GoAbroad Interview

Peter Pittendrigh - Sales Manager

Peter Pittendrigh - Sales Manager

From packing bread in Manchester to landscaping in Altringham and sweeping streets in London to bartending in the Czech Republic and teaching English in Thailand, Peter has seen his fair share of the world and experimented with a number of careers. Through his international experiences he has discovered that traveling has the power to changes people's’ lives forever; with this realization in tow, he thoroughly enjoys working for TravelBud.

You’ve worked in England, Thailand, and the Czech Republic, in a variety of roles. How did you end of working for TravelBud?

After returning to South Africa from my teaching experience in Thailand, I met up with the founder of TravelBud, Liam Kelly, who I had previously sent to teach in Thailand when I worked for a travel agency, which is no longer running. We got to talking about career perspectives and I was given an offer to join the TravelBud team. I loved my experience in Thailand and was drawn to TravelBud because everyone working for the company has actually taught English abroad before and is so passionate about the programs they offer.

Volunteer teacher with students in Thailand

With Students in Pang Nga City

How does your own experience teaching in Thailand help you in your current role?

We pride ourselves in first hand experience, so when someone asks us a question about teaching abroad we don’t just give them scripted answers; instead, we are talking to them from real life experiences. I love the programs we offer and am passionate about sharing my experiences with prospective teachers. I have no doubt that we can offer our clients all the information and tools needed to be successful teachers, not only in Thailand but anywhere in the world.

What is the number one thing every participant should know before teaching English in Thailand?

Respect your position, you are teaching young minds and helping them create a better life for themselves. In rural areas Thai children that learn to speak English well can later make a good living working in the tourism sector after school.

Man standing under a pier in Thailand

Peter during his travels abroad

Why do you think traveling abroad is such a powerful experience?

You are exposed to people and places outside of your usual ”bubble”. In our daily life we don't really have time to think about things that matter; traveling gives you time to think about, to reflect, to wonder about what it is you want from life, where you want to live, and so much more. I speak to people everyday that have completed their studies but are not sure what it is they want.

Take a year or two to figure out what makes you happy, and then do that, everyday.

How does TravelBud support participants after they arrive? How about when their teaching placement concludes?

Along with our placement team, we offer 24/7 in-country support, both during the TESOL course for the first month as well as during the teaching placement. Once an applicant arrives in country we arrange and help with airport pickups, accommodation, opening of bank accounts, language and culture orientation, cultural excursions, and much more. We equip applicants with all the tools needed to be a successful teacher abroad.

What long-term benefits does teaching abroad have in your opinion?

You change lives! If you are passionate enough about your teaching experience and you can instill a love for learning in your students, they can genuinely make a better life for themselves as the ability to speak and understand English, in the countries we operate in, opens so many doors to the local people.

Why is teaching abroad with TravelBud different than teaching abroad through other organizations?

We are former teachers ourselves with invaluable first-hand experience. We regularly visit our placement destinations to meet with our school partners, monitor our courses, and ensure that everything is meeting the high standards we have at TravelBud, and keep in touch with all our participants to ensure that they are well adjusted to life abroad and to offer assistance when needed.

Sunset in Koh Samui, Thailand

Samui Sunset

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

Being able to see people experience what I was once so privileged to experience.

Can we expect anything new from TravelBud in 2016?

Some very exciting live webinars with current teachers and program managers in Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam, and Colombia. And of course, some new exciting programs!