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
Denise
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Supportive

This program has been supportive and attentive to to your preferences on where you want to reach and how old the students are, although I was limited in choices due to COVID. It does the anxiety inducing work for you in finding a school due to their connections, and having a guaranteed placement is reassuring. Advice I’d give to new travelers is it’s easy to say “anywhere” when moving abroad because it’s exciting, but try to narrow your preferences and the why behind them! I think you’ll be more satisfied if you allow yourself to be more specific and not end up in a place you end up hating.

Pros
  • Guaranteed placement
  • Communication
  • Listens to preferences
Cons
  • A little pricey
  • Lack of social connections and events
Default avatar
Zoyaa
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Very good!

The program was very fun and exciting to complete. It was a new step in my life, and I was very nervous throughout the whole process and before arriving in Korea, but the placement team made sure the transition was seamless and worry free, and I understood everything I had to do before I moved abroad. Every instruction and email that I was given was always clear and simple. It’s definitely something I’d recommend to other future teachers, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that you won’t regret!

Default avatar
Emma
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

TravelBud

TravelBud was super helpful in helping me become an English teacher in South Korea and made the transition moving to a different country very easy and smooth! Moving to a different country and learning a completely new culture can be very difficult but TravelBud helped me find a very comfortable job and put me in contact with all the right people so when I arrived here my transition has been very smooth and really enjoyable! Would definitely recommend for anyone thinking of teaching English abroad for their first time.

Pros
  • Experiencing a new culture
  • Meeting lots of new people
  • Developing your own skills
Cons
  • Sometime hard to meet people out of the school setting
  • Language barrier can make some things a little hard
  • Perhaps might have been good to know more about applying for a registration card just before/when i just arrived
Default avatar
Deepali
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing

Extremely smooth and informative staff. Saskia Smuts helped me during my application and time in Thailand. I'd definitely recommend this experience. I was a little nervous to go so far away from home alone, but they made the process simple in terms of explaining VISAs and other issues. When i arrived in Thailand, everything was already prepared for me in advance. I loved meeting new people and learning about their culture. Thank you TravelBud for helping me get to Thailand, and for helping me become a certified TEFL teacher!

Response from TravelBud

Dear Deepali,
We so appreciate your review and your willingness to share your experience with all those thinking about embarking on a Teach Abroad journey. Feeling nervous before travelling abroad by yourself is completely normal, I myself still get the travel-jitters before I board a flight, so we are very happy that we could be there for you to offer assistance and ease some of the worries you had.
The Land of Smiles is such a hospitable place and the perfect country to start a TEFL journey, we love to hear that you enjoyed meeting new people and learning more about the Thai culture - that is what travel is all about after all!
When the TEFL-teaching bug bites again, Deepali, we are here as always and would love to assist you to find your next teaching placement.
Warm regards,
Saskia

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

The Experience

So much I could really say here but overall, I would say TAKE IN the experience. Being in my 30s, I've found that there's something for everyone to do here in South Korea. The safety is top notch and the Koreans are pretty patient when it comes to the beginner Korean speaking person, such as myself, to be able to properly translate the needs of wants of daily life. It has been a humbling experience on so many levels, from having to depend on public transportation when prior to that I was on my own terms, to learning new ways, the Korean ways of doing things. A major piece of advice that I would give to any future travelers in the problem is be sure you know what is expected of you within your contract and to be open-minded at the same time. Know that the decisions you make from the beginning of the process to your end, will and should be decisions that are BEST for you. It started off pretty rough for me simply because being a veteran educator from the States, it was a bit of challenge to truly understand what a hagwon's expectation was for staff. I did not always agree with their procedures but at the same time, I had to remind myself that I was not here to compare but to embrace the contrast. Once I understood that, I begin to just go with the flow. Again, not being easy as a teacher with experience but it was the weekends and holidays off that really made it all worth where it didn't have to be ALL about work, but some time for fun as well. I do recommend that one knows their contract in and out and really understand what you are signing up for and not just because it sounds good and cute. Do it for the experience, yes, but also do it knowing your true goals and be open-minded because it will get difficult at times. Do it with a friend if you can! But whatever you do, do it because it is in your heart to do! The world is so big. Why not start with exploring outside the 4 walls you are in now?! ENJOY and never be afraid to do what's BEST!

Pros
  • New environment/scenery
  • Networking and making connections from all walks of life
  • Program team support along the way
Cons
  • Organization/communication of hagwons at times
  • The desire from certain program staff to rush travelers into the process
Response from TravelBud

Hey LaShonda!

Thank you so very much for sharing your story and most importantly, your advice to other teachers from your profound experience abroad. I think I speak for the whole team at TravelBud when I say that we were incredibly moved and inspired by your wisdom, your passion and your adaptability. I was particularly struck by your your story of adapting to new ways of life in Korea and how it can feel strange and difficult at first, but that being open minded makes all the difference. I remember in my own experience when I got back, I felt I had done, seen, grown so much but there's always more to take in! "The world is so big"- you're so right. Isn't it strange how the more you travel the bigger the world gets, instead of smaller? Thank you for sharing your feedback and experience (and your stunning photos!) and for reminding us why we love the world of teach abroad that we work in! We are so proud of you and truly pleased that you took this giant leap of faith with us. Keep traveling and keep making positive change around the world!

Warmest Regards,
Grace & the TravelBud Team

Jobs

Programs

Displaying 1 - 9 of 10

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.