GKS SCHOLARSHIP 2021Hello everyone, I'm going to apply for GKS Scholarship 2021 for a Master's degree in International Trade through the Embassy track.
I would be very grateful if you can evaluate my 1st SOP draft. Here are the SOP's requirements as follow:
+ Study goal, title or subject of research, and detailed study plan
+ Future plan in Korea or another country after study in Korea
Thank you so much and Have a great day!
In the informative era, with social media's flourish, people are exposed to various information in various fields, directly influencing shopping decisions. Therefore, products' quality is no longer the only factor maintaining customers' loyalty to brands. In this context, nation branding is an emerging field as a government tool to enhance foreigners' awareness about their country, promote their goods and services, paving the way for external sources attraction (trade, FDI, intellectuals). Korea has become one of the most noticeable models using the nation brand to promote domestic products in foreign markets, especially Vietnam. By pursuing the International Trade course in Korea, my main study goal is to research the significance of this strategy in facilitating international trade, the characteristics that Vietnam should pay attention to when branding in Korea.
My thesis will mainly focus on how a nation brand forms, how a state controls it, and how it contributes to social awareness about their products. This research aims to reveal how the Korean state is strengthening diplomatic ties to promote Korean image in Vietnam. I intently take both quantitative and qualitative approaches to assess research questions. I will get secondary research access, mainly published literature reviews, to collect the relevant theories. Meanwhile, I will conduct Vietnamese consumers' surveys to assess how external factors (such as Korean politics, culture) affect their shopping behaviors. By gaining a clear idea of the relationship between country branding, consumers, and suppliers in Korea's case, we can draw useful lessons to build Vietnam's image abroad in general and in Korea in particular.
As I undergo my Master's course, I wish to balance my academic and outdoor activities to concurrently acquire a Master's degree and experience various extra-curricular activities. Hence, I can gain a practical understanding of Korean culture (language usage, local culture, Vietnamese culture in Korea), Korean economy (Korean companies wanting to enter the Vietnamese market, Vietnamese companies' operation in Korea). My ideal study plan is as the following:Sep 2021 - Jul 2022: Korean language training course
During my first year, I will attend the Korean language training course at the assigned institution. Until the end of the time, I set the goal to obtain Korean's advanced proficiency, which is enough to let me comfortably communicate daily and approach primary documents in Korean. In July 2022, I plan to take the TOPIK test with the targeted result of TOPIK 5.Sep 2022 - Dec 2023: Core courses
According to the mandatory requirement under the GSIS schedule, I will accomplish the core courses, including Introduction to International Economics and International Relations, in the first semester. These courses help me revise the fundamental theories of economics, international relations, and area studies, which are essential to approaching the advanced classes. Besides, I will register for the Research Design and Methods course to sharpen my research skills, preparing for my future research in concentration courses and thesis later.Mar 2023 - Feb 2024: Concentration courses
In the second semester, I would prefer to register for theory-oriented courses, including International Marketing, International Trade Policy, Multilateral Trade Policy, Law, Political Economy, Trade and Environmental Policy. These subjects bring me a profound understanding of current policies that directly affect ỉnternational trade activities. I can investigate the interaction among various spheres in the trade policies' formation process, which are the decisive factors building the national branding in trade.
In the third semester, I plan to choose area studies courses focusing on Korea and East Asia. These are the leading trade partners with Vietnam with their distinctive characteristics, which require delicate and appropriate adjusts of nation branding in each market. These subjects will equip me with the current policies, features of significant East Asian individual economies in general and Korea in particular. Hence, I will be able to deepen my understanding of the region and diversify my thesis's perspectives. During this time, I will try to consider and find a knowledgeable professor who has an interest and previous research relating to my thesis field, to apply for a thesis advisor. Besides completing registered courses, I will simultaneously devise the thesis outline, conduct relevant research to prepare for the thesis proposal submitted in March.March 2024 - August 2024: Thesis Writing and Graduation
After the thesis proposal's presentation, I will spend my whole time editing my thesis draft and thesis defense before assigned deadlines in May and June, respectively. In early July, I set the goal to submit my final thesis, completing all compulsory requirements to achieve the Master's degree with the targeted minimum GPA of 3.7/ 4.3.
During my degree course, I intend to participate in hands-on field trips or seminars hosted by the university or NIIED to explore domestic and foreign companies' practical situations in Korea. These events will be useful for my thesis in the chapter of market research, thus proposing corresponding suggestions of Vietnam's nation branding in Korea.
Furthermore, besides academic activities, I am planning to participate in university clubs and volunteer activities actively. Notably, the first year in a language institution and the first semester at university is not hectic compared to the remainder; thus, I will volunteer as much as possible. My previous volunteer activities mainly relate to language education; therefore, I hope to teach Vietnamese or English to Korean people. By doing so, I can devote myself to help the needy in the community, be more exposed to Korean life, extend my network circle, and push myself to practice Korean regularly. During summer and winter vacations, I would prefer to visit tourist attractions in various provinces to fulfill my Korean cultural understanding in as many aspects as possible.
For the next two years after graduating, I look forward to working in a Korean business cooperating with Vietnamese partners. By doing this job, I can gain hands-on working experiences such as working style and office culture in a Korean working environment. On top of that, I aim to understand in reality how a Korean company runs the business in Vietnam, what scale of the two-nation brand's coverage in each other's market, and what points they want the two states to support spur bilateral trade. Subsequently, I will come back to Vietnam, then apply to Foreign Affairs Ministry or KOTRA office in Vietnam, to apply acquired knowledge in Korea in bolstering the two-nation images, tạckling current problems, urging the bilateral trade in the future. Moreover, as a Korean overseas student alumnus, I willing to pass my attained experiences to the next generations, spreading precise information to the community about Korean education and Korean life in general.