Teach English in Colombia

Flag of Colombia

Teaching English in Colombia as a native English speaker is a much desired occupation. It is a country waiting for tourism to arise and one thing holding it back is the lack of English speaking throughout most of the country. Medellin used to be known for drug lords and violence and Bogota was one of the most violent cities, both are now a popular tourist escapes. The people are welcoming to everyone and it is easy to get sucked into the casual laid back life, wherever you are, and whether it is because you choose to teach abroad, or just visiting.

  • Peak Hiring Times: January, November, and December
  • Average Monthly Salary: $1,700.00 USD
  • Save or Break Even?: Save
  • Will schools sponsor a work Visa?: Yes

Teaching English as a Foreign Language is a great option for teaching in Colombia. You can also consider working at a bilingual school where you can teach other subjects in English. Your options are:

  • TEFL
  • Bilingual Elementary, Middle and High Schools
  • English Institutes

Elementary through high school levels have either morning or afternoon schedules. For example, a morning schedule could start at 6am and end at around 12pm and an afternoon schedule could start at 12pm and end around 6pm. University levels or institutes can be anytime and, as a typical Colombian work day, consists of a work week of Monday through Saturday.

Interact with the locals in Colombia!
Interact with the locals in Colombia!

Just like you would expect anywhere in the world, finding a job can be difficult if you don't know where to look. Colombo and EAFIT are two popular places to work as a TEFL instructors. The Colombo is a private English institute located throughout Colombia. EAFIT is a university that has three locations with a language institute within it. Both of these are great options and would hire a qualified native English speaker. Private lessons are also a promising career move and the going rate can be anywhere from 12 USD - 27 USD an hour.

When and Where to Look for Jobs:

The most popular places to find jobs are in cities such as; Medellin, Bogota and Barranquilla. Medellin is a booming small city in the interior of the country and they lead the country in fashion and architecture. The Paisa people, those living in and around Medellin, have distinct qualities. They are known for their friendliness and over all love for life. They are very welcoming people and it is easy to find friends wherever you wonder. Bogota is the capital city and has all the diversity of New York with distinct districts. Barranquilla is the least popular for tourism but there are still many opportunities in this coastal city. Throughout the country, it is not easy to find jobs online, although it can be accomplished.

Arriving in country to find a job is risky but is also the best way to find a job that you are certain will suit you. Remember to arrive in November, December or January for your best chances in finding work for the new semester.

Qualifications:

Teachers interested in working in Colombia at a private language institute may only need a college degree. Working at a more prestigious school or university requires at least a TEFL certificate and previous experience.

Salary & Cost of Living:

A foreign teacher can expect to earn from 1,000.00 USD to 3,200.00 USD a month depending on your qualifications and location. The Colombo offers to pay for housing and airline tickets depending on the location you apply to and your contract with them. If housing isn't included just ask the school faculty whom you are applying with, everyone is friendly and happy to help make you feel comfortable in your new home.

The cost of living varies widely dependent on where in the country you reside. In Medellin public transit is extremely inexpensive as well as very convenient. The metro runs from one end of the city to the other costing only .75 cents a trip. However taxis are more expensive then neighboring cities like Bogota but are hardly needed as the Metro is more convenient most of the time.

Monthly rent can cost up to $1200 a month for a furnished apartment or as low as $400 a month for an unfurnished. The shopping malls in the cities are lovely but don't expect low costs for clothing. In fact everything that is imported is going to cost a pretty penny. Luckily you can generally find a Colombian version of most things that you would need.

Explore Colombia while teaching abroad!
Explore Colombia while teaching abroad!
Classroom & Work Culture:

In general, Colombian teachers are not strict and the education system can seem very lax. Expect meetings to start late and students to disregard the clock as they stroll in tardy. Student teacher relationships are close and are usually on a first name basis. Dress code is directly related to your school and can be anywhere from shorts and t-shirts to professional attire. Greetings are important to such a welcoming culture and it is custom for women to kiss on the check and men to shake hands.

Landscape view of Colombia
Landscape view of Colombia

Contributed by Jessica Brink

Jessica Brink taught English as a foreign language in Medellin, Colombia in 2012. She volunteered in Colombia with WorldTeach at Minuto De Dios Sectional Bello and got to explore all over this beautiful country. Find her at On the Brink of Colombia.

Programs & Reviews

View More Jobs in Colombia

Hot New Job Listings!

11/25/2014 Native Tongue — 0 Reviews View Job
Teach Abroad in Colombia on this FREE PROGRAM and live like a local in this magical Latin American country. Free to apply! 10 Month Program Placements in two types of schools: SENA Centers and Escuelas Normales Superiores with the Ministry...
1 Reviews
More Programs by Greenheart Travel
Get paid to teach English around the world! Are you: A native English speaker from USA or Canada? Age 20-40? Wanting to get paid to teach English abroad? Looking to take a professional TEFL certification course? A job teaching English...
20 Reviews
More Programs by International TEFL Academy
WorldTeach is currently accepting applications for our Colombia Year TEFL program to depart in January 2015, and again in June 2015. This is a great opportunity for those interested in international development and education to get their...
17 Reviews
More Programs by WorldTeach
ITTT offers internationally recognized and accredited online courses to over 500 new trainees each month and ITTT course graduates are now working in over 40 countries around the world. Our online courses offer flexible and affordable...
31 Reviews
More Programs by ITTT TEFL
Footprints Recruiting, in conjunction with Partners of the Americas and SENA (Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje) - a Colombian Government agency - are recruiting paid volunteer English teachers on an ongoing basis for the The Teach English...
More Programs by Footprints Recruiting
Do you want to live by the beach and work abroad? Our Colombian TEFL Internship may be the perfect journey for you. You will enjoy an easy pace of life, live with adventurous like-minded travelers and work in the community teaching English...
More Programs by LoveTEFL
Suenos Compartidos was formed with the idea of promoting cultural exchange. Volunteer teachers stay for a semester, dividing their time between teaching preschoolers and university students. In the evening, the volunteer will help lead...
1 Reviews
More Programs by Suenos Compartidos
Take a paid teaching internship in the unique and magical country of Colombia for up to 12 months. No prior teaching experience or Spanish language skills required! The program is open to US citizens who are 20-40 years of age.
1 Reviews
More Programs by International Exchange of North America
Discover the beauty of Colombia by taking your TEFL certification course in Medellin, Colombia. Have a one-of-a-kind experience in the second capital city of this South American country with its breathtaking scenery and its welcoming...
2 Reviews
More Programs by International TEFL Training Institute
Teach English in one of five Colombian cities and enrich your life while having a deep impact on the citizens of Colombia. This unique opportunity, sponsored by Colombia's Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA), offers a 6-month, paid...
Request Info
More Programs by BridgeTEFL
Native Tongue is Canadian owned and operated, in its tenth year of operation in Colombia and is registered with the Secretary of Education. We operate schools in the cities of Ibague and Pereira. Ibague is 200 km. South-West of Bogota with...
More Programs by Native Tongue
Berlitz Colombia offers language courses, global leadership training, and translation or interpretation services. We are part of a global network, assisting individuals, students, and companies in building customized skills for their...
More Programs by Berlitz
Have you considered working in South America? Are you available to start work in February or September? Teachanywhere have contacts with schools across the continent including Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Chile. We are now in the...
Request Info
More Programs by Teach Anywhere

Q+A Community

Do you have a burning question about teaching abroad in Colombia? We're here to help! Most questions are answered within 24 hours. Here are some example questions:

  • How much can I expect to make in Colombia?
  • What is the cost of living in Colombia?
  • Do I need a TEFL to teach in Colombia?

Please Note: Frequent and informative questions will be posted on Go Overseas for the community at large to engage with and learn more. Your contact information, however, will always remain private.

Tell us the name of the university you did or are attending.

Help us battle the bots. Enter the name of this website below.