TravelBud - Teach English Abroad

TravelBud

About

At TravelBud everyone you deal with is someone who has taught or volunteered abroad before. We all passionately believe in the life-changing power of the teach & volunteer abroad experience, both for those we place and for the students who gain new mentors from around the world. We carefully select each program to ensure it both makes a beneficial impact on the community it's based in and is a rewarding and life-changing cultural experience for the teachers & volunteers too.

Something we're extremely proud of is our comprehensive support system. Whether it's before departure or once you're overseas there is always someone just an email or phone-call away to answer any question you might have no matter how small - we've always got your back. And it doesn't end there, we've kept in touch with many of our alumni for years after they return back to life at home. When you sign on with TravelBud you'll become part of our global family for life!

Website
travelbud.com
Founded
2013
Headquarters

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

Upcoming Start Dates for our Paid Teaching Programs in Asia

Thailand: December 30th (Closing November 4th)
Vietnam: February 24th
South Korea: March 2nd
Myanmar: January 27th

Reviews

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Beth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I chose to go through travelbud to teach in South Korea. Although the process of getting here is stressful thanks to all the documents and forms travelbud especially Saskia is incredibly helpful in making sure everything is filled out correctly and that you show the best of yourself. They also take great time to ensure that the schools you are placed at are good schools and that you will be safe and looked after properly in your placement.

I am at a private school in a small city, I have a modern one bedroom apartment with a bed and small kitchen area. I teach children from the ages of 7-16 during the week and on weekends can explore this beautiful country.

When in Korea they continue to look after you and check up on you. I couldn't recommend them enough and if anyone is wanting to go teach abroad go get in touch with them!

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Katie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am currently living and teaching in Thailand after completing my TravelBud TESOL course and placement, and I am having an absolutely amazing time. The cultural orientation and course fully prepared me for life in Thailand, and I felt very ready to being life as a teacher here. I was able to gain experience in the classroom through my TESOL, which made me feel more prepared for teaching than those I have met that went with online certifications. I also made amazing, life long friendships through TravelBud that I have maintained throughout my time here. We have been able to travel together, both during and after the course, and have experienced many of the amazing things that Thailand has to offer. Teaching in Thailand is an amazing, life changing experience and working with TravelBud makes the process very easy and even more rewarding.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advise future travelers to, first of all, do this program! And once you are on the program, I would definitely advise you to take full advantage of every opportunity. Say yes to everything, and go on every trip possible. Fully insert yourself into your local Thai community and participate in as many activities as possible. You won't regret it!
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Matthew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I found my experience with TravelBud to be unique, and exhilarating. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I was given here in Thailand. I have been teaching for approximately 4 months at this point in time. I have hiked to temples in caves, I have gone swimming in the ocean, I have attended multiple football games (Go Buriram!), and had the fortunate opportunity to share meals, coffee, and stories with people in this wonderful country. Everything began by a 1 month TESOL program in Thailand. They picked us up from the airport, and we were able to make acquaintances with several like-minded personalities that have the same desire, and motivation to leave their homes and come to teach English in Thailand. From here we traveled to the location we would spend the next month, Hua Hin Thailand. Home to the King's Summer Palace, where you will meet countless new, and amazing people, including some incredible local people. This was a fantastic place to begin the journey simply because it is used to foreign tourists, but not to the point of being over-saturated. The English proficiency is high enough that you aren't completely and utterly lost you will use this time to make some friends with local Thai people, and truly break out of your shell an incredibly useful skill in your endeavor. The TESOL course provides you with the framework to be a successful teacher, and the instructors are all ex-teachers, or sometimes even current teachers themselves within Thailand. During the course you will gain a new mom, known as แม่ "Mother" in Thai. As well as make many new and beneficial additions to your circle. With a full month of immersive instructions, and a great opportunity to begin your immersion into Thai culture you are given the chance of a lifetime to show your worth, and to show yourself just how life changing this experience can be. Use this month as an opportunity to delve into places far outside your comfort zone, this is your chance. You will get hands on experience teaching in a school, as well as have the opportunity to be surrounded by wonderful dogs to help relieve stress while finishing up the course. With guaranteed placement you can rest easy about where you will end up being placed. While you don't find out where you are placed until the last few weeks of the one month course, it really shouldn't matter. They do their best to place you where you wish to be placed, but you are here to experience a new culture, to see a new part of the world, and to change the lives of hundreds of children. I assure you, wherever you end up being placed, it will be the experience you want as long as you are willing to jump in. I requested the North originally, preferably close to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, I am now located in one of the less tourist traveled areas known as Isan. I am grateful that I am here, I feel fortunate that my request wasn't carried out. Being here has afforded me countless opportunities and things I never expected, and would not have been able to get in the North. So wherever you end up, don't fret. Just ride with the experience, take it easy, relax, and "Mai Bpen Rai"(It's okay… everything is okay… don't worry).
Cheers, and enjoy your new life as a world-citizen.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Jump in, lower your expectations and you will be amazed, and shocked, and taken aback by everything that comes your way. If you set no bars, every moment will be a flurry of joyous emotion.
Getting on the plane is the most surreal experience, don't be surprised if your 1 year teaching adventure turns into 1.5 years, 2 years, 3 years, or 5 years.
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Leah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After graduating university, I knew I wanted to deviate from the traditional path of finding a 9 to 5 job and settling down. Nowadays, there is an abundance of online teaching abroad sources to help you get started. I did extensive research trying to find reputable company to go through. TravelBud really calmed my nerves about all the logistics of moving abroad. Lucy was so supportive and walked me through steps of the visa process and important paperwork. I currently teach first grade math and am loving it. There is something really special about the culture, language, and people of Thailand. I've met so many wonderful Thai people that love sharing their culture and customs. I would definitely recommend teaching abroad to anyone who is interested in stepping out of their comfort zone and experiencing culture.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be flexible and adapt to the 'mai bpen rai' thai way of life. Thailand is a very relaxed country - don't try to change the system and go with the flow.
Default avatar
Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Before finding this program, I was set to go to Colombia. Issues meant that 9 months of plans fell apart. It was January when things went wrong and I was in Thailand by March, all thanks to TravelBud.

I had never had to do a visa before (Colombia was visa free for me at the time), never had to apostille a certificate, never had to do a police check and background check, it was all very daunting. TravelBud made this process easy, so easy I was done in a month.

I already had a TEFL, so TravelBud made sure I had a job before getting there. The pay was great (very comfortable) and even when an emergency struck 3 months into my new adventure and I had to return home, TravelBud helped there too. Their service helped me in a time of great need

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing at all.

I was very comfortable and secure

Jobs

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Amy-Lee Greeves

From trying new things to going on solo adventures, Amy-lee has always been an adventurer at heart. Therefore, saying yes to teaching abroad in Vietnam was a no-brainer.

Amy-Lee Greeves

Why did you choose this program?

I've always been passionate about enjoying what I do and after working in my first job out of University, I felt myself getting stuck in a mundane routine.

I always used to see people posting on social media about teaching abroad, so after doing some research and seeing all the positive reviews of the program, I decided to take courage and go on an adventure.

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

TravelBud was incredible in their level of support and advice. From explaining the process of authenticating my documents to giving me advice on what to pack, their support was great. The whole process seemed a bit overwhelming at first but their step by step process really made everything manageable.

Their staff was friendly and always available to answer any of my questions. One of great things about TravelBud is that the staff I communicated with had all taught abroad, so they knew exactly how I was feeling and were able to provide realistic and relevant advice.

With advice from the TravelBud team, I basically had to make sure all my documents were sorted and up to date and they provided assistance with the rest.

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

I'd like to share a quote by C.S Lewis: "courage, dear heart". In the beginning it may seem like there are so many things to do and things may get a bit overwhelming, but remember to take courage. Every great adventure starts by stepping outside your comfort zone and embracing every opportunity with a positive attitude.

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

TravelBud provided support in my home country and I did my TESOL course with their partner in Vietnam. They had a well thought out program throughout the duration of the course. During our first week we had cooking classes, cultural excursions and street food tours among many other exciting activities to experience Vietnam.

We then began our intensive TESOL course, attending lectures every day and gaining practical experience by teaching at an English language center. The course was quite intensive, but I am glad I chose the in-class course. I think it provided a more holistic learning experience and it's always interesting meeting people from all over the world.

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

I had so many fears coming in. The biggest one being, was I actually capable of teaching kids? The support I received from both TravelBud and their partner made me realise that I capable of doing anything I put my mind to and that if other people can do it, I can do it too. Saskia from TravelBud really helped with motivating me, reminding me to focus on the exciting adventures that lay ahead.

After getting good encouragement from the team and beginning my teaching career, I realized that I really enjoy teaching. I enjoy being able to share the knowledge I have, building intentional relationships and expressing myself in a way that makes the classroom a safe and fun learning environment.

What's it like living in a foreign country?

I think one of the things many people will say is that the language barrier is sometimes a challenge. I decided to learn a bit of Vietnamese before arriving in Vietnam, and I am glad I did. Granted my vocabulary is very limited, and I am still learning everyday, but it's really amazing to communicate with the locals and experience their excitement at a foreigner being able to speak their language.

It is all about your attitude towards your experience and making a conscious decision to embrace the culture and make the most of every experience.

More Interviews

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.

More Interviews