Transportation: Getting Around Bucaramanga, Colombia

By: Rebecca Sirull 

After spending an hour just getting from one side of Bogota to the other, it was refreshing being in a smaller city like Bucaramanga, where it never takes more than thirty minutes to get anywhere. I love how easy and cheap it is to get around and the surprising number of options within such a small city. Here are all the different types of transportation you can find in Bucaramanga.

Fascinating Experiences You'll Have in and Around Bucaramanga, Colombia

By Rebecca Sirull

The best parts of traveling, and especially living, abroad are never the things you see recommended in guidebooks or marked on a map; they’re not the things you bought a ticket for;  and they’re certainly not going to be the same for you as they are for me.

The most fascinating experiences I’ve had in Bucaramanga are the ones that I couldn’t possibly have planned before, but rather the ones I just seemed to stumble into. Throwing yourself into a new culture, you’re bound to have several moments of 'oh my god, this is the weirdest situation I’ve ever been in'. And those are the moments that I live for.

Making Friends with Both Expats & Locals While Teaching English in Colombia

By Rebecca Sirull

One of the best parts of teaching abroad is the opportunity to meet interesting people. Being in a new country always makes me feel more open to other new experiences, and I’m much more likely to strike up conversation with a stranger than when I’m back in the US. Most other expats I’ve met tend to have the same mentality, so it’s incredibly easy to connect with people from all over the world when you’re living in a new place.  

My Typical Weekly Schedule Teaching English in Colombia at a School, Online, & Privately

By: Rebecca Sirull

My favorite thing about teaching English in Colombia is that no two days are alike, and I have tons of flexibility to make my own schedule. That’s also one big reason why I wanted to work part-time at a private institute, rather than taking a full-time job at a colegio (children’s school). With this schedule, I have plenty of time to teach English online and with private students in addition to my regular classes.

Living a Memorable Life: My Teaching Journey from Latin America to Spain

By: Laura Hoppe

La vida no es la que uno vivió, sino la que uno recuerda y cómo la recuerda para contarla. Gabriel García Márquez (known as “Gabo”), one of Colombia’s most beloved authors, once wrote this very sentence. “What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.”

 

Moving Past Day #365: What to Do After Your Year Teaching Abroad

By: Olivia Flores

I think a lot of U.S. Americans see teaching abroad as a young-adult, one-year phase. You go, take pictures, relax, and reluctantly post about coming back to the “real world.” And although teaching abroad may very well include a lot of those things (especially way too many pictures), it shouldn’t be something we discredit as frivolous or irrelevant. Teaching abroad is an investment in yourself and your community--a valuable experience not to be taken lightly. However, with most of my friends graduating from medical school and getting accepted to PhD programs, it was difficult even for me to feel like I was moving forward, taking real steps towards a worthwhile future, while abroad and away from my community in Chicago. Without the security of a new degree title and even a steady American income, I admit I was worried to continue living abroad. But I had more compelling reasons to stay.

A Special Kind of Crazy Teaching English in Latin America

By: Rebecca Sirull

About one year ago, I hopped on a plane to begin the adventure of a lifetime teaching English abroad. I showed up in a country I had never visited before, where I didn’t know a single person, and didn’t have a job or a place to live. Somehow all the pieces fell into place and I set up a life for myself in Arequipa, Peru. Then, six months later I packed it up and started all over again. I’ve now been living in Bucaramanga, Colombia, for about four months and am loving my second move abroad.

I decided to get TEFL-certified and move to Peru right after I finished my college degree. Like many international English teachers, I wanted to travel the world, see amazing sights, meet new people, and immerse myself in a different culture. I also wasn’t too thrilled to jump into the 9-5 office life that so many of my peers were heading towards. Teaching English seemed like the perfect way to support myself while also exploring a new country.

Opening a Restaurant in Nicaragua

By: Trevor Vilsack

On April 18th 2016 I started an adventure of a lifetime when I moved my life from the United States and relocated to Leon, Nicaragua, to get TEFL certified. Upon graduation I quickly received a job at one of the Universities here called UCC as an English professor. I spent almost a year in Leon teaching at this University and it was an incredible experience. After this year I then moved to Bogota, Colombia, where I continued to teach English, this time online, and also worked at a family owned furniture store while living with this family. The purpose of moving to Bogota was to get fully immersed in Spanish and become fluent in the language, which had always been a goal of mine when moving abroad. The six months that I spent in Colombia were amazing, and when the six months had finished I decided to move back to Nicaragua. When I arrived back to Nicaragua, I continued to teach English online at first, but also started the process of my next dream, to open a restaurant!

Why I Started the 'English from A to Z' Online English Teaching Website

By: Ben Weinberg

I never thought that I would become an ESL teacher. It wasn’t one of those set plans that I had for myself from an early age. Sometimes, life can’t be predicted and you end up being somewhere else than you originally intended. I think that this happens for the better most times, and I can say for certain that my life has been better off with my past experiences of teaching English as a Second Language. It’s been a roller coaster ride but a fun and exciting one at that.

Visa Know How: Colombia TP-6 Volunteer Visa

Visas, Visas, Visas   — The topic no one enjoys talking about yet the topic everyone needs to know a lot about. Our ITA Alumni Ambassadors have been in your shoes when it comes to visas. It's a foreign topic to most, no matter how experienced of a traveler you are. Our Alumni Ambassadors have been through the visa process firsthand and were tasked with walking us through the steps they took for their visa. In this edition, Lisa Koprosky discusses the visa process she went through for teaching English in Colombia. Get your notebook ready and enjoy!