so it depends on what kind of question you have.

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