Rason Korean Language Tour
Students hit the books at the Pyongyang Grand Peoples Study House.
I’m out on the Pacific Ocean, 4 days Southeast of Hawaii, and just one month into a four month rotation on a scientific research ship conducting expeditions from San Diego to Japan.
Being on the ocean gives a person the gift of a lot of free time away from the normal distractions of life. With that time I have started to study the Korean language; for these cruises I brought with me the Pimsleur audio Korean course (great for the days when I’m walking the deck for a little exercise), as well as several textbooks and workbooks, and a ton a Korean language learning podcasts. Its going as well as one could expect, some things are starting to stick, all the honorific tenses are confusing, but the hangul characters are not too bad – kinda fun actually.
Of course nothing beats time working with a real teacher in a native environment, and that’s just what Young Pioneer Tours is offering this summer to those who join up with their first ever Rason Korean Language Tour.
Far off the beaten track (up until 2009 no western foreign tourist had ever visited), a trip to the Rason Special Economic Zone allows for special opportunities; Rason is the only place in the DPRK where foreigners are legally allowed to use North Korean currency and to mix freely with locals while shopping in the public markets – this is your opportunity to pick up all your own school supplies and practice your daily lessons as you buy fresh seafood for the nightly BBQ. Rason is also the only place where visitors (expect for Americans and Japanese) can get a North Korean visa stamped into their passport.
This tour has time scheduled for local sightseeing but the focus of this trip will be classroom time for the study of basic Korean with a North Korean instructor. You will also visit the local foreign language institute for conversational exchanges with older students, and have the chance to develop a lesson plan and teach an English class to elementary children!
Already proficient at the basic level? Alternative intermediate or advanced class time can be arranged.
Young Pioneer Tours will be running this tour in Aug 2013, unfortunately I’m going to be at my professional job at that time, but I’m certainly interested in doing this trip myself. I will be making my first trip up to Rason this spring; by my following vacation in the fall of 2013 I will be qualified to run this program on a custom basis if anyone is interested.
I peaked into a North Korean hotel kitchen and found this sign.
For the scheduled Aug language tour, as well as any of Young Pioneer Tours scheduled tours, a referral from me can get you 5% off!