How to get a fully-funded scholarship in South Korea
South Korea is one of the countries offering a lot of scholarships in every field.Please read below, with much attention, you will understand every thing.
Let me explain to you that in Korea the easiest way to get admission and scholarship (both fee and living expenses) is first of all, you should search relevant professors of your choice and research interest. Then you should make a good CV according to the interest of those relevant professors and send him/her that CV along with a short email stating your introduction and show your interest that you want to do master/Ph.D under his/her supervision.If a professor shows interest it means almost you have 99% chances that your admission is confirmed. In most of the cases, university provides tuition fee scholarship while professor provide monthly living expenses scholarship. It also means you have to struggle to get these two scholarships. If you get one then the other you have to pay by yourself and it is very expensive for individual.
So, first of all, you should try to find “Faculty” => Professors profiles on the university website. Then what you have to do is:
1. Read all your major professors profiles, research interests and projects. (You can also find the research interests of professors by finding on Google their published research papers)
2. Make your CV research oriented and also easily readable and good looking. (Also according to the professor you choose to apply. Relate your previous work plus final year project with that professor’s research work and show him/her your interest in his work)
*Important Note for Electronics plus Computer majors ( In Korea, professors like if you are good in programming languages and it is good if you have distinction in programming skills and you can show them)
3. Write an email. (Please be short in writing email, as professor has not so much times to read it fully just write main but few sentences)
4. Send your email and CV to as many professors as you can (keep in mind only interested professors may reply you, so don’t be disappointed)
Note: If you are interested in any specific professor and he/she does not reply you and also you think that you are quite fit for work in his lab according to that professor’s previous work then you must contact him/her by” telephone”. Please keep in mind that many professors do not reply, so in that case, you must contact him/her by telephone.
1. Maybe if you face some trouble while opening website then please install “Korean” language tools.
*Always Open the Korean websites in Internet explorer and inatll google toolbar in it and then use that toolbar’s translate button to translate website OR copy and paste text in google translator simply
2. Deadlines and time is very important.
3. Try to get any English proficiency certificate such as IELTS / TOEFL or even TOEIC. It increases chances of scholarships.
4. Once the ball starts rolling (After getting reply from professor) Come up with a project plan or SOP (Statement of purpose, Research plan) that what you are going to research about. Indulge yourself in writing new project proposals if required.
FEW MORE THINGS
In Korea, two kinds of scholarship
1. University scholarships
University scholarships are few and hard to get , but good than professor scholarship as in this case you will not be depended on money by professor. But when you apply for this scholarship, if you contact the professor before in the way as mentioned above, then you have better chance to get this scholarship. Although university scholarships mostly do not require professors recommendations but if you are successful to get one before applying, then it is good chance for you to get that scholarship
2. Professor scholarship
This solely depends on professor and university does not give you money in this case. These are easy to get but hard to maintain sometimes, because sometimes if professor is not happy with your performance, then he can give you financial problems.
How to Contact a Supervisor
When you are planning for PhD or Masters by research program, two kinds of funding opportunities can be availed. The first option is to apply for a scholarship program which covers everything including your flight ticket, settle-in allowance, books allowance, tuition fee and monthly stipend which is mostly tax free. The scholarships like this are very good but limited in number. Another option is getting funding support from a supervisor/professor, where you need to work on some specific research problem/project under the supervision of professor. At PhD level getting support from a supervisor is most common way to fund studies. Now, the important question is how to find a supervisor and ask him for supporting your studies. In this article, I will talk about the things to be considered while searching and contacting supervisor.
In a successful search for a professor, who is willing to supervise your research, you have to make strong first impression because you may get only one chance for each professor. If you fail to impress or convince him about your abilities in first contact, it’s probable that you can never do that again. Most common and formal way to contact a supervisor is through email. There are some common mistakes which if avoided would result in a splendid communication regarding your motivation.
Finding a Supervisor
To narrow down search, you have to first know what your interest/ambition is. I know it is not easy to know exact topic of research at such an early stage but you should know your area of research. One way is to search some latest survey papers related to your field, just skim through the content, do not expect from yourself to understand everything at this point, look at the author profiles at the end of papers. After doing some literature review, you can see that leading professors in your area of research would be most cited and by this you can point to potential supervisors currently involved in your topic of interest. Another way is to further narrow down your search by universities; where you wish to pursue your degree then visit university’s website and your program’s page. Here you will see couple of professors doing similar research, you must see their latest publications to finalize potential supervisor. Be careful, do not email to more than one professor at the same department simultaneously, because if a professor finds you suitable he will arrange an interview with more than one or two other professors and usually you end up with same professors you emailed, besides one who is interested in you and this raises a question about your commitment or seriousness because you cannot be ambitious about different research interests at the same time.
Once you have selected a professor who can be potential supervisor for your research, please follow the general guidelines on how to contact him.
Know him well
Know your professor’s profile well, try to see his latest publications especially one which interests you and try to quote them in your email just title of paper. Write a formal, short but comprehensive email including information about your research interests, how you found him and your background.
Avoid Casual language
Your email should be very formal without use of any casual language and check twice for your abbreviation which you frequently use with your friends etc. For example writing short for your as ‘ur’, thanks as ‘thnx’, ‘R U fine?’ and others.
Subject of Email
The subject of email is very important as professors are very busy and would not spend time reading all emails in their inbox; subject line is to catch their attention. Write like ‘Interested in Research area _____ with your group’ or similar.
Make specific Query
The professors get hundreds of emails from students asking for funding to support their studies. The most important thing professors want to establish about you is level of ‘seriousness’ and ‘motivation’. Some students write an email with generic content and send to many professors and universities and this is worse way to make contact with a professor. Try to be specific to your own case and refer to things which motivate you to join that particular group. Generic emails would never be read and replied.
Do not ask about weather/health
As a stranger to professor, its better not to ask how is he feeling and how the weather is. For initial contact this kind of questions/wishes are not appreciated. To the point message is better as it saves time of recipient.
Know the Culture
In some cultures you do not call elders by name or first name. For example in Korean culture, writing “Dear Professor” is better than “Dear _Name” as the social hierarchy is vertical. While in west there is no harm in calling Professor’s name as social hierarchy is horizontal. It looks a minor point but I am telling you it reflects a lot if you do it rightly. Do not flatter the recipient beg or plea as it is not considered a good thing.
As mentioned earlier, message should be precise and to the point. If you are referring to some of professor’s papers, just mention the title of paper/project. You do not need to go in details of your own work at this stage, just try to connect that with the research interests of professor.
How you find him
Do tell him how you found him. Professors are always keen to know this, as it also indicates how serious were you to join his group and did not try thousand email addresses in a go to try your luck.
Never forget to attach a CV and ideas about your expected area of research. Do not attach all those award certificates and transcripts at this point in time.
Check all the grammar, spelling, typos and similar careless mistakes. These would not put a good impression about finishing of your work. Conclude your email well, ask him to talk more about your ambitions and do let you know if need more information.
Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate