Filipinos invited to study in South Korea through global scholarship program

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 26 2021 05:08 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2021 06:16 PM

MANILA - The government of Korea has launched a scholarship program for graduate students who'd like to study in the land of Hallyu and technology.

Through the Global Korea Scholarship (GKS), run by Korea's National Institute for International Education Development (NIIED), Filipino students can study and go to the country for free, the scholarship’s alumni association said in a virtual forum on Thursday.

“GKS is designed to provide international students with opportunities to study at higher educational institutions in Korea at graduate-level degrees, which will enhance international education exchange and deepen mutual friendship between Korea and participating countries,” the program’s objectives stated. 

In light of the pandemic, the NIIED will shoulder the student's accommodation for their mandatory isolation, which is part of the country's COVID-19 protocols, said Ronel Laranjo, president of the GKS Philippines Alumni Association.

The COVID-19 testing when they arrive there is also free, based on the experience of the GSK fellows last year, he said. Candidates for the scholarship program, however, will shoulder the COVID-19 testing here in the Philippines. 

The Korean government’s GKS program planned to invite a total of 1,278 students globally who wanted to go after a graduate level degree or research in South Korea, a statement from the program’s center read. 

The Philippines has 28 slots under the University track program, where students could study from 64 educational institutions accredited by the program. 

Under the track, an applicant can only choose 1 university, and the person will need to ship the requirements directly to the school. 

There are 13 slots, meanwhile, allotted for the Philippines under the Embassy Track. 

Scholars who want to apply under the Embassy Track can choose up to 3 universities for their program, and they can send their application to the Korean Embassy in Manila. 

It is the Korean Embassy who serves as the liaison for the application, a reason why the application requirements can be submitted easily, Laranjo explained in a separate video

The scholarship is also open to those who want to teach Korean, or those who want to enhance their training in the said language, and scholars interested to pursue postdoctoral research. 

Laranjo also added that applicants should study the Korean language for a year there after being accepted as a candidate for the program. 


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They must pass the Test of Proficiency in Korean Language (TOPIK) Level 3 to proceed with their chosen master's or doctorate degree. 

"May napapauwi po dahil hindi pumapasa ng TOPIK Level 3," Laranjo said. 

(Some were sent home because they failed the TOPIK Level 3)

Those who are interested to apply must also have a bachelor's or master's degree who have maintained the following grade point average (GPA): 


The Embassy of the Republic of Korea on Friday also announced that the country's Ministry of Justice "exceptionally allowed" issuing student visas for GKS students accepted last year.

The Korean Embassy will also process the student visa applications of the applicants who will be chosen under the scholarship program. 

"Students who are subjected to GKS program can apply student visa to the Korean Embassy directly with necessary documents," the embassy in Manila said. 


Laranjo told ABS-CBN News that the program helped him a lot in his career, noting that he also learned much about the culture of Korea through the scholarship. 

He graduated with a Masters in Applied Linguistics degree from the Korea University in 2014. He is currently a faculty member at UP Diliman. 

"Naging daan ang GKS upang matupad ko ang mga pangarap ko kaya aktibo ko ring isinusulong ang pagpapalaganap ng impormasyon tungkol dito dahil maaaring maging daan din ito sa katuparan ng pangarap ng iba," he said. 

(The GKS paved the way for me to reach my dreams, this is why I am active in campaigning for this program because it could also help others in attaining theirs.) 

"Nakatulong din ang pag-aaral ko sa Korea upang matupad ko ang aking pangarap na makapagturo sa Unibersidad ng Pilipinas," he added. 

(Studying in Korea also helped me to become a teacher in UP, which is also my dream.) 

Dr. Cynthia Pantinople, a 2013 GKS fellow who studied in Daegu University, urged Filipinos interested in the field of science to study in South Korea. 

"South Korea is one of the top-performing country in science... Sa ating mga kababayan, it would be nice for you to directly experience, explore, and observe the educational system for free," she said. 

Lynette Callanta, also a 2013 GKS fellow who graduated from Seoul National University, emphasized the wide-array of opportunities under the scholarship. 

"I was offered a lot of great opportunities, life-changing experiences, that I want other people to experience," said Callanta. 

"The educational benefit that Korea is actually giving is one of the best in the world... You will learn not just their culture, but the culture of other nations," she added.

The deadline for application under the Embassy Track is between the 1st and 2nd week of March. This also depends on the deadline set by the Korean Embassy here in Manila. 

Meanwhile, the deadline for the applicants under the University Track depends on the university of their choice. 

You can watch the roundtable regarding the application here


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