COVID-19: Update from the TravelBud team

The information below was last updated on April 29th 2022. 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 and Intake statuses

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

In what follows we do our best to answer what we believe are likely to be the most common questions.

We also have FAQs further down the page.

If you don’t see an answer to your question you can contact us at info@travelbud.com or via the contact details in the sidebar and we will respond to your inquiry as quickly as possible.

What is the current status of programs?

Across nearly all of our program countries, second/third waves of COVID-19 outbreaks are coming under greater control, and as vaccination rates increase, we are starting to see things open up.

Vaccination Requirements for Employment

Our in-country destinations have all begun and are increasing vaccine rollouts with the goal of vaccinating the majority of their populations.

The vast majority of our in-country populations are open and willing to be vaccinated and we are encouraged that most of our teachers are vaccinated or have expressed willingness to be vaccinated.

Partner schools may refuse employment to the unvaccinated and there is a strong possibility they will require all teachers to be vaccinated when they return to in-person teaching.

Providing proof of vaccination for COVID-19 prior to arrival in-country, or, if you are unable to obtain vaccination before arriving in-country, that you’re willing to receive vaccination in-country, may be a condition of employment.

We’ve updated the conditions and short-term outlook for each of our main program countries:

THAILAND

It was just announced that there is no more quarantine for Thailand starting May 1 and no more requirement for a COVID test upon arrival.

While cases remain somewhat high, hospitalizations are at an all-time low. Thailand is transitioning to a ‘living with COVID’ phase, meaning there are very few restrictions. We are back to full, in-person, four week TESOL/TEFL courses and have detailed plans in place to manage COVID cases on our program.

INTAKES

The next available intake is 2 May 2022.

VIETNAM

Vietnam opened to tourism on March 15!

Both visas on arrival (free visa) and normal tourist visas have resumed. The visa on arrival only is available for certain countries, while almost everyone else can apply for a normal visa.

There is also no quarantine on arrival, nor are there any covid-19 tests upon arrival. Visitors simply need to take a negative RT-PCR test within 48 hours before departure. We are still waiting for more information on what, if anything, will change about the current business visa application process. We are hoping that tourist visas will be allowed to be changed over to a business visa without the person needing to leave Vietnam, or be able to just do a quick visa trip to a neighbouring country to get the business visa, but we are still waiting for an update.

INTAKES

All 2022 intakes are currently open for applications including:

  • 2 May 2022
  • 30 May 2022

SOUTH KOREA

We are going forward with our first in-country TESOL course for July 25 and we have three courses for the rest of 2022. We still have lots of places available for our October 31 intake.

The government is planning to ease social distancing rules and announced further easing of entry requirements and social distancing measures, all which point towards a return to “normal” in the coming months. Cases are quite high but hospitalizations are very low.

Quarantine was lifted from April 1st.

People applying for quarantine exemption are only considered fully vaccinated if they have received their last shot within 14 to 180 days prior to their arrival. We are highly likely to be resuming orientation programs in April and in-class TESOL/TEFL on June 25. We will announce shortly.

Demand for teachers is exceptionally strong at the moment, and we have expanded our placement network to allow for us to handle more teachers than ever.

INTAKES

All 2022 intakes are currently open for applications.

MYANMAR

Myanmar is further opening now. Commercial flights are now open to Myanmar as of April 21. The quarantine is only one night. This is a big change and makes it much easier and cheaper to get to Myanmar.

After going through a devastating COVID wave and a military coup in 2021, the country has entered 2022 with renewed hope. COVID cases are stable and people are going out a lot more, schools are beginning to open and foreign teacher demand is strong. Some foreign teachers already entered the country recently but there is extensive paperwork, high flight costs, and long visa wait times.

However, these should be manageable. We are actively finalizing a plan to bring teachers into the country. We will be communicating on this more in the next few weeks.

INTAKES

There are currently no intakes available.

JAPAN

Japan started gradually reopening its borders to workers on March 1, 2022. Quarantine is not necessary for the majority of fully vaccinated travelers.

This is exciting and much anticipated news but it will take some time for the placement situation in Japan to normalize. Having been closed for the greater part of two years, a lot of people are trying to travel in one go so there is increased competition for jobs.

Teaching placements may take longer than in pre-pandemic times. We have some public and international school arrivals happening this and next month. The public schools are staggering arrivals so some participants may be asked to come a bit later than planned.

INTAKES

Due to the uncertainty surrounding borders reopening and long visa processing times, it would be best for new signups to prepare to move over in mid 2022.

Participants also have the option to complete their TEFL/TESOL certification online with TravelBud and will have their job placements confirmed from the comfort of their home, allowing them the flexibility to head over to start their teaching adventure as soon as it’s possible and safe to do so.

We will aim to continue to support current participants in moving forward with their initial timeframes as far as the situation will allow.

All 2022 intakes are currently open for applications.

COSTA RICA

We’re seeing things really take off in terms of school demand and the return of tourists in Costa Rica. Our in-class TESOL courses are full steam ahead in Costa Rica.

All activities are continuing as planned. We have a range of placements that include in-person, hybrid, or online. International Schools are fully in-person.

There is no quarantine and the borders are fully open. Most local academies are still operating online or moving to a hybrid format. Some local academies are looking to go back to fully in-class as early as April. We expect to see more schools going back to in-person over the coming months. We have lots of online positions and are assisting teachers that prefer remote working with obtaining those positions.

INDONESIA

Bali is Open!

Travellers will need to follow a mandatory quarantine currently 4 nights and 5 days in a Jakarta hotel of your choosing within a network of options and then you’ll fly down to Bali to begin your course.

INTAKES

All 2022 intakes are currently open for applications.

CAMBODIA

Cambodia is Open!

Cambodia has completely done away with their mandatory quarantine period.

INTAKES

All 2022 intakes are currently open for applications.

Next available intake dates open for applications:

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

Please note: Our support team will keep all 2020/2021 accepted applicants updated with relevant information, options and updates.

PROGRAM

INTAKE DATES

Teach English in Thailand

2022

2 May 2022
30 May 2022
27 June 2022
26 September 2022
31 October 2022

Thailand Summer Teach

2022

6 June 2022
27 June 2022

Teach English in Vietnam

2022

2 May 2022
30 May 2022
25 July 2022
22 August 2022
28 November 2022

Teach English in South Korea

2022

25 April 2022
25 July 2022
26 September 2022

Teach English in Myanmar

2022

25 April 2022
27 June 2022
26 September 2022

Teach English in Japan

2021

All in-country TEFL/TESOL courses have been cancelled.
Online TEFL/TESOL courses start on the First Monday of every month.

2022

Online TEFL/TESOL courses start on the First Monday of every month.
28 February 2022 (In-country TEFL course) - POSTPONED
30 May 2022 (In-country TEFL course)
25 July 2022 (In-country TEFL course)
24 October 2022 (In-country TEFL course)

Teach English in Costa Rica

2022

9 May 2022
27 June 2022
21 November 2022

Online TEFL Course

2021

First Monday of every month.

2022

First Monday of every month.

Teach English in Indonesia

2022

4 July 2022
8 August 2022
4 September 2022
10 October 2022

Teach English in Cambodia

2022

16 May 2022
13 June 2022
8 August 2022
5 September 2022
3 October 2022
31 October 2022
28 November 2022

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be vaccinated in order to travel?

You currently do not need to be vaccinated in order to travel, however, vaccination may become a condition of employment. You may need to present negative PCR tests within 48 hours of travel and/or complete a mandatory quarantine period upon your arrival.

Our in-country destinations have all begun and are increasing vaccine rollouts with the goal of vaccinating the majority of their populations before year-end.

The vast majority of our in-country populations are open and willing to be vaccinated and we are encouraged that most of our teachers are vaccinated or have expressed willingness to be vaccinated.

Partner schools may refuse employment to the unvaccinated and there is a strong possibility they will require all teachers to be vaccinated when they return to in-person teaching.

Providing proof of vaccination for COVID-19 prior to arrival in-country, or, if you are unable to obtain vaccination before arriving in-country, that you’re willing to receive vaccination in-country, may be a condition of employment.

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

Please review the country updates above regarding the status of our programs. Our coordinators will advise you on all the entry requirements and latest COVID updates for each country so that you may make an informed decision.

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.

What happens if I am unable to travel to my selected program country for my intake due to COVID-19?

If you are unable to head over for your intended start date due to COVID-19 you will have options such as choosing a later intake start date at no additional cost.

Can I switch to a different program to that which I originally signed up for?

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.

Will I need to arrive two weeks prior to my intake start date if there is a mandatory 14-day self-isolation regulation in place?

No. You will still need to arrive during the three days leading up to your intake start date. Chat to your enrollments coordinator for the latest up to date information.

What happens in the event that I need to self-isolate upon arrival?

First of all, don’t panic. Our Support team and our team on the ground will guide you through the whole process, assist you with arrangements and ensure your safety and wellbeing throughout your program.

Please read these blog articles on our participants’ quarantine experience:

How will a 14-day self-isolation period work? How will I be fed etc.?

The team on the ground will be there to ensure that you are taken care of in terms of grocery shopping, WiFi and check-ins during your 14-days of isolation. They will communicate everything with you clearly before and during your self-isolation and will be available to assist you should you require it.

Will I need to purchase a specific or special COVID-19 travel insurance policy?

You will need to purchase a travel insurance policy covering treatment and medical expenses with a minimum coverage of 100,000 USD. Our Support Managers will talk you through all of your options.

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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