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Guide to teaching with TaLK

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Introduction to the TaLK Program

TaLK stands for Teach and Learn in Korea, a Korean government scholarship program created in 2008 under the direction of South Korean President Lee Myung Bak. TaLK is a unique teaching and service- learning opportunity for undergraduates and recent graduates in that it also offers an option to teach for 6 months or 1 year.

Talking TaLK

  • TaLK is dedicated to providing after-school English classes at rural Korean elementary schools.
  • TaLK is a scholarship program sponsored by the South Korean government.
  • The program is aimed at improving public school English education in rural areas of Korea.
  • Six-month or one-year contracts are available.
  • There are two TaLK scholarship in-takes per year - in August & February.
  • The TaLK scholarship program begins with one month of training.
  • Over 2,000 candidates have taken part in the TaLK program.
  • Currently TaLK has over 500 active participants.
  • TaLK is an amazing opportunity to share your knowledge with young Korean learners who might not have had much exposure to the English language.


Applicants wishing to teach in the TaLK public school program in Korea need to meet the following minimum entry requirements:

  • Passport holder of Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, UK or USA
  • Graduate or current undergraduate student with two or more years of academic credits from an accredited post-secondary institute
  • Overseas Koreans with permanent residency in a native English speaking country are eligible
  • Associates degree holders
  • No criminal record
  • Be mentally and physically healthy

Exchange students with qualification to attend a TaLK-affiliated Korean university that has a student exchange agreement between NIIED (National Institute for International Education) and their home university may also apply.

Salary and benefits

  • Monthly stipend of KRW1,500,000 (subject to tax withholding)
  • Free accommodation (or monthly housing allowance of KRW400,000)
  • Round-trip air-ticket
  • Health insurance coverage (terms & conditions apply)
  • Cultural experience field trips organized by the Provincial Office of Education
  • Settlement subsidy of KRW300,000 (paid to applicants entering the program)
  • Paid vacation of 7 days (6-month contract) or 14 days (12-month contract)
  • Government Scholar Certificate - awarded to those who successfully complete the program
  • TaLK ID card allowing for free access to Gyeongbokgung Palace, Changdeokgung Palace, Gyeonghuigung Palace, Deoksogung Palace & Changgyeonggung Palace!
  • One month full training & orientation period (please note, during training month room and board is provided in lieu of stipend)
  • Exchange students receive a monthly stipend of KRW900,000
  • Exchange students provided with dormitory housing by his/her TaLK-affiliated host university in Korea. If the university is unable to provide housing, KRW400,000 will be given as rent subsidy
  • Exchange students vacation leave would be 3 days (6-month contract) or 6 days (12-month contract)

Teaching schedule

  • Mon - Fri, 15 hours per week
  • Classes are generally taught in the afternoons although schedule can be subject to change
  • TaLK scholars may be assigned to more than one school
  • At least one hour of lesson prep time expected prior to the day's classes

*Exchange students would teach 9 hours per week from Mon - Fri


  • Teach English in after-school classes at an elementary school designated by the POE (Provincial Office of Education) during term of your scholarship.
  • Prepare lesson plans, teaching materials and activities for English language education.
  • Assist with activities related to English language and other extracurricular activities organized by the POE (Provincial Office of Education), school or community.

Contract terms

Scholarship terms are either for 6 months or 1 year.

6 month option dates:

Feb 1st - Jul 31st
Aug 1st - Jan 31st

1 year option dates:

Feb 1st - Jan 31st
Aug 1st - Jul 31 st

Download a sample TaLK Scholarship Contract

Download: TaLK Scholarship Contract, PDF (496K)

FAQs - public school positions, TaLK Program

Will somebody meet me at the airport?

Yes, you will be met by a team of TaLK representatives at the airport when you arrive in South Korea. Please note, airport meeting cannot be guaranteed for applicants who arrive late.

What do the training and orientation involve?

The preparatory training is designed to make your transition to living and teaching in South Korea as smooth as possible. The 4-week training session is full of useful information to help you become an effective teacher and enjoy your life in Korea! Training includes:

  • Teaching methodologies
  • Solo and team teaching
  • Curriculum design
  • Effective classroom management
  • Overview of the Korean elementary school
  • English language education in Korea
  • Korean language courses
  • Cultural excursions and more

Is room and board provided during the training period?

Yes, room and board is provided, free of charge throughout the training period.

Is there a dress code for the training period?

Smart casual is preferred.

How will I be paid?

Your school will help to set up a Korean bank account for you and you will be paid electronically into this bank account every month. During the training period, room and board is provided in lieu of salary. Salary would begin at the end of March or September (depending on which term you start teaching). TaLK scholars are paid on the 25th of each month, or the prior business day if the 25th of the month falls on a weekend or holiday.

How much money should I bring to last me until my first pay-check?

We would recommend bringing approximately US$1,000 to see you through until your first pay-check, which is at the end of your first month of teaching at the elementary school.

Is it easy to meet other foreigners?

A great thing about teaching with TaLK is that the training period provides a chance to establish contacts and friendships with other foreign teachers who are in exactly the same boat. Also, such is the boundless Korean enthusiasm for learning English that even the smallest towns and villages have sizeable expat communities.

Can I extend my contract if I want to stay longer?

The contract can be extended for an additional period but can't exceed a total of 2 years.

Where are the placements located?

The TaLK Program provides young Korean schoolchildren in the more rural areas of South Korea with the opportunity to learn English with a native English speaker. Therefore, most placements are in the following areas - Busan, Chungbuk, Chungnam, Gangwon, Gyeongbuk, Gyeongnam, Incheon, Jeonbuk, Jeonnam, and Jeju. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience the rich, vibrant culture of Korea whilst giving something back to local communities.

Are there any areas of Korea where TaLK scholarships are not available?

There are no TaLK scholarship placements in Daejeon, Gwangju, Gyeonggi, Seoul or Ulsan.

Can I choose my placement location?

Placement preference can be taken into consideration but cannot be guaranteed. Your placement location will be decided by the Provincial Office of Education based on the availability of positions in each region.

Can I apply with a partner/friend for the TaLK Program?

Yes, this is possible although joint applications do not always guarantee joint acceptance.

Can I get a cell phone in South Korea?

Yes! If you're on a six-month contract, you can easily set up a prepaid service cell phone. You'd have a local number and can top your phone up with cards from local newsagents and supermarkets. If you're on a one-year contract, you can obtain your own cell phone contract without a major problem as long as you provide proper form of identification (an alien registration card).

Do I need to pay my own utilities and if so, how much are they?

Yes, you would need to pay utilities. Electricity, water and gas combined usually come to around KRW70,000. All Korean apartments have floor heating which makes them very snug in winter. Even with the air-con on all summer, you'll rarely pay more than KRW75,000 a month in bills.

What should I pack?

It's advisable to pack two suitcases. Korea has four distinct seasons and can get extremely cold in the winter so it's worth packing a mix of both winter and summer clothes.

Can I get tax exemption whilst teaching in Korea?

All employees (including foreigners) residing in Korea are required by law to pay income tax, which is generally withheld from an employees' salary and paid by the employer. Most TaLK scholars are exempt from paying tax in their home countries for 2 years (except Canadian and Irish citizens, due to lack of tax treaty with Korea).

How does it work with the air-ticket to and from Korea?

TaLK scholars can either arrange their own flight or process the air-ticket through the TaLK Office. If scholars arrange their own ticket, the maximum reimbursement is US$1,000 for a one-way ticket.

Applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis so it's best to apply early in order to secure your place!

Apply Online

Apply for your position on the TaLK Program now! To apply, please click on the banner below which will redirect you to the TaLK Program home-page.

Apply with TaLK!

ESLstarter are a proud partner of the TaLK Program in Korea.

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