TravelBud

Program Reviews

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Jared
10/10
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.
Heather
2/10
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

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Joni
10/10
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!
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Robin
10/10
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
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Carryn
10/10
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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Darrand
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I started teaching Kindergarten through TravelBud as my first job since leaving the military. I was admittedly nervous and unsure of what to expect at first, but the friendly staff at TravelBud were there to assist me every step of the way. When I arrived for my TESOL course, I was thrilled to meet other folks from all around the world equally motivated to teach and experience a new nation. I have loved every minute of my life in Thailand, and my students have made every day spectacular. I have especially enjoyed experiencing Thai culture and food! My brief time here has inspired me to pursue a graduate degree in gastronomy, the study of the correlation of a culture and it’s food. I hope to use TravelBud in the future as I continue moving around the globe!
Special thanks to to Saskia Smuts and my TESOL instructor Kim LeRoux!

What would you improve about this program?
N/A. The staff were transparent and helpful every set of the way.
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Quetzal
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TravelBud is very helpful throughout the application process as well as through any problems you have in-country during the course. I actually had 3 phone calls (as opposed to 1) to ask them a million and a half questions about where I should teach and why and TravelBud was always so patient with me. They guided me with spreadsheets, easy to follow websites, pros and cons lists and everything in between. It was so nice to have them by my side while prepping for a big move! Overall, if you are worried about placement and visas or anything else, TravelBud is there to help you transition smoothly :) I am so happy I chose to have a program to help me through this because, trust me, there are so many fine details that go into moving and working abroad!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
It seems terrifying to walk into a room full of people you've never met and start a class with them in a foreign country. It's scary to have a random roommate and not know the language - but you create a full-on family with these people! They will be your support group your entire course and year teaching (if you stick around to teach). It's important to remind yourself this and be aware of each others differences and celebrate them! Help each other out in the hard times, these people will be YOUR people.
Megan-Paige Smith
Megan-Paige
9/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Being able to travel and explore a country while earning money is the ideal situation that any young adult wants to be in. Working through Travelbud was a fantastic experience. The organization offered support throughout the entire experience. They helped me with all documentation I needed, answered all the questions I had about the program and offered emotional and practical support once I had gotten to South Korea. I never felt like I was alone in this ordeal. I was placed at a lovely school near the centre of Seoul. The program considers where you’d like to be placed which makes it truly unique to others. Through this program I made life long friends, traveled across South Korea and found myself immersing into their stunning culture. South Korea is a perfect blend of the modern wave and traditional customs and will suit almost anybody’s personality.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to any future travelers is to get out of your comfort zone and enjoy every opportunity that comes your way through this experience.
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Sibusile
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had decided to go overseas for the first time in my life through Travelbud. I was quite nervous but it turned out to be one of the most life changing experiences for me. Travelbud actively helped me through the whole process from getting my documents ready to getting a school in Vietnam. Travelbud was also very consistent with the emails and responding to questions which would put me at ease throughout the process. I really enjoyed the TESOL program in Vietnam because I got the chance to make new friends, experience Vietnam and it's culture before settling down in the city where my school was located. I would highly recommend Travelbud as they are pretty dedicated to making sure you get placed in good schools according to your preference and even after your placement they still check up on you to make sure everything is going well!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
My advice to future travelers is to stay dedicated to your job,, actively enjoy the Vietnamese culture and remember to have lots of fun. These programs are quite pricey so make sure to use it to the best of your ability. Be active in your schools as your colleagues are extremely helpful and the children are very cute, enthusiastic and engaging. Don't forget to see the rest of Vietnam!. Make friends, tryout the Vietnamese beer, learn to ride a bike and take a lot of pictures!
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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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