GeoVisions Foundation

Program Reviews

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Faith
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I speak fluent spanish, but I live in a place where its almost impossible for me to practice! I've also been teaching english for 3 years so as soon as I found out about this opportunity, I paid my $1700 and got on a plane ASAP. The 31 days I spent with my host-family were incredible, the things I was able to see and do when I wasn't teaching were incredible, and of course, the support and communication between myself and the team @ Geovisions was pretty simple and fast. Also the best part about this trip was the lifelong connections I now have in San Ramon, so basically when I return to travel there, I have some sweet hookups. As far as safety goes I never felt safer! The streets here are clean, the people are extremely friendly to tourists (especially since the majority of costa rican economy comes from tourism) and the food is amazing!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
All the research I did didn't prepare me for the humidity! I brought 3 pairs of jeans and never wore any of them. If you come from a dry climate, bring plenty of tank tops, lots of suncscreen and get ready to drink a gallon of water a day haha!
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Harriet
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I enjoyed the experience but found that the children I worked with were a bit too young for the program. One was 3 one was 6. They had no experience speaking English before I arrived, so they found it extremely difficult and no matter what I did, it was not successful. Upon leaving, the mother asked the youngest child if she would miss me, and she replied, no, because she did not understand me. That says it all for the kids. The adults, on the other hand were amazing, and they made my stay lovely. They both improved oral English speaking and they were most appreciative. My recommendation would be that in order for this placement to have been totally successful, I should have been able to speak German. I learned some German, but not enough.

What would you improve about this program?
The people in Germany prepared a little book with German words--it was EXCELLENT. I would suggest that they also include simple phrases and sentences in that book.
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Suzanne
8/10
No, I don't recommend this program

I signed on with Geovisions because, being from the USA, they were one of the few programs that came up in my search and from their description they seemed to be the most appealing. They were quick to respond to my first contact, quick to register me for their "Teach English in Cuba program and quick to send invoices. That was where the quick responsiveness ended. I understand that things in Cuba change quickly and that it can be frustrating but that didn't explain everything. I often had to make several attempts and wait many days to get answers to my questions and, often, their reps seemed to be put out by my requests for information. At one point, being very frustrated, I pushed hard enough to be passed onto the director, Randy Grant. Once I had the opportunity to talk to Randy I felt that my questions were more adequately answered and that I had a better idea of the program and the situation in Cuba.
Additionally, no one from Geovisions made attempt to screen me or my traveling companion to find out if we were even qualified to teach English.
I had experienced volunteer placement in other countries through IVHQ so I know what it is to be informed and supported.
I would not use Geovisions again.

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Joseph
2/10
No, I don't recommend this program

Here is the bottomline of my experiences with the GeoVisions Tutor a Family in France program.
- I wanted to spend three months in France to experience this wonderful and tutor in english for the first time to see if I enjoyed tutoring and teaching. Initially things started out fine with GeoVisions.
- It turned out I wasn't a good fit for GeoVisions and they couldn't find a suitable family for me. They did persuade a family to take me though, but it was a bad fit from the get go and it was apparent that I wasn't wanted.
- The family confessed this to me along with a local rep also telling me they couldn't find a family for me. GeoVisions did not tell me any of this though as I can only surmise they wanted to keep my fee.
- When things got to a point where a change needed to be made for several reasons, GeoVisions had very little help to offer. They did find a retired couple with no children and no english ( I also came to France to learn the language and told GeoVisions I was a beginner), in a tiny, remote and isolated village. This was not acceptable in any way but I visited the place anyway while nothing convinced me in the least to change my mind so I turned it down. GeoVisions had nothing else to offer so my choices were 1) stay where I was and where I wasn't wanted and was endangering my health (I told them at the beginning that I was allergic to cats. They told me the cats wouldn't be in or at the house but they were. This was far from the only issue). Or 2) Go to this other family which met none of a small list of things I initially wanted ( french language school nearby, a chance to tutor in english), or 3) leave the program.
I left the program after one month (of three I paid for).
You find out a lot about people and organizations when there is a issue or problem. Anyone can be nice and pleasant early on and at least until the check clears. I am a very flexible person and usually can make a situation work. I don't know if I could have culled things out of GeoVisions in the initial stages and avoided this, but I sure wish I tried harder and didn't too easily get caught up in the dreams and fantasies that often occurs in travel. GeoVisions failed in their job. Don't believe their marketing and hype.

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Steve
8/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I love teaching in Northern Thailand and I taught 650 Matthom 2 & 5 level Thai High School students every week. This was very rewarding and challenging as most of my students couldn't speak or comprehend English. I develope English lesson with activities that I believed would be benificial to my students. One of the highlights of the week was the English teachers and one Japanese teacher in our school every Wednesday we would play football (soceer) with our students and built wonderful friendships and memories.

What would you improve about this program?
1. The high school I taught at has a list of colleges and universities that needs to be updated as this became a problem with the school I taught at.
2. Thai teachers teach from textbooks yet English teachers develope lesson plans and activities.
3. I observed Thai teachers teaching grammar incorrectly and speaking Thai when teaching English classes and have difficulities pronouncing English words. Thai teachers need to set an example.
4. All our morning assemblies were in Thai and I never knew what was said.
5. Thai classes took priority over English classes and were cancel
without a warning.
6. English teachers were never invited to teacher meetings.


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Jeffrey
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I started from completely knowing nothing about teaching, and was second-guessing this opportunity to travel and teach at the same time. I decided to just go and see what I could do in Thailand. Knowing that I would be going with my best friend made it easier to decide to just go.

GeoVisions connected me through XploreAsia in Hua-Hin, Thailand, a very helpful agency that helped us get placed around Thailand without any fuss. Prior to flying out to Thailand, I completed the TEFL-C (120+ hours) which XploreAsia who was very helpful given the time difference!

Once our one-week course/introduction with XploreAsia, we were all beginning our placements in Thailand. My friend and I were placed in the same region (Suphanburi).

The first month of teaching was not easy for me as I had never taught in my life before even doing this and I felt horrible that I would not be an effective teacher. I felt isolated knowing only little Thai and could not really communicate any further than "hello". Then, I decided to toughen up and go through with it knowing that I will learn to become a better teacher over time and patience.

The next few months, I started learning the Thai language pretty well, and continued practice reading and writing it. After 6 months, I was able to speak, read and write Thai pretty well and wanted to continue learning it to the point of fluency. Parallel to that, I was getting much more relaxed in the classroom, I felt that I was becoming very effective towards my students and came up with games and activities that I would have never thought about doing months ago and I felt that I have developed an everlasting relationship with many of the locals in the town. Once I was finished, I had managed to accomplish so much as an individual in 8 months: I left my students in tears, the teachers that helped me become a better teacher/person, in tears, I also left my financial advisor in tears! How I have made such an impact did not hit me until the last day. Then, I told the school I will be coming back for one more year starting this May. They were quite surprised!

All I know is, after starting this journey, I had no idea I would enjoy this so much. I've learned a lot from the locals, the school and my agents that helped me through my stay. The impact that I have made had me want to sign on for another year to continue impacting those around me in a positive way. It all started with one-click on GeoVisions from searching through Google. The best part about teaching in a different part of the world is that you get to travel and expand your horizons and opportunities.

What would you improve about this program?
Prior to arriving in Thailand, I assumed I would be placed in a certain region in Thailand and I was guaranteed a spot in that region coming from you guys. It turned out it was definitely not a guarantee. I was a little surprised by that, but it did not really disappoint me as my experience was still beyond amazing. Knowing that it is better to stay quite flexible with our choices, this would be something you guys should know.
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very
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was placed before arriving to Thailand. So I completed the shorter on line course, which was very helpful. I was collected at the airport and taken to the hotel in Bangkok
I was given great support regarding transport arrangements and travelled to the north without any problems.
Once in my placement I was contacted on a regular basis by Xplore Asia, checking I was settling in which was good, as the first few weeks are difficult, as you don't know anyone, and its great to know there is someone at the end of the phone / email in the country.
I then completed the course later in the year and had an amazing time, although I am a teacher, I did find it beneficial as teaching English as a Second Language is different from general teaching. So I was glad I did the course and made some great friends and further support from Xplore Asia
I would recommend this programme as you can always reach out if you need support and they will do their best to help you.

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Daniel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My teaching assignment was in Lopburi-(north of Bangkok)-and it was a better situation than I could have hoped for.

The students were all so courteous, respectfull-always saying-"teacher, teacher" - coming up to me asking my name, how Im doing. They were the BEST!!! They were always so happy and grateful, and just satisfied with a simple smile or nod of approval. They sang a song to me at the beginning and end of each class-regardless of age, level in school-(kintergarden-high school), they always greet me and were always eager to learn.

The staff/faculty were extremely friendly and accommodating. They embraced me and I felt very welcome and cared for. I'm was pleased with my accommodations.

Things went better than I thought they would. This is an amazing program.

What would you improve about this program?
Nothing really critical about the program. It took longer to get over jet-lag than I thought and it took time at the school for me to feel like I really belonged as the only westerner. Those are things you have to consider, I think.
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Holly
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had an amazing time at Feynan Ecolodge tutoring. It was by far the best experience abroad I have ever had, and I will definitely have memories of that trip forever. I plan to mentor others who want to go to Feynan on this program.

What would you improve about this program?
Anyone looking to do this program only need to understand that it will be very difficult to maintain contact with people since you are in the middle of nowhere for most of the trip.
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Chris
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

In one week we became a family; our curiosities, secrets, motives, and desires were served as catalysts to bonds typically reserved for months of interaction. With this family, I have experienced a blessing by a Buddhist monk at the Khao Tao temple and received a fortune reading. I have fed, hugged, and played with elephants. I have bagged food for over 2,000 rescued dogs. I have cooked Pad Thai and spring rolls. I have eaten deep fried frog. I have had wordless conversations. I have been waved at by school children. I have been clapped at for taking my shoes off as I enter a building. I have been smiled at as I bowed for the King passing by. I have trekked the beach at night. I have divulged my life to strangers.

I have a travel blog about this experience on this program, and have written somewhat extensively about everything on the Teach in Thailand program in the last 4 posts.

The link is: http://chrisgering.blogspot.com/

It's a fair amount of reading. I go into fairly detailed descriptions of my situation. I have also been taking pictures since I arrived in Bangkok and am constantly adding to it on facebook.

Check it: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200925109383169…

What would you improve about this program?
The visa issue is somewhat unclear and you have to be comfortable with visa runs and renewing your visa when you're there. You also have to be open to changing your teaching assignment based on orientation or the TESOL course. Everyone needs to know things can be fluid in Thailand. For some, that might be uncomfortable. For me it was freeing.