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Helpful Resources for English Teachers in Bogota, Colombia
Written by: Lisa Kapowsky
Last Updated: July 19, 2021
Whether it's finding an English-speaking doctor, opening a bank account, or simply finding a supermarket where you can find the odd comfort food from home (peanut butter!), ITA alumna Lisa has actionable, on-the-ground-tips to help you feel at home in your new home city.
*Please note that things may have changed from initial publication of this fact sheet in 2017.
Location: Bogota, Colombia
Visa Type: Work Visa
North American Comfort Food Locations:
Generally, the International sections at Carrulla and Jumbo have a pretty decent selection (including peanut butter!). They can be found all over the city in every neighborhood.
Zona T (Calle 82 with Carrera 13) and Usaquen have a lot of International restaurants and a Starbucks if you really need to treat yourself.
Attention to all Canadians: There is absolutely no real maple syrup, so pack some with you!
Transmilenio is a bus system that runs in its own lane, so you can avoid traffic. It's great because it's cheap and you can get anywhere in the city, but be warned, it does get CROWDED!
Hospitals & Doctors (English Speaking):
Every clinic that I have been to has at least one doctor or nurse who can speak some English. Just ask.
Beauty Supply Stores, Hairdressers & Barbers:
Beauty supplies are easy to come by, but it is a little expensive to buy North American brands of make-up, and the selection is a bit limited. Unfortunately, I have had terrible experiences with hairdressers so I don't have any great recommendations - but find someone with fabulous hair and ask them. Then just bring lots of photos to provide as examples.
Bank Account Location:
I haven't had to open an account.
Some restaurants I like to frequent are:
- Crepes and Waffles
- The man who sells arepas at Calle 100 with Carrera 19 on weekday mornings!
- Azahar Cafe: Parque 93
- Top 5 Coffee: Baristas speak English
- Armando Records: A cool bar with a floor of electronic music and a floor of Latin music - the Latin floor is where it's at!
- Parque Simon Bolivar: A green space, entertainment and sports complex located in the middle of the city.
- Mercado de Usaquen: Sundays only.
Permanent Housing Resources:
Bogota Short Term Rentals on Facebook is the best resource to find shared housing accommodations.
Expat Community Resources:
Most of my friends are Colombian, but all of my expat friends I met through work or traveling during the holidays.
Colombians are great people! They will welcome you in and show you the ropes, so take advantage and enjoy it!
Don't listen to the negative things you hear about Colombia, it is a great country with amazing people. As long as you are smart and have common sense, it is perfectly safe and people will always be ready to help you!
Lisa teaches English in Bogota, Colombia. She served as an ITA Alumni Ambassador in 2017, helping prospective and current alumni with their decision to teach in Colombia. She provided valuable resources in terms of content and video documenting her time living and teaching abroad to the ITA blog.
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