XploreAsia – Asia
TravelBud handle the majority of the application process and pre-departure support, while XploreAsia are based in Hua Hin in Thailand, and have offices in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam and Yangon in Myanmar, and focus on running the TEFL/TESOL courses and placement process.
XploreAsia is made up of the placement teams, the programs teams who run the logistics of the TEFL/TESOL course and look after you in the first month and the education teams that check in with the teachers once they’re in their placements.
They are in charge of the guaranteed placement for each teacher and once enrolled, applicants work with the support manager for the logistical aspects before departure, but also in most cases, sit down over Skype with the placement team from XA and chat to them about their placement preferences and other placement logistics.
One important thing to note, is that we avoid mentioning XploreAsia directly during the enrollment and sales process.
The reason being that applicants can go directly through XA.
If an application comes into their system through direct enquiry, but they have already been working with us in the application process, XA will let the applicant know that they have to come through us.
We introduce XA as soon as they are enrolled and throughout the process refer to them as the “in-country partners”.
We do not want people to feel shnaid, so it is important for us to introduce them as the dynamic partners to TravelBud when they’re enrolled.
Sometimes people that are doing research and enquiring with many companies will ask what the relationship is with XploreAsia.
Do not deny that they are our in-country partners- mention that we work closely with XA in a dynamic partnership and have done for many years. We offer our own services on top of the TEFL/TESOL certificate and placement. Once they are in their placements, the support team still reaches out to them and makes sure everyone is happy and facilitates any issues on their behalf.
Teach Pty – Panama
Jose is the mastermind behind Teach PTY who runs our Panama volunteer program. He is a huge part of the Panama volunteer experience as he works with the volunteers directly and on a daily basis, so we do mention him.
Being a local from Pedasi, he engages in the immersive travel aspect that TravelBud supports and adheres to, and he gives volunteers an extremely personal and local experience. Jose was highly qualified and involved in corporate life after studying finance in Amsterdam. He had a high powered job, but felt like he wanted to move beyond success, and into significance. His boss told him to take a few months off and in that time, he volunteered in Bali. Indonesia has an extremely well established volunteer tourism sector.
Jose loved his time there, and started thinking about the fact that there are no volunteer programs in Panama, which is a crying shame because of everything it has to offer. Jose tried to go back to work after his volunteer experience, but realised once and for all that it was absolutely not what he was looking to do with his life.
He wanted Panama to be seen as more than just a place where fancy older people taking cruises dock and shop in malls. There are many programs already very established in Costa Rica, and Jose says that Panama has everything that Costa Rica has, just cheaper.