The beating heart of an intriguing country, the towering skyscrapers of Bogota's businesses contrast with its historic colonial architecture, enticing visitors with its diversity. Add to this some of the best food and nightlife in Latin America, and you surely won't want to leave by the end of your program.

Colombia in the past few years has more than recovered its reputation as a safe destination and tourism is booming. It's an excellent place to choose to study Spanish, too, as the Colombian accent and pronunciation is easier to understand than many other South and Central American countries, particularly for first-time learners.

There are also tons of museums to explore: as with many capital cities, Bogota holds the key to Colombia's culture, in the form of its Gold museum, the Botero museum, and the Colombian national museum. There's certainly a lot to be gained from studying in Colombia's capital.

Studying in Colombia will teach you much more than just what you learn inside the classroom. It's a whole different culture, another language spoken in the streets, and a rich Latin American lifestyle to get used to.

Culture & Immersion

One of the key ways to immerse yourself in Colombian culture is by learning the Spanish language, which will help you to get under the skin of life in Colombia and give you a new skill that will be both professionally useful and personally enriching.

Culture Shock & Support

Seeing as Colombia's culture is quite different from the typical Western lifestyle, it's understandable when students feel a little overwhelmed by it all. Culture shock is totally normal, and it will pass, but it's useful to have a basic framework for dealing with these difficulties.

Some organizations have a dedicated member of staff focusing on student life, while many others have the advantage of simply having a cohort of students all going through the same experience at the same time. Having others to talk to about how you're feeling is useful when going through culture shock.

Lifestyle

Colombia is a late-night kind of place. Whether it's eating, drinking, or dancing salsa, you'll find the streets alive until the early hours of the morning. Salsa is a huge part of the culture, and you'll find it in almost any club you visit.

And of course, coffee is an integral element of Colombian life, despite much of the best stuff being shipped off for international export. A cup of tinto and a leisurely chat in the square is a favorite past time for many Colombians. You can easily spot the locals dotted around across the benches of almost any open park or crowding the street-side tables of cafes.

Insider Tips on Studying Abroad in Bogota

It's worth noting that Colombia is a country with a huge diversity of landscapes: there's the tropical Caribbean coast and the eternal spring of Medellin.

Don't expect tropical temperatures here: Bogota is sitting pretty up in the mountains, so you'll want to pack your jeans and sweaters!

If you're thinking of studying abroad in Bogota, you'll want to plan ahead a little. You'll need to choose which course you want to take, learn about different housing options, and think about the logistics of getting to your placement in a new city. But don't worry -- we've done some of the research for you.

Course Types

There are three main types of courses available for study in Bogota: direct enrollment, direct exchange, and third-party provider. This essentially dictates whether your study is set up through the university you're studying at, your own university, or a different organization entirely.

More broadly, there are formal and informal studying options, as well as English and Spanish-based courses. You might study through an educational institution such as the National University of Colombia (direct enrollment), or simply take Spanish classes through a local language school.

Language courses will be conducted primarily in Spanish, but there are also academic courses, such as Red Tree Study's Peace Building course, that are led in English.

Housing

Depending on which program you choose, there are a number of possibilities for accommodation. Some programs include accommodation as part of their service, so you might be living in a local hotel with fellow students if you enroll with one of these. If you're taking part in an academic exchange, you'll likely wind up staying in a student dormitory.

You may also have the choice to experience true cultural immersion by staying with a local family in a homestay. This might seem intimidating, but it'll certainly improve your Spanish, and most students who take part in a homestay develop very close bonds with their host family.

For more informal study at a local Spanish school, you'll have to organize accommodation for yourself -- but that's okay, because there are lots of great places to stay in Bogota! Plus, staying in a shared flat or hostel is a great way to meet fellow travelers.

Transportation

Bogota has an excellent transport system. The TransMilenio bus service is extensive and easy to navigate. The bus system across the country is also very straightforward, though buses may take a while, and tickets are sometimes better booked the day before.

A burning question on most people's minds when planning an adventure like this is: how much is it going to cost me? While you can't put a price on a life-changing experience living in another country and learning one of the most widely-spoken languages on Earth, you certainly can put a price on visas, the cost of living, and subleasing an apartment.

Cost of Living

Relative to the Western world, the majority of South America is very affordable. However, capital cities carry an additional premium, and Bogota is no exception.

For a rough idea, here are some examples of the average prices of necessities in Bogota:

  • Night in a hostel (dorm): $10-$15
  • Night in a hotel: from $30
  • Beer: around $2
  • Meal (local restaurant): $5
  • Meal (international restaurant): $15
  • Grocery shopping: $60-$100 per week

Visas

The type of visa you need will depend on what type of study abroad course you are planning to enroll in.

Regular visitors to Colombia can get 90 days free without having to apply for a visa, but if your study program is longer than this or is part of a formal course, you'll have to apply according to the instructions provided by your institution.

The Colombian visa system has recently been simplified so that there are only three visa categories. The two which might concern students are the Visitante and Migrante visas.

For high school and undergraduate-level study, you'll need a Migrante (M-9) visa; for post-grad and academic exchanges, you'll need to apply for a Visitante visa.

Can You Work While Studying in Bogota?

In general, you're not eligible to work in Colombia while studying due to M-9 visa restrictions. There's some gray area with regards to working on the Visitante visa, so it's best to check directly with the Colombian consulate in your home country before traveling to understand the details.

If you're interning or just studying informally on the side, the restrictions may be different. Again, check with government representatives of Colombia for answers.

Scholarships

Not all programs in Bogota will be able to offer scholarships through the school or company themselves. However, there are other options for financial support. For example, the US State Department offers merit-based funding for excellent students, and your own university may have the capacity to offer support. Contact the international office, as well as your own faculty to find out what opportunities they offer.

Study Abroad Programs in Bogotá

Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 programs
Red Tree Study
Peacebuilding in Colombia Academic Summer Program
Colombia
9.64 •36 reviews

Apply now to take part in this prestigious program and explore the...

Red Tree Study
Public Health in Colombia
Colombia
9.13 •15 reviews

The Public Health in Colombia course was launched in summer 2018 in...

Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Study Abroad at Universidad Nacional de Colombia
Colombia

In our school we offer a variety of programs to students from all over...

Pontifica Universidad Javeriana Bogota
Pontifica Universidad Javeriana Bogota study abroad
Colombia

Within this university, we offer a variety of graduate and...

Universidad de Los Andes
Study Abroad at Universidad de Los Andes
Colombia

Our school has a wide variety of programs for both graduates and...

Global Youth Connect (GYC)
Human Rights and Peacebuilding in Colombia
Colombia

This program is designed for individuals committed to mutually...

Escuela Colombiana de Ingenieria Julio Garavito
Discover Colombia with Escuela Colombiana de Ingenieria
Colombia

Discover Colombia! is a wonderful opportunity to explore Colombia and...

Other Study Abroad Programs in Colombia

Not enough options in Bogota? Check out these other Study Abroad programs in Colombia!
  • Class Afloat
    Class Afloat - Travel and Study at Sea
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •4 reviews

    Founded in 1984, Class Afloat - West Island College International is...

  • Red Tree Study
    Urban Transformation in Colombia
    Colombia
    9.33 •6 reviews

    This intensive two-week summer course explores the city of Medellin...

  • 153 reviews
    Semester at Sea
    Semester at Sea: Study Around the World
    Multiple Countries
    9.75 •153 reviews

    Explore multiple countries around the world while earning up to 15...

  • Seamester
    Seamester: Caribbean to Tahiti Voyage via The Galapagos - 90 Days
    Multiple Countries
    10 •11 reviews

    Sail to Bonaire and wake to flocks of Venezuelan flamingos flying...

  • CET Academic Programs
    CET Colombia
    Colombia
    10 •1 review

    In this program, you’ll study race and identity through the Afro...

  • IPSL Global Institute at NUNM (National University of Natural Medicine)
    IPSL Colombia: Post-Conflict Studies and Afro-Caribbean Culture
    Colombia
    10 •1 review

    COVID-19 and our societies’ reactions lay bare longstanding inequities...

  • ISA (International Studies Abroad)
    ISA Study Abroad in Barranquilla, Colombia
    Colombia
    10 •1 review

    Study abroad with ISA in Barranquilla, Colombia! Barranquilla...

  • AmeriSpan
    AmeriSpan Spanish Language Programs in Colombia
    Colombia

    Travel to Bogota or Cartagena, Colombia with AmeriSpan to study...

  • SIT Study Abroad
    SIT Study Abroad Colombia: Building a Culture of Peace Summer
    Colombia

    Witness history in the making as you experience the peacebuilding...

Tours & Trips in Colombia

Looking for something to do during your time in Colombia? Check out some of these tours and trips!
  • OneSeed Expeditions
    Hidden Colombia - 8 Days
    Colombia

    Explore the ruins of The Lost City of the Sierra Nevada in Colombia...

  • Bamba Experience
    Voluntour: Travel & Volunteering Combined
    Multiple Countries

    Participating in a volunteer program while traveling is a fantastic...

  • UpTrek
    Water Highway Kayaking Adventure
    Colombia

    Go an adventure in Antioquia, Colombia and receive complete kayaking...

  • On the Go Tours
    South America Tours
    Multiple Countries

    Discover the best of South America on our selection of tours or tailor...

  • Andean Trails
    Palomino & Cartagena: Explore Colombia's Caribbean Coast
    Colombia

    Colombia offers the perfect Caribbean beach holiday extension to your...

  • Colombia Travel Operator
    Travel Around Colombia Tour
    Colombia

    You can find snow-capped mountains, untouched jungles, deserts, and an...

  • See Colombia Travel
    The Colombian Caribbean Beach Tour
    Colombia

    If you're a beach lover and looking for clean and fresh beaches and...

  • Artisans of Leisure
    Journey Through Colombia Tour
    Colombia

    This comprehensive private Colombia tour is the perfect option for...

What People Are Saying

This three week course has been one of the most rewarding and dynamic courses i have participated in, and i urge anyone considering it to APPLY!!! What sets this course apart from the numerous other...

UN

My trip to Bogota was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Firstly, the quality of the academic content of this course was simply second to none. It covered such a wide range of topics...

1

The lectures are incredibly humbling experience that give a fantastic insight into the history of Colombia and the conflict is has experienced. With topics such as the economic factors that have...

the sun setting over the city

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