Hello, I am interested in applying to the GKS scholarship, and have been working on my personal statement essay, this is what I have so far, but would appreciate the feedback as well as any suggestions.
The statement asks for the following points:
- Motivations with which you apply for this program
- Your education and work experience in relation to GKS.
- Reason for studying in Korea
- Any other aspects of your background and interests which may help us evaluate your aptitude and passion for graduate study or research.
Personal Statement - GKS scholarship application
After starting my bachelors in special education, I became interested in early childhood education and really wanted to work in this field as well as learn more about it, however after doing research I found out that within Costa Rica not only are there not as many work opportunities in this field, but there isn't really any university that specializes in this field. So began my search for an education abroad which is how I stumbled upon this program. Looking at the universities this scholarship offers I learnt that quite a few have early childhood education programs as well as the methodology of the courses emphasize the importance of an inclusive education, which is of big interest to me, because throughout my career I've been thought of methodologies that not only focus on the academic aspect but also on the soft skills of children and the importance of these for them to have an integrated education. As well as I considered that having a perspective from a country that has very different cultures will enrich my knowledge of what special education is and its importance.
With that said during my bachelors in special education, for one whole year as part of my course I was a teacher assistant in an integrated classroom, working with students with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and speech impediments. Working in this classroom I learned a lot about how regardless of the different academic level a student has it is possible to create a single lesson plan that is adaptable to these differences, and the importance of creating an environment in the classroom where despite the differences, every student can work together in the same subject without having to separate them form the rest. And for my final year I did an internship at a bilingual school, working with 1st and 2nd graders in emotional behavioral services, where I did the initial evaluation, worked with the students individually and in the classroom context, as well as a final evaluation. During this period not only did I have to work with the students, but I also had to coordinate with the teachers the lesson plans and provide them with the adaptations and strategies to improve group control in the classroom, and behavioral conduct, as well as provide strategies that motivated the students to learn new subjects in class. Aside from coordination with teachers, I had parent - teacher meetings, reaching agreements, providing support and alternative solutions to help them improve the child's behavioral conducts in the house.
Now, as for the reason why I want to study in Korea, it's due to the fact that I want to gain a new perspective into the way the special education programs are given, as well as to learn about the way Korea emphasizes the importance of having an education that integrates learning and playing as a way to enrich the child's education, motivating kids in their early years to explore and learn through experience, following a curriculum and having an environment that stimulates all the child's senses and not focusing only on the academic aspect, which is something that has not been given as much importance to in Costa Rica.
Outside of the career that I want to study in, I also chose Korea because I became interested in the language and culture after seeing and researching about people who have moved to Korea and listening to the stories of how their experience has been as a foreigner living and studying there. Because of this I started taking Korean classes in my University with native Korean teachers that would share their experience living in Korea and the culture differences they had encountered living abroad, motivating me to learn more about the language and culture over all.
Being born in the United States, with Argentinian parents but raised in Costa Rica, I've experienced a lot of cultural diversity, both from spending time with my family and following their traditions to seeing and learning Costa Rica's traditions in school and from friends, all this has made me become very interested in the cultural differences that exist and wanting to learn more about these, especially after seeing how a persons' upbringing and culture really shapes who they become in the future and how they interact with other. Not only that, but also the opportunity to learn a new language is also a big part of the reason why I want to enroll in this scholarship, because even though I have taken Korean language classes, watch Korean shows and listen to music, I consider that having a firsthand experience in the country, where the language is spoken, is the best way to pick up on a new language. Thus, motivating me more to look for an experience abroad.