COVID-19: Update from the TravelBud team

The information below was last updated on March 30th 2020. We will update this page as frequently as possible.

Quick links to sections on this page:

“There is no education like adversity.” – Benjamin Disraeli 

TravelBud has been monitoring developments around COVID-19 closely. We are in regular contact with our in-country teams on the ground in Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, South Korea, Japan and Costa Rica.

We would like to share some important information about what we are doing to support the global effort to contain the spread of COVID-19 while also doing our best to minimize disruption to the programs we offer.

Before we do so we would like to extend our sincerest thanks to those who have sent messages of support during this difficult time. As a small company we truly value your understanding and continued support. Together we will overcome the challenges that we face today.

Program Updates

It is difficult to predict how long containment measures will be in place globally, or what further restrictions may be imposed.

At this stage, TravelBud will only be enrolling new participants in programs which commence from June 2020.

The commencement dates for the programs which have spots available and which are, unless otherwise advised, proceeding as normal are set out below:

PROGRAM

INTAKE DATES

Teach English in Thailand

2020

29 June 2020
27 July 2020
28 September 2020
26 October 2020
23 November 2020
28 December 2020

2021

25 January 2021
29 March 2021
3 May 2021
31 May 2021
28 June 2021
27 September 2021
1 November 2021

Thailand Summer Teach

2020

08 June 2020
29 June 2020

2021

7 June 2021
28 June 2021

Teach English in Vietnam

2020

27 July 2020
7 September 2020
12 October 2020
16 November 2020

2021

22 February 2021
31 May 2021
26 July 2021
23 August 2021
29 November 2021

Teach English in South Korea

2020

27 July 2020
31 August 2020
26 October 2020

2021

25 January 2021
26 April 2021
26 July 2021
27 September 2021
19 July 2021

Teach English in Myanmar

2020

28 September 2020

2021

18 January 2021
26 April 2021
28 June 2021
27 September 2021

Teach English in Japan

2020

27 July 2020
28 September 2020
30 November 2020

2021

1 March 2021
31 May 2021
30 August 2021
25 October 2021

Teach English in Costa Rica

2020

29 June 2020
23 November 2020

2021

15 February 2021
10 May 2021
28 June 2021
22 November 2021

Online TEFL Course

2020

First Monday of every month.

2021

First Monday of every month.

We appreciate that you may have questions you would like to ask us, particularly if you are enrolled for a program which commences before June 2020, or if you are considering enrolling for a program in the future.

In what follows we do our best to answer what we believe are likely to be the most common questions. If you don’t see an answer to your question you can contact us at [email protected] or via the contact details in the sidebar and we will respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

FAQ

What is the current status of programs before June 2020?

THAILAND

An emergency decree came into effect at midnight on Wednesday, 25 March and remains in force through April 30. Under the decree, all foreigners are banned from entering the country to combat at the coronavirus pandemic.

The Thai government had previously mandated closure of all educational institutions in the country. As a result of this we have suspended our March 30 and April 27 intakes.

Our new, next intake for Thailand will be May 25th.

What we are offering to those currently enrolled in the March 30 and April 27 intake is to:

  1. Push back back to a later intake date (May 25 or later) with no change fees or restrictions.
  2. Take our internationally accredited online TESOL/TEFL course (the next course start date is March 30 or April 27) and come over on the May 25 intake and go from the orientation week directly into placement.

We will communicate this directly to participants for the March 30 and April 27 intake and give them the options outlined above.

We will continue to monitor things daily. 

VIETNAM

We have suspended our March 23rd and May 4th intakes as schools currently remain closed in Vietnam and have implemented online learning, and there is a level of uncertainty around future travel restrictions to Vietnam from now until the end of May.

Our in-country teams on the ground are currently facilitating online learning options with those who have not yet been set up by their school and are updating teachers daily as news is released.

SOUTH KOREA

We have suspended our April 27th intake due to the uncertainty of travel restrictions to South Korea from now until the end of May.

Our in-country teams on the ground are currently in contact with all participants in South Korea and are updating them daily as news is released regarding travel restrictions and Visas.

MYANMAR

Myanmar has closed its borders to all international flights, meaning no inbound travel permitted until April 30.

Our next intake is scheduled for 28 September 2020. 

We will continue to monitor things daily and update this page with new information.

JAPAN

Our first intake is scheduled for 27 July 2020. 

We will continue to monitor things daily and update this page with new information.

COSTA RICA

Our first intake is scheduled for 23 November 2020.

We will continue to monitor things daily and update this page with new information.

What is TravelBud’s advice for participants wanting to teach and travel abroad within the next 3 months?

During this time of uncertainty we are advising all participants to choose intake dates that fall later in the year.

We have published these intake dates above and on each program page on our website. There is no additional fee to switch between intake dates.

Can I defer my program to a later start date?

Yes, you absolutely can.  You can defer to a later program at no cost, either later in the year or in 2021.

Can I switch between programs?

Yes, provided that you meet the requirements for the program to which you want to switch, we can assist you to do so.  There may be a slight difference in the cost which we will communicate to you in advance.  

What if I have to self-isolate on arrival?

We will continue to monitor things daily and update this page with new information.

What are TravelBud’s in-country team doing on the ground to assist with containment?

In response to the spread of COVID-19, our in-country teams have put in place a comprehensive plan to support teachers on the ground, keep participants on our programs safe, and advise in-bound participants on how to travel safely.

They are collecting information from a wide variety of sources, collating it and sending it out to our teacher communities in each country regularly. 

They obtain relevant information from speaking to schools, embassies, and teachers in the field, monitoring local language and international news sources, and speaking to local partners, all in an effort to better understand the situation each day and keep our teachers informed and safe. 

They have also set up hotlines and designated staff members in all of our countries for participants to contact directly at any time if they have any questions or concerns, or need advice.

Our in-country teams have also put in place procedures at our offices and programs to ensure participant and staff safety. This includes closely monitoring the health of each participant from the moment they arrive on our programs.

Finally, we’re reaching out to participants who are in the preparation phase of traveling to our programs and informing them on how to maintain hygiene and safety during travel.

This plan is evolving daily to meet changing circumstances and is informed by the travel regulations, restrictions, and advice of those countries who are sending and receiving our participants.

What is TravelBud’s refund policy?

TravelBud’s enrollment and final fees are non-refundable.  However, we are now offering all those participants whose programs are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic the flexibility of a free date change to a later program date within 12-months from the original program date.

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