I want to apply for the KGSP for undergraduate studies and they asked me to write a personal statement. I would be thankful if you could help me by giving me some advices or correcting me if I'm wrong. Any suggestion is accepted. I know that what I wrote is too long so if you could give me some tips it would be awesome! Thank you :)
This is what they asked:
- Motivations with which you apply for this program
- Personal background in family and education
- Significant experiences you have had; risks you have taken and achievements you have made, persons or events that have had a significant influence on you
- Extracurricular activities such as club activities, community service activities or work experiences
- If applicable, describe awards you have received, publications you have made, or skills you have acquired, etc.
Despite the economic difficulties in my home, I was raised with the idea that everything you do is 20% talent and 80% passion. Maybe people will say that you can't or you don't have the opportunity for achieving what you want because there are thousands of people wishing for the same thing, but that does not really matters. If you are persistent in your beliefs, you will accomplish anything you set on your mind.
South Korea had suffered a lot in the past, but despite all its difficulties, they knew how to overcome it. From the beginning, they bet on its human capital as its main source of income, which is why it is now one of the largest economies with exceptional competitive advantage. The reasons for applying for this program are countless. Some of the things that I'm most attracted about South Korea are: their advanced technology, their exhaustive concern for maintaining highest educational standards and their excellent economic plan that made South Korea one of the most developing countries of our times and I believed that if Peru follow their example, one day will be a more developed country in every aspect. I always had a passion for learning new languages, cultures and history; that's why I started learning Korean at King Sejong Institute in my country. For me, Korean was an amazing language and completely different from my mother tongued, Spanish; or the other languages that were taught in my school: English and Portuguese. Studying in South Korea as a scholarship holder is not only a financial assistance, is an opportunity that will allow me to have a global vision of my environment and the chance of teaching others about my country, it would be an exchange of knowledge and I'm confident that after studying in South Korea, I will become a highly competitive professional that will be a bridge for future relations between Peru and South Korea.
All my desires of overcoming and success where born from the example my family gave me. My mom would never let me say "I can't", she always says that if I want to be someone important in the future, I need to work for it. My dad taught me that everything is possible, when he was just seventeen years old; he received a scholarship to study in a Russian university. He said that it was complicated at the beginning but at the end it was worth it. All the knowledge I acquired from my family was complemented with the teachings my school gave me. My school focuses in teaching children three values: love, honor and service. I studied in the same school for eleven years so now I can called it my second home. I met fabulous people there including my classmates and teachers. One of the best thing my school has is that they let students to explore different academic areas since they offer math, science, language, history, economics, arts, religion, and physical education classes. My school made me a woman adaptable to many situations in life, a person with values, comprehensive, responsible, solidary and someone who never gives up. I had a great performance in school and thanks to that; I could be admitted to one of the most prestigious universities in Peru: Universidad del Pacífico.
One of my passions is to help others. Since I was little, I have always been active in community service activities. One of the most significant and risky experience I had was in 2014 while being part of "Kúrame", a youth organization that creates and manages projects to mitigate the negative effects of hospital stay. Every Sunday I used to go to the public hospital "Maria Auxiliadora" that is located in a dangerous place in Lima. Some of the things I did were to teach to help children with their homework so they don't delay in school. Also to read books or magazines to old people or to just talk with some patients so they don't get bored. You could find any type of people here, like people from different cities of Peru and people who speak in different languages such as Quechua or Aimara. Most of the time, these type of people were not treated like the others, they were ignored. Since I didn't know how to speak their language and they couldn't speak Spanish, I did my best to try to communicate with them using hand signals and other ways. Surprisingly it worked, I learned many words in Quechua and become friends with them. It was the most inspiring experience I had and I learned that communication between people is important and even if they don't speak the same language, there is always a way to understand others. Another significant experience I had was the opportunity to participate in a cultural exchange between my school and a Brazilian school named "Granbery School" in 2012. After this exchange, I decided that one of my goals in life is to study in a different country. In this exchange I met new people, improved my Portuguese, and learned new ways of living; but the most important for me was that I shared a little bit of Peru with them and changed some of their thoughts about life in Peru and at my return I shared with all my friends everything what I learned and experienced.
All my school life and outside school, I have participated in many activities. I've been part of my school's choir, basketball team, drama club, school's folklore ensemble and instrumental ensemble. I enjoy helping people, that's why I join the social service club in 2011. We helped many children at the "Puericultorio Pérez Aranibar" and at a home for elderly people called "Hogar Betania". I have also offered some classes for several of my friends that had bad grades in courses like physics, chemistry and mathematics. In 2011 I represented my school at the National Olympiads of Chemistry and in 2012 at the National Olympiads of Mathematics. In 2013 I represented my school in the Game of the Stock Exchange that was run by the University of Lima and Junior Achievement in 2012. The Junior Achievement program was run by the St. Ignatius of Loyola University and it consisted in creating a company. With a group of friends we created a company named "Sweet Street" where we prepared and sell all of our products inside and outside the school. Outside the school, I learn Korean and practice taekwondo and kung fu. I'm part of a leadership program called "Movimiento de Menores" (Minor movement) where they teach us three important values: overcoming, service and commitment. This year I worked as a guide in a summer program for children, where I was in charge of a big group of children from 11-12 years old. It was my first real work experience and I learned important things like to be responsible and to be patient.
During my school years, I have received different awards. All the years I received diplomas for excellent conduct, diploma of honor to the merit, and diploma for the highest averages among the school's students. Other recognitions I had were from arts, music, mathematics and English. I won several medals and a diploma from taekwondo championships. Despite all the awards received, the most important ones are those that my grade and I won from different activities, such as: highest averages, cheerleading contest, choreography contest, and others. These prizes are the result of our hard teamwork and the effort of all my classmates.
Education is the only and strongest weapon every country should have. If I want my country to grow and develop like South Korea, I should do all my efforts and study hard for achieving that. My desire is to win this scholarship and formed in a high education standard to later return to my country and share all what I have learned.
Evelyn, when you are asked to speak about your motivation to apply for the scholarship program, what the reviewer wants to know about is what your career plan is and how studying a specific course, with their sponsorship, can help you achieve that ambition. The motivation is all about where you are now, your plans for the future, and where you see yourself headed in the future. It is not all about the story of Korea and how they managed to survive and evolve. It is all about you. In fact, I can honestly tell you that your first paragraph and your second paragraph are totally unrelated and do not even transition in a connected manner. I suggest that you rethink what you want to discuss as the primary motivation that you have for your interest in this scholarship. Connect your intentions with the scholarship program for the strongest effect. By doing that, you will be able to transition the paragraph into something relevant to the requirements of the second prompt.
As for the second paragraph, when you say that your school made you a woman who can adapt to life, you should present an example of that trait since it helps to bolster your claims about your school being able to prepare you for higher studies. Also, you need to say more about the portion about your dad getting a scholarship. Try to connect it to your desire to go to school on a scholarship or relate something about how your dad supports your desire to apply for and get a scholarship because he believes it will be a learning experience for you. The rest of the paragraph is fine.
Edit the portion about your extra curricular activities and accomplishments. Mention only the most important ones such as the Math Olympiad and the Junior Achievement Program. These highlight some skills that can catch the attention of the reviewer. Skip the part about learning Korean and Karate, it does not really seem all that important here since you don't have accomplishments in that area. Talk more about the Minor Movement instead and your first summer work experience taking care of kids. That will show a sense of maturity that has developed in you because of your experiences.
Try to be more specific about the awards that you received. Talking about them in general terms leaves a question in the mind of the reviewer regarding the validity of your claims. So choose only your most outstanding and notable awards to discuss in this portion. Regardless of how few the notable awards are, those make more an impact then the general awards that you have mentioned at the moment. The idea is to show your ability to accomplish difficult tasks and be recognized for it. So don't talk about team awards. Concentrate only on your individual accomplishments.
Your closing statement does not really work. You need to focus your discussion on how the scholarship is necessary for you to accomplish even more than you already have. Make sure to let them know that there is actually a connection between the scholarship and your future plans. Explain a solid plan for your future and how this scholarship will be able to help you achieve that.
I have some suggestions for your essay.
1st paragraph: You should state:" does not really matter". Also, the last sentence:" set your mind to".
2nd paragraph: To reduce the length of your paper, delete the first two sentences. You could begin this paragraph with, "I have countless reasons to apply for this program." If you begin with this sentence, you will start to answer the question regarding your motivation to apply for the program. Also, here is a correction:" mother tongue".
4th paragraph: The last sentence, you should end with "about life in Peru". The other details that describe how you began discussing the events with your friends can be deleted.
My suggestion to you is to think about your reply to the questions regarding significant experience and extracurricular activities. You could try to tell your experience with fewer details. Also, you can describe only a few of your extracurricular activities that you feel are the most important. This will help you reduce the length of your paper.
I hope this helps you!