NYUAD Alumna Awarded Prestigious Global Korea Scholarship

Class of 2020 alumna, Emma Kay Tocci, has been awarded the Global Korea Scholarship to study Korean and complete a Master’s degree in International Studies

Press Release

NYUAD Class of 2020 alumna Emma Kay Tocci has been awarded the Global Korea Scholarship, a fully-funded program sponsored by the South Korean Ministry of Education. Tocci will travel to Daegu city to study language and culture for one year, before continuing to complete a master’s degree in Seoul.

NYUAD’s first GKS scholar, Tocci majored in Film and New Media at NYUAD and has a particular focus on understanding how new media technologies impact cross-border and political relationships. Originally from the US, Emma’s decision to immerse herself in another nation’s cultural and linguistic traditions was inspired by her experience in Abu Dhabi and being surrounded by NYUAD’s diverse student body. 

Speaking about the award, Tocci commented: “After four years at NYUAD, I assumed I would want to go back to the US; but as I found myself nearing graduation, I only wanted to challenge myself more. I had done something I never thought I could do - graduate from a University halfway around the world - so I figured learning a second language, something I have always assumed was impossible for me, may be within my reach after all.” 


“As a student at NYUAD, I was surrounded by people who spoke upwards of four to five languages, but despite loosely studying different languages, I was only conversational in one. Because my language has been accommodated everywhere I travel, I wanted to know what it’s like to bear the burden of communication, and express my thoughts in a different language."

NYUAD Class of 2020 alumna Emma Kay Tocci

After her year studying Korean in Daegu, Tocci will complete her master’s degree in International Cooperation at Seoul National University in the fall of 2021. Her research focus will be on the impact of mass media communication and globalization on foreign relations between civilians and governments.

The GKS welcomes more than 700 students from across the world, providing international students with the chance to study in higher education establishments across South Korea. The scholarship promotes international exchanges in education between countries, alongside enhancing international understanding of Korean culture.

Students from NYUAD have received a wide range of global scholarships and awards since the University welcomed its first class in 2010, including the Rhodes Scholarship, the Fulbright Award, the Boren Award, the Yenching Scholarship, and the Schwarzman Scholarship, among others.

About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.