I recently completed LanguageCorps' Vietnam TESOL program and overall it was a great experience. To give some background, LC owns a hotel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and the first two weeks of all of LC's Southeast Asia TESOL courses are spent there. After those two weeks, you are shipped to the country you want to teach in and you spend the next two weeks finishing the program there. My review will cover both halves of the program.
The teaching staff at LC was great across-the-board. While one of the instructors was a little arrogant, they all demonstrated extensive knowledge of their fields, and the head of English teaching in Cambodia, Nick M, was seriously one of the best teachers I've had, period. The program is organized in an efficient and smart way - most days, you'll get a little bit of teaching practice, English grammar lessons, practical knowledge for getting a job, and best practices for English teaching. The amount of info thrown at you can be a little overwhelming - I could barely handle Khmer lessons after eight hours of lessons while dealing with jet lag - but most of the time it's manageable. I felt extremely prepared to teach after the month was over, and I was able to get offers from both schools I interviewed with.
The support staff in Cambodia and Vietnam were also great. They will help you with pretty much anything you need - housing, visas, jobs, motorbikes, even point you to good restaurants. Hien, the head LC coordinator in Vietnam, literally forwarded our resumes to one of the schools here and got us interviews without us doing a thing. I really wanted that safety net when moving to the other side of the world, and the staff continues to help me with everyday kind of stuff even after I've completed the program and it's invaluable. The day Hien came with me to make sure I got a good deal on a guitar, I knew that these folks go above and beyond to make sure you have a good experience here.
There were some rough spots that LC can work on. The LC hotel in Cambodia, the Marady, is not the nicest place. They advertise having wi-fi, but few of us in the program were able to get access in the room, and internet access is needed when doing homework for the program. Power outages are frequent in Phnom Penh, and though the hotel has a generator, sometimes it didn't work and the outage would last an hour or more. Food at the hotel is decent, but overpriced. It can also be somewhat monotonous to wake up at the hotel, eat breakfast there, go to eight hours of classes there, do homework there, and then sleep there. On alternating days, classes are held at the local university and it's a nice change of pace. By contrast, the hotel in Vietnam was nicer and gave me no issues. The LC office in Vietnam is also a rather nice facility for the area.
Weekend trips aren't anything different than what one would expect booking through your average tourist agency. It was wonderful to finally see Angkor Wat and nice that LC recognizes so many people want to go there that it's worth including in the price of the program.
The bottom line is I wanted a program that prepared me to teach English and gave me a support network in SE Asia, and LC delivered on both fronts. If they want to be a truly top-notch TESOL program, they could improve their accommodations in Cambodia.