[KS] Seeking Advice about Graduate Degree Programs: Request from a Russian Student in Korean Studies

Robert Provine provine at umd.edu
Tue Dec 19 10:37:13 EST 2006

Dear Members of This Listserv and Other Individuals Engaged in Korea-Related Studies,

I am writing to request your advice and assistance in identifying the most appropriate 
graduate degree programs in which to continue my studies in international relations 
following my receipt of the B.A. degree this coming June.  I wish to apply not only for 
admission to programs in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and/or Australia 
but also for the funding that will be necessary to support these studies (tuition, room 
and board, and other related expenses).

I specifically wish to pursue a Master's degree in international relations and to study 
the economic relations of North Korea with the outside world.  As the restructuring of the 
North Korean economic system seems to be imminent and irreversible, I would also like to 
investigate some of the country's possible development strategies.  I am currently nearing 
the completion of my studies for the B.A. degree in the Department of Korean History 
(Oriental Faculty) at Saint Petersburg State University (Russia).  My B.A. thesis, 
supervised by Professor Sergey O. Kourbanov, deals with the special economic zones in 
North Korea (particularly the Gaeseong Industrial Complex), and focuses on the process of 
its formation and on some of the approaches of the South Korean government and the world 
of South Korean business.

I recently presented a paper at the Korean Studies Graduate Students' Convention in the 
Czech Republic.  Dealing with the newspaper Tong'a ilbo as a source of information for the 
social history of Korea during the first half of 1935, it is expected to be published next 
year in the proceedings of this conference.  In addition, I have published an overview of 
Russian dissertations about Korea, 1939-2003, in the Proceedings of the 2003 Korean 
Studies Conference in Saint Petersburg.

I speak, read and write Korean fluently (I have passed the sixth level of the Korean 
Language Proficiency Test).  I spent nearly five years of my childhood from 1992 to 1997 
in South Korea and attended Korean primary school in Seoul. More recently, after 
completing my two years of study at Saint Petersburg State University, I received a Korea 
Foundation scholarship to study for one year at Yonsei University in Seoul.  In 2005, I 
graduated from the Korean Language Institute that is affiliated with Yonsei University. 
In addition, I have an advanced command of English (I am prepared to take the TOEFL test); 
and I can speak, read and write some Japanese and some French.

I hope to go into international diplomacy or government-related work (perhaps in the 
Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) upon completing the Master's degree in international 
relations.  While the M.A. degree is accepted as a terminal degree, I eventually plan on 
continuing my studies and pursuing the Ph.D. degree in international relations as well.

I would be most grateful for whatever advice, assistance and insights you and your 
colleagues can extend at this time.  Would you please direct your correspondence to my 
e-mail address as follows: nsibirskaya at yahoo.com  Thank you very much in advance for your 
kind consideration of this inquiry.

With my best wishes for the holiday season and for the new year,

Yours sincerely,

Natalia Sibirskaya

(Ms.) Natalia Sibirskaya
199155 ul. Korablestroitelei, 42-1-37
Saint-Petersburg, Russia
tel: 7-812-352-21-91
mob: 7-921-74-22-370
nsibirskaya at yahoo.com

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