TravelBud - Teach English Abroad



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!



Yes, I recommend this program

A Rollercoaster Ride Worth Going On

I can be a bit of a scaredy cat when it comes to rollercoasters, but I went on despite the highs and lows and got off without any regrets. Going abroad to work in South Korea was definitely a memorable experience with a balance of positive and negative moments.

*I will start with the negative moments first because they never outweighed the good times and I will be completely honest about it because I feel people paint a very fantasized version of going abroad*

Prior to leaving, although the application process took a bit longer than expected, it was pretty straightforward! It was a stressful time, but from what I can recall it was the easy part of this whole program. The travelbud/gooverseas peeps were so supportive and helpful! The only thing that hurt was the cost of all the paperwork )':

I can only recall two rough times I had throughout the whole year, the rest of the bad were very minuscule to me. I originally had been placed in Daejeon, but a few days before my departure, I was relocated to Cheonju, which made things trickier for me because I had already done so much research about Daejeon. I wish that was handled better with enough time as well. The first night in SK was the most difficult. Many things could have been prevented if it wasn't for unpreparedness because 1) I was alone, 2) My Korean was still rough 3) I had no sim-card which meant no service and 4) I had no proper directions to get to my apartment. Although that was the case, the employees were very patient with me and some would direct me to my next location. There was also wi-fi practically everywhere and was able to contact my director and recruiters. I do want to say that on my way to my apt during one of my train transfers, there was staff helping people board while lifting their luggage; I don't know what happened for my case, but one of the helpers yanked me down the train steps and started angrily yelling at me. I still don't know why that happened, but it left me really shaken. At that moment I questioned whether I should have come to Korea because it was only the first night and it was already BAD. Glad I stuck it out in the end! (:

Regarding what work was like, it honestly still feels so surreal! A fever dream. My school was completely new, and by new, I mean everyone working for the school showed up on the first day only to see it was still sort of under construction. I find it funny because I didn't know what to expect and it sure would have never been that. The first month just consisted of cleaning, setting up equipment, and preparing for opening day. Since the school was new, all the higher-ups only focused on attracting parents so they can enroll their kids and as of result, none of us teachers had proper training. Me, my coworkers, and our co-teachers (Korean teachers) were teaching blindly, but the best that we could for our students. It was a very "here's the teaching materials, here's your schedule, figure it out on your own." We had no idea what any of the subjects we were teaching, let alone how they wanted us to approach it or what the goal was. For some reason, I thought that by being an English Teacher, it meant that I would be teaching English as an elective, but it was actually teaching all subjects in English. I wasn't aware that I had to be teaching 1st graders 5th grade level science. Luckily my 5-6 year olds new a bit of English, so teaching and communicating with them was never an issue. If there were times I didn't understand, my co-teacher would help out, so the assistance was great! The second most difficult time I had was when my director placed me with the youngest class for the new school term. They were 4 turning 5 year olds (international age) and they came in not knowing any English. I couldn't even teach and was frustrated because it felt more like daycare. The most important thing during that time wasn't for them to learn English, it was really about building connections with each one of them. Once they finally got used to the class routine and opened up, it made teaching a lot easier. Although teaching was the main point of this program, I realized the most significant thing about teaching was forming bonds with your students. Once you and your class form that bond, you can understand the strengths and weaknesses in yourself and your students better. This helped my actual teaching because I was able to focus on areas that needed more improvement while reinforcing the strengths. I got so attached that I still miss them now because I grew together with my students and witnessed their improvements.

To be completely honest, my school was very disorganized and mismanaged because of my director(s). The horrors you hear about hagwons felt like my school hit all the marks and ranked them all. Contracts were broken, pay was at risk, rumors spread, etc...There were so many lies and trouble caused by management + higher-ups which led many people to quit. My school didn't make a one-year mark and had about four different directors, three supervisors, and many co-teachers coming in and out. I kid you not, there was always a new problem each month, but Korea's work style is very fast-paced we just had to continue on like nothing. At one point, I became unphased that work didn't seem that bad anymore because I was alongside my then co-workers now friends. I think because it was a collective struggle, no one was going through all the mess alone, and that made things easier for all of us. Which now leads me to the good parts:

KOREA WAS SO MUCH FUN! Despite what I went through at my school, I am so thankful that I was placed there, especially at a school with more than one foreign teacher, and fortunate that I clicked with not only them but the Korean teachers as well. We took advantage of every weekend to explore and travel. I think if I was the only foreign teacher, Korea would feel a lot lonelier. Making friends can be tricky because some people already have their friend groups formed while others are struggling to find people they can vibe with. I used facebook, bumble bff, and travel bud's interactive teachers map to reach out to people. It's either a hit or miss, sometimes you hang out with a person once, and with others they instantly become family. There are many opportunities on facebook group pages offering meet-ups that can lead to potential friendships. At least for my experience, I'm grateful that my coworkers became my friends.

Getting the jist of traveling around was super easy! All it took was one try to understand it all (thanks to naver maps, kakaotaxi, ktx app, bus shuttle app, and papago) and the tickets were also cheap! Also if you get shy speaking or practicing your Korean, almost every shop and station had a kiosk machine which made it simple to buy tickets or food. Convenience stores were the best ever! Hungry at 3am? Trip to GS! and the best part was that they were everywhere. When it came to shopping, I had to resist wanting everything. It was all so appealing to the eye. I will warn anyone who's on the bigger side that it's a lot more difficult to shop because every clothing store seemed to only carry small sizes.... even the so-called "free size" would fit too small on me. There were some stores dedicated to bigger sizes, the only thing was that most of these were in Seoul (or any bigger city that wasn't Cheongju).

Everyone was so friendly and kind too, the locals would make sure to help you despite the language barrier. There was a day me and a friend were starving, but it seemed like all the restaurants were closed, until an ajusshi insisted on helping us find somewhere to eat to the point where he walked us to a food court (all communication done was through gestures and broken Korean). Or another time when I had to get my wisdom teeth pulled out. Since I grew close with the Korean teachers, they were always more than willing to set up important appointments for me. It was figuring out the location and building that I had to do. The orthodontist did his best to get his message across to me so I could understand my dental procedure. I did feel alone during this moment, but one of the dental assistants stayed with me throughout the whole process while reassuring me everything was going to be okay. Sometimes I would walk with friends and the locals will wave at us. Korea is very welcoming and open to anyone. I never once encountered any discrimination of any sort. Every person I met was super kind and accommodating.

One of the things I liked about Korea was the safety. Being a woman, there are moments I feel inferior, such as traveling alone, walking by men...I can't help but feel scared. In Korea, I never felt that way. I was placed in the outskirts of Cheongju which meant at night, it would get really dark, quiet, and empty.... my fear should have heightened but nope! I would go on 10pm walks and never once felt afraid. I could travel to a different city and feel confident on my own. I think because I had already traveled miles away from home on my own, there was nothing to be afraid of and everything I had to overcome was possible (does not mean I let my guard down). I always went out with friends, but one of my favorite memories was exploring Gyeongju on my own. I had one goal: See Bulguksa Temple. I didn't plan for anything else such as where I was going to eat, or what other sites to explore, nor did I arrange a timeline for that day. I really enjoyed that about Korea, it felt as if everything was accessible and convenient to do despite the spontaneity. It was relieving to know I didn't need to stress about any of that and could easily figure it out on the spot when the time came. I will also never forget bike riding in Ulsan OR running to the top of a mountain to get to the cable cars before they closed in Mokpo OR going to a free concert on a workday, but having to walk miles back home on a rainy day because there were no taxis available OR being exhausted in hot Jeju OR going to Gwanju just to see a penguin village OR laughing so much at work because of my friends and students OR getting covid from one of your students because your director didn't have anyone take safety protocols to prevent it OR photobooth hopping OR going ziplining with the school's team leader that quit because they're your friend now OR watching Doctor Strange at 1am in Daegu...and the list goes on!....but it only means that anything can happen!

I was only there for a year and I got to see almost all of Korea. All the good and the bad of it, but mostly good of course! I could still go on and on because this isn't even half of everything I experienced, it was a "short" summary of my time there. Overall living-wise, Korea was a great place to go to for this program. It was the first time I felt like I lived my life and it was such a great feeling. I grew more confident, independent, and adaptable. I would recommend this program to anyone willing to get out of their comfort zone and take a risk! It is life-changing for the better and would do it again in a heartbeat!

  • Placement is guaranteed! Doesn't matter where, it'll be beautiful with a great community.
  • Public transportation was so convenient, well designed, and very foreign friendly. The easiest and most straightforward traveling I've ever experienced, includes all modes such as bus, trains, taxis, and airports.
  • Most things were affordable (to me) such as food, activities, traveling.
  • I wish there was more in-person support rather than emails or messaging, for example, airport pick-up, sim-card accommodations, etc.
  • Placed in the outskirts of a smaller city meant that modes of transportation wasn't always available and took longer to get to anywhere.
  • Experienced body dysmorphia because Korean beauty and health standards felt so extreme.
Response from TravelBud

Hi Sandra,

WOW, reading the recount of YOUR personal experience, felt like the rollercoaster that it was but how much you have grown is so evident and I love that you are sharing that with future teachers here. Thank you so much for taking the time to dive into some details and anecdotes of your time. I remembered when you first signed up for the program, you were so unsure of yourself and taking this step but you were courageous and did it anyway. Now looking back at your time in Korea, you took on every challenge with bravery and flexibility.

When living abroad, a lot of contexts are often missing from certain experiences and interactions as you are experiencing it from an ex-pat perspective but you took on that immense challenge and pushed yourself to learn and absorb as much of the experience and took away the lessons from the challenges and held onto the positive memories. I am so glad I got to go along for the ride with you:)

I will email you about the comment and reference you made to your contract almost being broken and the risk of not being paid as we would like to investigate that further. We send a final email at the end of each contract, in which teachers are specifically asked, "Would you recommend future teachers to come teach at this school?” If the answer is NO, we ask them to please explain why and request a phone interview to discuss their feedback in more detail.

I am so happy that you ended your time in Korea on a high and that the in-country team was able to assist whenever you shared any feedback or concerns. A full year of living outside of your culture, and your norms, and a full year of growing into a stronger more confident you. You really made the most of exploring as well as putting your all into forming bonds with your students which inevitably makes you a better teacher. We look forward to seeing how you tackle your next adventure with the same courage and determination as you had during your time in South Korea. I have no doubt that you will carry all the lessons that your time in South Korea taught you with you as you take this next step. 🙂

All the best and keep sending us updates,

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Yes, I recommend this program

Travel Bud Review

If it weren't for Travel Bud, I wouldn't have been able to make it to Japan. They provided a great path for me to achieve my goal of teaching in Japan and I appreciate the program for being able to both certify me in teaching and facilitate my travel here. Given the state of the world in 2021 and having explored other avenues of travel, I can confidently say if it weren't for Travel Bud I wouldn't be living in Japan now. The program is simple, comprehensive, and they offer guaranteed job placement.

  • Certification Provided
  • Guaranteed Job Placement
  • Simple Steps
  • Cost is High
  • Limited Countries
  • Limited Guidance
Response from TravelBud

Dear Ifeoma,
We are so appreciative of your positive feedback and incredibly glad that we were able to assist you as you prepared to move to Japan. It has been such a pleasure working with you and we look forward to supporting you and still being here for you every step of the way - hopefully, we can assist you head to your next placement or destination.
If there is ever anything you need, Ifeoma, we’re here for you every step of the way. Thank you again for your review and please stay in touch.
The TravelBud Team :)

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Yes, I recommend this program

Go Overseas Review

My time in Japan has been short but well spent. In requesting this review, I was told to write something unique to me. However, I think what I'm currently experiencing isn't unique to me at all and that's what makes it so great. I've never met more polite people anywhere else in the world. The food is always well prepared and surprisingly cheap. There is a plethora of activities to enjoy yourself with everywhere you go (my favorite is definitely karaoke). And lastly, my job as an ALT is easily the most enjoyable job I've ever had. I think what's wonderful about Japan is that it has something to offer for everyone. I'd be lying if I said there weren't difficulties. Grocery shopping is a pain in the butt, not just because I have trouble interpreting the price tags but also because the food is so different from America that I never know what to cook. Little road bumps like this will be common in anyone's stay here but I am adamant that the pros outweigh the cons.

  • Rich in history and culture everywhere you go.
  • Always something new and fun to do.
  • The people are very polite and willing to help.
  • Grocery shopping is very difficult.
  • Public transportation works well here but it's still inconvenient not having a car.
  • Doing anything through city hall is intimidating.
Response from TravelBud

Hi ​Anthony​, Thank you so much for taking the time out of your exciting new life in Japan to share your experience with us. It is wonderful to hear that you are embracing all that the Japanese culture has to offer. With that mindset of embracing and learning (even the very different foods), you will always take so much away from your experience and continue to grow and have adventures, both around Japan and in your own kitchen. We love that you mentioned your time as an ALT Is the most enjoyable job you have had so far, I have no doubt if you are enjoying it then your students are having an equally fruitful experience. Keep embracing the little road bumps and feel free to tag us (@travelbudco) in your kitchen chronicles and adventures in and outside of your classroom :)

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Yes, I recommend this program

Study Abroad Experience in Japan

The experience was definitely so helpful, especially during the pandemic. I received a lot of support and reassurance from the team and they were very professional and helpful from start to finish! Anytime I had worries or questions, the team will be quick to respond and would make sure to find all possible solutions or remedies. This was especially helpful when borders were still closed and I had to figure out all the paperwork, visa materials, and entry requirements. It felt nice to receive that guidance when everything was still unknown. Coming to Japan was very smooth and I am throughly enjoying my stay!

Response from TravelBud

Hi Caryl,
Wow, the pandemic was certainly a trying time for everyone! We are so thrilled that we were able to provide you with the guidance and support you required to begin the incredible journey of living and Teaching in Japan! Thank you for your tenacity throughout the process, we know it wasn’t easy but by the sounds of it, you’re loving life in Japan which definitely makes it all the more worthwhile! Please keep sending us your stories, we’d love to hear more about all the wild and wonderful things you get up to in Japan!
Thank you again Caryl,

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Yes, I recommend this program

Always have a backup plan.

Travelling to the other side of the world on a budget can be a daunting task. Before arriving to Japan I was nervous about many things, from what to do at the airport to what I should prepare. I decided to use hire Travelbud to help me get a job and to have my back for living alone in Japan. This company was always supportive and would answer and questions I had. I currently work for Interac in the Kochi prefecture. Interac has helped me get set up and they have regular training and meet up with other English teachers. The teachers here are friendly and often share snacks “omyage” and would guide me in events or activities at the school. While my home is in a very rural area, there is still plenty of shops and restaurants to visit. Overall I am happy with how things turned out. With Interac being a supportive company you might wonder if hiring a team was worth the money, but I still think it is. Travelbud is my backup team if I start to have issues with my current company. While Interac have been nothing but great to me, knowing that if all else fails I can get help and advice from an independent company brings me comfort and security while in a foreign country.

  • Great support
  • Kind and helpful staff
  • Friendly locals
  • Rural, about 2.5 hours to a city with many shops.
Response from TravelBud

Dear Alister, it is so lovely to hear about the incredible time you are having in Japan and we’re so happy that you’re teaching in such a caring and supportive environment - the sharing of omiyage speaks volumes to how welcoming and caring your fellow teachers are, what a wonderful way to help a foreign English Teacher settle into their new life.
We are most certainly always here for you, Alister, whether you’d just like to let us know how things are going, ask a question (no question is too big or small), if you need advice, need help or feel ready to move on to your next destination or contract, TravelBud is here to support you with anything and everything.
We hope your time in Japan will move from positive to positive experiences and that you’ll enjoy every moment of your time there, Alister. Thank you for your lovely review and feedback, we appreciated it tremendously.
The TravelBud Team :)



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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.


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.