Honors student to teach in South Korea

Hayley Hilbert

Sarah Schrader has been interested in Korea since she began taking Tae Kwon Do at the age of 11.

Now, Schrader, a Bowling Green junior, has been selected to participate in the TaLK program, where she will be spending six months teaching English in Jeollabuk-do, South Korea.

The TaLK program — Teach and Learn in Korea — began in 2008. Directed by South Korean president Lee Myung-Bak, TaLK ensures support of public English education in rural areas of South Korea, where access to higher quality education is limited, according to a WKU press release.

“English is a vital skill in Korea,” said Schrader, a double major in chemistry and biology. “In fact, English is becoming increasingly important in Korean professions. I’m excited to meet my students and to provide them with the much-needed access to English education.”

Working alongside Audra Jennings, director of the Office of Scholar Development, Schrader fit the TaLK program into her goals and plans.

“Sarah is an extremely talented and dedicated student. She is always ready to seize the opportunities before her,”  Jennings said via email. “Sarah was able to articulate how she could contribute to the program and how the program would benefit her.”

Schrader is admittedly nervous for the trip and said that she has no formal education in Korean language. However, she did begin to study the language this past summer.

“I know this will prove to be a unique opportunity for me,” she said. “I will be helping the Korean students develop skills needed for international opportunity while also learning lessons in Korean life myself.”

Schrader’s story has sparked interest in the TaLK Program among other WKU students who are looking to study abroad.

Louisville freshman Mallory DePorter stumbled upon Schrader’s story while on the WKU website.

“TaLK seems extremely beneficial and rewarding,” DePorter said. “I plan on learning more about the program and how to participate in it.”

Jennings recognizes the unique opportunity TaLK provides, and hopes for a growth in the number of students who, like Schrader, take initiative to become engaged in the program.

“TaLK allows current students and graduates to spend time abroad teaching English.” Jennings said. “We hope that more WKU students will take advantage of all of these amazing opportunities to live, work and learn abroad, engaging in cultural exchange.”

Schrader departs for South Korea on Sunday.

“I’m both worried and thrilled about being in a radically new place on my own,” Schrader said. “This is different from anything I have ever done before.”