TravelBud - Teach English Abroad



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!


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

Upcoming Start Dates for TravelBud's Paid Teaching programs in 2020

Japan: July 27th
Thailand: May 25th
Vietnam: May 4th
South Korea: July 27th
Myanmar: June 29th


Yes, I recommend this program

TravelBud have been an excellent resource, and the experience as a whole has been wonderful so far. I had never left the US before signing up to come teach and it's been great. Vietnam as a whole has been amazing, and the kids I am teaching are fantastic. The companies who guided me through this process have really been exemplary in their ability to make sure everything went as smoothly as possible.

The food here is unbelievable. So delicious, and so affordable. Don't be afraid of street food, it's so good. You quickly get a favorite vendor for most anything you can eat.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Read everything and ask questions. The process can be a bit overwhelming, so it is easy to lose a detail or two and misunderstand a component of the program or requirements. TravelBud are great at guiding you through everything, so don't be afraid to ask. Also, once you start teaching, inevitably you will get sick. So hand sanitizer, plenty of Vitamin C, etc should be in your tool kit going into a placement.
No, I don't recommend this program

I believe travelbud is a good organization if you choose the program that fits you. Most of the programs are geared toward first time teachers and may not be exactly what you expect. You will need to ask a lot of questions to get confirmation on basic logistics. If you have traveled before it is likely you will be able to find something that fits you by simply searching online for jobs within the country. There are hundreds of jobs available with legitimate schools. The coursework for TESOL is very broad and minimal and does not really prepare you to teach English specific to where you are going. I would suggest you take full advantage of every time you have to travel and do it on your own, not with the organization. It is much more authentic and certainly more cost-effective

What would you improve about this program?
The support through email from Travelbud it was good, however once you are excepted into the teaching program and handed off to the teaching program, the help and resources you receive minimal
Response from TravelBud

Hi Heather,

Thank you so much for your review and for raising your concerns. We are sorry to hear that you do not feel our program was the right fit for you. Our program encompasses a lot more than only finding you a teaching job at a reputable school and includes an in-depth (one week) Thai culture and language orientation, a rigorous in-class TESOL certification course, tailored specifically to Thailand, and which includes two full days of teaching at a local Thai school under the observation of your instructor. Our in-country placement team also work with each participant to find them a placement within our trusted school network, and while we cannot guarantee that all preferences can be met, they work tirelessly to find each participant a placement which is as closely aligned with their placement preferences (in terms of the area they want to be placed in, the age of the students they want to teach, the salary they’re hoping to receive, etc.), and finally our in-country team provide 24/7 support throughout one’s teaching placement to ensure our teachers are fully supported throughout - be it guidance and advice on any questions they have or assistance with any bigger challenges or issues they might face while living and working abroad in Thailand as an English teacher. We also offer teaching placements, which include cultural orientations and 24/7 support, in the other countries we offer Paid Teaching programs in to all our teachers once they’ve successfully completed their contract at the school we’ve placed them at - which is completely free of charge.

Our program is certainly suited to first-time teachers and recent graduates but also to anyone who is looking to receive all of the above, rather than just a job placement at a school which has not gone through our rigorous vetting process. Finding a job placement on your own can come with challenges, as (sadly) not every school employer lives up to their contractual obligations and it can be especially challenging when this happens when you are in a foreign country with no support network. We therefore vet all the schools we work with thoroughly and have very strong relationships with the schools within our trusted network, and are on hand 24/7 to support all our teachers should any issues arise with their employers.

In terms of the minimal support and resources you have mentioned, both our pre-departure and in-country support team have gone above and beyond to working to support you, and we are sorry to hear that you feel it does not live up to your expectations. We will continue to work hard to support you and we hope you can have the positive experience which so many of our alumni have shared in having with us.

Teaching abroad is an amazing experience but it does require you to embrace every adventure and challenge with an open mind and step out of your comfort zone. Everything runs at a different pace and in a completely different way to what you might be used to back home, but this is part of the wonderful journey. We hope that while you may feel that this program isn’t right for you now, that you will be able to embrace all the ups and downs and hurdles along the way as they allow you to gain a new perspective, step out of your comfort zone, and ultimately grow as a person.

All the best,

Stu, Co-founder and CEO

Yes, I recommend this program

I'm not gonna lie, I didn't know much about Myanmar. But what an adventure I was in for. I have only chipped away at the tip of the iceburg and this new year will see me travelling further north to see more of this beautiful country.

The Tefl Course was so much fun ( a lot of work though! But manageable.) I was placed at NELC HO teaching young adults and learning teachers here in Yangon. One week into my Job NELCXplore (The Guys who will train you.) wanted to hire me here also to teach adults and children, so I'm split between the two which i thoroughly enjoy.

Throughout the whole experience travelbud were by my side, Saskia and Lydia were my pillars . Alot of contact to the build up to leaving your home country and then just checking in every now and again to see how we are getting along. The ground team here are amazing and really help you adjust to Myanmar life.

I am only 3 months into my 13 months here, and I am so excited to what the future will bring. ✌🏼

Oh... And the visa runs! Means you get to see other part of Asia too!

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
The Shwegadon Pagoda is just breath taking! And definitle you have to go to Bagan!
Yes, I recommend this program

When I decided to come to Myanmar I wasnt sure what to expect. And now its been almost 3 months and I cant imagine myself being anywhere else. We arrived and we were met at the airport by one of the local staff who took us to where we were staying. The next day we started orientation and met all the other people. Im happy to say some of those people are my best friends now. We were all nervous about starting to teach and the support team really helped everyone feel more relaxed. They helped us with our placements and contracts, and also with accommodation. They are always on hand and ready to help if there is anything you need. I started teaching at 2 schools and I am really happy about my placement and love the amazing students and teachers. If you want to experience a truly great adventure and meet awesome people then this is for you. Travelbud was there for support everystep of the way and after and they still keep in contact. Really professional and great people to work with.

What would you improve about this program?
At the moment nothing. Work is very professional and reliable
Yes, I recommend this program

From the minute I signed up for the Teaching and TEFL program in Thailand, TravelBud were there to assist me every step of the way. My program coordinator was super helpful and made me feel completely at ease, she answered all of my emails and questions in a timely manner and was super friendly from our first interaction and throughout.

Once I arrived in Thailand, TravelBud continued to follow up with me, it made what could have been a very nerve wracking experience really easy and fun. I learnt a lot during my actual TEFL program and felt very confident about teaching once I completed the course.

I would recommend TravelBud to anyone thinking of moving abroad to teach as the support they provide is really great, the program itself is great value for money and the constant communication both before and after departure was extremely helpful. This experience was one of a kind and I'm so glad i chose to go through TravelBud, I made friends for life and learnt so much in the process!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
The best advice I would give is to remember that while you are going to have fun and create new memories and experiences, your job is still to be a teacher and it's an extremely important one at that!

If you are just going for an extended holiday, this is not the job for you, Thailand holds it's teachers in high regard and has a great amount of respect for them. It's super important to be aware of this and truly try to be the best teacher you can be! Always remember that your students look up to you and it's important to work hard and be mindful of cultural differences, if you keep this mind I guarantee you will have the most incredible time!



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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.


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.