Hi everybody wherever you are right now. I'm in South Korea and it's 10 a.m. Friday, so good morning. I'm back here again today, my name is Linda from ITTT if you've been here before hi and if this is your first time watching thanks so much for tuning in and taking the time, we really appreciate it. If at any time during this live session you have any questions, feel free to drop your comments in the comment section from whichever platform you're watching from. We are streaming live on Facebook and on YouTube at the same time. If you can see me and hear me just leave a hi in the comment box, that would be highly appreciated so that I know that everything is working well.
For the first couple of minutes let's just have a chat and wait for a few more people to join in for our topic today. I mean you probably already saw it in the title but today's topic is the best countries for solo women to teach English abroad. So if you're a woman and you're thinking about teaching English abroad but you're not quite sure where you should go in terms of safety or any of those issues this should be of interest to you. Please don't forget to like and subscribe to ITTT on Facebook and on YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, wherever you want as we'd highly appreciate it. We always share and advertise our live sessions. We go live twice a week on Fridays or Thursdays, depending on where you're watching from, and my colleague Liza is on Tuesdays and she's a non-native English speaker from Russia. So you always get sort of both perspectives. That's what I really like about our live streams because you get a native speaker's perspective and a non-native speaker's perspective, that's really cool.
Also, we always turn our live sessions into podcast episodes. This is why I have this fancy mic in front of me. So if you're into podcasts or if you just downloaded this episode and you're listening to my voice, thanks so much for downloading, we really appreciate it. We actually just hit 1000 podcast downloads, we're so excited about that. There is also a special offer right here, this QR code. You can scan it at any time throughout this stream and you get 30% off any TEFL course from ITTT. I also have a discount URL for you if you don't want to scan it.
Hi Gwen, thanks so much for tuning in and Juliana, some familiar faces, that's great. I love this community, week after week we have new faces but we also have faces or names that I see every week. I love your dedication and your support, it means so much, thank you.
Hello Samuel, thank you so much for tuning in. At any time throughout this live stream feel free to throw your questions at me. There's also a Q&A section at the end as always, if you've been here before you know the drill. I always prepare a visual presentation that goes along with what I'm saying but you can still ask your questions at any time and then there's also time at the end after I've finished with my presentation. I love engaging with you guys, I always learn so much from these streams because of you guys. We're engaging, we're sharing information, I think that's what it's all about, especially as girls we need to stick together and we need to help each other out.
HI Tiana, thanks so much for joining again. I'm super excited to talk about today's topic, the best countries for solo women to teach English abroad. I'm gonna throw some useful tips in there, if you're a solo woman and you want to go abroad to teach English by yourself. I've done that, I was born and raised in Germany and then I moved to China, that was my first time going abroad by myself. I was 19 when I went to China and I didn't know anybody there. I just took the leap and then I also moved to California by myself and then I actually went back to China a second time also by myself to a different place, a new city, and then I came to South Korea also sort of by myself. So I hope I'll be able to offer some insight into teaching abroad and also just traveling abroad solo.
I think that's a great way to start your journey before you take the leap and move somewhere new, you could just go on a solo trip. I'm married but I love solo travel, it's just so freeing as you can do what you want, it's the ultimate feeling of freedom when you go and travel solo. So we're going to talk about all that.
Hi Irma, good to see you again. I love that we have this community of people that I see every week, thank you so much. We also have Lilia, where are you tuning in from? Kiegen, is that how you say your name? I hope that I can gain more from your live stream, I'm going to decide to learn TESOL.
Very cool. That's also one question I always ask at the beginning of my live streams, who's doing a TEFL course right now? Who's already certified? Who's thinking about it? So let me know where you are on your TEFL journey so that I can better answer your questions.
HI Juliano. He says, I believe it's important to bring up this topic. As a man I think that women's issues are also men's issues, they are human issues.
Absolutely right, thanks so much for being here as a man and also listening to this topic. Maybe let's have another question. Have you traveled or moved abroad solo before or are you completely new to solo travel and moving abroad? What's your take on it, what maybe are some of your concerns? I would be really interested in knowing more about that so I can tailor the session to you guys.
Christina says hi and what a great topic, definitely want to know about this.
Great to see you again. I remember you watched before, thanks so much for tuning in again. Tiana says, I know which course I want to take, it's the business course.
Cool. So you want to take the business English certificate course, great. I also have that. That's one of the specialization courses, so you do need to get the full 120-hour TEFL course before that though. Because the business course and the teaching English to young learners course both build upon the standard 120-hour course. Those always go hand in hand, but we do have course bundles that include that one, So the Master Package would be the 120-hour course, plus the business English course, plus the young learners course. So that would be good for you.
Okay, Tiana says, I've never been outside the U.S sadly, but I have got the travel bug in me.
Awesome, that's really great. Traveling abroad is such a great thing and I highly recommend it to anyone. I love travel, it's so cliche but it really changes you, you grow as a person, you get a lot of different perspectives. So I definitely recommend that. All right, Samuel says, I'm aiming at grabbing a bachelor's in TEFL, is it available?
We offer certification level courses. So we have TEFL and TESOL certificates and also a TESOL diploma course. They can be taken online, in-class, or as a combined course option. I highly recommend you check out teflcourse.net, there you can see all the different course formats and then you can pick and choose which one suits you best. Alright, Gwendolyn says, I've moved around with family before but moved to the US by myself for school. I loved it and I think going somewhere alone is an incredibly enriching experience that I hope everyone can try at least once.
I completely agree, moving to a different place is an exciting but also daunting adventure, so you need to do a lot of research before you go. Katie says, I'm new but I've watched a couple of your videos. I have lived in Chile and Vanuatu before.
That’s so cool, how did you end up there? That's exciting. Okay, Tiana says, I completely agree and it will help you learn more about yourself.
So now I know a little bit more about you guys and what your background is and what you're dealing with so I'm gonna add my presentation and then we can start getting into the topic. But keep your questions coming and your comments coming, let’s have a discussion. I just want this to be casual and as useful and helpful to you guys as possible.
Katie says Vanuatu is next to Australia. I went there as a peace corps trainee for two months.
Wow that's so cool. Samuel says, I have an idea of traveling to Cambodia as an ESL teacher.
I've not been to Cambodia yet but it's very high up on my list. They do have a high demand for ESL teachers there and I also think that they're one of those places that accepts teachers without a degree and also teachers who are non-native English speakers. But you will need to be TEFL certified. So Cambodia is a great place for ESL teaching for sure.
Okay, so let me add my presentation now. I hope you can still see me here. So the best countries to teach English abroad for solo women. Basically the best countries to teach English abroad or to travel to if you're a woman and you're going alone, that's the gist of it. Somebody else has joined the chat. Christy says, I've taught English in China recently, I have now returned to my home country.
Cool, where in China did you teach? I also taught in China before. Gwendolyn says, I volunteered as an ESL teacher in Cambodia in high school. I think there's a lot of opportunity there and it's such a beautiful country too.
Thanks so much for sharing that, so Samuel maybe you and Gwendolyn can connect and find out more about teaching in Cambodia, that'd be cool. Maybe Gwendolyn can share her contacts if you still have them.
So I always do a brief introduction about myself. My name is Linda and I'm a travel writer and content creator under the name Linda Goes East, because I moved to China and then later to South Korea. I'm originally from Germany but I am half German and half American. My dad is American and my mom is German. You can find my personal stuff at lindagoeseast.com. I write a lot about solo travel as I travel a lot around Asia solo. On social media you can find me at Linda Goes East. Like I said, I'm based in South Korea, it's currently my sixth year here. I'm just waiting for the borders to open up again so that I can travel more around Asia. I just love Asia, I don't know what it is but it just makes me happy being in Asia. I just love the different vibrant cultures and I want to see more of it. On the other side, I am also a TEFL and TESOL marketing professional at ITTT. You can find us at teflcourse.net and on Instagram at International TEFL Training. Please give us a follow, that would be really great. ITTT is a leading TEFL and TESOL course provider worldwide for people who want to go abroad to teach English.
I'm just going to mention the QR code in your upper right hand corner. At any time during the stream you can scan this code and then you'll be led to the application page of our website and if you apply through this page you get 30% off any TEFL or TESOL course. I'm also going to share the URL as well because some people can't scan the code. I just pasted the discount link into the comment box so you can copy that and then it's the same thing, you'll be led to the application page and from there you can apply and get 30% off.
So the best countries for teaching English abroad as a solo women. A couple of you have said you have never traveled outside of your country, but some other people said they already moved abroad to different countries before so maybe you can also share your experience, how it was for you, and maybe later also some resources that you used before you moved abroad so that you can help out those ladies that are still planning to move abroad. That'd be really cool. I am also going to be sharing some really great Facebook groups that you should join if you're a woman and you're planning on moving or traveling solo, so definitely watch until the end because I think the groups are really the most helpful thing. There is one group that has a million members on Facebook, so wherever you want to go there's probably going to be at least I don't know maybe 100 people already living there.
Let's get right into it, so the first thing I want to say about this whole topic is that even though we say I'm moving abroad or traveling solo, you are not alone, you are never alone. Actually, around 60% of all English teachers abroad are women, so that's obviously a high percentage. So wherever you're moving to there's already going to be a very tight-knit expat community with like-minded people that you can connect to. Maybe your parents are going to be like, it's dangerous, you don't know anybody there, or you're thinking this to yourself. It's daunting moving abroad when you don't know anybody but just know that you're not alone, it's probably going to be a huge city where you're moving to so there's already going to be people there that you can connect with. Like I said around 60% of all English teachers abroad are women so you already have a network there and then there's also typically an expat community. There's always likely to be a lot of foreigners and people from your own country as well, so you can connect with them. But I think the key is finding out how to find them and how to connect with them. Most of the time if you're working for a school, if it's a bigger school, there's also going to be other foreign teachers already there that you can connect with. There's always Facebook groups and groups on other social media platforms where you can reach out to people. I just want to throw that out there, you are not alone.
So here you can see the two groups that I think you should join on Facebook that will help you as a solo female traveler or solo female teacher. This group right here has almost 80,000 members and I'm also a member here. I'm a member of both groups, so they're really great and I actually went live with one of the members from this group before, it's just a very cool group. It's the first Facebook group for women who travel solo and they also have regular live streams as well and they invite guests, other girls who travel abroad and share their stories. So this is a really great group that you should definitely join. So is Girls Love Travel, it's very similar but this doesn't only focus on solo and like I said that one has 1.1 million members. Just type in girls love travel and then the groups will pop up on Facebook and then you can click on the join button, Same for solo female travelers, you can type that into Facebook in the search bar and then it's gonna pop up and you can join.
So those are just two things I want to mention right off the bat, you can look it up and then join and then ask your questions. That's the great thing about those groups, you can ask questions and there are like a million girls that can get back to you, I'm sure there's somebody who has been through the exact same thing that you are asking about. So definitely join those and get as much research as possible before you embark on your journey. Both of them I think have a Clubhouse group as well, if you are on Clubhouse you can also find them there and listen in on a couple of their talks, it's very interesting. The girls love travel group recently did a session about travel safety and they had six different girls with travel experience all over the world. One was in Europe, one was backpacking through Latin America, one was in Asia, and they were sharing their safety tips, so that was very interesting. I highly recommend that because you can never get enough information about solo travel and about safety as a woman traveling alone.
I have looked up some statistics and this is the safe cities index 2019, this is the most current one. Basically they put the cities into these four categories, so there's digital security, health security, infrastructure security, and personal security. See the link down here, they have a really big infographic, so if you are interested and you want to check that out it has even more information on there. But those are basically the top five cities that are the safest cities in the world. I think what's most interesting is definitely personal security because I didn't even know what digital security is so I looked it up. That's basically like cyber hacking and phishing and things like that. I mean that's definitely a concern but I think my biggest concern would be personal security and maybe health security.
For personal security, as you can see the top five cities are Singapore, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Wellington. So a lot of Asian cities are there even though a lot of people think Asia is a bit scary and not safe. Actually Asian cities are incredibly safe as you can see. The health security cities are Osaka, Tokyo, Seoul, Amsterdam, and Stockholm, also the top three are in Asia. So clearly you don't need to be scared of traveling solo to Asia. It's not as scary as some people might make it sound.
Juliana says, I've personally been to Singapore and it's incredibly safe, it's very clean and also what I really liked about Singapore was the multicultural vibe. You have people from all over the world there. In Singapore they have very strict rules in terms of litter, you can get imprisoned I think and they don't sell chewing gum because they don't want people to spit it out and leave gum everywhere, it's a very neat place in all aspects.
Now I'm gonna look at different regions and country specifics, but I just wanted to throw out the safe cities index so you can check those official statistics out at safecities.economist.com. I think there are also different safe indexes from UNICEF and UNESCO, those kinds of organizations, so you can also look out for that.
Right, let's look at teaching English in Asia as a single woman. I went to Asia by myself and I never really had any issues. I've been to all of those countries listed here and I was always fine. So the lowest crime rates in Asia are in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, Japan, and South Korea. Those countries have the lowest crime rates in Asia. Other popular options in Asia include Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. I know Gwendolyn you're from Malaysia, can you maybe talk a little bit or let us know about that. I've been to Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding areas and I always felt very safe. It was a beautiful place, very friendly people and most people also speak English so that was also really great. I also traveled solo to Thailand which was great, I never had any problems, same with Hong Kong. I lived in China for a year and a half and I never had any issues.
Of course, I also want to say and this is a disclaimer, no place is a hundred percent safe, so even though those have the lowest crime rates it doesn't mean they don't have any crime. I just want to throw that out there and make sure we all are on the same page. There is crime happening everywhere and the same as back home you always need to be aware of your surroundings. Obviously you need to travel smart whether you're a man or a woman. You need to just always pay attention to your surroundings and just act smart. It also doesn't mean that the other countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia are not safe or that if you go there you're gonna get mugged or something. That's also not what I'm saying. At the same time, if you go to Singapore something also could happen, obviously no place is 100% safe, but those places have the lowest crime rate statistics.
I've been living in South Korea for almost six years now and I find it very safe. Recently I've seen a lot of tick tocks where it's like 3 or 4 in the morning and people are just going out in their slippers to the convenience store and it's fine. People from Europe or the US are mind boggled about it. So we have an answer from Gwendolyn. She says, yes I'm from Malaysia, Malaysia isn't as safe as say Japan and Singapore but I'd say definitely safer than America right now.
I agree, thanks for your input. Has anybody else been to Asia, traveled solo there or not even solo if it was with somebody it's fine too? How have you felt there, what country have you been to and did you feel safe or did you not feel safe? I have a story from when I lived in China. We were out in a downtown area, me and my friend, and we were just walking and it was very crowded and nothing happened to us, but there was a couple in front of us and she was wearing a backpack and there were two guys walking behind them and we saw one guy tried to open the backpack and pickpocket something out of her backpack. We saw he tried a couple of times to get something out of her backpack and so we were like oh my god we have to tell her so we went up and were like hey this guy is trying to pickpocket you and he was like no I'm not, and they were like oh thanks and then they just left. Then we saw the guys who tried to pickpocket them kind of leaving the area and going back to a group of more people, so we're like oh no now they're grouping up and we were just two girls so we were kind of worried so we just took a taxi and went back home. So you just need to be smart.
Gwendolyn says, my top advice is to ask local women which areas are the most and least safe, with every city in the world there are always places that are better or worse for women. It's like Linda said, us girls have got to stick together.
Yes, that's some great advice. I mean like you said every city has places where you shouldn't go, not just as a woman. There are some shady areas in every city, definitely agree with that. That's why I think those Facebook groups come in very handy, you can ask hey I'm gonna travel to this place is there an area I should avoid? I know that in Hong Kong, I have a friend there and I visited and asked her what's a good place to stay and she said this area. I said what about this area, I keep seeing really cheap hostels and hotels in this area, how's this area? She said no, don't go there. That's a dangerous area that's why the hostels are so cheap, there's a lot of pickpocketing and other crime going on in that area so please don't go there. So definitely reach out to people who are in that place where you want to go to and get some advice.
Vidya says hey Linda, Japan is a safe place for sure. Yes, I agree Japan is very safe and the locals are also very polite and friendly, actually it's part of their culture. They wouldn't pickpocket anybody or do anything in the open as they have this thing like losing face, so if they were committing a crime and other people see them committing a crime that would be the worst for them, their reputation would all be gone, they would lose face which is the worst thing for a Japanese person. They might do other shady stuff in the dark but not in public, mug you or anything like that. In South Korea a lot of people go to cafes and coffee shops for work or studying and they bring all their stuff like phones, books, laptops, and they would be there all day and at some point you've got to go to the bathroom and they just leave all their stuff on the table, go to the bathroom and come back and everything's still there, nobody would touch your stuff in South Korea. I think that's true for Japan as well. I don't know about Singapore, but I feel maybe in Singapore too.
Christy says, I felt really safe while I was in China, no one harassed me on the streets, but there can be a lot of other crimes in the ESL industry when it comes to switching schools and getting permits or documents on time for example, bribery and forgery and so on. You have got to be really cautious with recruiting agents and some schools.
Yes, that's actually a really good point. It's true especially for China I think and probably other countries too. I've also experienced that in China with faking documents and stuff like that and the school would be oh no it's fine, then if somebody checks it's on you and you get deported. I mean the school also has to pay a fine but there's a lot of people coming to China so they could get teachers all the time I guess.
I also want to mention these little stars behind some of the countries here like Hong Kong. So those are the places that have teaching programs available, those are safe places for us to go and they have teacher placement programs. Hong Kong has the NET scheme and I know a couple of you guys saw the live stream I did about government run teacher placement programs a couple weeks ago. You can go back and check it out in the playlist, I highly recommend it. So Hong Kong has the NET scheme which you can apply to and then get placed into schools. Japan has the JET program and South Korea also has two programs called EPIK and the TaLk program. So just a little bit of extra info for you guys. If you don't know anybody in that country it's easiest to just apply to the program and get placed there, you also get a lot of assistance from those programs. They have staff who take care of you from the moment that you set foot on the ground. They pick you up and give you an orientation and a lot of info. So that's also a safe way to transition into a new place.
Okay are we good with Asia? Can we move onto the next region or are there any more questions about Asia specifically. Let me know. I know a lot of you guys are specifically interested in teaching in an Asian country. As you can see Cambodia is not on the list so I don't know what their crime rate is. I did not find Cambodia on a safe list, but also I know many people who have traveled to Cambodia by themselves and nothing happened to them. So like I said, it doesn't mean that if a country is not mentioned here something bad is gonna happen. But maybe if it's your first time traveling solo or first time going abroad maybe pick one of the countries with the lowest crime rates first so that you can get experience in solo travel.
Okay, I'm moving on to the Middle East. Teaching English in the Middle East as a single woman can be tricky, it's not everybody's cup of tea. From what I hear the best place to go is Dubai. I've heard of a lot of women who have lived in Dubai and they loved it. I have never been but it's high up on my list. I really want to go as it is a really modern place that’s very international. More than 80% of the people living in Dubai are expats from all over the world. That's crazy to me, I'm really curious to go one day and check it out. If any of you have been, let me know what you think of Dubai.
So the region can be a little bit difficult for women but the Middle East is also the region with the highest salaries for ESL teachers, so you kind of have to think about it. You could do it for a year and maybe you would feel better knowing that you make a lot of money but you might have to deal with a lot of different things, like a very different culture regarding women. The United Arab Emirates are among the top 20 countries with the lowest crime rate in the world. I actually met this Korean girl here in my city who was a flight attendant for Emirates and she lived in Dubai and she really liked it and I've heard from a lot of other girls who live in Dubai and they really like it there. So that could be a good option.
Gwen says that Cambodia would be safer in numbers, you can still go alone but make friends there.
Have you been to Cambodia Gwendolyn? Oh yes, I agree with you there and like I said that's also where those Facebook groups come in very handy, so you can reach out to people on there and make friends.
The next location we have is Europe. So teaching English in Europe as a single woman. The lowest crime rates in the region can be found in Finland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Iceland. So I've been to Spain and to Switzerland and I felt really safe, however with a lot of European countries pickpocketing is a big problem, especially in touristy areas. Paris, Rome, Milan, places like that are areas where pickpocketing is a big issue. I've heard from tons of people that they've had their phones stolen, their cameras stolen, their wallets stolen, things like that.
Juliana asked how about France? Yes I think pickpocketing is a problem in France and I think overall at the moment they have a lot of issues with terrorism so that's why I did not include it in there and it's also not included in the lowest crime rates in the region on the list. Like I said you need to take this as a piece of information and then do with that information what you will. I've been to France a couple of times and it was fine, I never had any issues but these are the crime rate statistics that I'm gonna present to you so take that plus information from people who live there and then make your own informed decision.
Gwendolyn says I went during high school to a lot of Southeast Asia. Even if a region is a little less safe, women are safer in numbers.
For sure, you're always safer as a group as opposed to when you're traveling alone. So I just want to mention Spain as they have the Cultural Ambassadors program, that's a really good program that I think targets Americans and Canadians. You can apply to that program because it's usually more difficult for US citizens and Canadians, or anybody without an EU passport, to get a visa in Europe. Spain has introduced this Cultural Ambassadors program that allows people to be placed into schools. That's a great way to get into Spain and also that's something that I recently learned about Portugal. Apparently Portugal is a new sort of digital nomad wonderland, they have this special new visa for non-EU citizens. It's apparently really easy to get for people to come to Portugal and work there. So if that's something that interests you, check it out. You can just Google Portugal digital nomad visa or something like that. I hear from a lot of girls and digital nomads who apparently love it there. It's a great way to set foot into Europe for sure.
All of the Scandinavian countries like Finland are considered very safe in general, but it might be difficult to get a job there as they have very tight restrictions. So what we always recommend is the Czech Republic as a good place to start teaching English in Europe because the visa regulations are not as strict. It's easier to get a visa there and then once you're based there you can travel to other places.
Hello teacher, I'm hikmat from Afghanistan.
Cool. You just missed the Middle Eastern part, it would have been good to know your perspective. Maybe you can give us some insight, that would be really interesting because I've never really been to that area unfortunately. We were specifically talking about the United Arab Emirates as being a very safe place, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the world and especially DubaI is a popular place because 80% of the population are expats. It's apparently also regarded as a very safe place for women. So what about other countries in the region, what would you say are some safe places for female teachers from abroad to travel to or to go to to teach English?
I think a lot of us girls are very curious about that region. Okay, Moses says, I guess Afghanistan is Asia.
Yeah, so I mean the Middle East is technically Asia, but for the purposes of this discussion it is easier to separate the Middle East from the rest of Asia as it has such a large teaching demand in the region. I see your point but I just wanted to separate that because culturally it’s very different from East Asia or Southeast Asia. Thanks Moses for the input. I see what you mean and I agree.
Okay, so we talked about Europe, what else is left. Yes, Latin America. Teaching English in Latin America as a single woman. The lowest crime rates in the region are in Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, and Peru. You will also notice the little star in Chile. So they also have a teacher placement program which is called the English Opens Doors program. However, because of COVID it's suspended temporarily. Hopefully next year they will resume that because it's the only program in that region of that sort, so it would really be a shame if they don’t continue it. Do any of you have experience in Latin America?
There are definitely a few horror stories unfortunately coming from Latin America so I think a lot of people are kind of scared of going there. I would really love to go to Latin America but then also maybe not solo, I don't have much experience there so if anybody has I would really appreciate some input. I hear Costa Rica is a really great place, a lot of people go there, a lot of backpackers and digital nomads as well and there is a high demand for English teachers. In fact in all the safest countries I mentioned before. I think the best way if you're interested in teaching English in Latin America is to go to Chile or Costa Rica first. In Chile you can go through the English Opens Doors program because then you already have a network of people from the program who will help you. Costa Rica seems to have a very big expat community. I've also heard from a lot of people that Buenos Aires is very popular. Peru is my personal favorite. I would love to go to Peru, it's high on my bucket list so I'm really hoping to be able to go soon.
Gwendolyn says I would love to go to Latin America solo, especially Costa Rica.
Great. Do you have any concerns about going there solo? What are your thoughts? Katie, didn't you say you were in Latin America? I'm trying to find your comment. Ah, you've lived in Chile, could you talk about Chile a little bit.
Yeah, I've lived in Chile for a year as a rotary international exchange student when I was in high school.
Cool. So how was it being in Chile, did you feel safe? Were there any issues? Could you tell us a little bit about that? I think that'd be really interesting for other people including me.
Can you post links? I'm sorry I ignored that question. If you Google English Opens Doors program Chile you should find it. You can see their official website here, and I'm gonna just post that into the comment section now so you can check that out later. But I think it's still suspended at the moment, yeah the website says due to the current global pandemic the volunteer initiative is suspended until further notice. But there's also an email address listed and they have a mailing list so you could contact them if you're interested in the program and then have them add you to the mailing list and then when the program is available again you'll get an email.
I want to go over a couple of useful tips for solo travel and solo moving abroad. So I just want to mention those two groups again that you can find on Facebook, that's Girls Love Travel with 1.1 million members and Solo Female Travelers with almost 80,000 members. Those two groups are really great. You can join and if you're traveling abroad or also teaching you can post your questions there and you can connect with people there. They have guides, they also do live streams, all kinds of different things. Another great tip I would recommend is getting in touch with the embassy in the country you're interested in and asking questions about safety issues and quality of life. So for example if you want to go to Chile you could contact the embassy in your home country and they usually have a plethora of information available to you, so that's another great resource.
Speaking of Chile, we have an answer from Katie or a comment, she says Chile is a very safe and friendly country, especially when you make an effort to learn and speak the language and travel in smaller towns. You do have to be aware and cautious of your surroundings in bigger cities, it is more common for robbery in cities like Santiago and Concepcion, but it's not scary or unsafe compared to other big cities.
I think that's also my point for doing this live today. I think that a lot of women are scared of taking the leap to travel solo abroad because of all those horror stories that they hear. That's just one thing, it's not any less safe compared to other big cities, it's just on the news we see all those horrible reports but that is not the normal way of things. Yes, you always have to be cautious and aware of your surroundings no matter where we go, but don't let that fear hold you back from traveling solo or moving abroad to a different country.
Another tip for you are bloggers. Bloggers can provide useful insight into what it's really like living in a certain country, they also usually have a contact email address or social media that you can ask them stuff at, and usually most of them are very helpful. They love answering your questions so reach out to bloggers or influencers or Instagrammers or whatever living in those places and just send them a message.
Also my personal tip is to start learning the local language before you leave your home country. As Katie just mentioned in her comment about Chile, knowing some Spanish in Chile is really helpful and that goes for every country. Being able to speak the local language, even if it's just a little bit, really goes a long way and also in terms of safety. If you are able to say fire, fire, or something in the local language it could save your life.
I also want to mention that I am on Clubhouse, if any of you are on Clubhouse that's another great new platform to make connections. They also have a bunch of different groups and rooms on there about traveling solo, about different countries specifically and if you're actually interested after this in about 30 minutes I'm doing a Clubhouse talk with some other girls from South Korea. I'm going to share the link to it. If you have Clubhouse and you want to listen and join the conversation about living in South Korea you can join in about 30 minutes. I'm excited about that.
Now the Q&A is open. I'm just gonna paste the coupon link again into the comment section and then you can keep your questions coming. We can do another couple of minutes together and then I'm going to sign off and then maybe I will see or hear you on Clubhouse, that would be really great.
Gwendolyn says, thank you for today.
Thank you guys for being here again, I hope it was helpful and useful, obviously I don't have first-hand knowledge on what it's like to travel or live in all of those places because I'm mostly familiar with Europe the US and Asia, so I wasn't able to give a lot of information about the Middle East or Latin America. But I think that this is a community and we had some great input from people who were in those places. I think that's very helpful and that's what I really like about these live streams, it's a community and we all share our personal insight, especially Gwendolyn you shared a lot so thank you for that. Katie also had lots of great input. Like I said in the Beginning, us women need to stick together.
Juliana said I really want to travel by myself but I studied abroad with a friendly group in France for about five weeks in 2013.
Cool. So I hope that you take the information to heart. I think especially the two Facebook groups are really gonna be helpful, you can make some great connections there. I hope to see you there, I'm also in those groups and I like to share my experience and ask other people as well.
All right, so Christy asks will the discount be available after this live stream as my sister can't sign up right now but she's interested in getting started with her 120-hour TEFL course?
Awesome, I love that your sister is also joining the TEFL family. Yes, the discount URL will be available the whole weekend through until Monday, so you can sign up whenever you have time. You can also scan this QR code, you can watch the replay and scan the code. Make sure you copy the link if you can't use the QR code.
Christina says there were some great tips and it was very interesting. I'm wondering whether to travel solo or with someone and this is very helpful and encouraging, thank you.
I'm glad, thank you so much, that means a lot to me. Thanks to all of you as well, I know there's a lot of familiar faces, I love seeing you every week, a lot of new faces as well. I hope to see you guys again. You can always watch the replay if you missed the beginning of today's live stream and I'll see you again next week with another exciting topic. Have a wonderful day, night, evening, morning wherever you are, stay safe and I'll talk to you next time.