TravelBud - Teach English Abroad

TravelBud

COVID-19 Program Updates
Due to global health & safety concerns and travel restrictions related to the coronavirus, TravelBud has decided to pause some of their upcoming programs temporarily. Learn more about COVID-19 updates to stay tuned regarding program information.

About

At TravelBud everyone you deal with is someone who has taught abroad before and has walked the very path that lies ahead for you through teaching abroad. We all passionately believe in the life-changing power of the teach abroad experience, both for those we place and for the students who gain new mentors from around the world.

We provide the most all-inclusive and holistic programs when it comes to teaching abroad, which include guaranteed placements at vetted schools, in-depth cultural orientations, 24/7 in-country support, TEFL certification courses tailored specifically to the country you'll be teaching in, and so much more.

Something we're extremely proud of is our comprehensive support system. There is always someone just an email or phone-call away to answer any question you might have, no matter how big or small - we've always got your back through the incredible journey of growth and adventure that teaching abroad provides!

We're offering flexible enrollment options amidst COVID-19. Our next available start dates are:

Costa Rica: June 29th
Japan: July 27th
Thailand: June 29th
Vietnam: July 27th
South Korea: July 27th
Myanmar: June 29th
Website
travelbud.com
Founded
2013
Headquarters

Office SG101B1, Great Westerford
Corner Dean St & Main Rd
Cape Town
7700
South Africa

Reviews

Default avatar
Anthony
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I found the program to be very beneficial. Originally I was going to do everything myself, but decided to go through the program to have extra support and guidance. I found that it was a very worthy investment, as the support team was well-organized and helpful in getting me acclimated and prepared for my experience.

The support with logistics, paperwork, bank accounts etc. is facilitated and also the cultural orientation was valuable. Meeting so many other people was a great way to start my time abroad, as I made friends and developed a network from the start.

While there is room for improvement, I found overall the experience to be smooth and helpful. My teaching placement worked out for me and I am happy where I was placed. It was a pretty seamless process and I have been enjoying and learning much in my time here.

Originally I wanted to be in a bigger city with a lot of ex-pats, but my placement turned out to be in a small area. I decided to just trust in the process and it turned out that I had a great experience. I still made friends and had a life-changing experience. I think that you might grow and learn more being outside your comfort zone.

If you're new to teaching abroad and you want a strong support network to help with all the logistics and also as a way to meet others, I think this program is a strong option.

What would you improve about this program?
I would allow a bit more down time during the 1 week cultural orientation (for those doing placement only, not TESOL course). I found the days were packed with classes and activities and there wasn't much time for me to run errands or simply get a little rest. Otherwise, I thought it was very well organized.
Default avatar
Katie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I would highly recommend Travelbud to anyone wanting to teach abroad. I have been teaching in the United States the past 4+ years and I decided to teach abroad to learn more about how I could support my students who are English Language Learners (ELL) or learning English as a Second Language (ESL). I have very little experience working outside the US so I was looking for an agency that could support me throughout the whole process. I reached out to Travelbud in January of 2019 and for the next year they worked closely with me to make sure I was supported every step of the way. From understanding the Thailand school year to TESOL questions to all of my Visa questions and the long process of getting my teaching degree notarized, authenticated, and legalized, Travelbud was with me every step of the way. Travelbud also helped me connect with an in-country program that allowed me to get my TESOL degree before actually teaching in a school. Every question I had throughout my year of preparing to go abroad was answered quickly and accurately. It felt like I had a friend holding my hand throughout the process and I LOVED that.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Travelbud helped me feel at peace with all of my worries by answering all of my questions without judgement each step of the way. If you have any questions—even if you’re afraid it’s a stupid question—just ask! Mine ranged from Visa questions to how many pieces of luggage was too much for 3 months abroad. Travelbud was always beyond helpful!
Default avatar
Sara
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TravelBud has been extremely supportive since the very start. I originally wanted to come to Thailand at the end of March (in a few weeks), but I changed my mind last minute a few months ago and wanted to come in December instead. TravelBud was super quick to getting me all the information I needed to be in Thailand faster than originally planned. TravelBud has constantly reached out to me to make sure I have all the help I need.

Being in Thailand for 2.5 months now has already been life changing. The TESOL course brought me some amazing friends who I still speak to every day. Going to my placement school was really scary because it was entering this unfamiliar territory to do a job I had never done before. I didn’t think culture shock would get me, but it definitely did! It was something I was quickly able to overcome with constant support and the community I was quickly able to build in my new city. I can’t express enough how special this program is and how everyone should really have an experience like this!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
When I got off the bus in my placement school city. I don’t usually get stressed about something until it’s actually happening. I got off the bus and realized this was really happening and I was suddenly horrified. This feeling goes away quickly as Thailand is the most welcoming country I’ve ever been to and the people instantly make you feel at home.
Default avatar
Aubrey
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Every single moment since I have arrived in Vietnam has felt like a vivid story in my head. Not only are we just learning in the classroom- we are learning every time we step outside. Whether it’s reading signs , asking questions to local people in Vietnamese or looking in doorways as you pass down side streets... there is truly never a dull moment. Travel Bud had me feeling so well prepared for this trip. The comfort they provided me set the tone for a welcoming , warm journey into Vietnam. I have felt extremely looked after and the way that the staff (especially Saskia) responded to every question I asked no matter how big or small was both genuine and helpful.

What would you improve about this program?
Personally I think TravelBud was everything I could have asked for. I think the handoff to their in-country partner could be a bit smoother. I found a few times that they started providing me with differing info than I had been told initially by Travel Bud
Default avatar
Sherry
1/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Bait and Switch. Not worth the value. This program did not provide the services listed on the website. Travelbud did not provide 24/7 support after I arrived in Panama and did not request feedback after I completed the program. The TeachPTY host changed the agenda each week employing others to teach during the time I was supposed to be teaching English to the students.

My attempts to provide feedback to Teach PTY and Travelbud have been ignored.

Why should someone pay to "volunteer" while others make a profit?

What would you improve about this program?
Don't charge so much money to volunteer, honor what was promised to the volunteers. Be honest and upfront if the agenda changes, so the volunteer has plenty of time to adjust or change plans. Be respectful, listen to both sides without judgement and offer refunds of the contract was breached (as it was in my circumstances)
Response from TravelBud

Hi Sherry,

Thank you for your feedback. As mentioned over email, we are very sad to hear that you felt your experience on our Panama program did not live up to your expectations and are sorry that you did not accept our offer to speak over the phone and hear your feedback.

As you know, TravelBud offered this program through our in-country volunteer partner in Panama, Teach PTY, where TravelBud provides the majority of the pre-arrival support and Teach PTY provides all the in-country services which includes things like airport pickup, accommodation, volunteer activities, meals, and 24/7 in-country support.

Saskia provided you with full pre-arrival support assisting you with guides on what to pack, what flights and insurance to purchase, visa guidance, and answering all your questions before arriving in Panama. She also checked in with you regularly throughout your time on the program.

After investigating your feedback thoroughly we have found that in addition to TravelBud providing extensive pre-arrival support, Teach PTY went over and above to make your experience as pleasant as possible and provided all the services listed on our website.

When it comes to volunteering abroad, it's important to be adaptable to changes in plans and schedules which sometimes takes place to accommodate the needs of the community one is working with. We are sorry that the change in schedule which took place had a negative impact on your experience but hope you can understand the needs of the community need to be prioritised when it comes to volunteering abroad.

We hope that over time you will be able to look back on this experience with a change of heart. Volunteering abroad is no walk in the park but it provides a great opportunity to step outside of your comfort zone, travel to and explore a new country, help local communities in need, and gain a new perspective.

We wish you all the best for your future endeavours, Sherry.

The TravelBud Team

Jobs

Programs

Displaying 1 - 6 of 6
TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Thailand with TravelBud
Thailand
67 reviews9 interviews

Teaching in Thailand offers some incredible opportunities to push your...

TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Vietnam with TravelBud
Vietnam
17 reviews3 interviews

With modern cities, a tropical climate, fascinating history, unique...

TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in South Korea with TravelBud
South Korea
13 reviews3 interviews

If you have a degree and are looking to get the holy trinity of gap...

TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Myanmar with TravelBud
Myanmar
3 reviews4 interviews

If you're passionate about exploring life off the beaten track and are...

TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Costa Rica with TravelBud
Costa Rica

Teaching English in Costa Rica offers the wonderful opportunity to...

TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Japan with TravelBud
Japan

Japan has become the most popular Teach Abroad destination in the...

Alumni Interviews

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

Megan-Paige Smith

Megan is an adventurous spirit. Always seeking out new opportunities and pushing herself out of her comfort zone.

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because I have always wanted to travel, but I did not want to stop working or put my career on hold. This program offers you the best of both worlds. You can travel and get to see all different parts of Korea and other Asian countries while working and building up your resume.

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

This program assisted me with general information about the documentation I needed. The program coordinators issued a checklist of documents, such as a criminal background check, certified degrees, etc. Thereafter gathering and collecting my documentation was then my responsibility.

They also organized the inland teaching program in South Korea, where my accommodation and the ins and outs of the TESOL course was organized for me.

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

Always be open-minded and have a positive attitude. This is truly a wonderful experience and it helps if you start off with a positive attitude. The Korean culture can, at times, be a big adjustment. Just remember they are trying to adjust to your culture as well.

Be respectful and be willing to learn.

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

During the TESOL course, an average week is jam-packed with an array of teaching classes and cultural tours. While getting your TESOL certificate, you are also learning about the Korean culture as well as exploring some popular tourist spots.

Once you are placed in your school, an average week would typically consist of 6-8 teaching hours per day during the week. Weekends and other holidays are perfect opportunities to travel and explore South Korea and even nearby Asian countries, like Japan. Each school is different, though, so working times all depend on the school you work for.

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

My biggest fear going into this experience was not being able to adjust to the Korean culture. However, this fear quickly evaporated once I had settled into my school. My co-teachers were a lovely group of ladies who taught me basic Korean etiquette. Also, learning a little bit of the language can go a long way and can help you assimilate yourself better. Simple phrases in Korean can help you call a taxi or ask for directions if you are lost and really can make a difference in a stressful situation.

Is there any other advice for prospective travelers?

If there is one thing I’d like prospective travelers to know is that the expat groups in South Korea are wonderful. They are filled with people that are all in the same boat as you and many have had ample experience.

Most groups have meetups and coffee sessions and hiking trips. These groups really help if you are looking to make friends or meet new people, and it was so much fun for me to try all different kinds of activities.

Staff Interviews

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

Nooru

Job Title
Enrolments Coordinator
Nooru is one of our enrolments coordinator's here at TravelBud. Her role is to advise and facilitate individuals who have a zest for travel to explore one of our amazing teaching and volunteer programs worldwide. Nooru recently traveled through Europe and returned with a refreshed sense of respect for different cultures.

What is your favorite travel memory?

Tough one. I firmly believe that a 'holiday' doesn't end when you return back home, back to everyday life, but rather remains with you for a lifetime in the form of memories, pictures, videos, tags snaps and posts.

My favourite travel memory consists of a group of things I have experienced; when looking back, the ones that stand out the most is definitely eating one of the local delicacies in Saudi Arabia, only to find out that I was actually eating camel liver, getting to see Mickey and Minnie at Disneyland Paris and surviving the Tower of Terror, being thrown sideways while riding the dunes in Dubai, meeting the locals in Turkey and breaking language barriers in Spain.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have learnt that sharing my own travel experiences can help our applicants who have maybe never independently traveled before be more open to different possibilities; giving of yourself can mean so much to the next person.

I have grown and developed to be more open in sharing my love for travel with those who may be able to fall in love the same way.

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

How they never believed that they could take on a new job, a new country with no friends or family beside them or without the comforts of the Western World and how they survived the challenges and bumps and came out even stronger believing in themselves and how they will continue to grow and develop because of their experience abroad.

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

Our wildlife conservation program in South Africa. I have been on the program before and would return in a heartbeat; once you've been bitten by the South African Big 5 it will forever remain close to your heart.

I have learnt so much about the Big 5 and conservation in general while on this program, but more so I have learnt to go beyond my comfort zone. Never in my wildest dreams did i think I would survive one month in the middle of the South African bush so close to nature, which was truly an amazing experience.

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

Our company is unique because we are a group of like minded individuals who have either taught aboard or volunteered aboard before. We are able to relieve our experiences with our applicants each and every day and ease any anxieties they might be feeling, knowing that they have a team behind them every step of the way.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The biggest success factor at TravelBud is having a team so passionate about what the organisation does, having people who care about people and making sure that the hard work you put in never goes unnoticed.

Also, for ensuring the success of a company, one needs to trust that self-belief and hard work will earn you success.