Travel Teacher | Connecting volunteers, classrooms and communities

Travel Teacher

About

Empowering you to pursue life-changing experiences around the world, leaving a positive mark on the communities you visit and the environments you explore.

Travel Teacher connects volunteers, classrooms and communities through meaningful study abroad, and volunteer programs. We are passionate about providing opportunities for our volunteers to travel and explore a new part of the world whilst delivering a sustainable service in our partner communities.

Founded
2015
Headquarters

Watercress Terrace
Emsworth
PO107GQ
United Kingdom

Reviews

Default avatar
Jacques
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From the first day the atmosphere was amazing, the people, the community and also the feeling of just being on such as beautiful island. The school was amazing and the students were so welcoming and excited, even over little things we take for granted which was heart warming to see. This experience has made me feel so much more confident whilst working with people out of my comfort zone both professionally and socially. The different trips were also amazing not only could we develop ourselves in the school but also learn the culture as well as the natural beauty that this island has to offer. It was a very social trip which is something I really thoroughly enjoy especially meeting people from all around the world

Would 100% do this again and would recommend

What would you improve about this program?
Cost effective and having transport so not stuck in the one village for a week
Default avatar
Georgie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I spent two weeks of my summer in Fiji this year and I had the time of my life. The memories I have made are truly remarkable and I love sharing them with my friends and family. I could talk about my time in Fiji all day. The locals are so so welcoming and make you feel right at home. Our hosts were so caring and really made you feel like part of the family. Whilst in Fiji, I jumped out of my comfort zone. I made sure I did everything and can honestly say I don’t regret a thing. If you take part in this trip, you are sure to have the best time! I only wish I could do it all again. My favourite Island trip was to Yanuca, it felt like complete paradise. It was definitely one of those moments where you have to pinch yourself. Thank you for all the amazing opportunities!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Do everything, don’t say no, jump out of your comfort zone!
Default avatar
John
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The whole experience in the Cook Islands created more memories and friendships that I could've ever imagined. Throughout the programme, we were given the opportunities to explore the Island. We went to two islands that were breath-taking, offering us a unique opportunity that not many people have. Honestly, the most awe-inspiring part of the journey would have to be the school. Volunteering alongside teachers that were passionate about teaching the next generation was incredible; more so was the fact that I got given the chance to teach. It is inconceivable to put into words just how good the programme was.

I think what I would say to prospective travellers is to go for it. Take the opportunity with both hands and experience a whole new world. Along the way you will meet people that will become friends you never knew you needed. Take every moment in, reflect, be objective and move forward with an open mind.

What would you improve about this program?
It seems that due to unforseen circumstances, transportation was an issue for the group. This was unfortunate for us guys. Maybe next year, of which I think you are already in the process of, is to have a permanant vehicle in the Cook Islands. Other than that, well done on organising the perfect experience.
Default avatar
Charlotte
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

As a cultural exchange and possibly having a conservation outlook, this program works. I was disappointed to initially have signed up for a “sport development” program. There wasn’t any sport development involved whatsoever. I extremely enjoyed the beach clean up aspect and getting involved with local life, maybe some more ideas based around this may work better for future trips as it seems much more accessible. I also think there could have been some more activities as we found ourselves with a lot of free time and when it rained it was no fun at all - as you were just stuck inside. A good experience overall, I have enjoyed my time there but a more structured program would have benefitted me much more. Throw yourself in to every moment and make the best out of a situation you may not be to happy with.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure you’re 100% getting what you signed up for before you fly
Read my full story
Girl with dog on cliff
Millie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I embarked on the Kenya expedition in April 2019 and had the most amazing experience. I was apprehensive before undertaking the experience but was reassured by Travel Teacher throughout. I am so pleased that I chose to go as the experience was so life changing and I will never forget it.

I was pushed out of my comfort zone to undertake farming duties, visit a local orphanage, attending a local church service and helping with Kenyan schoolwork. Sharing the stories with my students back in England has invaluably added to my teaching making my lessons more real and engaging in our recent unit on Kenya.

We also got to engage in the tourist side of Kenya with a safari in Nairobi National Park and Bomas of Kenya which I have always wanted to do but have not had the chance to do so.

The most rewarding part of the experience was getting to know the girls living at Hekima Place and hearing about their lives. I loved getting to know them and see how they were thriving in their lives at Hekima despite their challenging pasts.

The support given from Jenny at Hekima Place throughout the programme was incredible and she worked so hard to support every single one of the girls living at Hekima. I also made some amazing friends whilst undertaking the programme who were like-minded travellers who I never would have had the chance to meet otherwise.

I hope to return to Hekima in the future as I will never forget the experience that I had!

What would you improve about this program?
It would have been great to extend the length of the programme to allow you to build on the experiences that you had with the girls at Hekima.

Programs

Displaying 1 - 4 of 4

Alumni Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Charlotte England

Charlie is never satisfied unless she’s got at least one upcoming flight booked. She’s usually a solo traveller and, at the age of 23, she has no intentions of slowing down any time soon!

Charlotte England

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because it was advertised as a sport development, local interaction and conservation program. I’ve done a lot of volunteering in my life and I’ve always wanted to come overseas. Then I found this program! I’m also extremely passionate about conservation, saving the environment and global warming, therefore doing my bit to help save the marine life and clean up the beaches hooked me in even more.

During the majority of my travelling, I’ve involved myself with local life, which I love to do, so this trip was an absolute no brainer for me!

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

Everything prior to the trip that was included in the cost was already pre-arranged. The communication between me and the company was good; whether it was just a question I needed answering, I always heard back within a couple of days. The only thing you had to arrange yourself beforehand was flight & insurance; any extra spending money you wanted to take and making sure all the pre departure forms/DBS were all completed and uploaded online.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

For anyone generally wanting to travel but are unsure, I always tell them “DO IT”. Whether it’s solo or not, it’ll change your life. The first time is the absolute scariest because you question yourself multiple times whether it’s the right thing or not. Then it just becomes addictive! You get to encounter so many unbelievable experiences that half of the population will never see or understand. It’s definitely made me who I am today and is a massive part of my life.

If you’re choosing the same program I did, try and make sure the itinerary is still the same a month in advance. Mine had been changed around 9 months prior to the trip (something to do with the schools). I said I was still happy to go head and it wasn’t a problem. They assured me this would be the finalized agenda. A week before the trip, I received another one which was mostly the same as before. When I arrived, and during the trip, none of the sports activities were running and some other added extras, such as water sports and day trips, weren’t even offered.

Once I returned home, I later found out it was cancelled as there weren't enough of us on the trip, except I wasn’t informed of that. I most definitely enjoyed my trip and time in the Maldives, but when I arrived to find that what they’re basing this trip on, I was all cut from the program without been informed. I was quite disappointed.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

The majority of the time you get on this program is free time. I enjoy the odd bit of free time now and then, as it gives you chance to relax and become slightly more independent with what you’d like to do with your day. I did find on this trip that there was a significant amount of free time, which started to make me question where the money I had paid for this trip was actually going. I understand there’s a lot of behind-the-scene costs, but when at least 50% of the trip is free time, I did start to wonder.

Prepare for RAIN - when it rains, it rains. Make sure you have something to entertain yourself, like a book or iPad, as there is nothing to do when it’s rainy. We bought some cards which kept us entertained for hours!

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

This may sound like a small fear, but to me it’s a big one! I’m terrified of boats. Big or small, they’re horrendous. TIP: If you fear boats, try looking at a holiday on the mainland and not the middle of the ocean.

On my first day, I encountered extremely choppy waters on an overly hot speedboat. I sat there, throwing up consistently for 2 hours, which, can I add, was actually my first experience of sea sickness. Since this, I was genuinely unhappy about getting on the rest of the boats during the trip. I knew I had to and the best way to fight this fear was to avoid overthinking it.

I took small steps in my mind. First, have breakfast, but not too much. Secondly, walk to the beach. Third, sit and wait for the boat. Then four, get on the boat. Without thinking about the end goal of getting into the boat, I could manage it.

It also got easier throughout the week, as the weather improved and my kind trip partner gave me some of her seasick tablets! I managed to change my views completely by telling myself to remember where I was and how beautiful it was to see these islands by boat and the opportunity to do what I’m doing was a once in a lifetime.

Is there WiFi?

I feel this is an all rounded question for everyone, especially when traveling, as I know how much we love to share our experiences as travelers.

YES, there is WiFi, but I tell you now, don’t bother. The connections out there aren’t great anyway, for obvious reasons.

I can tell you from experience, as much as you feel you might want to use it and check up on your socials or download from your Netflix account, you will regret it.

You’re on a once in a lifetime trip and you might never get the opportunity to do this ever again. Your life can change so fast you might not even see it coming. People back home envy what you’re doing right now and only wish to be doing the same. They’re the ones living through you and your adventures that you need to make sure you return home with everything they are only dreaming about. They want to hear about what you did, where you went, what it looked like, what the food was like, how long the flight was, was it sunny, who did you meet, EVERY single detail and you need to be able to give them that all from your memory, from what you have experienced through your own eyes.

Remember how lucky you are to be here and everything you did In your power to be in this unbelievable part of the world. You do not want to waste that.

More Interviews

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Vani Ruve

Job Title
Country Liason and Field Support - Fiji
Vani is from the village of Namatakula in Fiji. She is the proud mother of two children and wife to husband Watisoni. Vani met Travel Teacher Founder Matt Ray back in 2004 whilst Matt was on his travels in Fiji, they began a friendship which would eventually form the basis of Travel Teachers formation in Fiji. Vani works extremely hard to coordinate the hospitality of volunteers whilst in Fiji.

What is your favorite travel memory?

local Fijians working with Travel Teacher

Growing up in the village of Namatakula and facing the many challenges that we face coming from a developing community, I haven't had the opportunity to travel as much as I would of liked.

I hope that my involvement with Travel Teacher will allow me and my family to travel in the future. I hope one day to be able to visit the UK.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

It was a pleasure for me to see our volunteers integrate into my home village community and adhere to our values and traditions that we hold together so proudly in Fiji.

The best stories that I hear from our volunteers are of their personal achievement and of obstacles that they have overcome in their lives.

I realize that for some volunteers attending our project in Fiji, adapting to village life is a step out of their comfort zone. There is nothing more pleasing for me than seeing individuals thrive and really embrace our culture. I love to keep in touch with all volunteers, Travel Teacher is like a community that continues to grow.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

You would have to join us in Fiji of course! We will introduce you to local life and teach you the values, culture and tradition. Plus If you haven't experienced 'Fiji Time' you really should!

Our projects in Fiji have a huge impact on the children of Ratu Filise Memorial School and I would encourage any prospective volunteers to contribute towards the sustainability of our work in my home village.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Travel Teacher is a special organization. leading up to and throughout our first project there was a vibrancy amongst the village and wider area, a sense that we have an organization who is passionate about supporting our children and our community.

It is a pleasure to be a part of this team and I am proud to be able to assist in ensuring our volunteers have access to a hospitable stay in our village.

More Interviews