The Pyongyang Summer Language Program 2017


Would you like to study in North Korea? You can, with Tongil Tours. Tongil Tours is one of the first agencies to offer concentrated language study in North Korea, at a local university, and we continue this important tradition with the 2017 Pyongyang Summer Language School. As an academically-focused travel agency, we are committed to making sure that our language program meets the highest standards.

Applications are now open for all international students.


The 2017 Pyongyang Summer Language Program is a rigorous, intensive three week immersion experience that will help Korean language learners move to the next level in their language skills. The focus is on conversation with native language speakers. The program caters to all levels from beginner and intermediate to advanced. Beginning Korean language learners are welcome. The course is intended for serious language learners who are committed to focusing on their studies every day. Upon acceptance, you will be part of an elite group: among some of the first westerners to ever study at a DPRK university. Upon finishing, you will be issued with an official certificate of completion from the university.

By Application Only

Optimal candidates will:

  • Have an academic interest in focused Korean language study;
  • Be committed to devoting their full attention to making the most of the course;
  • Share with us the motivation to help foster friendship and understanding through academic exchange;
  • Be ready to have an amazing experience studying abroad

Key Program Dynamics

Almost-total immersion
All intermediate and advanced students will be required to sign a document pledging to only use only Korean. The beginner class will have more flexibility. Professors and coaches will communicate the language rules at time of orientation. Additionally, students will be allowed to speak their language of choice at at least one weeknight activity (see below).

Highly practical, conversation focus
Get daily conversational practice with a North Korean language coach.

Built-in comprehensive tourist agenda
Visit key sites in Pyongyang, while every weekend travel to places outside Pyongyang on Saturday and Sunday, staying overnight. By the end of your three week course you will have visited many fascinating sites of interest both in Pyongyang and other DPRK locations, all the while practicing and strengthening your Korean language skills.

Learn from North Koreans
Your professors, instructors, and coaches will be North Korean. Outside of sensitive political themes, you can chat about anything and really build friendships.

World-class instruction
Kim Hyong Jik University of Education (김형직사범대학) is one of the top universities in the DPRK, and has the best program for Korean as a foreign language.

Overview of Daily Study in North Korea (Monday-Friday)

Please note that minor changes in daily schedule and overall itinerary are possible due to circumstances beyond the control of Tongil Tours. Trips to areas outside of Pyongyang will be held on the weekends.

9:30 – 11:30 CLASSES

12:00 – 14:00 Lunch & Break
14:00 – 15:00 Study Lab
15:00 – 17:00 Sightseeing & language practice with coach

17:30 – 18:30 Dinner
18:30 – rest, homework, and periodic nightly activities, including pub crawl, karaoke, and others

Photos From 2016 Program

Former Student Testimonial

Thanks to Tongil Tours for making this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity happen; based on my experiences there, it seems that they will be able to open even more doors in the near future. Studying in the DPRK enables you to learn more than just the language – it opens your eyes to the realities of daily life in a country that very few understand. For me, it even shed new light on the world I come from. Your perceptions and experience will certainly be revised, if not altered.”
—Travis Jeppesen
lecturer in Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art, London, UK


Included in Tuition:

  • Lodging, board, and transportation while in DPRK
  • Transportation to and from Beijing
  • All materials, books, and resources for study
  • Language coaching outside of class

Not Included in Tuition:

  • Chinese double-entry visa
  • Lodging in Beijing prior to commencement of program
  • Incidental expenses throughout, such as souvenirs, personal items, extra food/drink etc.
  • DPRK visa (EUR 50)
  • Some excursion fees (5-35 euros), special meals (~5-10 Euros). Further details with pre-departure email
  • Tips for the guides and drivers

Download the Information Flyer

Ideas for using the information flyer:

  • Share this opportunity with students and faculty at your school by posting the flyer on a department bulletin board;
  • Attach to an email;
  • Send it out to a mailing list;
  • Print it out for a friend or colleague;


In the news

Huffington Post blog post by Tongil Tours founding partner and program participant Alek Sigley on being the first Australian to study in a North Korean university:

NKnews interview with Tongil Tours about the program:

Tongil Tours blog: the inaugural 2016 program: