From Tanzania to Korea: My Experience as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

 My Experience as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer

Before getting caught up in the daily grind of the working world, I decided it was the perfect time to become a Peace Corps volunteer. After graduating university with a degree in engineering, I was placed in Tanzania as a Math and Physics teacher. I loved teaching more than I ever thought I would. I felt such a strong connection with the students, and extended an extra year and a half to see my first students graduate from high school.

A peace Corps volunteer posing with students in a classroom in Tanzania, Africa

At the end of my service, I decided it was time to learn a new language and experience another new country. I packed up and moved to Korea. Fast forward a few years, and I found out about CREVERSE.

It was much easier being in the country and knowing the language. In addition, the recruiter and staff at the branch I worked with were very supportive with the housing and visa process. I feel like there was much less hand-holding than when I applied to the Peace Corps. That being said, it was also a much simpler process to apply for CREVERSE.

The Curriculum

I’ve been very impressed with the materials we use in the classroom, and they are continuously making improvements and updates. This is the first time I’ve used a smart textbook. The students and teacher all use electronic tablets to more personally experience classes and interact with each other and the material. It feels like a great way to escape the rote learning that seems to pervade so many facets of education. There is a set curriculum for each module, so the teacher’s task is made easy. Steps and guidelines are all set out.

The Students

Obviously, the best part of teaching is the students. CREVERSE is no exception. Of course, just like any job or position anywhere, there will be not-so-good days where things don’t go the way you hoped or expected. But coming to work every day and seeing the smiles and hearing the greetings of students who are genuinely happy to see you is one of the best feelings in the world.

The Life

If you’ve discovered a love for teaching as a Peace Corps volunteer and are looking for a change of pace in a new country, Korea is an amazing place. There are countless opportunities to get out and explore this beautiful and historic country. CREVERSE’s teaching hours make it easy to get out before or after work. Try taking Korean lessons, join a dance class, or adventure on your own. Weekends are great for bus trips around the country or hiking trips up the many mountains. Many of the mountains are right in the middle of cities. Or, spend some down time picnicking by the Han River. The possibilities are endless!

Nick Allen Taylor is an RPCV (Returned Peace Corps Volunteer) who spent 3.5 years in Tanzania. He has a BS in
Mechanical Engineering and a BA in International Relations from Oregon State University. He has lived in Korea for over 7 years, 3 of which he’s spent as an English Instructor at CREVERSE.