TravelBud - Teach English Abroad

TravelBud

Why choose TravelBud?

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 includes comprehensive and award-winning pre-departure support, guaranteed job 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
Isaias
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Helpful and fast response!

When I first started thinking about traveling to teach English abroad I was very intimidated. Luckily I found Travelbud and the amazing people there made my experience and preparation so much easier and less stressful than I could have imagined. This is an amazing and life changing experience! It changed my life for the better and all of the reps were super helpful whenever I had questions! Kim especially was always helpful and kind when I needed help! Korea has been an unforgettable experience! Good food, great people, safe area, good accommodation, fair pay. There are also so many amazing places to go and sites to see. I highly recommend trying this if you’re looking for a new experience or life change.

Pros
  • Amazing country
  • Good food
  • Unforgettable experience
Cons
  • Language barrier
Response from TravelBud

Hi there Isaias,

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible experience with Travelbud! We are thrilled to hear that your teach English abroad journey was made easier and less stressful with our support. It warms my heart to know that your time in Korea has been unforgettable, filled with good food, great people, and memorable experiences. Hearing about your fun-filled experiences thus far, takes me back to my time in Korea and reminds me of all the fun I had there :)

Your kind words about our team, especially your support coordinator Kim, are truly appreciated. We strive to provide the best assistance, and it's wonderful to hear that we could make a positive impact on your adventure. I am delighted that you found the overall experience life-changing and that you would recommend it to others seeking a new and transformative journey.

Should you ever have more questions or if there's anything else we can assist you with, please don't hesitate to reach out.

We at TravelBud all wish you continued joy and success on your teaching journey and any future adventures.

Safe travels and warm regards,
Chelsea & the Travelbud Team

Default avatar
Callum
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Review

The programme has been very useful in providing everything I needed for my teaching career abroad. They provide excellent customer service, and their employees are some of the kindest people I've ever known. They will actively go out of their way to help with any difficulties, and are very knowledgable about the entire process. Saskia has been incredibly helpful, and has made the whole experience a lot less stressful and straightforward. I would definitely recommend this programme to anyone considering teaching abroad.

Response from TravelBud

Dear Callum,

Thank you so much for your review and your wonderful recommendation.

I am so happy to hear that your experiences with Saskia and the team have been so great and that their knowledge and kindness have made the journey of teaching in Japan so easy and enjoyable for you.

Your kind words continue to motivate our team to continue to deliver these amazing experiences for all of our teachers. Please feel free to share any specific highlights from your trip with the team.

I hope you continue to have many more fantastic experiences ahead.

Warm regards,
Ben & The TravelBud Team

Default avatar
Kenyatah
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

What a way to learn yourself in the most accepting place of peace

I think I had the right idea coming here with little to no expectations. I did not realize how much pressure we had in the States to be or not to be many things on a daily basis. I was fueled by appreciation from the start based on overcoming so many odds as a woman of color doing something this crazy, like moving to another country. I chose Costa Rica based on the support from Travel Bud from the very beginning. I want to take this moment to recognize Kim as a huge part of why I continue to let the Pura Vida lifestyle guide me as I learn myself in the most accepting country of inner peace. Another shout out to Adam for his vulnerability in his journey allowing me to know at that time of my life when I needed clarity, the high mountains on this island would give me the perfect view to do so. I can not tell you all of these perfect things that are amongst the forests' green trees and clear waters, the peculiar creatures that you MUST learn share a space with and the amount of rice and beans you will eat, because sometimes it has not been perfect at all. However every day that I wake up in this small town I feel the spirit of the simple life I was told about and no it is not always ideal to not have one-day Amazon shipping for hair products or CHIPOTLEEE, God do I miss those things, BUT I have never been able to understand myself more than I have all my life. From the small precious moments tucked away in Pura Vida in the classrooms to the solitude with the waves, to the bright smiles of women in the local sodas, or the gentlemen that let you cross the road in these crazy streets or the giggles from your little students when you pronounce some Spanish wrong. It really has brought out the best versions of myself and for that, I get the chance to say I know how to live in gratitude every day because of this experience. If you don't believe me, you'll just honestly have to take a chance and come see for yourself. I promise the country won't disappoint you.

Pros
  • learning the langauge
  • networking
  • new hobbies
Cons
  • school options limited
  • communication
  • limited housing options
Response from TravelBud

Hi Keey,
Your heartfelt review has left us deeply touched and immensely grateful for sharing your Pura Vida experience with us. We are thrilled to hear that your decision to embark on this adventure has brought you closer to understanding yourself and appreciating the simple joys of life.
Your recognition of Kim and Adam's contributions to your journey is truly heartwarming. We are honored to have them as part of our team and your experience and sharing this with us continues to motivate the team to push and make sure all our travelers have these experiences.

We understand that your experience in Costa Rica wasn't entirely perfect. There have been challenges and you have embraced and adapted and that is important in any journey. You pushed yourself to understand working in a multi-cultural working environment and that is something to be proud of. While there also may be moments of longing for familiar comforts like Amazon shipping and Chipotle, the irreplaceable experiences you've gained far outweigh any temporary inconveniences. Your words beautifully capture the essence of Pura Vida – the appreciation for the simple things, the connection with nature, and the warmth of the Costa Rican people. Thank you for choosing Travel Bud as your partner in this journey of self-discovery. Your review serves as a testament to the profound impact that immersing oneself in a new culture and embracing its unique way of life can have. We are humbled to have played a role in this enriching experience.
As you continue to navigate the Pura Vida path, we encourage you to hold onto the lessons learned and the connections made. May your next journey be filled with continued growth, gratitude, and Pura Vida!

Best regards,
The Travelbud Team

Default avatar
Ashley
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

A Dream Come True

From the first inquiry to now, this program has been incredible. I have felt heard, seen, understood, supported and cared for this entire process. It is not an easy thing to move across the world, but my coordinators, Kim, SJ and Emma have made an unforgettable impact on my life. Their transparency, patience, relatability, reliability and dedication, to me, is worth more than I can even write into words.

When I first came to Korea, on my first day I experienced a medical emergency. They were so attentive and helped me with everything from the taxi to ensuring I submitted medical claims properly.
My best memory so far is wearing a Hanbok. I really enjoyed connecting with other expats living here.

Second, the school they partnered me with has been a wonderful experience. I love my kids dearly and I have been able to see them grow not only in their academics but socially as well.

I can't thank you enough for helping my dream come true ❤️.
감사합니다~
🇨🇦🇰🇷

Pros
  • Super kind and helpful staff
  • I have made a lifelong dream come true with their help
  • I felt prepared through the program's offerings for life in Korea and didn't experience a lot of culture shock or home sickness because of their help and support.
Cons
  • Personal start-up cost was more expensive than expected
Response from TravelBud

Dear Ashley,

Thank you for taking the time to share your fantastic review about your experience with us at TravelBud. It is so wonderful to read about your "dream come true".

I am delighted to hear that you had an incredible experience throughout the whole process. Most importantly, I am thrilled that you felt seen, heard and understood throughout it all. This is something that we hope all applicants can experience when taking the big leap across the ocean to their new home.

I am glad your medical emergency has been taken care of and that you are all better and well. I think if you can tackle a medical emergency on your first day, there is nothing else that can stand in your way :) I remember the wonderful people I met and relationships I formed when I first visited Korea and to hear about yours makes me genuinely happy for you.

Your kind words are truly motivating for our team, and they reinforce our commitment to delivering unforgettable journeys. We can't wait to welcome you back on another adventure in the future. If you have any specific highlights or suggestions from your trip, please feel free to share them with us. Safe travels, and thank you again for choosing TravelBud.

I hope you continue to have a wonderful and magical time.

Warm regards,
Chelsea & The TravelBud Team

Default avatar
Nydia
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Take a Chance, Go Abroad!

My experiences teaching and living abroad in Thailand through the TravelBud agency are continuing to shape who I am with each day! I have been working and living here since July 2023, am still here until at least March 2024, and would want to be no where else in this world. Want a sure way to test your grit, expand your mind, and build your mental capacity to understand and appreciate cultural differences? Go teach and live abroad!

I embarked on my journey with the TravelBud agency. They seem to only hire people who have had experiences living and working abroad, which is very helpful. My support manager, Kim (South Africa), has been nothing but a true gem for me in my experience. As black women, our experiences through life abroad are VERY different from those of other races. It continues to be comforting that I have Kim to relate to as I tackle the day-to-day challenges that arise. We have developed a life-long connection thanks to Travel Bud!

Through this agency, I was connected to an “on-site” company. I’m guaranteed a job placement, although job security in Thailand is very loose. Schools have the liberty to hire and fire at will! The in country partner has done a beautiful job of leading the hiring process, handling logistics, and keeping up with visa needs. The partner also assists with housing arrangements—- paid through your monthly salary. Most schools pay you a salary in which you can afford to live generously off of. It’s a pretty solid program that’s being run, although I do question the legality of hiring teachers and allowing them to work before they receive official work permits (perhaps some under the table actions happening—- *wink* *wink*).

Please understand that living and working abroad is not all of what it may be cracked up to be. Agencies will show you ALL of the good in what could come with this type of lifestyle, for there is in fact much good in these experiences. However, you must be willing to do a lot of introspective work in order to truly thrive in this type of environment. There will be ups and downs. If you develop the skills needed to turn the “downs” into “ups”, however, you’re sure to have a life-changing experience. You won’t know what it’s like until you’re in your new city, in your new school, and living out the truth of what it is to be abroad. I can honestly say, however, that I’ve received ample support through everything.

If teaching and living abroad sounds like something you’d be into (even if there’s just a small ounce of curiosity), I say go for it!

Pros
  • Generous and Safe Community
  • Food
  • Life-Long Relationships and Connections
Cons
  • Housing
  • Laundry
  • Culture shock/Homesickness
Response from TravelBud

Dear Nydia,

Thank you so much for your review. It is so great to hear that you are enjoying all the wonderful experiences that teaching in Thailand has presented thus far. From my personal experience teaching in Thailand, I can confirm that this is such an amazing opportunity to not only learn to appreciate different cultures, but to also experience real personal growth. I am so happy to hear that you had such a great experience dealing with Kim, and that you were able to relate to her when it comes to dealing with life abroad as a person of colour.

Regarding job security in Thailand, the schools do have the liberty and final decision to hire new teachers at will. The process does depend on who the school wants to interview, budget, how ready they are in terms of documents and the first impression made across videos, resumes and during potential video Interviews, but it is very rare for a teacher to be let go from the school. The school is also governed by the labour laws of the country which can also be very different to that of our own home country which is why, depending on the reason for being let go, you have the support to be placed elsewhere.

Regarding your comment around teaching on a tourist visa, It's the norm to have teachers arrive in Thailand on a Tourist Visa and then switch to a Non B Visa within a few weeks after they start teaching. As long as schools can prove they are in process of completing correct visa paperwork and work permit paperwork, protocol is being followed whilst the application is being processed. If a teacher has all the legalized documents in order from the beginning they will be able to switch to a Non B Visa very quickly. If their legalized degree or other paperwork takes a long time it will lengthen the process as a whole. Luckily our teachers have constant support through the process :)

Adjusting to living in the Land of Smiles can be full of ups and downs, and I can tell you from personal experience that it is important to be willing to put the work in to get the most out of all the experiences on offer. It makes us happy to hear that you are enjoying every moment of teaching and living abroad.

Stay well Nydia, and keep enjoying Thailand.

Warm Regards,
Ben & The TravelBud Team

Jobs

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Interview

Why did you choose this program?

I chose this program because as a teacher I wanted to learn as much as I can about the country, their language and culture. I saw it as a great opportunity to learn how schools operate, about their classroom environment, class management, how students are and how different their education system can be. This program gave me the insight on education and their beliefs when it comes to education.

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

My program provider was very helpful when it came to finding a job. He helped me to get on contact with the recruiter in South Korea. He would provide me with information that I needed while applying for my visa, he would give me contact information on people that can help me with my documents and inform me of everything that I needed to do and send to South Korea.

The only thing that I needed to organize was where to apply for my visa and my plane ticket.

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

My advice for anyone applying for this program is to do research on your destination. I did some research and I'm glad but there are somethings I do wish I knew. If you like to explore and travel make sure to know what you need beforehand and plan your route so that it is easier to get there without getting lost. Maps on your phone will help a lot. Do research on their culture and behavior to make sure that you don't offend them. For example when I was in South Korea I learned that some people will push you out of the way to get to their destination, for Koreans it's not offensive. Try to be prepared as much as you can so that you know how to react to certain things.

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

An average day during the week would be to work and do things you like to do after work. Your working hours will differ so what you do before or after is up to you. In South Korea people love their night life so you will see a lot of people our late at night. Most of the stores are open until late so I usually did my shopping after work. Everywhere I went in my town/city I would walk. It is very safe and most places aren't that far.

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 when I was teaching in South Korea was traveling from one place to the next and eating out. I overcame my fear after testing out the bus system on weekends. I used maps on my phone with navigation and would test out different busses to go to places. I would start early to make sure that if I get lost that I have enough time to make a plan. Most of the people are kind so I would try and ask for directions from stores. When it came to eating out I would usually go out in a group or order at a fast food joint. My director showed me how it works and some restaurant have only Korean menus so I made use of a translator to choose but in some cases I would point to a picture if they have.

What did you do on vacations?

On my vacations I would try to go to different places. One time I went to the beach with my sister and some of our friends. We went to Sokcho and it was a lot of fun. The one funny thing that happened was when we went to one of the restaurant and ordered spicy chicken. I was sharing with one of my friends, we did warn her that it would be very spicy but she didn't care. After taking one bite her face switched between red and white. We laughed because of the face she was making. I had to eat all of it on my own.

Anything else you wish to add?

In the beginning it was very hard because most Koreans are very small. I would sometimes get a shirt from E-mart but most of the time I had to buy clothes from H&M. I think that most of the time foreigners will have to buy online.

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.