Gotoco

Here at Gotoco we are focused on improving cultural understanding across the world. We want people to travel, have adventures, breakdown borders of ignorance and lead fun fulfilled lives. Teaching and travelling is a great way to achieve these goals.

We are a social enterprise devoted to promoting cultural awareness and quality English education through a variety of projects that link ‘Western’ students to the world. We aim to inspire these students to jump into new and challenging experiences and explore divergent global perspectives through our global programmes.

We offer accessible exchange and TEFL certificate programmes to ‘Western’ students, in our numerous partner summer camps and schools. We offer short and long term placements in multiple destinations. The best part? No fees to participate, guidance throughout the visa and pre-departure process, and students obtain a TEFL certificate through their programme! We make sure our participants’ expenditures are minimised.

We believe it is vital to foster good relations between countries around the world, especially given the increasing importance of cross-cultural understanding in our globalised world. Unlike other cultural exchange and TEFL programmes, we do not charge any fees to take part, to ensure these opportunities remain accessible to as many people as possible. This allows a more diverse community to broaden their horizons and share in educational experiences with other students from around the world. Through these programmes, we aim to boost people-to-people exchange, and reduce misunderstandings and stereotyping across cultural boundaries.

Our Methods

To achieve this, we run three programmes, outlined below, to improve cultural exchange around the world. We increase global understanding through our work with partners in non-profit organisations, media outlets, and government bodies around the world. Find out more about some of our wonderful partners at the bottom of this page!

TEFL Certifiable Summer Teach&Travel Programmes

We believe the best way to learn about a country is through immersion—hanging out with locals and trying everything a country has to offer.

We offer TEFL placements in a variety of summer camps and English schools across the world. Applicants are usually placed in a camp or school for one to two months, where they are provided with food, accommodation and cultural activities. Participants receive online TEFL training prior to arrival, and obtain the certificate following  a stint of teaching on-the-ground. At the end of placements, candidates automatically receive a reference from their host school. Participants will go on to use this certificate to seek employment teaching English as a foreign language abroad, or to show their varying skills, talents and commitment when applying for jobs in other fields.

Participants are funded for the certification.  Learn more about our summer programmes here.

Edu-venture: Global Social Impact Careers

Edu-venture gives Gotoco’er alumni the network, confidence and skills to turn their dream career into a reality, setting them up to pursue global careers and to affect positive social change.  

Edu-venture supports our community in working out how to kickstart life after university, thinking creatively and innovatively about the direction we all want our careers to take. Edu-venture societies on campuses around the UK host partners offering relevant skills training, events, and inspiring talks to create a community of like-minded young innovators and to help you work out your next career move. Learn more and get involved here.

China Fellowship: Graduate Gap-Year Teaching in China

China Fellowship is a gap-year graduate-scheme. We give graduates from universities in the UK and North America the chance to discover China, while gaining teaching qualifications and exploring their passions and interests to discover what they want to do long term. 

Through a year of training and teaching English in one of China’s leading cities, China Fellows set themselves up for a variety of global careers, with a particular focus on education, non-profits, and social entrepreneurship. Learn more and apply here. 

What we care about

As a social enterprise, we focus on:

ADVENTURE

We were founded by adventurers, we want more people to have mind-altering, eye-opening global journeys. Fun and challenge are key parts of the experience. We help you explore, throw yourself into unfamiliar situations and make lots of new friends in an adventure-packed cultural experience.

EDUCATION

We love education. Our programmes use innovative methods to create new opportunities for learning. Everyone on our projects can get experience teaching, get TEFL certified and help local students around the world.

ACCESSIBILITY

We are affordable. When our founders began their gap years and university holidays, the last thing they wanted to do was stay home for months saving up money for programme fees! We were founded to be accessible for all financial backgrounds. We think everyone should have the chance to travel and take part in projects like ours. We create an inclusive environment for diverse groups through our free, funded and convenient programmes. We draw funding from host programmes, universities and government bodies, so our participants aren't burdened!

SOCIAL IMPACT

We build bonds and bridges, across the world. Our participants go all around Europe and to destinations across Asia and South America. Sojourning for a few weeks, meeting local people, learning something of a 'foreign' culture and then coming home with an open mind, we believe these experiences will make a better world

WHO WE SUPPORT

WE ALSO SUPPORT THE MISSIONS OF THE FOLLOWING ORGANISATIONS

We support the mission of the Generation UK–China programme, launched by the British Council in 2013. By 2020, it aims to help 80,000 students from the UK boost their employability, enhance their long-term job prospects, and develop a global mind-set through study and work experience opportunities in China. Outside of the era of COVID restrictions, Gotoco contributes to increasing UK student mobility to China by opening up 600 free and funded positions each year to UK students. Increasing UK student mobility to China is an ambition driven more widely by the British Council’s Generation UK campaign. Please visit their website to find out more.

We support the US-China Strong Foundation as Signature Partners to further their nonprofit mission to strengthen US-China relations by investing in a new generation of leaders who have the knowledge and skills to engage with China. Established in 2013 as the 100,000 Strong Foundation – and relaunched in 2016 as the US-China Strong Foundation – the organisation leads a national movement to ensure the next generation of US leaders is equipped to engage effectively with China: a global strategic power, the second largest economy in the world and America’s fastest growing trade partner.

Each year a select group of Gotoco participants become US China Strong Ambassadors, promoting cultural exchange and Mandarin learning in their communities. They are given a wealth of support and development as reward for their contribution to US-China relations. You can learn more about US-China Strong here.

We work with SupChina to facilitate the dissemination of quality, well-researched information and news on China. SupChina provides a feast of accessible content on Chinese society, culture, politics and more to inform and entertain a global audience, helping you make sense of this complex and fascinating country which is reshaping the world.

Visit the SupChina website today to keep up-to-date on all China news, and be sure to sign up for their newsletter! Gotoco participants and members of the Gotoco family can enjoy a discount on the SupChina Access Membership: the best way to keep plugged-in to the latest commentary on events in China. Email us at recruitment[at]go-to.co for more information.

We are allied with Project Pengyou, which empowers and mobilises a new generation of US-China bridge-builders to serve, inspire and transform lives.

Conceived as the alumni network for President Obama’s 100,000 Strong Initiative, Project Pengyou is part of a growing national movement to dramatically increase the number and diversity of Americans studying abroad in China. Gotoco is allied with Project Pengyou due to our shared objectives. For more information on Project Pengyou, please read here.

We partner with UK National Citizen Service: The Challenge, which helps young British people to build skills for work and life whilst taking on new challenges and meeting new friends. The Challenge is the UK’s leading charity for building a more integrated society, they design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others.

To date, over 175,000 young people have undertaken their programmes. Gotoco shares their mission and provides support to their recruiting objectives. Our service level agreement enables us to fast-track Gotoco participants to join their well-paid, exciting summer charity leadership roles. 

We support Teach First’s mission and refer Gotoco alumni to apply for the Teach First Training Programme. A large number of Gotoco’ers have gone on to work with Teach First and they recognise the potential a Gotoco experience can offer.

 

Teach First is a charity that develops and supports teachers and leaders who are determined to make a difference where it’s needed the most.