TaLK Korea


Let’s say for the sake of argument that I end up hating college after a year. I don’t expect that to happen, since, after all, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.” –Jack Sparrow

But let’s say that after a year I am fed up with living that life and desperately need to get back to Asia for some re-wiring. Or maybe I’m getting sick from lack of tteokbokki. Back when I was first looking at school recruiters, I found a program called TaLK (Teach and Learn in Korea). It’s run by the same people who do EPIK (English Program in Korea). But while EPIK requires a four year degree and places you in a contract position with a public school for a year, TaLK only requires a two year degree and places teachers in rural areas for six months or a year.

The intent was to get rural areas decent English instruction, a project begun in 2008 by the president. While EPIK teachers are “real” teachers, teaching during normal hours under a normal contract, TaLK is less stringent – more of a volunteer deal. I’d teach after school, only about 15-20 hours a week, and get a stipend rather than a salary.

The program sounds amazing, actually. I wasn’t interested at first because it was in rural areas and I wanted to be in a big city, but after thinking about it and actually visiting a big city there, I think I’d like to go to a smaller town. They’re more close-knit and I’d think I’d see a better representation of what Korea is than if I were in Seoul from the get-go.

If I went, it would be after a year or so of school, and only for six months. I don’t want to keep putting off my degree and turning it into the monster in the closet. But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with taking a break from school, and this would be a fantastic opportunity to see Korea again close up. Plus I could get a jump-start on learning Korean while there.

So, when I’m living at home again, this will be in the back of my mind, fermenting like good kimchi, waiting to burst forth when the going gets rough.


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