When you are applying to a university in Korea, you will soon find that you need to include a self-introduction letter and study plan in your application. For some, a self-introduction letter may sound self-explanatory. However, in Korea, these letters need to contain certain information, so be sure to read this article before submitting your applications!
University Applications in Korea
Those who are applying to a university program in Korea for the first time normally need to prepare a self-introduction letter. These can be undergraduate students, graduate school students, and those switching into a regular program after attending language school.
In my experience, if you wish to apply to a program that is in English, the process is often different. Not every university will require a self-introduction letter for programs taught in English. Instead, they may require an interview and a valid English proficiency certificate.
However, if you are applying to a regular program at a Korean university that is taught in Korean, you will need to submit a self-introduction letter. And often, more competitive English programs will require them as well.
Writing a Self-Introduction Letter
University-Specific Format and Questions
Each school has a different question form for 자기소개서 (self-introduction) and 학습계획서 (study plan). Therefore, you need to find the specific format you will need to write in and the question you need to answer for each university you apply to. This can normally be found on the website, or with a Naver search. After you know the requirements of the university, you can begin writing your Self Introduction.
Self-introduction: Basic Information
Normally you should begin by presenting basic information about yourself. At a minimum, you should include your name, age, and hometown. It is also not uncommon to include information about your family, such as the number of siblings you have and what your parents do for work. However, the requirement to include family information has been a topic of controversy recently. As a result, many schools no longer require you to reveal details about your family history.
Self-introduction: Achievements and Experience
Next, you should discuss academic achievements. You can include anything of importance from high school, language schools, university, and graduate school. In particular, if you were outstanding in any subjects, got any awards, or participated in activities you should mention them in this section.
If you have any work experience, that should also be included. However, you will only want to include experiences that you can explain as being relevant to your field of study. Or, that demonstrates you are proficient in Korean. For example; simply stating you worked in a restaurant as a server will not be looked at favorably. However, if you worked as a server and spoke to customers in Korean, or are applying to major in hospitality or business you can highlight the relevance of the experience.
Self-introduction: Personality and Values
In this section, you need to give administrators a sense of who you are as a person. You need to answer the question; “What was remarkable about your process of growing up that affected your personality and values?”.
It is important to note that, unlike university applications in some western countries, this is not the main focus of your self-introduction letter. In addition, universities in Korea tend to lean socially conservative. With that in mind, this section should not be as deep as a letter you would typically write for a western university.
Self-introduction: Strengths and Talents
Now, this section is where many of us foreigners have the upper hand. It’s time to brag about your foreign language skills! Plus, you should mention any other strengths or talents related to your field of study. These can be soft skills like communication, being a fast learner, or being culturally conscious. Or, they can be hard skills like coding, writing, or photo editing.
Self-introduction: Why Us?
In this part of your letter, you will need to explain why you chose the university and the major you are applying for. It is a good idea to do some research on the university and cite a few specific reasons why you prefer them over other places.
Finally, we come to the most important section of your self-introduction letter. First, you should explain your study plan for the entire duration of your degree. You want to be as detailed as possible. This means you should go through the list of courses in your major and include classes you want to take, if you plan to have an internship, and what your plans for research topics are.
Then, you should explain your plans for after you graduate. As a foreigner, it is best to emphasize international cooperation and contributing to the development of both Korea and your home country.
I know, it’s a lot to include in a limited self-introduction letter, right? The most important thing to focus on is presenting information concisely and truthfully. If you do that, the interviewer will be able to understand your application and see if you are suitable for the school and the field of study. I wish you success in writing and getting into your dream university in Korea!
If you are preparing to come to university in South Korea, Click Here for 4 things you should know before you enroll!