Just like its famous river of many colours, Colombia is colorful, exciting and fun. Teach English in Colombia to explore the beautiful landscape, culture and people - while you earn.
Earning a TEFL certificate is your major key to teach English in Colombia or any other South American country.
With a TEFL certificate, many ESL teachers choose to teach in either Colombia, Argentina or Brazil to enjoy the fascinating landscapes and the richness of the Latin American culture.
The casual lifestyle in Colombia is quite enticing to English teachers as the country has grown to become a popular tourist destination with the old drug and conflict ridden reputation fast becoming history.
With a very flexible work schedule for ESL teachers, you can spend your free time exploring the colorful streets of Colombia, touring the amazing Amazon rainforest and relaxing on Caribbean beaches.
Teaching jobs in Colombia are well sought after by ESL teachers in South America as English teachers get a variety of offers and enjoy many benefits.
Colombia’s population is the second largest in South America and there is an increasing drive to learn English among Colombians. As a result of these and the introduction of Bilingualism in the National Development Plan, there is always a high demand for ESL teachers in the country.
While there are opportunities in private language institutes, private international schools, public school and online teaching opportunities, many ESL teachers in Colombia also take private tutoring classes to add to their income and improve their lifestyle.
A TEFL certificate in Colombia will expose you to teaching opportunities all over the country with a higher bargaining power and better advantages especially in cities like Bogota and Medellin where ESL teachers often choose to settle.
An international recognized TEFL/CELTA certificate is required to get high paying ESL job offers in Colombia. There are also a lot of Colombian private language schools who look out for teachers with some teaching experience while most Colombian universities will demand higher qualifications such as a Master’s degree from ESL teachers.
Although you don’t necessarily need a Bachelor’s degree to get a teaching job in Colombia, it is much preferred by most employees in addition to a TEFL certificate especially if you choose to work in the Ministry of Education Program. These qualification will give you an edge.
Colombia has a variety of job opportunities which are very flexible for ESL teachers and can be taken part-time or full-time depending on the type of school. There are the private international schools that pay higher salaries and the public schools where government hires ESL teachers to co-teach English language.
A number of English teachers in Colombia become volunteers in the Teach English in Colombia Program (TEC) instituted through the SENA National Training Service. The SENA initiative is a collaboration between workers, industry owners and the Catholic Church with the aim of giving vocational training to Colombia’s workforce. TEC volunteer jobs are available to US native English speakers with a TEFL certificate to teach vocational English to adult students.
Across the different teaching jobs in Colombia, types of ESL students include business professionals, school children and private and university students.
ESL teachers in Colombia earn enough to break even and enjoy a number of fringe benefits including paid holidays, free airfare and medical coverage. Most ESL teachers also get a substantial amount that is referred to as the end of Contract bonus at the end of their contract (usually two years) with a school.
The salary rate for English teachers in Colombia is dependent on a number of factors such as certifications, experience and type of school. ESL teachers who have a TEFL certificate and work with international private schools usually earn higher than teachers with lesser qualifications in the public schools.
ESL teachers in Colombia earn an average of US$1, 000 monthly on a typical 20 hours of work per week and as a private tutor, you can earn more income as much as $14 dollar per hour.
One of the benefits of teaching English in Colombia is the low cost of living. This is even more surprising as you would have access to many top amenities and infrastructure which are usually found in the expensive countries.
The average cost of living for English teachers in Colombia is between US$500 to $1, 000 with a potential to break even and save if you get enough private tutoring opportunities.
Accommodation Options: Rent in Colombia varies depending on the city or neighborhood you choose to live in. Accommodation costs are cheaper in the lower estrato neighborhoods than the higher estrato neighborhoods in Chile and you need not worry about spending all your salary on rent. You can get an apartment between US$300 to $500 per month for a one bedroom apartment in Chile.
While you can stay in Colombia on a tourist visa for up to 90 days, explore and begin your search for a teaching job, you need a work visa to teach in Colombia.
You can either apply for a Colombian work visa from the Consulate in your home country or carry out the process while you are still on a tourist visa in the country. However, you must have secured a teaching job for you to be able to begin the application process for a Colombian visa.
Some employers in Colombia will sponsor your work visa so you need to ask before you go ahead and pay with your money or you may want to look out for such employers while applying for jobs. Requirements for Colombia work visa varies based on the country you are from so ensure you check the Colombian Embassy or Ministry of Foreign Affairs for your country requirements.
The hiring season in Colombia is flexible and gives you the opportunity to travel on a tourist visa and explore the country while you apply. Most public schools begin their school year in January so you can start applying in November. For the private schools, the best time to apply will be between May and June since their academic year begins in September.
It is also easy to get hired as private tutor either on a full-time or part-time basis and the opportunities for private tutoring are available all year round.
The people of Colombia are friendly and this extends to the work and hiring process for English teachers. It is best to visit the schools and speak with the people in charge than send CV through email as some schools will not reply emails.
Away from its history of drugs and crime, Colombia has grown to become a very colorful tourist destination country lots of interesting places to visit and natural wonders to explore. The river of five colours or rainbow river is one of the most astonishing things you will ever see in Colombia. It transforms colour from red to blue, green, yellow and orange and the best times to visit is from July to December as the river is usually closed to tourists from January to May.
Other interesting sites to visit in Colombia includes the Convent of San Pedro Claver and the Spanish Inquisition museum, Plaza Bolvar in the old colorful town of Cartagena. For lovers of nature, there is the interesting hike to Tayrona National Park where you can have an exciting speed boat trip to Taganga or you can take a stop at El Panon and try climbing the beautiful huge rock.
The most important cities in Colombia are Medellin, Bogota and Cali.
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