Congratulations to all of you who passed the last round of selections and are almost halfway to South Korea. The application process and the specific rounds have each been challenging in their own way. However it is now time to take care of the last steps before going to South Korea. The last steps for me were the most challenging ones since my final exam was in August and I had to be issued my diploma, get a certified copy and pack to leave. I will try to guide you through the last steps you have to complete in the following text.
Step 1: Entry Form
Before you receive the Letter of Invitation you will receive the entry form. The entry form will be used by NIIED to prepare your flight ticket to South Korea. Therefore you have to fill in the correct information about yourself and you have to choose the desired departure airport. In specific cases you can buy your ticket yourself if NIIED cannot issue you a ticket based on the information you have given in the entry form. If you end up in this situation NIIED will pay for your ticket but you will book it and pay for it before NIIED can refund you.
Step 2: The Letter of Invitation
After the announcement of the successful candidates NIIED starts preparing the Letter of Invitation. The invitation letter will be in your name so it will take time to prepare and send individually. Last year, the Letter of Invitation was sent over 3 days and in the alphabetical order of country names. Therefore I would recommend you to be patient in waiting for your own letter. Contacting NIIED will not make the process any faster since they already have a lot on their hands, so just wait patiently. It will arrive eventually!
Step 3: Visa
After receiving the invitation letter from NIIED, you can finally start the visa procedures. I would however recommend you wait until mid July to apply for the visa. The embassies receive the list of successful candidates from NIIED around mid July and can only start issuing visas after this. I wanted to apply early since I would be on vacation until the end of July but I had to wait until the embassy received the notice from NIIED. I decided to apply for the visa after I returned from vacation and it took around a week to receive it. You receive a single entry visa, which means that you can only enter South Korea with it once. However once you’ve received your alien registration card you can re-enter as many times as you want. The visa application fee is covered by NIIED so you don’t have to pay for anything.
Step 4: Diploma & Apostille
I graduated on the 11th of August 2016 because of some minor problems with my final exam. It takes around 1 month or so for my university (the University of Copenhagen) to issue a diploma after graduation and I simply didn’t have enough time. I therefore decided to contact the department which was responsible for issuing diplomas and transcripts to ask if it was possible to issue my diploma faster. The lady I spoke with was really nice and told me that the process is generally a long one, since the diploma had to be confirmed and proofread before they could give it to me. However I received a phone call the very next day and was told to come and pick up my diploma so I was happy that they took my case seriously and helped me. After getting my diploma issued I had to get some certified copies from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark. This process can be different from country to country but in my case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the one issuing the certified copies and the apostille. Before leaving for South Korea I decided to get only the certified copies and not the apostille but I later realized after arriving in South Korea that the aposille was good to have. I decided to bring back my diploma in February when I went back home for 2 weeks and get the apostille at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark.
The certified copy costs approximately 30$ for a stapled set of papers (copy of diploma and transcript). I got two sets of certified copies, one for NIIED and another one for Hanyang University if they ever asked for it. The apostille costs the same (approximately 30$) but since it has to be attach to the original documents and to each page you can end up paying large amounts of money. I got an apostille on my diploma and transcript so I ended up paying for 2 apostilles, approximately 60$.
Remember that getting a certified copy and apostille can vary from country to country so you have to do your own research for your specific country. Getting the apostille is the most secure option since some universities can ask for it but if it is too bothersome to get the apostille ask previous KGSP students from your respective countries for advice. I am sure they would gladly help if you asked them nicely.
Lastly, I would encourage you not to contact Lucy or other staff members responsible for KGSP students since they have their hands full with thousands of students. Remember that you are not the only one and act according to that. If you have questions contact your seniors or do some research. You can pretty much find all the information you need online. If you have a specific problem or question you should of course contact NIIED but do not send them 5 emails with the same question or call them because they didn’t answer your email. Instead wait patiently; they will eventually get in touch with you.
(Part 2 will contain information about Flight Tickets, Packing and Arrival.)