English teachers for hire. Qualifications: Candidates must be fluent in English and must be able to teach basic and advanced grammar courses to non-English speaking students. Compensation: Zero dollars. Location: North Korea.
Weird news comes from the secretive nation as the North Korean government announces vacancies for foreign English teachers willing to work inside the controversial country. As much as five vacancies have been opened to attract English teachers outside North Korea who will be teaching local tour guides about the English language and its proper usage.
Newsweek reports that the aim of opening teaching positions in North Korea is to bolster the fledgling tourism industry in the tyrannical nation. The country has slowly become more and more open to foreign visitors under Kim Jong-un’s reign, despite the ever-increasing concerns over human rights issues inside the hermit state.
The program was launched by the London-based Juche Travel Services (JTS), a travel agency especially dedicated to bringing foreigners into North Korea. JTS owner David Thompson explains how the arrangement came to be.
“We were approached by our partners at Korea International Travel Company (KITC) on behalf of the National Tourism Authority to assist in arranging volunteering positions for teaching English language or tourism management at Pyongyang Tourism College.”
Those lucky enough to be chosen for the program will have the benefits of touring the landscapes and landmarks of North Korea — under extremely strict travel regulations, of course. Aspiring teachers would also have to work without pay and are even expected to pay more than $1,000 to get into the roster of candidates.
On its website, the JTS wrote, “This is a fantastic opportunity to immerse yourself in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and provides unparalleled levels of interaction and engagement with local Koreans.”
Despite the very unideal job descriptions, dozens have already applied for the teaching positions, according to Thompson, who said, “Despite the tours being launched only days ago we have already received several applications, so we think these tours will prove very popular.”
“Volunteering opportunities in the DPRK are not easy to find and the program has attracted a lot of interest,” Thompson adds.
The Juche Travel Services single-handedly brought as much as 500 Britons to North Korea last year, according to the Telegraph. Curiosity in North Korean tourism had seen new heights last year, with thousands of people from Western nations expressing interest in visiting the country.
[Image from Roman Harak/Flickr]