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TravelBud is a teach and volunteer abroad organization which focuses on sourcing culturally immersive and socially impactful programs around the world. Whether that’s volunteering at summer camps for underprivileged children in Thailand or our after-school program in rural Panama, you’ll be living like a local experiencing the welcoming nature of the culture and making a lasting, positive impact on the lives of children in the communities in which you work.Write a review
19 Feb 2020
TravelBud has poor customer support once the full payment has been made; they are misleading and their policies are not transparent. I thought I’d be dealing with them directly, but they passed me along to two partnering agencies. I went with TravelBud for South Korea after speaking with Grace, the enrollments manager. Soon after I paid the full cost to TravelBud and expected everything to go smoothly, they handed me over to their partner, XploreAsia. My interaction with TravelBud became very minimal and the rest of my interaction was with XploreAsia. It became as if I enrolled with XploreAsia instead of TravelBud. XploreAsia assisted with providing checklists of what I need for documentation for the program and visa purposes — from that experience, XploreAsia lacked a lot of organization and made the process far more difficult than it had to be. Now we are in an international Coronavirus epidemic and I asked about my options for the program including postponing my program date to a later date, XploreAsia responded about a different question and did not answer my question about postponing my course. I then decided I will not continue with the program due to the Coronavirus, and asked TravelBud for my refund. Saskia, TravelBud’s supporting manager, said “I’ve been in touch with Enzo and the team with regards to your request…This isn't cause for panic and our team…I believe the media is hyping this up at the moment…For my own health, I have been washing my hands…If any applicants develop symptoms they can go to the hospital and be taken care of, as the health care system in South Korea is excellent.” They also said there aren’t any travel advisories on South Korea about the Coronavirus, and they will continue with their program, so I won’t be getting any refund. After telling them twice that I need my refund, Saskia then mention I can be moved to a later course date (which I asked about this option 10 days ago), except I would need to pay their switch fee as arrangements and deposits has been made. To reiterate how XploreAsia lacks organization, they haven’t confirmed my accommodation arrangement with me like they said they would even though we’re one and a half weeks away from the course start date. On top of that, XploreAsia has introduced me with another partnering agency, HandSKorea who helps with placement. I mailed my visa documents to them as instructed. Since I’m not going through their program anymore, I asked for my documents (which has SENSITIVE INFORMATION such as passport photocopy, official citizenship documents, etc) to be mailed back to me. I haven’t gotten a response from them ever since I told HandSKorea I will not proceed with the program. Another point to make, going on a visa run also seems like a difficult task as South Korea’s Ministry of Health and Welfare has put up travel advisories for their citizens on traveling to the following countries: Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore. None of these countries have travel advisories on the coronavirus according to the CDC website, yet both XploreAsia and TravelBud says they are going by the CDC and WHO website advisories so they will continue their course. At this point, I will not proceed with TravelBud’s or XploreAsia’s program now or in the future. Saskia refuses to let me speak to her supervisor as she claims she is “at the top level at TravelBud,” yet the website shows the staffs include Director, CEO, and Founder. The way they have been handling this matter has been very disappointing, especially with their responses about the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The experiences with TravelBud and XploreAsia as well as HandSKorea unresponsiveness regarding my documents containing sensitive information has made me and others question if they are legit organizations.