Students interested in studying in South Korea may find the Korean Government Scholarship Program for Africans and other international students an ideal path to consider. Each year, the Korean Government awards over 200 undergraduate and over 1,000 graduate scholarships to international students. The scholarship program was established to strengthen the bond of international solidarity between Korea and other nations.

Further benefits considered by the founders of this scholarship program include cultural and intellectual exchange benefiting both Korean and international students. While the Korean Government Scholarship Program considers all candidates, it employs a rigorous screening process. 

Benefits of Korean Government Scholarship Program

Generally, Korean Government Scholarships cover the recipient’s airfare, tuition (Up to 5 million Korean Won each semester), and stipend. There is also a good settlement allowance and a completion grant. When tuition exceeds the grant, the institution or student is responsible for the difference.

Additional requirements for African and other International Students include a requirement to complete one year of Korean language instruction at an on-campus language school. Fortunately, The Korean Government Scholarship Program offers to fund Korean language courses for 800,000 Korean Won (KRW) each quarter. Students should study diligently to acquire fluency since there is a 100,000 KRW Award for Excellent Korean Language Proficiency. However, students who have achieved more than level 5 in TOPIK (Test of Proficiency in Korean) are exempted.

The award also covers three other study-related expenses. Every semester, students earn between 210,000 and 240,000 KRW for Research Support. When it comes time to print their dissertations, students are allocated Printing Costs ranging from 500,000 to 800,000 KRW. Finally, a one-time completion grant of 100,000 KRW is also allocated to successful applicants.

The Korean Government Scholarship program also helps students with living expenses in Korea. A one-time relocation payment of 200,000 KRW is supplied, while a monthly living allowance of 900,000 to 1,000,000 KRW is distributed. Under medical insurance, a monthly stipend of 20,000 KRW is provided. 

Eligibility Criteria

The requirements for Korean Government Scholarships are relatively simple. First and foremost, the prospective student and their parents must be citizens of their respective countries. For example, if a student is a South African citizen, their parents must also be South African citizens. Citizens of Korea and Koreans with dual citizenship are automatically excluded.

There is a common criterion that candidates have “adequate” mental and physical health to live in a foreign country for an extended length of time. Although this may seem apparent on the surface, we must take into account the additional stress of moving, learning, and adapting to life in a new country. There are age limitations in addition to health requirements. Candidates for undergraduate programs must be under the age of 25 on the date of admission, while graduate applicants must be under the age of 40.

Students must have a grade point average (GPA) of at least 80 percent from their previous educational institution to be eligible for Korean Government Scholarships. Prior to their entrance, prospective graduate students should hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. Students who have already attended a degree program in Korea are not eligible. There is one exception: previous or current scholarship holders who have attained TOPIK level 5 or above and obtained an overall grade of 90 percent or higher in their academic program are encouraged to reapply.

In terms of TOPIK, in order to apply for a regular degree program in Korea, foreign students must submit their TOPIK scores. To be accepted, these students must have a TOPIK level 3 or above, and to graduate, they must have a Level 4 or higher. TOPIK exams are not needed for students wishing to pursue courses in English. In place of the TOPIK, candidates must show proof of English competence (for example, IELTS or TEOFL). Furthermore, these candidates do not need to earn a TOPIK level 4 in order to graduate.

How to Apply

An additional resource to the Scholarships for Africans website to obtain up-to-date information about Korean Government Scholarships is the National Institute for International Education (NIIED). It offers services in twelve different languages, including Korean, English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Mongolian, Japanese, Spanish, Turkish, Arabic, French, and Indonesian. There are also applications filed there.

The selection process for scholarship recipients is a rigorous procedure that is channeled for Korean Embassies in each country. NIIED requests a list of suggested applicants for Korean Government Scholarships from the Korean Embassy in the host nation or from a local institution. Despite the fact that applications are filed online, prospective students must submit the necessary papers to the Korean embassy in their country or the local institution that is a part of the program. The applicant’s records will be sent to NIIED whenever the embassy or institution receives them. The NIIED then assesses each applicant and informs the Korean Embassy of their choices.

If applying, be sure to use your name exactly as it appears in your passport.

Application deadline: There is no set deadline for applying for Korean Government Scholarships. Instead, deadlines are established by the Korean embassy in the host nation and the participating local institution. There are, nevertheless, basic rules. Application criteria, for example, and the announcement of the first round of choices will begin in mid-February. The NIIED will thereafter accept applications and documentation from students in March or April for graduate students and October or November for undergraduates. In addition to the Study in Korea website, its Notice Board offers deadline updates.

Further information can be found on the official scholarship website.

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