TEFL Cultural exchange in Asia
Summer EduCamp Program
TEFL Summer Camps in China, Japan and Taiwan
Spend your summer teaching English at TEFL summer camps across Asia! Our unique cultural and teaching exchange program combines classroom teaching, one-on-one tutoring or activity leadership with genuine cultural exchange.
Whether you’re looking to gain international teaching experience, inspire enthusiastic young learners or simply travel on a student budget, we have the perfect camp for you!
We are looking for EduCampers who are passionate about education and cultural exchange, as well as having the skills and experience to have a real impact during the program. Therefore, we operate a competitive application process:
- Initial application – complete our simple online application form
- Profile approval by the Abridge EduCamp team
- Initial deposit due – successful applicants will be asked to pay a £99 deposit to secure your place (only £49 for early bird applications!)
- Document verification – applying for your police record check, collecting references, etc.
- Camp matching process – you can discuss directly with camps through our online camp matching portal. Note that a small number of particularly popular camps may require an additional interview, and there is a competitive application process for most camps.
- Confirmation fee due – to accept your place at camp, you are required to pay the remaining £150 of the program fee.
- Pre-departure preparations – once you know more about your camp, you can begin your TEFL training course to prepare lesson plans, as well as organise logistics such as flights and visas.
Due to the funding generously provided by host schools, local visa restrictions and the internship responsibilities, applicants must meet the following essential eligibility requirements:
Be a current student or recent graduate (including gap year students);
Aged 18 or over on 1st July 2021;
Have a valid passport from the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, New Zealand, or Australia, or be an EU national with experience studying in one of these countries;
Have a clean criminal record
Additional restrictions may apply for camps outside of mainland China due to the working holiday visa requirements.
Additionally, there is a competitive application process for which applicants will be judged against the following criteria:
Previous voluntary, teaching or childcare experience;
A demonstrated passion for teaching, volunteering and working with children;
Commitment to full participation in all aspects of the summer camp program;
Passion and excellence in activities or sports played in afternoon activity time;
Level of spoken and written English;
Previous experience travelling or living abroad;
Ability to adapt to different cultures and work environments
We partner with camps across China, Taiwan and Japan – you could find yourself anywhere from major cities such as Beijing or Shanghai through to more rural outdoor adventure programs in the mountains of Japan! During the application process, you are invited to express a preference for a particular camp type (e.g. country, urban/ rural and English teaching/ STEM/ outdoor adventure), and we do our best to take these into consideration when placing successful applicants.
Camps will typically be 3-10 weeks starting from early July. Further details will be released closer to the time, and you will be informed of the program dates before confirming your place.
To maximise your chances of being successfully placed on a camp, please ensure you specify your maximum availability this summer. This is particularly important if you are interested in our new camps outside of mainland China which tend to require a longer time commitment.
EduCamp is very different to your standard holiday or “voluntourism” trip! This is a bidirectional cultural exchange program with a significant teaching element, and as such we expect interns to behave and act as professionals. That being said, there will be plenty of opportunities to travel, with free trips and cultural workshops included during the summer camp and the opportunity to travel around Asia afterwards – with three days of free accommodation included in your package!
Although the majority of our programs are aimed at international EduCampers interested in the cultural exchange experience, we do have a small number of opportunities for those with the right to live and work in our program countries and experience studying abroad. These include:
Teaching at a camp for Chinese high school students preparing their university applications to study in the UK/ USA;
Volunteering as a teaching assistant/ co-teacher on our English language camps;
Working as a bilingual camp counsellor on outdoor adventure camps in Japan
- Internships with Abridge Academy visiting and monitoring our programs, collecting feedback and providing support
Note that these positions may have alternative financial arrangements to our standard program and may involve a different application process. Teaching positions are particularly competitive, as camps will be considering you alongside local applicants.
There is absolutely no requirement to know the local language, indeed the vast majority of applicants do not. All camps have English speaking staff responsible for helping you over the summer, and you will generally be paired with a bilingual teaching assistant or teacher in the classroom. Some camps will even offer you some free language classes!
We encourage applications from all individuals, and do our best to accommodate those with additional needs. However, please do be aware that the facilities and awareness in some countries is not to the same level as in the west. For example, schools do not typically have lifts or disabled toilets, which may pose a particular challenge to those with physical disabilities.
If you have any concerns about living in Asia, please do let us know at the initial application stage.
Although we cannot make any guarantees, we do endeavour to place EduCampers together if they request – this is usually possible as long as you apply early and are flexible your on camp placement. During the camp matching stage, please coordinate with your friend to apply to the same camp and feel free to discuss with the Abridge EduCamp team to find a program which best suits you as a group.
Note that we also have a refer-a-friend program which rewards you for inviting your friends along to join the program with you!
The majority of EduCampers do not know anyone before they come, don’t worry! We put you in touch with other participants (from all camp locations and our other international programs) before departure via a dedicated facebook group, enabling you to get to know each other and plan post-camp travels if you wish.
At camp, EduCampers typically share dorm rooms with each other, participate in cultural activities, and go on camp trips. This camp atmosphere provides plenty of opportunities to get to know each other and make life-long friends.
Qualified STEM/ Economics teachers (PGCE or QTS) are particularly recommended to express a preference for subject teaching camps, which provide you with the opportunity to broaden your experience by teaching abroad and working with children for whom English is an Additional Language.
Alternatively, you are welcome to join our standard English language camps, which also offer a valuable experience and less intense schedule. Some potential benefits include:
– Experience teaching students with English as an Additional Language
– Diversity your CV with different age ranges and subjects
– Gain international teaching experience
– Receive specialist training in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
On most classroom-based camps, you will be responsible for planning, preparing and leading lessons to classes of students. Most camps focus on teaching English and English culture, however there may also be opportunities to teach topics related to your degree. We also have a small number of STEM camps, which involve teaching your degree subject through project-based learning to high school students interested in studying abroad. Alongside your teaching responsibilities, you will also be expected to contribute more widely to camp activities, as well as engage with the cultural workshops and trips.
Alternatively, our outdoor adventure camps offer the opportunity to coach children learning particular sports, lead more adventure-based activities and really engage in the traditional American-style summer camp environment, with lots of camp activities and games. Note that these camps may require longer hours and less comfortable living environments, often in camp “bunks” with a group of children, but are a lot of fun if you love the outdoors!
The camp schedule does vary significantly between summer camps, and improvements are made to each camp every year. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a detailed schedule in advance. However, expect there to be a mixture of classroom teaching, afternoon sports/ games and evening activities. Most camps will also include activity days or visits to local sights, and during your days off they generally organise additional activities/ trips for EduCampers to enjoy.
All summer camps provide:
Return flights from your country of origin (a maximum reimbursement value will apply)
Accommodation (usually in shared school dormitories)
Visa invite letter
Canteen meals or a food allowance
Online TEFL training course
Trips to local sights
Cultural activities and workshops
Three days free accommodation for your post-camp travels
However, please note that there is some variation between each host school in terms of the quality of accommodation/ food provided or the trips/ cultural activities available.
You will be responsible for any additional costs outside the program, for example visa application fees, evening meals out, post-camp travel or souvenirs.
Although our camps are very well funded, thanks to generous support from sponsoring schools, there are a few additional costs participants will need to budget for. Please note that all costs below are approximate and subject to change.
Visa application fee (£50 – £200 depending on country and citizenship)
Police record check / DBS check (£12 for UK citizens)
Vaccinations (£0-£175 depending on previous vaccination records)
Travel insurance (£30-£50)
Transport to airport at end of camp (£5-£30)
Personal spending, souvenirs and meals out
Pre/ post- camp travel
We encourage EduCampers to apply for additional funding available through their university or college and are happy to write a supporting letter if required.
Additionally, each year we offer a small number of “media scholarships” for EduCampers willing to help us out with blog posts, social media features etc. over the summer. These are prioritised for those meeting certain widening participation criteria but all are welcome to apply! Further details will be sent to successful applicants shortly before the summer.
You will generally be accommodated in the school’s dormitories, which are similar to budget youth hostels in style. This typically involves staying in bunk beds (generally 4-6 people per room) with either an ensuite or shared bathroom. Although all accommodation meets local standards, please do not expect the same quality as you may have in your home country – dorm rooms may be very small or basic, toiletries and towels are rarely provided, and the room may not be sparkling clean when you arrive. This is all part of the experience!
Note that some camps offer alternative accommodation arrangements, such as a homestay – this is a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the local culture in a more comfortable living environment.
You are welcome to travel before or after the program provided that the duration of your visa allows you to do so. We even offer you three nights of free accommodation you can use as you wish! In the past, many EduCampers have travelled around their program country or elsewhere in Asia, and you have the flexibility to book your flights as you wish.
Please note that the program does require a full time commitment, and most camps will run over weekends. Therefore, please do not make any travel plans during the program itself unless you have confirmed it directly with your camp director. Your host school will also provide you with trips to local sights of interest.
All host schools are able to issue visa invite letters (where required), which you can use to apply for the appropriate visa at your local visa application centre or embassy. Please note that you are responsible for the cost and process of applying for a visa. Although Abridge Academy may provide informal advice, we cannot be held responsible should your visa be rejected or you choose to participate in the program on an inappropriate visa type.
All EduCampers are encouraged to complete our free, internationally accredited online TEFL training course. This aims to provide you will the skills needed to teach English at summer camp – covering topics such as lesson planning, suggested class activities, language teaching methods, and top tips for engaging students in lessons. Many former EduCampers have used their TEFL qualification to apply for online or overseas teaching positions upon completion of the program!
Don’t worry though, we have worked hard to ensure the course is easily accessible and quick to complete, without complex background theory, providing directly implementable tips for teaching English.