Teach English in Colombia on a One or Two Semester Contract with Greenheart Travel
92% Rating
(38 Reviews)

Teach English in Colombia on a One or Two Semester Contract with Greenheart Travel

Teaching English in Colombia is a unique opportunity to work abroad in South America. Responding to the Colombian government’s goal to integrate English education for all by 2020, and recognizing the importance of the English language as key to the country’s development and success in today’s global world, Colombia has launched a bilingualism initiative.

Our teach program works with Colombian education systems to raise English levels and proficiency in the classroom.

-- Free to apply!
-- One Semester or Semester contracts depending on when you start
-- 1,500,000 Colombian Pesos monthly stipend to cover living expenses
-- Placements throughout Colombia (50+ cities)
-- Co-teaching placements, with other Colombian teachers
-- Extensive orientation upon arrival, in Bogota
-- Courtesy Visa paid for by the Colombian government for the duration of your program (~$300 value)

  • Monthly stipend to cover living expenses: 1,500,000 Colombian Pesos per month
  • Visa paid for by the Colombian government
  • Accommodation during orientation is included in shared rooms
  • Support and guidance from your Greenheart Travel program manager
  • Colombian national EPS health insurance
3-6 Months
6-12 Months
Salary / Benefits
--Full time teaching placement in Colombia
--Monthly stipend to cover living expenses: 1,500,000 Colombian Pesos per month
--Visa paid for by the Colombian government
--Colombian national EPS health insurance
--Domestic flight from Bogota to placement city (domestic baggage fees are not covered if you have more than 23 kg of luggage)
--Accommodation during orientation is included in shared rooms.
--Assistance finding housing in your placement city from program regional coordinators, who know the cities and can help communicate with landlords
--Support and guidance from your Greenheart Travel program manager
--Airport Pickup
--1- 2 week orientation upon arrival in Bogota, including accommodation at a hotel and meals (orientation at the beginning of the school year is 2 weeks, for second semester it’s 1 week)
--In-country support from your regional coordinator
--24/7 Emergency Line
--“Culture Smart” Colombia Customs & Culture Guidebook
At a minimum, a degree equivalent to a U.S. 4 year bachelor’s degree
Age 20-50
Citizen of the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, South Africa, Australia, or New Zealand
Native English Speaker
No Criminal Record, including underage drinking or DUI
Weekly Classroom Hours
Classroom Audience
High School
Middle School
University Students
Domestic Airfare
Some Accommodation
Some Activities
Some Meals
Price Details
This program is free.

There will be a $400 (USD) deposit upon acceptance to the program, but this will only be required after both interview rounds, after you have been accepted.

The deposit will be returned to you only when you complete your full program and contract term, along with your end of contract bonus. This deposit is your official commitment to participating in the program and is non refundable if you cancel or withdraw from the program at any time, for any reason. This deposit will be refunded in Colombian pesos along with your last paycheck and completion bonus, at a fixed exchange rate outlined in the Participant Agreement each teacher will sign after acceptance.

Questions & Answers

Hmmm...Ok, I'll go check out your site. Thanks!
You are provided with about 40 hours of Teaching English in Colombia training that is specific for the situations you might encounter within classrooms here, but that is the only formal instruction the program offers. Heart for Change will supposedly be offering a discount on an online TEFL certification program for the upcoming semesters, but that is optional and independent from your duties as a...
Ok, thank you for your answers. I'm still interested in the experience of teaching in Colombia. Thank you again. I will review the Greenheart site for a future possibility. I'm interested in the TEFL hours and the volunteer experience. However, I'd like to do it part time only.
I can tell you that we have lots of solo travelers on this program and have never had any serious incidents. Petty crime is common, and people do often get pickpocketed, but nothing more serious has occurred. Our placements are in the half of the country that is more developed and politically stable. We would never place a teacher in a city where we wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling and I have...

Program Reviews

based on 38 reviews
  • Benefits 9
  • Support 9.3
  • Fun 9.1
  • Facilities 7.5
  • Safety 8.8
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Value 10
  • Difficulty 7
  • Job Assistance 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 38
Default avatar

Challenging but rewarding experience

If you are looking for a comfortable and fun experience making an extreme impact easily, this one is not for you. If you are looking to go out of your comfort zone, struggle but learn from it, change your perspective on many things, and put in a ton of work to make small impacts then this is a great program. You need to be very flexible as several important factors (dates and times for important events, daily schedule, placement city, school, etc.) are not revealed until the last minute and often change. This is a co-teaching program which presents a whole new set of necessary skills. You need to put cultural differences aside and work with Colombian co-teachers to find the best way to teach your students as much as possible without stepping on any toes. I have found in speaking with others that your satisfaction with the program is highly dependent on things that are out of your control (ex. school, co teachers, placement city). In my personal experience, I had a lot of challenges in adjusting to the new living situation (not having several things that I once considered necessities such as hot water) and the school environment which lacked resources and comfort. However, I have grown so much as a person and learned a great deal that will help me throughout the rest of my life. Therefore, I have no regrets. I recommend going into this program with an extremely open mind and always trying to see other perspectives. Be aware that "different" isn't always bad.

How can this program be improved?

Getting information (dates, placement cities) finalized and organized faster. Giving the co-teachers an orientation.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Teaching in Colombia

Teaching in Colombia as part of the Ministry of Education English Fellowship Program is one of the coolest and most unique experiences of my life. First off, nothing can really prepare you for how different life is in Colombia. When preparing to apply, and researching the program, Greenheart manager Sara was most helpful, and answered all questions promptly. She ensures you have all your documents completed properly by the required deadlines and makes the whole process a lot easier. Once you arrive in Bogota, the week-long orientation is really well organized, and go will attend full days of pedagogy sessions on techniques and skills required for working in the Colombian classroom. The orientation includes 3 daily meals and hotel lodging, but is tightly scheduled with little to next to no free time for exploring Bogota. As soon as orientation ends, you will be flown to bused to your placement city where all the adventures begin. Your regional coordinator in your placement city will act as a big support to you in terms of finding housing, navigating your new city, and helping arrange social outings. Overall it is a really wonderful program, but you need to be flexible and willing to adapt to Colombian culture and school system (which is very different than in North America). As long as you stay motivated, and bring the best version of yourself to this program, you will succeed! The kids and teachers are really lovely, and you will truly be immersed in the local culture. They are also really excited to meet you, and hear all about your culture (so make sure to bring some items from home to share with them). This is an experience that will change your life, and leave you feeling very grateful.

Yes, I recommend

A great experience

It was an experience full of fun and learning. Our employers and recruiters (Greenheart Travel) were very organized and supportive.

Apart from not choosing your own city, definitely you will meet smart and enthusiastic kids who are eager to learn.
You will teach and you will learn more from them. Regional Coordinators are always around to help and support. The orientation sessions in Bogota is essential and necessary.

Greenheart Travel is an amazing partner in facilitating the process.
Expect though a lot of paperwork, before, during, and after the program.

Happy teaching!

Yes, I recommend
Angela M. Bey - Making a Difference in the World

Teaching Abroad in Barranquilla Colombia: An Amazing and Experience!

As in all experiences learning and growth goes hand in hand. It is in learning about the unknown, and fortifying yourself with the knowledge obtained, that true growth is awarded. Teaching abroad in Colombia through the Volunteers Colombia program has granted me the opportunities I desired three fold: (1) To teach ESL on a global level receiving and conferring a cultural exchange of knowlege; (2) To immerse myself in a Spanish speaking community to strengthen my language skills; and (3) To become a valid part of the World Community and help uplift/enrich the lives of our children.

Teaching abroad in Barranquilla Colombia has truly enriched my life. To have the opportunity to be a part of an amazing program geared towards the health and welfare of children is fortifying. It is an opportunity to make a difference by helping to build a better world through educating its new leaders -- the children.

On the other hand, I have learned so much from my students and the people of Colombian. The outreach of support you receive in learning about Colombian Culture is truly wonderful. Everyday my students would bring in books, toys, picutres, stories, letters, etc helping me to learn about life in Colombia. In addition, my students are incredible Spanish teachers; from quizing me on my vocabulary, to showing the proper way to position my tongue to roll the letter R. And, for every word or phrase they want to teach me, I eqaully share its translation into English. What a great exchange!

Living in Colombia has been wonderful. I live in Salamanca, in Soledad which surprisingly many people in Colombia, outside of Soledad, have said that it is not a good place to live; however, I beg to differ! I love the closeknit family atmosphere, and the flavor of their Costal way of life. No matter where you go in Soledad, you are greeted with, ¨Buenas¨! In the begining, I thought that missing my family was going to be my hardest challenge, but everyone in Soledad welcomed me with open arms, embraced me as one of their own, and became apart of my family.

And do not get me started on the food! I originally thought it was going to be a difficult task to find good things to eat, since I am vegetarian; however, it was not. There is nearly a tienda with vegetables and fruits on every corner, and my favorite guilty pleasure -- the Panandaria. This is where I purchase the most delicious sweet bread at the end of every week!

In any new place, the element of different is present. Yet, the most amazing part of the adventure is to immerse yourself in the experience! Stay active, volunteer at community events, learn new things, and get to know your city by engaging in all its cultural activities! While in Barranquilla, I joined a local gym in my neighborhood where I workout 3x a week, I practice Muay Thai at Barranko, and take Zumba lessons at Fusion! I´ve read extensively, visited many museums, art shows, and cultural events within the city. In addition, I´ve had the honor of volunteering in Charitable Community events.

How can this program be improved?

The one trying part of my new venture, was finding a place to live when I first arrived in Barranquilla. To alleviate the stress this could cause, I think it would be good, if Volunteer Colombia could possible establish its own hostel or rent out a few multi-occupant apartments where it´s volunteers can stay until they get settled in a residence of their own. Being a multi-living situation, it would be cost effective for volunteers as we are required to support ourselves financially for the initial month.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Dream come true

Being part of this teaching programme has literally made my dreams come true! Right from the beginning it has been a positive and enriching experience. I applied for the programme in January but was told it was full. However I was contacted a couple of months later and offered an opportunity to join the programme in July. From that point the correspondence and support I received was excellent. Sara has been really helpful the whole time, always checking in, and the rest of the greenheart team have been amazing.
It has given me an opportunity to get my first insight into teaching whilst still feeling supported the whole time and my plan is to return to Colombia next year to be part of the programme again. If you like a challenge, making a difference, happy people and dancing apply now! It will change your life!

Yes, I recommend

Volunteers Colombia, SED Barranquilla 2017

This program is an excellent way to immerse yourself and gain appreciation for another culture, I definitely fell in love with my school and the country as a whole.

My experience teaching in my school was incredibly challenging to say the least, my co-teachers wear microphones to school just to cut through all the noise. The behavioral problem was so broad and so deep it just couldn't be solved, merely worked around. I'm sure this isn't true for all schools, but its not rare either. As long as you're willing to work in trying circumstances with limited resources you can still be successful. For me it actually made the work more fulfilling because it didn't come easy. Anyone wanting to teach in this country should be aware that this situation is a possibility.

How can this program be improved?

I am concerned with the fact that in order for schools to participate in the program they had to cut two hours each week away from Spanish language and mathematics classes. These are primary school students in a Spanish speaking country and while improving English education is great it shouldn't come at the cost of Spanish and Mathematics. I hope the program can be implemented in such a way that it does not jeopardize these core subjects in the future.

This is my main concern. Compensation and staff support were both more than enough, I was very well taken care of.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

The best provider

The Colombia program has several different agencies who all recruit for the same program, but Greenheart is definitely the most helpful and supportive recruiter to use. There is a Facebook page full of information from current and past Fellows, and Sara is excellent at giving specific information on what you need to do. Her help with the visa process and general program changes really has made the program as stress-free as possible. There will always be some last minute changes and information doesn’t always come as soon as you would hope, but the Greenheart team really does their best to help keep Fellows and applicants in the loop as much as possible. In general, the program is a really amazing opportunity. As other reviewers have said, everything will vary greatly based on your city placement, attitude, and your school environment. I’m currently placed in a medium-sized city in the coffee triangle and it is definitely possible to live on the stipend. My students and co-teacher have been amazing and I have learned a lot about teaching from this position. This program is a great experience for people who are really excited about getting to live abroad and teach English, as long as you are prepared for last minute information and some uncertainty that comes with the government-based program!

How can this program be improved?

Changes to the pedagogy training

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Fantastic Experience

I've loved doing this program. It's a fantastic opportunity to immerse oneself in Colombian culture. The program is well organized and there's a good network of support within the program. Special shout out to Sara from Greenheart Travel. There is a fair amount of paperwork to do and she was always organized and very responsive to any questions or concerns I had. I couldn't have done the process of applying for the Visa without her help.

How can this program be improved?

It's great

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

A different life

A year ago I decided to apply through this program to go to Colombia. I was scared but mostly excited. I never knew my life would change that much. This experience in Colombia has been the BEST of my life. I have never felt so happy and fulfilled. The joy that those students bring to me is incomperable. I owe it all to Greenheart travel. Without them, I probably wouldn't be here today. Sara was helpful every step of my preparation to come here.
I came here and it was easy to meet people, to make friends and to feel at home. Colombians are so welcoming that I never felt homesick. My students are chaotic but have the biggest heart and will do anything for you.
Coming here, I was mostly scared that I wouldn't connect with the students because of the language or cultural barrier. But that wasn't the case. Colombia will always be home away from home.

How can this program be improved?

This program is amazing.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Love, love, love!

Loving my time in Colombia and super thankful for Greenheart's/ Sara's part in this experience! Greenheart/Sara are so well organized and helpful while preparing for my travels and gathering documents! This is especially impressive considering that things on the Colombian side are not always the most clear or well organized! One more perk about applying with Greenheart is that you're encouraged to join their super helpful facebook group which has lots of awesome advice! Although co-teaching has its ups and downs, I have really enjoyed this experience and learned a lot! Very thankful that I made the trip to this beautiful country with the help of Greenheart!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Semester in Colombia

I have been teaching and living in Palmira, Colombia and finish November 2017. Overall, things are going smoothly and I have no major complaints. Depending on what part of Colombia you are placed in and what school you are assigned, the experience will vary. Other fellows I talk to are having a very positive experience like I am, and some not as much. It depends on how you make it and it is important to remember you are here to help the youth and their community as best you can.
I can say I am learning more about myself as a teacher and education in general through this program. My school doesn´t have as much resources as one would like, but it challenges me to be resourceful and work more with less.

How can this program be improved?

People with a TEFL or fellows with extensive teaching experience shouldn´t have to do as much orientation training.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Greenheart Travel, Sara Dorsey Thacker & Colombia

Switching over from another agency that I didn't find very helpful, Sara welcomed me with open arms. I found her extremely efficient, and always willing to answer any questions no matter what they were. I was very, very intent on being in the SENA program as it was my main draw to the program and she honored this preference of mine. Although there were a lot of ups and downs with whether or not I would be able to be in the program, it really wasn't the fault of Sara or Greenheart, but the unpredictably of the Colombian agency. Everything that Sara/Greenheart could have possibly done for us, they did, and even all my friends that are here with Greenheart are unanimously happy with their experience.

For those of you who are considering this experience, I can't speak highly enough of it. I absolutely love my placement city (which was completely random, and I had never even heard of it). I did so much research prior to arriving but I feel completely at home here only after 3 months and love my students and the experience of teaching them. I would highly, highly recommend this country and teaching with SENA !

Yes, I recommend

Greenheart Grade: A

Greenheart is really a flawless program - they are super organized and prompt with everything that they do and (Sara, especially) made sure I was fully prepared both mentally and physically for my journey to Colombia. The stipend is definitely adequate for where I'm living, though I'm sure would be a lot tighter in major cities like Bogota or Medellin. I haven't really reached out for support from them because frankly, I haven't needed it. But if I do eventually reach out, I'm confident they would respond warmly and quickly.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Challenges and Triumphs

With the disclaimer that I am still in the midst of my first semester with the program (over two months to go - don't rush me!), I will say that my experience with Greenheart Travel has been mostly a positive one. The real strength of Greenheart is the preparation and support they offer ahead of time. Sara was so on top of responding to questions, sending information, and making sure I felt comfortable as a participant (as I'm sure she does for all participants). I was able to e-mail her frequently, with the expectation of prompt, precise responses. She was even available by phone. That being said, the network of organizations involved in this program (Greenheart, Heart for Change, Ministry of Education) made for quite a few information gaps and crossed wires. Transition into the program was a little choppy, despite all the pre-work that Greenheart did (and let me reiterate, they do a wonderful job, pre-departure!). Some of the tangles, I'm sure, couldn't be avoided, but it did make for a decent amount of confusion. There's a lot of individual and peer navigation that has to be done, since answers from the administration were not always clear or applicable. I do really appreciate the fact that Sara checks in with all participants once we are settled. That made me feel like I could go to her and Greenheart if I was having significant issues adjusting. Thanks so much, Sara and Greenheart Travel! If you are thinking about doing this program, I would say Greenheart is the most helpful in navigating the certain challenges you will face!

How can this program be improved?

If all programs and organizations involved could sync their information, that would be really helpful. I often encountered situations where other participants from other programs were receiving different information.

Yes, I recommend
woman on boat

It depends...

That's what you will here from every regional coordinator/director on this program, but it's true. You can get placed all over Colombia, which is a very diverse and amazing place. THat also means there are many factors that determine your experience here. I'm in a medium sized city (400,000 people and NO tourists). It's SUPER hot here but the cost of living is quite cheap. I am lucky enough to have the best school in the area, but this can also greatly vary. There are not many resources at some schools and many people struggle with the English level of their co-teachers. If you are prepared for these challenges, however, there are many rewards and incredible experiences available to you here. The pay is livable and as long as you are open to a challenge and care about teaching a new generation of people in a changing country, this program is ideal. There is a lot of support from the Heart for Change team and Greenheart as well. I recommend this experience whole heartedly, but if you are just looking for a vacation or just an adventure, this may not be your best option.

How can this program be improved?

Greenheart has done a great job. Much of the improvement needed comes from within the program and the Ministry of Education itself, which is complex to and difficult to maneuver because it's the Colombian government's area. There probably needs to be more change within the schools themselves in how they receive fellows and utilize them to their fullest potential. Some of the training seemed like a waste of time as well. It would be more helpful if we left with some sort of TEFL certificate.

Yes, I recommend

About Greenheart Travel

Greenheart Travel is excited to provide authentic cultural immersion experiences for teenagers and adults in countries all over the world. Our programs include volunteer opportunities, short and long term teaching contracts and work and internship...