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XploreAsia

About

XploreAsia was founded by educators who are passionate about teaching English and giving back to local communities. We specialize in providing a life-changing adventure by living, teaching, and volunteering abroad. We offer internationally accredited TESOL/TEFL certification courses, job placement assistance, sustainable volunteer placements, home stay options, and internships throughout Southeast Asia. We strive to help people discover the transformational benefits of living and teaching in Southeast Asia, and are dedicated to providing quality education and experiences.

Reviews

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Liam
4/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The perfect first step into teaching and cultural immersion

I did my XploreAsia course in Saigon, Vietnam about two months ago and now I am teaching full-time, living with friends I met on the course, and truly loving every minute of the experience. XploreAsia is the perfect way to begin your journey abroad, both in terms of teaching English and cultural immersion/integration into a new country. The course began with an orientation week where we learned about Vietnamese history, culture, and language, this included excursions with the whole group to famous tourist attractions. This really helped me gain an understanding of the country that I was about to live in which is so important for an ex-pat. The TESOL course was great and sets you up nicely for when you eventually get into your classroom as there are two practicals (one in a language centre and one in a public school). If you are looking for a program that gives you a headstart with cultural immersion with many others in the same boat as you and provides an amazing teaching course....then XploreAsia is the one for you!

Pros
  • Cultural Immersion
  • Making friends
  • Help with visas and other fun bureaucratic matters
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Jacob
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

XploreAsia teaching in Vietnam program

XploreAsia are great at helping you settle into life in Vietnam, sorting you out with places to work, and are just amazing at processing all the neverending pieces of paperwork that needs completing!

They're amazing at answering any questions to help settle nerves and do a great job making sure you know that you aren't alone even when you feel like you are. They're aware that moving to a foreign country to live and work in is a daunting prospect, so they help as much as they can with helping you acclimatise to your new surroundings.

Pros
  • Great response time to emails
  • Well organised
  • Friendly members of staff
Cons
  • Could offer more advice as standard when it comes to helping you look for permanent accomodation
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Maka
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great support from Xploreasia

From start to finish, I never felt alone, I felt supported and valued. The tefl course was challenging enough to keep me motivated and I feel it prepared me for life as an English teacher in Thailand. The staff at Xploreasia were very professional and helpful and also fun! I really like the orientation week as we got to do lots of fun activities that also taught us about the culture and history of Thailand - such as the Thai cooking class, visit to the temple. Although covid was always a threat looming over us, we were able to make the most of our visits and excursions. All in all, great experience! Highly recommend to anyone who is thinking about doing the program. It was a perfect way to meet people as well!

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Bill
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Explore Asia and Yourself

It has been four years and 2 months since I left my hometown of West Chester, PA, boarded a plane at Philadelphia International Airport, and traveled 23 hours from Boston to Dubai and then to Bangkok. I traveled to Thailand to teach, and I intended to stay for only six months. Instead, I stayed an entire year, and was tempted to remain there even longer in my tiny town in the Northwest corner of the country. In Thailand, I explored myself, I explored people, and I explored a culture that was, at times, bewilderingly different from my own. It was, simply put, one of the best years of my life, and XploreAsia put me in position to experience it.

Upon landing in Bangkok, I was shepherded, along with a group of my fellow travelers, to a small corner of that living city, to a tiny hotel on a tiny street with an incomprehensible name. Since our rooms wouldn't be ready for another hour or so, a group of us dropped our bags in the lobby and headed out into the surrounding streets and the sweltering heat. To a pasty American from the Northeast, it was initially intolerable. By the end of my year there, I grew to love the warmth and the near constant sweating.

That was our first adventure. The next would come later that night while, teaming up with many of the same people, we launched into the Bangkok night on Tuk-Tuks, frantic little buggies which careened through the labyrinthine streets of Bangkok and the Tetris-like traffic. After a night on the infamous Khaosan Road, it was time for much needed rest. The next day, we would begin our two hour journey to Hua-Hin, the site of our TESOL course.

Being a coastal town on the Gulf of Thailand and an attractor to farang tourists and Thais alike, Hua Hin was the perfect landing zone for a group of foreigners finding themselves thrust into the streets of a place that was very different from home. Upon arrival, we were taken to our accommodations. Some of our 70+ group stayed in a series of little cottages closer to the beach, while others of us stayed in a hotel a little outside of town called Glory Place. I was in the latter, fortunate to have a pool and a small gym all on the hotel grounds. Outside our walls, a little village laid host to a favorite restaurant of mine, a little shop where I would drink and eat with the locals, and a beautiful temple atop a nearby hill, perfect for viewing the sunset.

That month in country, from April 1st to the 29th, was a whirlwind. I met countless wonderful people, both Thai and of the Western world, and learned how to teach English as a foreign language with a small group of my peers. The coursework was substantial, but not overly challenging. Our greatest hurdle was submitting ourselves to the vulnerability needed to teach in front of our peers and hear their feedback. By the course's end, this environment forged a strong bond between us all. For many of us, this bond would last throughout our year in country, as well as the years since we have returned home.

In that month there was partying, of course, but there was adventure to and exploration of some truly remarkable places. We took a day trip to Phraya Nakhon Cave, a day hike up and into a sheer cliff on a scenic coastline of white sands and shimmering, turquoise ocean. Inside the cliff, in a world-sized cave with an opening in its ceiling and sunlight pouring through, a small altar to an ancient temple. Add to this trips to the local mall, an elephant sanctuary, an island populated with monkeys and an abandoned Buddhist monastery, and a pineapple farm, the price of taking the course in country is worth its cost. Without a doubt, spending that first month soaking in the sights and sounds of Thailand proved indispensable.

By the end of April, the XploreAsia staff had set us up with a school and accommodation somewhere in the country. They did their best to accommodate our desires and wants, and you would do well to limit your expectations. As one of the XploreAsia staff members related to us within the first week, "you may not get the experience that you want, but you will get the experience that you need."

Being a reasonably open minded person, I was able to get both. In the first few days of May, I arrived in Tak, my quaint little town in the Northwest of Thailand, settled in a valley surrounded by hills and nestled alongside a river. There I would live a life that, years later, appears to be that of someone else's: a novel, quiet, and remarkable life marked by adventure and simplicity.

My journey after that is long and too much to relay to you here. But what I can tell you is that XploreAsia, and subsequently Thailand and my experience there-in, was a means to profound personal growth. Without my experience with XploreAsia, I would not have been armed with the tools necessary to navigate that beautiful and befuddling Eastern world, and more importantly, the perspective and sense to navigate my own here at home.

So, go ahead. Explore Asia. Explore yourself.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Limit your expectations. No, you probably won't live by the beach and hang out with Leonardo Dicaprio and a fun group of surfers. But you will find that beach, and you will hang out with the most incredible people, even in your little, no name town in the middle of nowhere.
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John
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

First class top dog second to none experience

Due to extensive experience of bad luck with many courses affiliated to different fields of interest i was very weary when first enrolling on this program back in April 2018. However the company has completely changed my way of thinking. based on an astonishing customer service approach.
Not only was I welcomed warmly on day one, and supported the entire duration of my course.....The company has gone beyond expectation assisting me further, a year on from training,
swift response to emails. good explanation in times of delay. very approachable warm and friendly..........
The course itself was very thorough. every key component explained in depth. the instructors want you to pass....I am dyslexic though passed with ease due to the kind and supportive nature of trainees. Never be afraid to ask questions ( i am a bit shy in that department)
I had a million questions regarding visas etc. the team are experts on everything...very knowledgeable and explain things thoroughly....
I would recommend Xplore asia to everyone.....having spoken to fellow teachers THEY TOLD ME THEY WISH THE HELL THEY HAD DONE TOO REASON BEING.....THERE WAS CRITICAL INFORMATION THEY WISH THEY HAD OBTAINED....THAT XPORE ASIA STUDENTS WERE BLESSED WITH.
In a nutshell 150 value for money

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
With great respect............I hate to end on a negative e though felt there were some hidden costs needed prior notification....e,g I had to goi to bangkok for a CRB.......then there was a month in rears for accommodation and then the visa run.....though on the contrary not worth moaning about as had fantastic training and now a great future helping children....i love kids

Jacko the crazy south African is fantastically funny and an amazing warm heart teacher....from experience in teaching.....we need people like him though be warned youll be in pain laughing

Programs

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Alumni Interviews

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

Maegan Bruno

Maegan lives in Colorado, USA. Originally from Texas, she graduated from Texas A&M University in 2012 with a degree in Elementary Education. Since graduation, she has been seeking adventure and different opportunities to influence the children she teaches!
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What is the most important thing you learned abroad?

The most important thing I've learned being abroad is that there is always something to be thankful for. There were times where the place we would be staying was less than desirable, but we learned to be thankful for the little things that we were blessed with, such as hot water, a good meal, or even a helping hand from one of the locals. I know I'll take this lesson back to America with me and I'm excited to see the changes to come when I head back!

What was the hardest part about going abroad?

The hardest part of going abroad for me was abandoning my normalities and routines from back home and adopting a new mindset of the new possibilities each day brought here. I had my favorite coffee shop back home, my community, restaurants, and hiking trails. Coming to Thailand, everything was so different. It was definitely a mix of culture shock and missing the structure back home.

However, after a few weeks, routines were more set into place, and I even came to love how each day was a little mix of the unknown! I never had a "boring" day, and as crazy as each day sometimes felt, I learned to just laugh and know that the next day would leave even more memories for me.

Tell us about an experience you had that you could not have had at home.

One of my favorite experiences I had that I would not have experienced back home was spending time with the wife/husband that rents out our apartment complexes. Their family was very close and loved to include my friend and I in their time spent together. We spent several dinners together trying to teach each other our native languages and sharing our cultures despite a huge language barrier. We laughed together, learned new things and tried new foods.

One afternoon the mom even took us to the Thai Special Forces Army Base where her son was stationed. Her son showed us around and we even were able to participate in one of their exercises! I truly felt like I had a family away from home!

Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Lungile Xulu

Job Title
Japan Program Coordinator
Lungile is part of the awesome team at XploreAsia. She handles all applications for the Japan program and takes part in some of the webinars as well.
Lungile Xulu under a giant shrine entryway in Japan

What is your favorite travel memory?

In 2021, I travelled to Mount Nokogiriyama in Chiba in Chiba Prefecture. I did a little solo hike, and at the end of the hike there was a marvelous structure before me- a 31 meter tall statue of Buddha, carved from the side of the mountain! It was so beautiful and it really is my most favorite memory of Japan.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I've been given an opportunity to help people go down the same road I did. I'm excited to work each morning and chat with my co-workers and applicants! Each teacher I come across has a story of their own, and I learn so much from them! This has led to me being more focused and motivated in all areas of my life.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

I haven't heard any stories from teachers yet, but I am very excited to hear about everyone's' experiences in Japan! I'm very interested to hear about culture shock experiences, as I deal with applicants from all around the world, so I'm keen to learn about the differences between their home countries and Japan.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

I'm quite interested in South East Asia, and I've never been there before, so I'd definitely choose Thailand! I've heard amazing things about the people, the food (the FRUITS!!!), and the beaches! I come from sunny Durban, South Africa, and everyone always tells me the weather in Thailand would remind me of Durban. So I'd love to go there!

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

XploreAsia is unique because I believe we genuinely care about our applicants' experiences, not just during the application process, but as they teach and beyond. I was really proud that we turned 10 years old recently, that's a big achievement! We're excited to keep making a difference and make people's dreams come true.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

I believe there are many factors that contribute to making a company successful; having a team that works well together and supports each other is very important. Team members should never be afraid to ask questions, because that's how we learn from each other. But definitely good communication is the biggest factor, and is essential!