TravelBud - Teach English Abroad

TravelBud

About

At TravelBud we have all taught abroad before and have walked the very path that lies ahead for you. 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!

Website
travelbud.com
Founded
2013

Reviews

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

Travelbud Review

My experience with Travelbud, and Kim especially, was an overall positive one. They were available to answer all my questions from day one and made this process a very easy one. It could have been more daunting than it was, but they made it very simple and put my mind (as well as my mother's) at ease, especially as a first-time solo traveller going overseas. I was kept in constant communication from the day I applied to the day that I flew to South Korea. The follow up was excellent and they come highly recommended.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn basic Korean. It will really benefit you so much.
Default avatar
Sara
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

Before reaching out to TravelBud, I was struggling to find a teaching job in Thailand on my own. What I didn't realize was that most schools only hire through agencies, making it incredibly difficult to apply to jobs without going through a company. I had only an English Bachelor's degree and an online TESOL certification behind me, making it impossible to find a job on my own. I found TravelBud after several weeks of unsuccessful job searching. Kim was incredibly helpful in guiding me along my journey- her bubbly personality and demeanor helped me to feel at ease and comfortable with the program and the people who would help me get to Thailand. I was prepared to research and complete all of the stressful documents and other hoops before my trip, but TravelBud guided me through the process smoothly and with the least amount of stress possible. The process was very quick as well- I contacted TravelBud in July, received my placement details in late August, and was in Thailand in early October. I have been in Thailand for two months now and I am incredibly grateful that I followed through with this experience. I have learned so much not only about solo traveling and Thai culture, but also about myself. Had it not been for TravelBud, my experience would have been completely different and definitely far more stressful.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
My first two weeks in Thailand felt like a dream. Due to the pandemic, I stayed in Phuket for a week as an alternative to quarantine. TravelBud passed me along to XploreAsia, so after Phuket I stayed in Hua Hin for a weeklong orientation. I fell in love with Thailand immediately in those first two weeks- I made many friends and had many fun experiences. When I got to my placement in a very rural area of Thailand, I felt incredibly lonely for nearly a month. I asked to be placed in a rural area for my own growth purposes and knew that I wanted a slower pace and to feel like I was in Thailand. Asking for this, I knew that loneliness and homesickness would be a factor, but the seclusion hit me much harder than I expected and nearly broke me. To combat this, I began to meditate every day- each morning before school or when I woke in the morning and at times when I felt very low. I took many walks in nature and explored- I took to wandering around my town in the early mornings, listening to meditation music or uplifting podcasts while I soaked in the architecture and life around me. Recently there have been a few long weekends so I have taken advantage of those by traveling to nearby towns, booking a cheap but cute hotel for a night or two. It's not been easy and it wouldn't be fair to claim that it has been, but I knew this would be a challenge when I chose it. I chose to move to a country entirely different from my own for the growth experience and my, have I received it! Though there have been some hard times, I am incredibly grateful that I stuck it out past my lowest points. I am much stronger for it and I now have a wealth of beautiful stories and experiences to share.
Michael-John
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My TravelBud Experience - South Korea

With TravelBud I knew that the most important thing I was getting was security. Obviously, there's a lot of uncertainty going around these days, and there were several moments where I seriously considered turning my future plans in another direction. But, the guarantee and job offer safety that I found with TravelBud eased that uncertainty, and now I'm in Korea and having an amazing time.

Doing research on which agency or program is right for you is a nightmare. People's experiences on the Internet are always going to vary widely. What I can say is that for TravelBud, if you're looking for a secure way to guarantee yourself a job, and future security for any other placement you might be looking for later, TravelBud does it best.

Additionally, the people who you talk to and who help you sort everything out to get to Korea are helpful, responsive and real with you, keeping you well-updated on anything that happens. The person who was assigned to me still talks to me and reaches out, even after my job has commenced. It's a very reassuring presence to have.

I would choose TravelBud again for the support and security alone. Those were my two biggest requirements, and those are the two things they do best, in my view.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Learn some Korean before you arrive! I did, and it helped me an incredible amount. There are quite literally thousands upon thousands of teaching resources on offer online. Use them. Whether you end up within Seoul or outside of it, knowing the language essentials is indispensable when it comes to personal admin and setting things up. Your life will be made a whole lot easier.
Default avatar
M
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching In South Korea

I decided to teach in South Korea in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021. Naturally, the logistics of such a big move were a nightmare, and I was glad that I had experienced coordinators that were able to help me figure out the application and moving processes. Everyone helped me with interviews, finding my preferences, collecting documents, and everything I needed to prepare. I really appreciated all of the guidance and support that received prior to and during my journey to South Korea.

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would definitely learn the language sooner! It really helps to learn some essential phrases beforehand.
Default avatar
Manaal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Living in Wonju

Not only am I happy with my placement, I am very happy with travel bud especially with my coordinator Kim who has made everything so easy. I was hesitant to come to my placement at first as I never heard of the city but I became ver happy as time went on. As for travel bud, from getting my acceptance to packing my bags and moving to Korea, the experience with travel bud has been nothing but amazing, even through a pandemic. As soon as I was in the country I still was getting a lot of support from everyone to make sure my quarantine was going well.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you are to come and teach in any foreign country, please make sure that as exciting of a move it is, the children you teach and become mentors with are also a big part of your experience

Jobs

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Why did you choose this program?

I've known for a few years now that I wanted to be a teacher, but I've also had this urge to travel and have adventures. I chose this programme because it allowed me to do both!

From doing a lot of research, I found out that Korea was a very safe country, the job opportunities and salary were very desirable and so I decided to apply.

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

My programme provider helped me with collecting the right documents, ensuring that all my documents were not only filled out but were able to highlight my best qualities too.

They helped and supported me alongside the whole process, including my move and continue to do so. The fact they've helped me so much is really reassuring as I know I can rely on them come what may.

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

Ask them every single question you have, it is better to ask and have the answers than to be filled with unnecessary anxieties. Please, when coming to Korea, do your research, both on the culture and customs, but also the weather. The weather in Korea goes quickly from one extreme to the other and you really do need appropriate clothing for a very, very hot and humid summer and an incredibly cold winter.

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

Every school is different here in Korea. But for me, I work Mon-Wed-Fri 1:30 pm-10 pm and Tue-Thur 1:30 pm-9 pm. I teach ages 7-16 English. I generally work from textbooks so I don't have to plan a full lesson, although honestly, I would prefer to do my own lessons.

I get a 50-minute break halfway through my day. My school does not provide lunches for me, although we do sometimes go out for meals and get deliveries together.

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 was just being able to survive here in Korea, like know where the supermarkets were, finding friends and getting around. But I've been very lucky in that Gongju has a small but wonderful ex-pat community who are so willing to help you and also have drinks with you after work.

Another fear, however, was how I'd be perceived here. I am a plus-sized girl with piercings and tattoos. Koreans are generally very slim and petite and they are all very uniformed in how they dress and present themselves; tattoos and fatness are things that have a bad stigma attached to them. Although I have had some comments and I do struggle to find clothes, my experience has overall been ok.

What other tips can you give to potential travelers?

Here are some helpful tips for coming to Korea.

1. Please bring clothing for all weathers; the summers are horribly humid and hot, but the winters are freezing.

2. Set up a bank account ASAP; having a card makes life easier.

3. Daiso is a shop that will sell all the home things you will ever need and it's cheap.

4. Learn the language, even if it's just the basics.

5. Learn the culture and history of Korea; it's incredibly important when addressing people and going into buildings.

6. If you are plus-sized, bring your own clothes; you will struggle to buy clothes especially if you are over a UK size 14.

7. That also goes to shoes; if you are over a UK size 5, you will struggle buying shoes.

8. You might find it nice to have some food you're familiar with, so bring packets of herbs/spices, etc., as you'll struggle to find it, especially if you're in a smaller city.

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.