“To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing to you in relation to my trip booked via i-to-i.com Love TEFL – The Cambodia Adventure
I started this course with the intent, which i was informed at the time of booking would be met, that the required 100 hour TEFL course would provide me the tools to teach and the 5 days spent in a school environment teaching children in Cambodia would give me real exposure, a chance to put the learned skills to work and it would be structured to allow me to assess if I wanted to become a TEFL teacher before seeking a 6 month job
These were the key reason i chose the i-to-i.com Love TEFL – The Cambodia Adventure. I also picked your company since booking a trip with an organisation whose purpose is TEFL courses would ensure a professional placement and a really great experience of teaching English all of which was discussed pre booking and I was assured would be the case.
So I set out with high hopes soon to be dashed
This tour has been the worst I have done in over 18 years of solo and tour travel. I will first mention the teaching and then the tour disappointment and why I CAN NEVER recommend your company
1 Other people on the tour not booked through i-to-i.com did not have to undergo the TEFL Teaching Course and or show any police clearance. This was a early indicator the teaching was not going to be that valuable and the TEFL qualification money and money and time spent getting the police clearance was a waste.
2. We were given no information either in advance so we could plan or at the school itself before teaching about the students, their skill level, syllabus, what they were learning or other critical elements - all of which is critical per your own training to ensure a effective lesson
3 There were no resources available to assist in teaching - no flash card, course bookS, reading books, color charts or anything even mentioned in your own training.
4 there was no teacher in the classroom at any point to learn from
Instead we were given a marker and told to teach 'what ever we wished' but teach the same thing each day.
This was terrible some students were more advanced that what we were teaching, some less, we had no material to use and just a whiteboard - how I was supposed to learn from this and assess if I wanted to teach is beyond me
5 this was not a school but a afterschool English program of 2 rooms so it did not reflect what we were told would be a school in any sense.
6 we were expecting a 5 day placement. But the Friday happened to be on the Chinese New Year and thus, the school was closed so we only got a 4 day placement cutting even further into the experience.
In summary I was lied to by your company regarding what the placement would be like. I was sold the expectation I would be surrounded by experienced teachers in a public school with tools and a inplace syllabus and structured curriculum and would gain further teaching insight and a chance to use the knowledge from the TEFL course in a productive way to build my confidence in teaching a class and the tools to use during this teaching to engage the students if I decided to teach.
Instead I was chucked into a room full of kids with no information what so ever and told to teach them.
And now for my review of the rest of the tour. Having travelled for almost 18 years by myself and on tours the world over this is one of the worst run tours I have ever done. Your company or its subcontractors take no responsibility for anything that goes wrong but blame each other or strangely Cambodia itself.. This has been the most unprofessional all in it for the profit tour I have done.
1 We were supposed to be picked up at the airport. But nowhere could we see any signs stating i-to-i.com or the local partner company STARFISH. Apparently, the guide was at the airport but with the name of a totally different company on his board.
2 clearly no one has done hotel quality checks we stayed in 3 hotels and one homestay. In 2 of the hotels we had to be moved due to a combination of broken AC no water in the shower, mold in the shower and the homestay had no AC so the room was a oven each night in feb - the only other option was sleeping on a concrete pad in a three walled bamboo enclosure on a cot
It looks like you book the cheapest rooms possible and have done no diligence on where you are placing people.
3 tour length is to long at the beach agin the guide can give us nothing to do for 6 nights. That shows poor planning on your part of what to give the guide and how you planned this tour.
4 our guide was not able to clearly communicate what was included, excursions for off days and seemed poorly informed about the tour itself.
The only good things were the day of sighting seeing in Phnom Penh, the days in Siem Reap and Angkor Wat and the one day snorkelling and island hopping in Sihanoukville were all good. However, i didn’t book this trip for these experiences - I can do those by myself for cheaper. i booked it for the teaching experience and that gets a F failing grade in teaching
The 4 days of teaching felt like a waste of time. I don’t feel as if the students got anything out of it and more importantly to me I definitely did not get anything out of it regarding should I teach- right now based on those 4 days it's a solid no.
In summary I feel lied to about the teaching component, ripped off about the rest and in no way will be recommending your company to anyone.”
Thank you for your feedback; we are very sorry that you have been unhappy with your experience in Cambodia with us. As you have contacted us formally we will come back to you privately regarding your full comments. This trip should be a great experience and we're sorry to hear you have not found that to be the case.
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