GeoVisions Blog

GeoVisions Wins The Work and Travel Video Of The Year

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Wed, Sep 26, 2012

GeoVisions is so very proud of one of our Summer Work and Travel students from Malaysia.  And we were suprised at the WYSTC (World Youth and Student Travel Conference) conference last week in San Diego.  Abby, who hails from Malaysia had just won the Video of the Year award and US $2,000.  Her job was to produce a video along the theme of "Expand Your Horizons."  She did an amazing job.  Her video was judged by people all over the world.

Each year, WYSE Work Abroad, through WYSTC, invites young people to submit a video that shares their unique experience of working or volunteering abroad. One lucky participant can win US $2,000!  So, if you're a great video producer, why not enter for the 2013 award?  It will be awarded in Sydney, Australia in September, 2013.

Kevin Morgan and Randy LeGrant of GeoVisionsThe video must celebrate the many benefits of the work abroad experience through the annual "Expand Your Horizons" video contest.

A GeoVisions student, Wai Kuan Lam (Abby), is this year's winner. Abbey is from Malaysia and worked in Cape May, New Jersey last year.  Randy LeGrant and Kevin Morgan from GeoVisions accepted the award in San Diego on behalf of Abby.  (But Abby gets all the money!)

We hope you will take a look at this 3 minute video that won "Best Video Of The Year" and see why her four months in the United States was so meaningful and you will understand how the Summer Work and Travel experience and going through GeoVisions "expanded Abby's horizons.

Tags: Make Something Happen, Working For A Better World, Volunteer/Work Abroad Industry Updates, Work and Travel

GeoVisions' Work and Travel Student Takes Top Honors With His Movie

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Fri, Jun 15, 2012

Here is an 11 minute movie (great water action and great music) produced, directed and even edited by one of our own Summer Work and Travel students, Alex Hooi Kuan Wai, from Malaysia.

Alex won an HR contest at Busch Gardens Tampa about the work experience at Busch Gardens.  It was open to ALL employees.  And we're thrilled to announce this short movie by Alex won him First Place.  And we're sharing this movie with you for two reasons:

  1. We want you to see the movie because it's fun and we hope it gives you some ideas for movies of your own that you can share with us.
  2. Alex can win other honors from Busch Gardens Tampa if he gets enough "likes" on YouTube.  Please go out and "like" Alex' movie.
Our CEO, Kevin Morgan, visited Alex on Wednesday at Busch Gardens when he was in Tampa.  When Alex found out we're pushing his movie out on our Pinterest Board, our Facebook Page and Twitter feed, he was thrilled.  "It has been an awesome experience being on this program, and the only regret I have is that it isn't any longer. I'm not ready to leave Adventure Island yet, but all good things must come to an end. Winning the video contest makes me proud. I'm proud to have represented the Malaysians, the International Students, Adventure Island and also GeoVisions, in producing the video, may it be a legacy for future program participants!"
Thanks, Alex.  Here's hoping you can get a lot more "likes" on your video.

Tags: Work and Travel

Teach In Thailand--Our January 2012 Group Of Teachers

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Fri, Feb 24, 2012

January 2012 intake of teachers on Teach in ThailandIt all began on Sunday January 8th, 2012. The January intake group for GeoVisions' Teach in Thailand program met Kevin and Jaco in the lobby of the Ratchada Hotel in Bangkok for their debriefing. After a little question-answer session, the group headed back to their rooms in preparation for the journey to Hua Hin on Monday morning. All of the students shared 2 minibuses for the two-hour drive down the coast. As soon as they arrived, everyone had a choice between three different accommodations. 12 of the students chose the Hillside, while 3 chose accommodation closer to town. For the rest of the first week, the group had Thai language classes, culture and politics lessons, as well as getting bank accounts, sim cards, and scooters sorted out.

In honor of the group’s successful first week in Thailand, we held a Braai on one of the most beautiful beaches in Hua Hin. On their first Friday evening, the staff, our January group, and even some of our friends from the Wildlife Rescue Centre joined to celebrate their new adventures. Everyone was telling stories about home and anxiously asking questions about Thailand or motivations for coming here. After one full week the teachers are settling in well and starting to build the type of connections that will last a lifetime. As the night went on, the food was served, drinks were finished, and the conversation dwindled.

Teach in Thailand gamesAs a supplement to the practical portion of the TESOL course, students get to observe an English lesson at a local middle school. The class is currently working on their food module. The teacher, a native Thai woman, revisited vocabulary from the day before, and had the teachers create bubble charts (one main idea in the middle circle branching off to other ideas) for the various types of food. An example was “Brainy Foods” and vocabulary that fell underneath the category was blueberry, banana, strawberry, and milk. The students were divided into groups, but sent an individual to present the bubble chart to the class. Through observation, these soon-to-be teachers get to see different forms of classroom management as well as how to teach older kids.

Throughout the TESOL course teachers are given many opportunities to practice presenting lesson plans. We encourage our teachers to act as if the classroom is filled with Thai children, giving instructions and eliciting vocabulary much like they will in their teaching placements. There are three main types of lesson plans, but teachers can be creative with the activities that will help the children learn vocabulary and conversation skills. Our teachers this month are all doing very well, and we cannot wait for them to get out there and teach!

For more information about the "Teach In" programs offered by GeoVisions, check out our Teach in China, Teach in Korea, Teach in Thailand and our newest, Teach in Vietnam programs to learn how you can travel to Asia, become a teacher and earn a great full time salary with excellent benefits.

Tags: Teach Abroad, Teacher Blogs, China, Work and Travel, Thailand

Teach English Abroad! Five Blogs That Help

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Mon, Dec 26, 2011

typewriterOn December 12, Edudemic ran a Blog post we really liked by Jeff Dunn, the Executive Director of Edudemic.  They produce a monthly iPad magazine about education and technology.  We follow Jeff on Twitter (@Edudemic) because we work with hundreds of teachers each year, placing them in full time teaching positions in Thailand, China, S. Korea and soon in Vietnam and Japan.  Their content on the Blog, Twitter and their Facebook page is helpful.

The most recent post we loved was "50 Must-See Teacher Blogs Chosen By You."  My brother-in-law is a Math teacher in New York City, and I didn't see his Blog in the list and so I'm going to suggest you take a look at JD2718.  It's a great Blog for teachers, especially if you're teaching in New York City.

Because GeoVisions is interested in teach abroad and especially paid teach abroad, I looked through Edudemic's top 50 to see if I could find some Blogs to pass along to our teachers abroad and those getting ready to go overseas and teach.  Here is a short list from Edudemic's list of the top 50:

Language in the dictionaryA Journée In Language by Brad Peterson.  A great Blog about Etymology and quite a few posts that can help you prepare to teach English abroad.

On of the most incredible and information-rich Blogs on the list for our teachers is An A-Z of ELTby Scott Thornbury.  Scott is the author of An A-Z of ELT, an encyclopedia-dictionary of terminology relating to English language and English language teaching. It was published by Macmillan.  The Blog is a great online resource if you're headed overseas to teach English as a foreign language.  Scott also teaches an online MA TESOL program for the New York School System.  He lives in Spain.

English Raven by Jason Renshaw is an interesting Blog.  Great posts on getting kids to Blog.  And frankly, the best way to teach a language is to have students use it in all sorts of ways, and an online Blog where your students assist is a great way to reinforce language.

Language Moments by Dale Coulter is a great Blog that was a featured Teaching English Blog of the month by the British Council.  I loved the lesson plan on using iPhones in the classroom.

I think if you're going to teach abroad, you want to try to find Blogs and Facebook pages that support what you want to accomplish.  Read from people who have already gone before you and leave clues to your success.  Get involved with their social communities.  All good use of your time before you teach in Thailand or teach in South Korea.

I hope you can use some of these ideas.  I hope you'll follow Edudemic on Twitter or like them on Facebook.

Do you follow Blogs or Facebook Pages we should also list?  Can you recommend them here so we can share?

Tags: Teach Abroad, Teacher Blogs, Work and Travel

Teach and Volunteer in Vietnam - Enjoy the Traffic

Posted by Kevin Morgan on Thu, Feb 17, 2011

As CEO of GeoVisions (I'm Kevin) I get to travel and visit our volunteer and teach abroad sites, and interview international students for Work/Travel and Internship Programs in the US.  One of my favorite trips every year is to Vietnam.  And one of my favorite tasks every year is taking videos of the traffic!  I call it, "So You Think You Can Drive".  Here is this year's (You might want to turn down your volume!).

One thing I like about GeoVisions is the network we've created, and how we can use our Work and Travel students who come to the US to work in seasonal jobs during their school vacations to help our volunteers and teachers when they go to their own home country.

Phuc and Thao resized 600Here are Phuc and Thao.  They've worked in the US, but back in Vietnam they act as hosts and guides for our Teach in Vietnam volunteers.  Want to find the best coffee shops, go off the tourist trails, experience a homestay, just talk about Vietnam and America ... Phuc and Thao are just two of the people who can make your time in Vietnam unforgettable and invaluable ... priceless as the commercials say.

What makes our Vietnam program unique?  Every experience is personalized based on your own skills and interests.  Our partners in Vietnam may find you a Conversation Partner assignment working with children, or with business owners looking to trade with western countries, or government officials, or college students at a leading hospitality school.  You can do a part of your program in Ho Chi Minh City, then another part in Danang, or Hanoi, or the Mekong Delta.  Vietnam is one of the most exciting of the Asian "Tigers".  I think we help you be a part of the excitement in a way that no one else can.  You'll see why.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Teach Abroad, Volunteering Abroad, Conversation Partner-Vietnam, Work and Travel

Just Arrived! GeoVisions' Newest Programs

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Thu, Jul 01, 2010

This is the time of year we see new programs hit our site.  Within the next 4 weeks you will see GeoVisions add 20+ new programs, and we'll announce each one via this Blog.  As you can see below, we're "switching it up" a little.

W&T logoI am highlighting our three newest programs:  one volunteer program, one Work and Travel Internship and one Au Pair.  We like a wide variety of programs to offer people.  We don't want to be "type-cast" so we stretch out a little.

But also, GeoVisions is a U.S. State Department designated Work/Travel organization.  We have partner sites in 30 different countries.  That translates into a great network of interesting program content.

Conversation Partner-Mexico
I know...we already have Conversation Partner-Mexico.  But wait...we have an entirely new and very unique way of seeing Mexico:  Through the eyes and ears of local tourist officials!

Conversation  Partner logoThat's right!  Expanding on our current Conversation Partner program in Mexico tutoring staff and students in select language schools, there is now a unique opportunity to kick it up a notch by working directly with local tourism officials and speaking conversational English with the tourism staff.

Where would you be tutoring?  Mainly in local tourism kiosks in resort and high tourist areas of Mexico.  The kiosks can be on the street (handy for tourists) or at airports as tourists arrive into Mexico.  Local tourism officials are there to provide local information to tourists and they are eager to learn conversational English to make it easier to communicate with the tourists entering Mexico.

Can you imagine?  Be a Conversation Partner with a tourist official.  They learn conversational English and you find out the really great places to visit and enhance your stay in Mexico.

This new project is really a very unique way to learn about Mexican culture, how tourists are viewed by the locals, and to assist the tourism officials in becoming better conversationalists with tourists.

Work and Travel Internship
Machu Pichu photoInternships in a Work and Travel office
abroad are nothing but fun.  Our newest is in Lima, Peru.  Earn $300 per month plus receive free accommodation by interviewing college students headed to the U.S. on the J-1 Work and Travel program.

The Work and Travel program in the U.S. allows college students from other countries to travel to the U.S., work legally during their summer break, and then travel for a month before returning to their home country.  Those students need to be interviewed about what it is like to live and work in the U.S. and also for their English language ability and skills.

The minimum stay for this Internship in Lima, Peru is 3 months and the maximum stay is 10 months.  There is an interview process after you make your application.

Focused on fun and interviewing Peruvian college students, the benefits include $300/month and free accommodation. There are Internships and then there are Work and Travel Internships. Availability now in Argentina, China, Turkey, Chile and Peru.

Au Pair Spain
If you are a female, U.S. citizen, and between the age of 18 and 30 withAu  Pair family at least a high school diploma, (I already know what you're thinking...) you can become an Au Pair in Spain.

If you want to stay more than 3 months, a student visa will be issued to you.  All you then have to do is take 15 hours of Spanish language classes each week.

What makes this Au Pair program unique is you can choose how many hours a week you work.  Depending on the hours you choose to Au Pair, you can earn more or you can earn less.  Earn €70/week if you work 25 hours each week plus 2 evenings.  Earn €95/week if you work 35 hours per week plus 3 evenings.  And for every six months you work, you receive a week's paid vacation.

The minimum stay is 2 months, maximum 10 months.


So there you are.  Do you have program ideas we should consider?  Places we don't currently serve?  Please use the Comments section and let us know.  We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Peru, Internships, Conversation Partner-Mexico, Work and Travel

Middle East Peace Process - the GeoVisions Contribution

Posted by Kevin Morgan on Sun, Apr 25, 2010

Some people wonder, "Will there ever be peace in the Middle East?".  Well, we know there won't be if lots of different parties don't contribute something to make it happen.

I'm Kevin, a CVO at GeoVisions.  Today I was reviewing a file full of applications for our Work and Travel US Exchange program.  On this program, university students from around the world come to the US to work in seasonal jobs.  I don't know why this particular file attracted me.  But I started looking through the applications.  In this file, I spotted two students from Jordan, then one from Lebanon.  I liked that.  But as I went further, there was a student from Iraq.  Then one from Israel.

All these students are going to work together in Ocean City, Maryland this summer, and I got to thinking about how programs like ours do bring people together who otherwise would probably never get to know each other.  Our Work and Travel program is a part of the US State Department's public diplomacy effort.  Students from around the world get to know about the USA, but they also get to know each other.  Abraham Lincoln once said "I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends."

Our Work and Travel students always tell us that one of the greatest benefits of our exchange program is that they got to make friends from all over the world.  GeoVisions ... hopefully we can help a little bit to convert enemies into friends.  My file folder gave me hope!

We can also help you go to countries in the Middle East to volunteer and teach. You can be a Conversation Corps or Conversation Partner tutor in Lebanon or in JordanLive with a family, help people improve their English conversation skills, learn about a fascinating part of the world.  Make your own contribution!

In this article we identified four countries, but showed six flags from Middle Eastern Countries.  Can you identify all of them?

If you can take away something useful from this post, please consider leaving a comment (below) or subscribing to the feed (above) to have future posts delivered to your feed reader. You can also subscribe via email (in the upper right corner).  Over on the right we have made it easy for you to become a Fan of GeoVisions on Facebook and to Follow Us on Twitter.


Tags: Teach Abroad, Conversation Corps-Jordan, Conversation Partner-Lebanon, Conversation Corps, Work and Travel


Posted by Kevin Morgan on Wed, Mar 10, 2010
GeoVisions Thailand Work and Travel StudentsThis week, close to 500 university students from Thailand arrive in the US on the GeoVisions Work and Travel Program.  GeoVisions is designated by the US State Department to sponsor exchange students who come to work in seasonal jobs in the US.  This year, while there are fewer jobs, and, thus, fewer students, there's still a good chance you might run into some of our students -- especially if you are visiting a major theme park, or even a national park.  You might have some of them serve you at a McDonalds in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio or Florida.  These students are from Thai universities, and the State Department gives young people the chance to learn about America by having the ability to work for a couple months during their school vacation.  Thai students have a vacation from March to June.  So ... if you see a Thai student in your travels, be sure to say hello (Sa-wa-dee Kap --- or Sa-wa-dee Kah if you are female).
Thailand Conversation Corps sightseeingIf you prefer to meet Thais in Thailand, you might want to consider our Conversation Corps-Thailand program.  You can go to the "Land of Smiles" and live with the family of one of our exchange students and help them improve their conversational English, while you learn Thai, discover Thai customs or culture or history, or just enjoy sightseeing in your free time -- for one, two or three months.
For now ... WELCOME TO AMERICA to our Thai Work and Travel Students.

Tags: Conversation Corps, Work and Travel, Thailand

Beirut: GeoVisions Hot Spot For Volunteer Abroad And Work Abroad

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Tue, Jan 26, 2010

Central BeruitLast week I wrote a Blog post about our new programs in Lebanon and then found a fantastic article about Beirut on USA Today. Right now we have Conversation Corps-Lebanon available if you want to live with a family in Lebanon and volunteer to teach them English.  We also have openings for Conversation Partners in our Work and Travel office in Beirut. Be a cultural ambassador at the same time and meet lots of Lebanese college students coming by the office to interview for the U.S. Work and Travel program. Speak English with them and help screen their English skills.

Imagine our pleasant surprise when we opened USA Today and saw this article on Beirut: "Beirut is reborn as a glitzy playground for tourists."  "Beirut's sizzling nightlife, from gritty to glam, helped drive a record tourism year in 2009. Overcoming a reputation as a Middle East trouble spot, Lebanon welcomed nearly 2 million visitors last year, a 39% increase over 2008. It was the No. 1 destination for tourism growth in the world, according to the World Tourism Organization."

During the past several years, Beirut has been overcoming its reputation as a troubled place in the Middle East to become a hot spot for tourists interested in swanky clubs, a sophisticated dining scene and plenty of rich history. "Lebanon is back," Nada Sardouk, Lebanon's tourism director general, told the Middle East news agency "We've had 80% to 90% hotel occupancy this year. But it's more than about just numbers. ... It's about the joie de vivre."

If you can take away something useful from this post, please consider leaving a comment (below) or subscribing to the feed (above) to have future posts delivered to your feed reader. You can also subscribe via email (in the upper right corner).  Over on the right we have made it easy for you to become a Fan of GeoVisions on Facebook and to Follow Us on Twitter.

Tags: Conversation Partner, Lebanon, Conversation Corps, Work and Travel

Our Work & Travel Students Can't Come To The U.S. With This Helmet

Posted by Randy LeGrant on Tue, Jan 26, 2010

helmet tree in TaiwanOur Work and Travel team was in Taiwan this past weekend interviewing Taiwanese students for the GeoVisions U.S. Work and Travel program.  Our CEO, Kevin Morgan, came across this photo in the Taiwan Times.  In Asia people rely on motorcycles as a staple of transportation, and there are helmet laws in just about every country.  Is this Banyan Tree in Puyan Township really promoting helmet use, or was it "pruned" by buses and trucks?  

We have over 300 Taiwan students coming to the U.S. on Work Exchanges this year!  American employers hire Work and Travel students to provide an international dimension to their staff.  Guests at theme parks, hotels and restaurants enjoy talking with people from other countries -- learning about their cultures.  Taiwanese students also volunteer on our Global Work and Service Programs around the world.

Taiwan is the fifth largest country participating in GeoVisions worldwide exchange, education and work programs.

If you can take away something useful from this post, please consider leaving a comment (below) or subscribing to the feed (above) to have future posts delivered to your feed reader. You can also subscribe via email (in the upper right corner).  Over on the right we have made it easy for you to become a Fan of GeoVisions on Facebook and to Follow Us on Twitter.


Tags: Work and Travel