Here’s one way to get a peak inside the secretive Hermit Kingdom: Become an English teacher.
Pyongyang is looking for English-speaking instructors with a Tefl (Teaching English as a foreign language) qualification, or experience in tourism management to help train the country’s future tour guides, the Guardian reports.
The North Korean travel company, Juche Travel Services (JTS), which launched the project, is offering tourism experts the chance to teach for four-weeks at Pyongyang Tourism College, promising “unparalleled levels of interaction and engagement with local Koreans.” The program will take five volunteers, who must pay about $1,160 per person, on trips in May and November.
JTS believes that such specialists will be able to “contribute positively to growing the country’s tourism industry,” and says it's operating on a not-for-profit basis, with any excess funds to be spent on the tourism library at the college.
“The country has made it clear that it’s looking to grow its tourism sector in the coming years,” David Thompson from JTS told the Guardian paper. “To do so will require both international tourism expertise and foreign language skills.”
Since 2009, foreign interest in travelling to North Korea has increased amid Pyongyang's efforts to lure in visitors. The nation opened the Masik Pass ski area, billed as the "most exotic ski resort on Earth" and offers surfing tours along the east coast. In December, the country launched a new website highlighting its attractions, including a water park and missile sites, to draw tourists.
An estimated 6,000 western tourists now visit the reclusive country every year, with a small fraction of those coming from the United States, despite the U.S. State Department's strong recommendation that Americans do not travel there.
Still for some, the idea could be attractive, since any travel to North Korea must be through an accredited tour company where travelers will be accompanied at all times by a minder.