TEACH ENGLISH IN COLOMBIA

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About Teaching English in Colombia

With the nation's fast-growing economy, TEFL certified teachers are in high demand in Colombia. With over 45 million inhabitants, Colombia has the second largest population in South America. It is also home to the fourth-largest number of Spanish speakers in the world after Mexico, the United States, and Spain, which means it provides for a great opportunity to perfect your Spanish while teaching English in Colombia. 

Twenty years ago, Colombia was a virtual no-go zone, but in recent decades the nation has become one of the most dynamic countries in Latin America and it has become much safer as well, as evidenced by its huge growth in tourism.

Teach English in Colombia Teach English in Colombia


English teaching jobs in Colombia typically start in January - March, and July - August time periods. Most positions are for teaching English in private language schools, primarily to adults (business types, university students, tourism, etc.). 

The English teaching job market in Colombia is very strong in Bogota, Medellin, and other larger cities. Colombia is a break-even market, which allows teachers to live comfortably while teaching 20-30 hours per week.

Teaching Requirements

TEFL CERTIFICATION

A TEFL certification is required to teach English in Colombia. You do not need professional teaching experience but earning your TEFL certification will provide you with the training and qualification you do need to get hired. 

Teachers typically interview in-person in Colombia. It is common for students to take one of our Online TEFL course options listed below before departure:

You may also wish to take one of the 4-Week In-Person TEFL Courses that we offer in 21 locations worldwide.

NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER

You do not need to be a native English speaker to teach English in Colombia, however, you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is typically preferred but not always required.

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

While a bachelor's degree is not required to secure a job in Colombia, it still can be strongly preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.

TEFL Jobs in Colombia

JOB TYPES

The most common job types in Colombia consist of:

  • Teaching adults or children in English language schools.
  • Private tutoring both children and adults.
  • Public school programs.
  • Teaching English Online.

HIRING & VISA

English teachers in Colombia can expect to find jobs from January-March and again from July-August. While there are some opportunities to interview in advance over the phone and via e-mail, most English teachers interview on the ground,  in-person.

Teachers in Colombia typically teach on either a tourist visa or a work visa.

Read More: What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Colombia?

HOURS

English language schools in Colombia offer approximately 20 to 25 hours of classroom work per week plus additional hours for prep time. This allows for plenty of time to travel and explore. 

STUDENTS

It is most common that your students will be children, adults, and business professionals. 

Salary & Cost of Living

START-UP COSTS

Start-up costs will range from $1,100 - $1,600 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Colombia until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

SALARY

A solid hourly wage enables teachers the opportunity to live a comfortable lifestyle while in Colombia. Teachers can expect to earn $500 - $1,050 USD per month. It is common for teachers in Colombia to also teach English online to supplement their income.

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent. 

COST OF LIVING & SAVINGS

The cost of living typically ranges between $500-$1,050 USD per month.

English teachers in Colombia can expect to break-even month over month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you shouldn't expect to save money at the end of the month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

 

What does teaching in Colombia look like?

Watch ITA alumna Brianna Brage show us a day in her life living and teaching English in Medellin, Colombia.

Want more? We've got you covered! Visit our Video Library to watch day in the life videos from our alumni and get a glimpse into what your life as a teacher in Colombia could look like!

Download Colombia Guide

AS SEEN IN

Teaching English in Colombia FAQs

Do I need a degree to teach English in Colombia?

To teach English in Colombia, make sure you understand what is and is not required:

Required:

  • A TEFL certification
  • Understanding of the types of English teaching jobs that are available
  • Savings for start-up costs

Not Required:

  • A four-year college degree is not required to secure a job in Colombia, however, it is still often times preferred by employers. If you do not have a degree, you should be prepared for a more competitive job search.
  • You do not need to be a native English speaker, but you will be expected to be fluent in English and speak at a native level to be considered for teaching jobs. Citizenship from the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa is typically preferred but not always required.

How much money can English teachers earn in Colombia?

Teachers can expect to make $500 - $1,050 USD per month in Colombia. It is common for teachers in Colombia to also teach English online to supplement their income. With the cost of living being low in Colombia, you can expect to break-even month over month. This means you can cover your rent and bills, support yourself, live comfortably, and enjoy your life abroad to the fullest, but you shouldn't expect to save money at the end of the month. If you are hustling and taking on private tutoring lessons and/or teaching English online in addition to your regular teaching schedule, you may increase your ability to save.

Start-up costs will range from $1,000 - $1,600 USD. These are expenses you will incur from your arrival in Colombia until you receive your first paycheck and may include things like rent, apartment supplies, transport, groceries, getting your new local cell phone number set up, etc. 

There are no flight or housing benefits/stipends provided so you will need to remember to account for accommodation or temporary housing for your first few weeks in your start-up costs until you find an apartment to rent.

How do I get a visa for teaching English in Colombia?

If your job is secured before heading to Colombia, it is possible to process the M-5 visa at the nearest Colombian Consulate in your home country.  However, many teachers process their visa in Bogota at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores Office.  

You can also fill out the application online, which will require scans of all of the necessary documents. After you receive approval, you can travel to Bogota or the nearest consulate to get the visa in your passport.  Online approval can take roughly one week. 

Once you have gotten your visa, you have about 15 days to register your visa with Migracion Colombia to get your Cedula (a national identity card - more about this below). These offices are located in major cities around Colombia. It is very important that you do this within the allotted 15 days or you could be fined. Having a Cedula enables you to open a bank account, get a cell phone plan, etc.

To get a Cedula you need to:

  • Have a blood test
  • Complete the online application
  • Schedule an appointment at a Migracion Colombia office. At your appointment, you will need your passport with visa, blood test, photocopy of the data page from your passport, and approximately 183,000 pesos ($60 USD approx.)

Read More: What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Colombia?

Recommended TEFL Courses for Teaching English in Colombia

Part-Time Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 170-Hour Online Certification
  • 11 Weeks Part-Time
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 20-Hours Live Practice Teaching

Intensive Online TEFL Course

What's included 👇

  • 4 Weeks Full-Time (40+ hours per week) - required class time typically 6-8 hours daily
  • OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK
  • Live Office Hours with Your Instructor & Peer-Participation with Classmates
  • Lifetime Job Search Guidance
  • 10-Hours Live Practice Teaching (Virtual) built into the course
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Why Our Alumni Love Us!

Tara Ashraf

Taught English Colombia

Tara Ashraf

I would highly recommend teaching in Colombia, I loved it so much. If people are to teach abroad, they should understand there are weird cultural factors...But if you go along for the ride, and you take advantage of those times, you will be able to see a very different part of the world! I've already been back to visit this year and hope to every few years.

Craig Skillman

Taught English Colombia

Craig Skillman

I really enjoyed the course. I liked how it touched base on not only the educational side of teaching, but the cultural side as well. The lessons, assignments, and practicum aspect were all very useful in preparing us to go out and be able to plan, teach, and work on our own.

Rebecca Sirull

Teaches English in Colombia

Rebecca Sirull

This on-the-ground strategy not only let me make connections with many different companies, but also gave me the chance to get to know the cities. I usually spent another few days after my school visits just spending time in the place and seeing all it had to offer. 

Visit the Colombia section of our blog to read more articles and stories by our alumni about their experiences teaching English in Colombia.