2023 Global Korea Scholarship for Undergraduate

Looking to study in Korea? If so, apply for the 2023-2024 Global Korea Scholarships (GKS Undergraduate) program.

Do you want to know more about Global Korea Scholarship (GKS undergraduate)? This article will give you a detailed description of its benefits, eligibility, the application process, number of seats, and much more.

Studying in South Korean universities opens up many opportunities in today’s ever-growing competitive job market.

Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) is a unique undergraduate scholarship program. Every year, the Korean government offers students across the world currently enrolled in high school or college.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What is the Global Korea Scholarship?

The Global Korea Scholarship (GKS) is an initiative by the South Korean government. Earlier, the name was the “Korean Government Scholarship Program.” i.e., KGSP.

It offers academic scholarships to students from various countries to study in South Korea. The National Institute for International Education (NIIED), affiliated with the Ministry of Education in Korea, administrates GKS.

To offer students all around the globe more opportunities, every year, the Korean government organizes a competitive scholarship program called “Global Korea Scholarship.”

The program offers students a chance to complete their undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees in the Republic of Korea.

GKS Undergraduate

The purpose of the GKS

The primary aim of the Global Korea Scholarship is to provide international students with more educational possibilities. As a result, students from far and wide have access to several top-ranked universities in Korea.

At the same time, the Korean government offers these scholarships to promote educational exchanges on a global level.

These programs also boost mutual friendship and relations between Korea and the participating countries.

Advantages of GKS

There are many reasons Korea makes a go-to destination for students worldwide.

It starts with the fact that it is an incredible country to explore. Plus, it is for its technological advancement and top-ranked universities offering all areas of study.

This program allows you to study at Korea’s top-rated universities without paying a single penny.

The scholarship program is fully funded. Hence, the selected students won’t have to worry about their living expenses either. You know, right?

And while we’re discussing perks, I can’t help but mention that a scholarship like this can provide a considerable boost to your CV.

Besides all this, the Global Korea Scholarship can support you in learning Korean. This is mandatory to achieve at least TOPIK level 3 before starting the degree program.

You will enhance your Korean language skills through immersion and practicing with the locals. This all can help you get a job demanding Korean.

About Courses, Universities, Seats, and Tracks

Let’s find out everything about courses, duration, and how to apply for them.

Global Korea Scholarship undergraduate

Korean Government Scholarship course duration

Bachelor’s degree courses will have a 4-5 year long term, while associate degree programs will have 2 or 3 years.

Some newly added bachelor’s degree programs for the 2023 GKS-U, like Architecture, Medicine, etc., have a course duration of 5-6 years.

Every student must take 1-year Korean training courses at their respective universities.

But students with a level 5 or above fluency score in TOPIK (test of proficiency in Korean) can skip the Korean courses.

Number of seats

A total of 200 scholarships are available for GKS undergraduate 2023-2024 programs.

There are two different types — the embassy track and the university track. They select 119 through the embassy, and 81 are available for the universities.

Regardless of channel, candidates will get 100% funded scholarships that cover all the costs.

The quota for Embassy Track

GKS embassy track


The quota for University Track

GKS university track


The quota for Associate Degree

GKS Associate degree track

Courses and universities

Let’s find out more about available departments and universities for GKS undergraduate program.

Field of Studies

  • You can only apply to the universities/subjects listed in the “University Information” section on the official site studyinkorea.go.kr.
  • Under the Regional University Track, one can only apply for departments listed under Natural Science, Technology, and Engineering fields.
  • Academic courses offered during evenings (night school), online, short-term, and distant-learning programs are not eligible for this scholarship program.
  • Even if a university’s departments you intend to apply to offer English taught courses, it may be subject to change as per circumstances. Thus, it would be better to confirm with the university. Remember that Korean is the primary and focus language used in every Korean university, though teaching English in Korea is pretty popular.

Available Universities

The universities vary depending on tracks — embassy or university. Read along!

Embassy Tracks
ClassificationAvailable UniversitiesSeats
Type AAjou University, Dongguk University, Duksung Women’s University, Ewha Woman’s University, Hanyang University (Seoul), Konkuk University, Kookmin University, Korea Polytechnic University, Korea University, Kyung Hee University,
Seoul National University, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Sookmyung Women’s University, Sungkyunkwan University, Yonsei University
Bachelor’s
degree
125 Candidates for Type A + B.
Type BBusan University of Foreign Studies, Chungnam National University, Chonnam National University, Daegu University, Daejeon University, Dongseo University, Handong Global University, Hannam University, Inje University, Jeju National
University, Kangwon National University, Keimyung University, Kongju National University, Konyang University, Kyungpook National University, National Korea Maritime & Ocean University, Pai Chai University, Pukyong National University, Pusan National University, Semyung University, Silla University, Soonchunhyang University, Sun Moon University, Sunchon National University
Universities Tracks
ClassificationAvailable UniversitiesSeats
Regional
University
(only for Natural
Science &
Engineering
Departments)
Busan University of Foreign Studies, Chungnam National University, Chonnam National University, Daegu University, Daejeon University, Dongseo University, Handong Global University, Hannam University, Inje University, Jeju National University, Kangwon National University, Keimyung University, Kongju National University, Konyang University, Kyungpook National University, National Korea Maritime & Ocean University, Pai Chai University, Pukyong National University, Pusan National University, Semyung University, Silla University, Soonchunhyang University, Sun Moon University, Sunchon National UniversityBachelor’s
degree
60 Candidates
Associate
Degree
Chejuhalla University, Dong-Ah Institute of Media and Arts, Inha Technical College, Kyungbok University, Yeungjin University, Yeungnam University CollegeAssociate
degree
35 Candidates

Eligibility For GKS Undergraduate

A candidate needs some basic requirements to be eligible for the GKS undergraduate. All these requirements are given below:

Nationality

  • Applicants and their parents must not be citizens of the Republic of Korea.
  • Dual citizenship holders that have citizenship in South Korea are not eligible.
  • The applicants must hold citizenship of NIIED selected nations invited to participate. However, parent(s) may have citizenship of non-GKS participating countries.

Level of Education

  • Applicants applying for undergraduate programs must have finished formal high school education or are expected to complete can apply for a Bachelor’s or an Associate degree program.
  • Aspirants who completed or are expected to complete an associate degree program can only apply for a bachelor’s degree course.
  • Candidates who can complete high school by February 28, 2023, can apply. They must submit official certificates or diplomas and final academic transcripts to the GKS Center, NIIED, no later than February 28, 2023.

Grade

  • All applicants need to have a grade point average above 80% or more on a 100-point scale. Or, one should rank within the top 20% of one’s class from their last attended educational institution.
  • CGPA: 2.64/4.0, or 2.80/4.3, or 2.91/4.5, or 3.23/5.0.

Suppose the applicant’s transcript does not include information on CGPA or cannot convert grades into the GPS scales mentioned above. In that case, the applicant must submit additional documents issued by their school describing the school’s grading system.

Age

Applicants applying for undergraduate programs must be under 25 years of age (Born after March 1, 1998).

Health

  • The applicant must have adequate physical and mental health to complete the entire duration of their degree in Korea.
  • Suppose an applicant is positive for drug tests or has a serious illness that prevents them from studying in Korea for a long time. In that case, they will disqualify the applicant in the last selection round.

All applicants have to submit “Form 6 Personal Medical Assessment” at the time of application. Plus, all applicants who pass the 2nd round of selection must receive a comprehensive medical checkup and submit an Official Medical Examination conducted by a doctor or a licensed hospital.

After reaching Korea, all GKS scholars will undergo a medical test managed by NIIED. However, suppose a GKS scholar has a severe illness after the medical test after arriving in Korea. In that case, they will be disqualified from their Korean government GKS scholarship.

Restrictions

  • Applicants who have previously graduated from Korean high school (also international schools) or finished their bachelor’s or master’s degree in South Korea are not eligible. However, those who have studied at any Korean university as visiting or exchange students can apply.
  • Candidates can only choose and apply for only one track:

→ For embassy track applicants, one has to choose between General or Overseas Korean adoptees.

→ For University track applicants, one has to pick between Regional University or Associate Degree. Plus, one can only apply to ONE university and ONE department.

Documents and Points to remember

Let’s find all the necessary documents and things you need to remember before applying.

Required documents for 2023-2024 U GKS

  • Form 1 Application Form.
  • Form 2 Personal Statement.
  • Form 3 Study Plan.
  • Form 4 single letter of recommendation where the recommender’s signature is required.
  • Form 5 GKS Applicant agreement.
  • Form 6 Personal Medical Assessment.
  • Applicant’s Proof of Citizenship
  • Certificate of high school graduation (or expected one).
  • High school grade transcripts.
  • Applicant’s proof of age document.
  • Evidence of Korean war veteran’s descendants (if relevant).
  • Document to prove for overseas Korean (if applicable).
  • Proof of Korean citizenship renunciation document (if applicable).
  • Awards and other certificates (if necessary).
  • Applicant’s Passport Copy.
  • Certificate of Korean ability exam, only TOPIK score (optional).
  • Certificate of English test like TOEIC, IELTS, TOEFL, etc. (optional).

Essential Points for GKS Undergraduate

  • All documents should be only in Korean or English.
  • Information like the applicant’s name, date of birth, name of university or department, etc., must not have any errors as they will use it for official documents.
  • Applicants need to submit a letter of recommendation from a single recommender, who can assess the applicant’s academic abilities. You should seal it in an envelope and submit it to the embassy or university, conducting the first selection round.
  • (Form #1. Application Form) Embassy track applicant must select and write THREE different universities and MUST include at least one university from Type B.
  • (Form #1. Application Form) University track applicants must write only ONE university and ONE department.
  • Embassy track applicants must submit ONE consular-authenticated (or apostilled) document and THREE photocopies of the same.
  • University track applicants must submit only ONE consular-authenticated (or apostilled) document.
  • All application documents should be in original forms. Suppose an applicant has to submit photocopied documents. In that case, one needs to notarize, or apostil, or receive consular confirmation. And then submit these certified documents.
  • NIIED won’t return the documents once submitted.
  • Application documents need to be submitted in the checklist’s order on the first page of the application forms.
  • You should number all needed documents and label them on the top right corner.
  • They reject all incomplete applications.
  • Applicants who are going to graduate at the time of applying must submit the certificate of expected graduation date.
  • 2 different recommenders should write the recommendation letter.
  • The recommenders should seal the recommendation letter in an envelope and sign on the back of it.
  • Photocopies are acceptable for awards and certificates.
  • The proof of citizenship needs to be government-issued documents.
  • Applicants should submit 1 set of original documents and 3 sets of photocopied documents for the Embassy track.
  • Applicants should submit 1 set of original application documents for University track applicants.

Scholarship Value and Benefits

A detailed breakdown of the scholarship value is given below:

  • They provide the actual cost of your airfare as long as the flight tickets are of economy class.
  • It includes an amount of KRW 200,000 as your resettlement allowance.
  • They offer a living allowance of KRW 900,00 to undergraduate students monthly.
  • They give free national health insurance policies to all candidates. They issue twice a year at the beginning of the semester.
  • They cover the total fee for language courses subject to a maximum of 1,000,000 KRW quarterly.
  • They cover the actual cost of your tuition fees (cannot exceed KRW 5 million per semester).
  • They provide a reward amount of KRW 100,000 per month to students who hold valid TOPIK level 5 or 6.
  • They give an amount of KRW 100,000 once after the completion of the degree.

How to Apply?

They accept applications only in particular months. The announcement of which is made on the government’s official website. These months vary from program to program.

For undergraduate programs, the application period is usually September-October. While for GKS graduate programs, this period is usually February- March.

You can find the application forms online as they are available on the official study on the Korean government website.

There are two ways through which any foreign national can apply for the Global Korea Scholarship Program. We know these ways as ‘the embassy track’ and ‘the university track.’

Choosing one or the other track mainly depends on the applicant and their country of origin.

This is so because they have given various countries different quotas and channels. Meaning that depending on your country. You may only have the option to choose ‘the embassy track,’ ‘the university track,’ or both.

Let’s find the detailed breakdown of both tracks below.

Selection Procedures

There are two ways:

GKS Selection Procedures

Embassy Track

They require applicants to apply to their country’s Korean embassy on this track. While filling out the application, they should select three universities out of all the options.

As long as one of the three universities accepts its application, the applicant will receive the scholarship. This track has three rounds.

University Track

On this track, the applicant must submit their application directly to the Korean university they wish to study at.

Once the concerned university accepts the application, the applicant becomes a GKS scholar. While the embassy track progresses into three rounds (Embassy → NIIED → University), the university track only comprises two steps (University → NIIED).

Procedure

The entire selection process is quite simple. But, depending on which track you choose, some selection rounds may differ.

First Round

At first, the National Institute for International Education (NIIED) of the Republic of Korea sends invitations to their Korean embassies and domestic universities to recommend candidates.

After this, applicants can send their applications to their country’s respective embassy or the Korean college they wish to attend.

After going through the applications, the embassies and universities present their recommended candidates to NIIED.

Second Round

The NIIED then evaluates the applicants who pass the first round. Once they give the final evaluation, they select the university track applicants as Global Korea Scholarship grantees.

While the applicants who chose the embassy track advance to the third round.

Third Round

In the third round, the universities finally review the applicants. At least one of the three universities must admit the candidate to pass this round.

Once a university accepts the candidate as a student, they become a GKS scholar.

Selection Criteria

In each round of the selection process, a committee evaluates the applicant.

These committees and their selection criteria can differ from round to round. However, some factors that account for an applicant’s selection are below.

Personal Statement

In this statement, applicants must create a short essay describing their motivation for applying to this scholarship program.

Besides this, the candidate can talk about their interests or background.

Statement of Purpose or Research Proposal

The applicant must write a detailed study plan and their goals. They can also talk about their future objectives.

For example, suppose the applicant is applying for a research program. In that case, they must state their research plan and their goals.

Letters of Recommendation

The candidates can provide letters of recommendation. The impact of these letters can vary from university to university.

Certification of Language Proficiency (Korean or English)

Language ability certificates can also affect your evaluation. For example, they prefer people who are already proficient in Korean over other candidates.

Other factors

Some other factors include publications, awards, academic transcripts, etc.

Application Deadline

The deadline for the application differs from country to country. This is because the country’s respective embassy sets these criteria.

GKS undergraduate selections
GKS deadline

The deadline can also vary based on what program you have chosen. You can find more information about the Global Korea Scholarship program and its application form on the study in Korea official website.

Contact

  • Email: kgspniied@korea.kr
  • Phone: 82-2-3668-1364
  • Address: 191, Jeongjail-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do (13557), Republic of Korea.
  • Websites: studyinkorea.go.kr (official site) sejonghakdang.org (studying Korean), (Korea.net (Korean Portal), mofa.go.kr (Ministry of Foreign Affairs), immigration.go.kr and hikorea.go.kr (Visa and Immigration) and academyinfo.go.kr (for Higher Education in South Korea).

For more information about GKS updates, announcements, and guidelines, visit the official GKS Notice board.

2023-2024 GKS–Undergraduate FAQs

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Vikash Gupta
Vikash Gupta

I’m a linguist, lifelong learner, blogger, and fun-loving guy. I write at studyfrenchspanish.com, languagenext.com, joyofkorean.com, joyofchinese.com, and joyofjapanese.com.

119 Comments

    • The last date for the 2022 undergraduate program is already over. Also, you need to pass high school by February 28, 2022, to apply for the 2022 session. You can apply next year in October for the 2023 session.

      • From where the application form can be downloaded? What documents are needed for the embassy and university track?

        • All details are there. You can download the form from the official website and apply through the Indian government portal. I’d suggest spending some time understand various aspects of it.

      • I am from India and want to apply for GKS-U this month.
        (i) Can I use the apostilled voter ID card for proof of citizenship for my parents and me as well?
        (ii) Can I choose the same department at different universities?
        (iii) Is it necessary to give the 10th mark sheet as well? Can I not just give the 12th mark sheet?
        (iv) Any idea when the applications will be available?

        • The last date is over for the 2022 March session. You can try for the September 2022 session, for which the application process starts in May. For GKS, you can only apply in September 2022.

      • Hello. The information provided is very clear and helpful, however, I still have a question about getting the visa after getting the scholarship for undergraduates. Since this is a scholarship, I assume there’s no need for providing the bank statement with $10,000 in my account 3 months before the application for the visa. Or is it still obligatory despite getting the gks-u? Thank you in advance.

        • Yes, you do not require a bank statement with a minimum amount to get this scholarship, but you may need some money for lifestyle expenses that is not funded.

  1. Eu amei todo o material que vocês disponibilizaram. Eu gostaria de saber algumas dicas para complementar a aplicação, já que eu tenho apenas 80% de GPA.

  2. I have obtained a bachelor’s degree with only 60% marks which makes me illegible for applying for undergraduate and post-graduate GK scholarships. There is no option left for studying in South Korea for a low-middle-class child, right? If so, kindly help me. I will be grateful to you. Your blog is so satisfying.

    • It is not just South Korea, but higher education in most developed countries is expensive for foreign students. Also, a minimum of 80% is just a criterion to apply. One doesn’t get a GKS based on that. It depends on many aspects like your academic qualification and achievements, extracurricular activities, recommendation letters, personal statement and SOP, language ability and certification, performance in the interview, etc. Due to too many applicants, getting GKS these days isn’t easy.

    • I don’t remember. You have to go through the offered documents. The cost for verification, apostille, etc., varies and is done locally.

  3. Hi, I’m also a scholar. I heard that they would pay for the school if we can graduate in time and extend the period of the degree once. Is that true?

    • Sorry, I didn’t get you. GKS is a fully-funded scholarship, and it covers nearly all major expenses. I’m not sure if they would still pay if you want to extend the course duration once. I guess you have to complete the course in the given time only to avail of the scholarship.

  4. I have completed my bachelor’s degree in INDIA, so can I apply for GKS – U Scholarship? Am I eligible for this Scholarship??

    • You can apply as long as you are under 25 and fulfill the required criteria. However, they may or may not give preference as this GKS-UG is mainly for 12th passed contenders.

    • You have to check the courses if your choice is available. If you pass the eligibility criteria, you can apply in September.

  5. Hello, I am from Kazakhstan! I will apply to GKS 2023 bachelor’s this year. Can you please answer some of the concerning questions? I will be very happy! If I apply for the university in Korea for the fall semester and get a scholarship (from the university itself) and start my studies there, am I eligible to apply for GKS during my studies? And is it necessary to be in my home country while applying through the embassy track? Does the university track include only regional universities for undergraduates because I could not find Kyunghee University on the list?

    • Yes, you have to be in your home country, and you can only apply through the local embassy office. Not all universities and courses are available through GKS. You can only pick as per the listed options.

  6. Sir, it’s compulsory to apostille the documents because it’s a little expensive. Can’t we just notarize the documents? And sir GKS has announced about University track on 11th of this month, does it mean that this time no admission through embassy track will be there?

    • As per their new notification, an apostille is the only possibility. The dates for the embassy track vary depending on the country, and they announce after some time. Keep an eye on notice board.

  7. Hi if my country is not listed in the eligible quota. For example, South Africa. Is there any other way I can apply for GKS?

  8. Hello, i want to know that if I apply in September 2022 so when will I able to know that I’m accepted for the gks or not ?

  9. Hello, I was accepted as a GKS Scholar in 2021, but I had to resign and quit due to my surgery. Is it possible for me to apply again this year??

    Thank you for your answer!

  10. Sir, I am currently in grade 12. I’m gonna graduate next year in January when can I apply for the 2023 scholarship and is it okay if I apply using my second term Marks hence I’m still waiting to graduate next year?

  11. Thank you very much, this helped me a lot, but I have a question. Only the universities on the list that provide GKS? The university I would like to study at is not on the list. Is there any possibility that it will change? Or is it every year these same universities?

    • Yes, through GKS, you can only apply to listed universities. They change some names, but it is not frequent and big enough.

    • GKS scholarships are fully funded means you do not need to spend money. You can apply for the undergraduate program provided that you fit their requirement and belong to one the country elgibile to apply.

  12. Sir can I use the twelth mark sheet as the certificate of graduation for the undergraduate scholarship as my school did not provide it. Transcript so what I have to do now?

    • You require a certificate if it is needed. You can get it from concerned boards like CBSE. You also need a transcript from the same authority.

  13. Sir, from your experience over the years, do you think it is even slightly necessary to contact a professor as an Undergraduate for the GKS as the graduates do?

    • There is no harm in trying, but the benefits are limited. In most cases, they won’t reply unless your case is exceptionally good and unique.

  14. Thank you for the reply. Please What can make my case exceptionally good and Unique? I’m really a diligent student who is interested in researching too.

    • You can focus on 5 things to boost your chances.
      1. Academic credentials, achievements, and extracurricular activities.
      2. Your teacher’s recommendation letters from previous institutions.
      3. Great personal statement and SOP.
      4. Language skills – both English and Korean. If possible, take TOPIK.
      5. Your performance in the interview. Prepare well for that and get good knowledge about things related to Korea and your career & future.

      Good luck 🙂

  15. I completed my Diploma (Undergraduate) in India in 2018. Am I still eligible to apply for the scholarship??? Please reply.

      • Hello sir , I have a question Is passport sufficient for proof of age or will only the birth certificate have to be given?

        • When you fill out the online application, you will get details of what you need to submit. A passport and 10th certificate can be sufficient proof of age.

  16. Hey!
    In India, 12th board are held in March… So can i apply before March as the application held in September?

    • No. E.g., If you give 12th in March 2022 and get your result in June 2022. Then, you can only apply in September 2022 for the academic session that starts in March 2023.

  17. Hello,
    1. If an applicant has taken up the various test in their own country as an (optional beneficiary) can we submit those test certificates, does it counts?
    2. If having less than 80% percent but being in the top 20% of the class, getting a letter from the professor of the university- is enough as proof!? or do we need to submit something else as proof?
    3. For the English proficiency test can we take the Duolingo English test, and submit the application??
    4. For the embassy track, 1 apostille document and the other each 3photocopies(should be color photocopies) right- if it makes sense sorry?
    5. What if a UG applicant hasn’t been so actively participated in any of those extra-curricular activities & doesn’t have any work experience- in that case, where can one be so focused on writing the personal statement???

    Hope you reply. Thank you!

    • 1. You can, but it may not help beyond the required documents.
      2. Yes, with an official document from the university.
      3. No.
      4. Yes.
      5. Difficult to say as it’s a pretty subjective thing.

  18. Please for the various departement offered by the universities given that i am applying through university track.

  19. Studying abroad is my dream, so I just wish to fulfill it. I just need your help for me to achieve this dream of mine. I hope that you will accept me.

  20. Sir, there is an option in the application form which asks whether I am physically disabled or not. My middle finger is half cut. So should I mention that I am physically disabled or not? And does mentioning this will cancel my application or has any negative impact on my application?? Do they really make comprehensive medical checkups on arrival in Korea or it is just mentioned for formality??

  21. (1) Sir, please provide us any website or link which provides us info regarding how we can get a recommendation letter from a professor of the university to which we are applying.
    (2) Give us any link from which we can prepare for the interview.

    I searched for many hours but got no useful info on internet 🙄

    • 1. You do not need recommendation letters from your target university but the one from your previous institutions.
      2. There isn’t any study material. You can check some YT videos from previous GKS scholars. It would be generic like about yourself, past academic record, career goals, why you picked that course, about Korea, future plan, etc.

  22. I have 4.58 gpa out of 5 (91.6%) in 12th, I want to apply for an undergraduate in computer science. But in many yt videos of previous scholars, they suggested filling max universities from type B, but my dream colleges are in type A (max). How should we fill these universities to get the maximum acceptance rate? If you could suggest any universities for which I am eligible with these marks.

    • That would be difficult to say as I do not track individual courses and universities as there are too many, and I don’t get enough time. Now the competition is pretty high due to the huge number of applicants. That was not the case a few years back. So do what can increase your overall chances.

  23. I’m an undergraduate student. I’m learning English. Can it be possible to get GKS scholarship? I’m also trying to take the IELTS exam. Is Topik still needed? And how can I get and application form? I’ve not decided what uni to study yet. Can someone recommend universities? And also dates and months.

    • Yes. IELTS and TOPIK will boost your chances, though not essential. You have to apply for either undergraduate or postgraduate programs. Since you are still doing a major, you can apply now for GKS-UG by picking the available course and university. Also, check your country and seats available as it varies depending on country.

  24. Should I type all the info on the computer? For example the signature. The first form should I check by pen? And the recom letter the copies should be sealed? What different from the original? Finally, should it be colored? Thank you for your time.

    • You cannot type your signature as you have to sign in on paper. Yes, the recommendation letter should be sealed. You can check the guidelines where all the details are mentioned.

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