Volunteering in Asia forum

Looking for Volunteering- Travel To Teach?

  • lola899

    Joined Travelfish
    7th September, 2010
    Posts: 36

    Looking to volunteer in SEA in february, so far I have found a program called Travel To Teach, is anyone familiar with it or has done it??

    #1 Posted: 7/9/2010 - 21:57

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  • mattocmd

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 365

    Hello Lola,

    There has been a lot of activity on this website over the years in regards to volunteering/paying to volunteer, etc.

    With "Travel to Teach" you pay $615 to volunteer in Thailand for 2 weeks. I'll assume that weekends are off so that makes it $61.50 to volunteer per day in Thailand. Compare that figure to the average daily salary in Thailand and I just can't figure out why they charge that much.

    Others certainly make good points about there being a need for funding to cover administration fees, etc. but I still argue that $61.50 per day is just too high.. (also, that price doesn't cover your flights)...You end up paying an arm and a leg and all you wan't to do is help someone out.

    Did you know that you can find schools who want native speakers to teach English who don't require fees? Search this website and I'll bet you'll find some. With a little travelfish research, a question or two on these boards, and a little extra time, you can find school that'll be happy to have you (and won't ask for a dime - only your time).

    #2 Posted: 7/9/2010 - 22:35

  • idreamofdur-

    TF writer
    Click here to learn more about idreamofdurian
    Joined Travelfish
    5th September, 2008
    Location Singapore
    Posts: 576
    Total reviews: 4

    I've heard good things about VolunThai which arranges homestays and teaching positions in rural areas. Their fee is a much more reasonable $325 per month then only $150 per month if you want to stay... http://volunthai.com/

    #3 Posted: 9/9/2010 - 00:23

  • yogakhaolak

    Joined Travelfish
    1st April, 2010
    Posts: 45

    This organization in Khao Lak is reputable www.volunteerteacherthailand.org. I know many who have volunteered with them. And there is no fee other than your own personal living expenses.
    Also try Grassroots www.ghre.org/en/ They work with the Burmese community.

    #4 Posted: 9/9/2010 - 10:26

  • travel2teach

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2011
    Posts: 2

    Some comments on Travel to Teach and the economy of volunteering:

    The arguments that ends with 60 $ is rather ridiculous. Firstly you need to spread the cost over
    the 14days involved secondly you’d need to look at least on an average volunteer stay. For a volunteer who stays 6 months on our program the per day cost is -7 Euro/day which makes it rather more worthwhile. Our service extends to 7 days per week and our participants stays averagearound 2 months.

    For a person who stays 2 months the cost per day is 500 Thai Bath. This is around what you would have to pay for a decent guesthouse in Thailand and then you would only get a room. No special events of any kind and none of the social life among volunteers nor any of the
    contacts to the local community, that is such an important part of how our volunteers describe their experience.

    The fee consists of two parts, the application fee which is always 250
    Euro and the other part which is supposed to cover the costs in the country.

    The application fee covers all overhead costs: Keeping the website,
    answering mail, all taxes, fees, transfer costs, maintaining the
    website and database and keeping it up to date and not least, making
    it show on search engines which includes keeping certain paid listings
    and other promotional activities. Our Head Office salaries average half of what the person would earn as teachers here.

    Our in-country costs are maintaining houses that can host 10-12
    volunteers at all time throughout the year whether we have 1 or 22 volunteers in them.
    The same thing goes for the In country staff; in Thailand we have two
    full time and one part time coordinator working whether we have
    volunteers or not.

    There are organizations that work in a different way. Volunthai is one
    of them. They only receive the volunteers and sends them
    out to village home stays in Isan. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, on the contrary.
    For volunteers who what that kind of experience this organization
    absolutely to be recommended. If you are an experienced traveler, you
    can actually just go on your own out to any school in any village in
    Isan and they will host you and let you teach English (if you can make them understand that this is what you want)

    The only thing to consider is that unless you use some organization
    you will not make a difference at all. I don’t know much about
    Volunthai so I cannot judge if they have enough volunteers to keep a
    constant presence where they work, but I believe that is the absolute necessity for making a difference.

    To illustrate what I mean look at the video


    where the background is explained. After this, since our dorm was
    right next to it, we taught at this school with a constant presence.
    When we had done so for 2 years, this small, under privileged school
    won the contest for English speaking for the whole province of
    Nongkhai. This could only have been achieved by our constant presence
    and that requires an organization to arrange and that takes some

    Anyone who want to discuss this further I would certainly welcome.

    #5 Posted: 13/6/2011 - 09:48

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    When you compare T2T with other companies out there, other pay for volunteering companies, they do stand out as being very competitively priced. True, it is not free/low cost, and there are a variety of less expensive options, but you would have to look at the whole package and weigh up what was right for you.

    One thing that makes me wary of T2T is the length of the orientation/induction. If, as per your site, you accept volunteers with no experience/qualifications in teaching, would a 2 day orientation (which is not just about teaching) enable a volunteer to make a 'worthwhile contribution'? Would they know what they were doing or how to do it? Do your staff offer on-going support on the teaching side?

    If you compare T2T to, say, GVI (in particular, teaching in Laos) I believe they provide a full week of orientation which includes teaching and an introduction to the location. One of their Thailand options also involves the volunteer being an 'assistant' rather than the teacher which might help with the issue above. However, GVI programs also seems considerably more expensive.

    Thanks for posting, although, I think this will be of limited help to the OP as their message was months ago! :) Look forward to reading more on this issue/post anyway.

    #6 Posted: 13/6/2011 - 19:10

  • travel2teach

    Joined Travelfish
    13th June, 2011
    Posts: 2

    I think your question is valid. However, we know that we can not make teachers of people in one, two, three days or even a week.

    So we have a different definiton of the roles of the volunteers. The teacher should stay in the classroom and run the class in usual manner. The volunteeers role is to provide spoken English and conversation.

    Our coordinators goes along every day to help out with translations and dicipline. They can not be in all classrooms all the time but they help out as much as possible.

    We are also working to develop an online material that we can send volunteers and that will prepare them for the situations they will encounter.

    #7 Posted: 17/6/2011 - 13:07

  • christay2009

    Joined Travelfish
    8th February, 2009
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 414
    Total reviews: 4

    That makes sense. It is interesting though, as I have not really been given the impression that this is how it works when looking on your website (and others). Maybe that is just me. Overall, I think this would make me more likely to apply for a program rather than less.

    I completed an online TEFL (inc. weekend course) and found that it has been helpful in that it provides a fairly good overview of some of the challenges you might face. The assessed parts (by a tutor) also get you really thinking about teaching (e.g. lesson planning). Sending volunteers online material beforehand sounds like a great idea, especially if there is some kind of feedback also.

    Do your new volunteers teach in pairs initially? I believe someone mentioned that on your volunteer stories section. You mentioned that T2T includes weekends, is there option teaching at this time or excursions etc?

    #8 Posted: 17/6/2011 - 17:21

  • khtlc

    Joined Travelfish
    23rd August, 2011
    Posts: 1

    If you are interested in staying in Beijing for a year, we are Beijing’s oldest professional tutoring service, and seeking advanced English tutors.

    The right candidate should have a minimum of a B.A. in English literature, journalism, writing, or a related subject and at least two years of tutoring experience. Preference will be given to those candidates who have proven experience working with middle and high school students and those with experience in SAT prep.

    Please send your resume to keikoh.tlc@gmail.com

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    #9 Posted: 23/8/2011 - 12:54

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