What is the TaLK Program for teaching English in South Korea?

TaLK stands for Teach and Learn in Korea which is a government sponsored program that places foreign nationals into elementary schools across South Korea. TaLK is a similar program to the much larger EPIK; however, the TaLK Program differs by focusing on placements in underprivileged areas that might otherwise struggle to attract foreign teachers. Participants on the program will gain valuable teaching experience throughout their time in South Korea. There is also plenty of free time for exploring the local culture and for travel across the country and wider region.

What are the requirements for the TaLK Program?

The TaLK Program is open to college graduates or current undergraduate students who have completed at least two years of a degree course. You must also hold a passport from the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, or Ireland. There is a minimum age requirement of 19 but no official upper age limit, although those over 35 are typically encouraged to join the EPIK Program instead. A national criminal record check must be submitted during the application process.

What does the TaLK Program involve?

Participants on the scheme sign a one-year contract that starts in either February or August. Prior to the start date there is a one-month orientation program that covers a wide range of teaching related subjects such as classroom management, curriculum design, and teaching methodologies, as well as cultural subjects designed to help you adjust to a new life in an unfamiliar environment. On average the program requires around 15 hours per week of actual classroom time from Monday to Friday, plus extra time for lesson planning.

Where will I be placed on the TaLK Program?

Placements on the program are primarily in rural areas of the following provinces: Chungnam, Gangwon, Incheon, Jeju, Jeonbuk, and Jeonnam. Unlike the EPIK Program, applicants are not able to request a particular area for placement; therefore, all placements are effectively made at random. For further information, please visit the official TaLK Program website.

What are the benefits of the TaLK Program?

If accepted onto the program you will receive a range of benefits during your stay in South Korea, including:

  • A monthly stipend of KRW 1.5 million (currently USD 1,300) per month
  • Furnished accommodation, typically a studio apartment (not including utilities)
  • Flight allowance of KRW 2.6 Million to cover transport in and out of the country
  • Settlement allowance of KRW 300,000
  • Seven vacation days per semester
  • Medical insurance coverage