Hi there! I am applying to the KGSP through uni track this year, and I need help with my essay. There will also be statement of purpose (study plan and future goals) so I will elaborate on those in another essay, thank you very much in advance for your opinions!
words like a painting
"As a child, I didn't know how to use the power of illustration with words, all because I didn't know what to use as a brush. The material was there but I simply didn't know how to transfer the emotions through the right means. It wasn't until I read The Hobbit that I realized how the black ink on paper can turn into bright colors with each word like a painting. The words on pages give voice to the feelings that one cannot figure out how to express, no matter in which language, which was the foreground of my interest in books. Since this argument became an important fact in my life, literature has become a brush for me to paint, and words have become my palette to mix the bright pigments of my imagination.
I have studied English Language and Literature, firstly at Celal Bayar University in Manisa, Turkey. After taking introductory courses on stylistics and reading Russian literature, I've become more interested in translated works from different cultures. The same year, I had been the interpreter of the Thai ambassador Tharit Charungvat during the Manisa Mesir Paste Festival in 2014 and had received a book on the cultural heritage of Thailand, which ensured me that I want to study 'literature in English' as opposed to English literature, and devote my studies to the cultural heritage of one's country reflected in the texts authored by writers all around the world.
I started to grow an interest towards Korean literature after reading Please Look After Mother by Shin Kyung Sook, and since I became fascinated by Korean history started learning Korean language, I always had the thought of studying in Korea in my mind, which is why I needed to achieve more in my studies and become more successful. I transferred to Hacettepe University with my GPA in order to learn more about gender studies and world literatures, and joined the Erasmus+ program during the 2016-2017 academic year to study at TU Dortmund University in Germany, where I learned more about criticism and cultural studies in literature. While I was in Germany, I took seminars with German-Korean students, with whom I prepared presentations about contemporary Korean literature and the history of Korean poetry. Upon my return to my home university, I started doing research on Korean poets and novelists with the help of the Korean Cultural Centre in Ankara, using their books and journals in order to gather more information about the contemporary and classical literatures in Korean. During my research, I had the joy of reading Han Kang's Vegetarian, Jung Young Su's Aficionados, Hwang Jungeun's One Hundred Shadows from the contemporaries, as well as Three Generations by Yom Sang Seop and The Cloud Dream of the Nine by Kim Manjung for the classics amongst many others, which familiarized me with the contemporary and classical Korean literatures and helped me to spot the similarities and differences between Korean and western literatures.
After studying the poetry of the World War I, my interest shifted from novels to poems, which led me to discover the poetry of Yoo Dong Ju, who wrote resistance poetry; and Song Kyung Dong, who is famous for his proletarian poems. Reading their poetry led me to write and publish poems in various journals, and contribute in a research based on the oppressed Kurdish playwrights in order to delve more into the studies of the suppressed artists who voice the ideas of people that are minorities in their societies. Recently, I have been working on opening Korean language and literature classes at the school that I work with a program offered by the Korean embassy, while teaching Korean at beginner level to the interested students. In every aspect of my work and academic studies, I like to take on the challenges that are not done by the majority and voice the matter at hand.
Today, I can say with confidence that I want to study the resistance poetry during Japanese invasion, mainly of Yoo Dong Ju, and compare his works to the war poetry in English literature. The reasons of my wish to study at Yonsei are many, however the two most important ones are why I have chosen the university track to apply to this scholarship program. The poet I want to study was a graduate of Yonsei University, thus I believe that it would be more fitting for me to study him and understand his poetry at his university. Secondly, Professor Terrence Patrick Murphy and and Professor Rhee Suk Koo, were so kind to encourage me to pursue my dream as they returned my emails to say they would look forward to have an international student interested in writing their thesis on Korean literature in English.
I hope to further my studies under the professors that encouraged me to not give up on my desired topic, as an alumnus of the university from where the poet that I want to study graduated. As there cannot be any other scholarship or a university that can help me fulfill my dream to the fullest, I look forward to give voice to all the beautiful paintings that the Korean writers paint with words universally, no matter in which language."
Holt Educational Consultant - / 10,939 3570
Imak, your essay focuses heavily on your academic accomplishments, but you are not indicating any professional achievements, a topic that goes hand in hand with justifying your education as per the GKS discussion outline for this personal statement. There is also no clear motivation as to why wish to pursue studies in Korean literature specifically.
There is a motivation for your interest in general literature. However, your interest is Korean lit heavy so you need to reference your motivation more in terms of that development. You have to prove that you have somehow worked professionally in this field as well either as a translator of Korean literature as a part of your career tasks, or something related to teaching others. This essay makes you sound like a professional student instead who gains income and travels the world in the guise of "masters course studies" from the allowances and travel opportunities provided by various international scholarships. You must avoid that image. Explain why you continuously take masters courses without any actual professional application on your part.
You have to revise the essay in totality. Review the personal statement prompts again. Make sure you do not just focus on your strong educational background. Cover all the bases. Remember, there are as few as a single slot available per country for this scholarship. Applicants with far stronger and focused essays will be submitting their personal statements as well. This essay, in this current form, may not make it past the screening round due to its overall weakness in discussion points.
You have a strong academic and research background, along with impressive other experiences. However, the weakness in the professional application of your studies will be what holds this essay back from being truly representative of your strengths as a scholarship applicant.
Since you are applying via university track, you must also make a representative paragraph that explains why you chose this university in Korea. It has to relate to the kind of learning, research, and other learning objectives that you have which you understand that only this university offers in Korea. In addition to that, explain why you chose to study in Korea as well. That would be the "reasons to study in Korea", which are not clearly explained in this essay.
Again, review the prompt discussion listing. Do not focus entirely on your educational attainments alone. These are not enough to win your the cut-throat slot for a scholarship in the GKS program.