TravelBud

Program Reviews

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Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My husband and I decided to take the leap and start teaching in Vietnam in 2018. Both unqualified to teach English abroad and with zero teaching experience, we trawled the internet for our best option. Naturally nervous about the prospect, we were looking for the best support we could find.

We came across TravelBud online and decided we would get in touch. From the second I contacted them, we received ongoing support from the team. We spoke directly with recruitment and discussed our situation. Quickly we decided that this would be the company we chose.

TravelBud helped us with visas, document legalisation and preparation in the following months. They ensured that we were on track to arrive in Vietnam with everything we needed.

When we arrived at the airport, we were collected and taken to our accommodation. All of which had been arranged for us as part of our overall fee. The accommodation provided is extremely basic in Vietnam, but to be expected.

We were invited to a welcome meal with all of our course mates. This was a great way to feel settled. Especially for those taking the leap alone.

Over the next month we received in class training, with an opportunity to gain teaching experience. Upon completion of the course, we were placed in one of Vietnam's most reputable independent teaching centres. A company we still work for today, 16 months on!

Overall, TravelBud gave us the support and confidence we needed to start our new lives in SE Asia. Without them, I'm not sure we'd ever have left England.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Standing in front of 16 Vietnamese kids about to teach my first class was easily one of the most nerve-racking moments of my life!
Knowing I wasn't alone in this experience as all of my course mates were in the same boat definitely calmed my nerves and helped me face it head on!
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Allison
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I cannot recommend teaching abroad with TravelBud enough! I only had 3 months available to teach abroad, so TravelBud provided me the option to take my TEFOL course online instead of abroad to maximize my experience in such a short timeframe. This allowed me to take part in a cultural orientation, then get placed at a wonderful school that took me in and made me feel at home in no time! TravelBud gave me the chance to make lifelong friends, teach a wonderful group of students, travel around to neighboring countries/cities, and to even join a local soccer team!

If you are considering teaching abroad, TravelBud is the best way to feel safe while expanding your boundaries every single day! They ensured I was placed at a safe and wonderful school, checked in on me several times, and ensured my experience abroad was no less than extraordinary!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Immerse yourself in every moment and say yes to everything!
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Beth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I chose to go through travelbud to teach in South Korea. Although the process of getting here is stressful thanks to all the documents and forms travelbud especially Saskia is incredibly helpful in making sure everything is filled out correctly and that you show the best of yourself. They also take great time to ensure that the schools you are placed at are good schools and that you will be safe and looked after properly in your placement.

I am at a private school in a small city, I have a modern one bedroom apartment with a bed and small kitchen area. I teach children from the ages of 7-16 during the week and on weekends can explore this beautiful country.

When in Korea they continue to look after you and check up on you. I couldn't recommend them enough and if anyone is wanting to go teach abroad go get in touch with them!

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Katie
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I am currently living and teaching in Thailand after completing my TravelBud TESOL course and placement, and I am having an absolutely amazing time. The cultural orientation and course fully prepared me for life in Thailand, and I felt very ready to being life as a teacher here. I was able to gain experience in the classroom through my TESOL, which made me feel more prepared for teaching than those I have met that went with online certifications. I also made amazing, life long friendships through TravelBud that I have maintained throughout my time here. We have been able to travel together, both during and after the course, and have experienced many of the amazing things that Thailand has to offer. Teaching in Thailand is an amazing, life changing experience and working with TravelBud makes the process very easy and even more rewarding.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would advise future travelers to, first of all, do this program! And once you are on the program, I would definitely advise you to take full advantage of every opportunity. Say yes to everything, and go on every trip possible. Fully insert yourself into your local Thai community and participate in as many activities as possible. You won't regret it!
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Matthew
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I found my experience with TravelBud to be unique, and exhilarating. I am beyond grateful for the opportunity I was given here in Thailand. I have been teaching for approximately 4 months at this point in time. I have hiked to temples in caves, I have gone swimming in the ocean, I have attended multiple football games (Go Buriram!), and had the fortunate opportunity to share meals, coffee, and stories with people in this wonderful country. Everything began by a 1 month TESOL program in Thailand. They picked us up from the airport, and we were able to make acquaintances with several like-minded personalities that have the same desire, and motivation to leave their homes and come to teach English in Thailand. From here we traveled to the location we would spend the next month, Hua Hin Thailand. Home to the King's Summer Palace, where you will meet countless new, and amazing people, including some incredible local people. This was a fantastic place to begin the journey simply because it is used to foreign tourists, but not to the point of being over-saturated. The English proficiency is high enough that you aren't completely and utterly lost you will use this time to make some friends with local Thai people, and truly break out of your shell an incredibly useful skill in your endeavor. The TESOL course provides you with the framework to be a successful teacher, and the instructors are all ex-teachers, or sometimes even current teachers themselves within Thailand. During the course you will gain a new mom, known as แม่ "Mother" in Thai. As well as make many new and beneficial additions to your circle. With a full month of immersive instructions, and a great opportunity to begin your immersion into Thai culture you are given the chance of a lifetime to show your worth, and to show yourself just how life changing this experience can be. Use this month as an opportunity to delve into places far outside your comfort zone, this is your chance. You will get hands on experience teaching in a school, as well as have the opportunity to be surrounded by wonderful dogs to help relieve stress while finishing up the course. With guaranteed placement you can rest easy about where you will end up being placed. While you don't find out where you are placed until the last few weeks of the one month course, it really shouldn't matter. They do their best to place you where you wish to be placed, but you are here to experience a new culture, to see a new part of the world, and to change the lives of hundreds of children. I assure you, wherever you end up being placed, it will be the experience you want as long as you are willing to jump in. I requested the North originally, preferably close to Chiang Mai or Chiang Rai, I am now located in one of the less tourist traveled areas known as Isan. I am grateful that I am here, I feel fortunate that my request wasn't carried out. Being here has afforded me countless opportunities and things I never expected, and would not have been able to get in the North. So wherever you end up, don't fret. Just ride with the experience, take it easy, relax, and "Mai Bpen Rai"(It's okay… everything is okay… don't worry).
Cheers, and enjoy your new life as a world-citizen.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Jump in, lower your expectations and you will be amazed, and shocked, and taken aback by everything that comes your way. If you set no bars, every moment will be a flurry of joyous emotion.
Getting on the plane is the most surreal experience, don't be surprised if your 1 year teaching adventure turns into 1.5 years, 2 years, 3 years, or 5 years.
Read my full story
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Leah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After graduating university, I knew I wanted to deviate from the traditional path of finding a 9 to 5 job and settling down. Nowadays, there is an abundance of online teaching abroad sources to help you get started. I did extensive research trying to find reputable company to go through. TravelBud really calmed my nerves about all the logistics of moving abroad. Lucy was so supportive and walked me through steps of the visa process and important paperwork. I currently teach first grade math and am loving it. There is something really special about the culture, language, and people of Thailand. I've met so many wonderful Thai people that love sharing their culture and customs. I would definitely recommend teaching abroad to anyone who is interested in stepping out of their comfort zone and experiencing culture.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be flexible and adapt to the 'mai bpen rai' thai way of life. Thailand is a very relaxed country - don't try to change the system and go with the flow.
Read my full story
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Ben
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Before finding this program, I was set to go to Colombia. Issues meant that 9 months of plans fell apart. It was January when things went wrong and I was in Thailand by March, all thanks to TravelBud.

I had never had to do a visa before (Colombia was visa free for me at the time), never had to apostille a certificate, never had to do a police check and background check, it was all very daunting. TravelBud made this process easy, so easy I was done in a month.

I already had a TEFL, so TravelBud made sure I had a job before getting there. The pay was great (very comfortable) and even when an emergency struck 3 months into my new adventure and I had to return home, TravelBud helped there too. Their service helped me in a time of great need

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing at all.

I was very comfortable and secure
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Taylor
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Teaching abroad is without a doubt the best decision I've made within my 24 years of life. It's allowed me to truly learn myself and what I am capable of. Ever since moving abroad and becoming solely dependent on myself, I've had a newfound sense of confidence. And I have TravelBud to thank just for that! They showed me my options and enlightened me on a way of life that I could be living, but wasn't exactly sure how to pursue. I am also grateful for TravelBud and their Cultural Orientation. Looking back on my year in Thailand, and assessing interactions I've had with other foreigners who didn't come through TravelBud, the difference is immensely noticeable. I found that I was way more prepared for the way of life in Thailand and trained to be more open minded and accepting of the cultural differences. I was able to stay patient with the language barrier and food orders that got lost in translation. The Cultural Orientation provided by TravelBud also enabled me to be more understanding and respectful of the culture that I had just immersed myself in.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice for future travelers would be to stay as open minded as possible and remember to always stay patient. Coming from the western world, adapting to the way of life and customs in Thailand can be a bit frustrating. But once you get over the initial culture shock, the way of life in Thailand can be absolutely beautiful. It will teach you to not take life so serious. I've learned how to sit back, relax, and to just enjoy everyday with what I have. I can't tell you the amount of times I've heard, "don't worry teacher, not serious", this past year I've lived in Thailand.
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Jakub
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

After graduating university, I looked into options for moving abroad for a change of pace and scenery. This program was wonderful in helping me get started teaching in Thailand. The in-class TESOL really laid a good foundation for teaching skills and I was able to do the practical application in real Thai schools before my certification. I really enjoyed the cultural orientation, and being able to do Muay Thai and cook Thai food during the orientation week. TravelBud also made the visa and paperwork side of things clear, so that I could focus on the fun part of this journey. I teach high school in a small town in northern Thailand and have really enjoyed the laid back Thai lifestyle and culture. I’ve made lots of new friends, and developed a lot of skills I wasn’t expecting. It’s been a great semester of fun, learning, and delightful food.

What would you improve about this program?
The only complaint I could have was that the price point was so high. However, I realise you get what you pay for and it’s been a flawless experience. In that aspect, it makes it worth every penny.
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Amy-lee
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I really enjoyed my experience traveling to Vietnam through TravelBud and their in-country partner. TravelBud (specifically Saskia) provided excellent support and was always available to answer any questions or concerns I had. Meeting new people, awesome experiences and practical teaching experience are a few of the many reasons why I enjoyed the in-class TESOL course. The TESOL course was quite intensive but I am glad I chose to do the in-class course, rather than doing a course online. They had a great program to assist with the transition and adjustment to living in a new country and also provided valuable cultural insights. I received good support and advice with regards to job placement and I am glad I chose the TravelBud program.

What would you improve about this program?
The program was quite intensive for the allocated period so I think spreading the course content over a slightly longer period of time may be better.