Teach North Korean Refugees: 
Employment and Education Preparation Project

How can North Korean refugees adjust to life outside of North Korea? There have been policies focusing on assimilation, integration, increased benefits, better education programs, networking, health and psychological support. Based on feedback from North Korean refugees, the best way they can adjust: Jobs! Meaningful employment would provide a foundation for North Korean refugees to be self-sufficient rather than relying on government subsidies or programs that fail to achieve their lofty goals.

The Teach North Korean Refugees Global Education Center (TNKR) is launching the Employment and Education Preparation Project for North Korean refugee learners. This project will engage North Korean refugees with improving their English within the context of work, acquiring job skills and career development. This may be the first project focusing on North Korean refugees improving their job skills for the world of English. We will use the MOOC curriculum in partnership with the US Embassy of Korea.

Before becoming a TNKR volunteer, applicants are required to attend both an orientation and a matching session. Information about upcoming events, including orientations and matching sessions, can be found on our Events page. Based on feedback, refugees say they prefer longer term connections with volunteer language helpers, so longer term commitments are preferred, but all are welcome to join.

Track 3 focuses on providing 1:1 individualized English mentoring in an English immersion environment. We expect all mentors to be ready to lead sessions in English only. To learn why we decided to go “English-only,” please take a moment to read Casey Lartigue’s Korea Times column here: http://koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/opinon/2018/01/137_243100.html

TNKR’s projects

TNKR has three main projects focused on North Korean refugees::

Track 1 Flexible Tutoring: North Koreans can pursue their own study path, and is intended for refugees who wish to boost their existing skills through private, personalized lessons with fluent English-speaking teachers.

Track 2 Public Speaking: This is intended for North Korean refugees who want to engage in public speaking or who simply want to learn the art of public speaking.

Track 3 Employment and Education: North Korean refugees who are seeking employment or education opportunities in English can study in this track with mentors.

All TNKR sessions are conducted in-person, in English, and utilize a student-centered learning model, which prioritizes refugees’ personal study goals and interests.

Additionally, to help build TNKR into a sustainable and more effective organization, share your skills and talents in our Volunteer Leadership Academy.

Refugee Interns

As part of this project, TNKR hopes to hire North Korean refugee interns who can get experience in our office. They will be able to study with mentors and get practical experience in our office. Please consider supporting this by becoming a monthly donor. If you are interested in hiring a North Korean refugee, please contact TNKR co-founder Casey Lartigue.


Application Process: Track 3 Mentoring

Apply here: Track 3, Mentoring

  • Formatted Resume (keep in mind this will be your one opportunity to communicate with refugees before meeting them at the Matching session)
  • ARC, Passport, or State-Level ID (scan or photo)
  • TNKR Waiver (scan or photo)

*Recommended free scanning apps: CamScanner, Tiny Scanner

To expedite your application:

  • Add Casey (“Y2KC“)  on Kakao Messenger,  then send a message: “Hello, my name is (         ), I am an applicant with TNKR hoping to join Track 3.”
  • Join the TNKR Facebook group

Follow up!

After submitting your on-line application and e-mailing the required documents, please wait for a confirmation e-mail from TNKR.

The orientation session can go a lot faster when applicants are prepared and have a good understanding of TNKR’s special approach, so be sure to watch videos in the TNKR YouTube channel and read about TNKR’s history and process.

All are welcome to apply, but we give first preference for TNKR members. It is easy to become a TNKR member, get started today so you will be eligible to participate in many fantastic activities tutoring, coaching or mentoring North Korean refugees, or join TNKR’s Volunteer Leadership Academy.

Orientation and Matching

Orientation, for TNKR Members, January 11, from 2-4:00 PM

Orientation, open to all, January 19, from 12 noon-2:00 PM (if spaces haven’t been filled)

Matching session, invitation only, February 1, from 12 noon-2:00 PM