The increased emphasis on learning English in Colombia has led to the opening of many opportunities for native speakers willing to teach English abroad. Colombia is encouraging students as well as young professionals to learn English, in order to prepare them for the competition in the global market.
Many international students who have attended semester exchange programs or pursued internships in Colombia are making the choice to return to Colombia for teaching English, exploring various job opportunities and enjoying the incredible experience that Colombia offers.
There are plenty of English teaching job opportunities in Colombia, but you must prepare yourself properly to ensure that you pick the right job for you.
If you are interested in teaching English in Colombia, then the guide below is going to set you in the right direction.
Scope for teaching English in Colombia
Many Colombian schools and universities have been increasingly hiring English teachers to improve the English proficiency of the students. Both native and non-native English speakers can find a lot of opportunities to teach English in Colombia, provided they have the right qualifications.
One can teach English in Colombian schools, universities, work at language institutes or offer private lessons. Many language institutes also hire teachers to teach English to employees at multinational companies in Colombia.
To secure a well-paying job in Colombia, you will require a Bachelor’s degree in any field and certification like TEFL and CELTA. CELTA stands for ‘Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults,’ and TEFL stands for ‘Teaching English as a Foreign Language.’
There are many organizations providing these certification programs both online and in-class mode. These certifications are given upon the completion of the coursework and training.
Apart from these qualifications, many Colombian private schools and universities also require higher qualifications like a master’s degree and prior job experience.
Although it is possible to get a job without any of the above-mentioned qualifications, the salary for such jobs is really less. It is better to get a certification to land a secure and well-paying job.
The salary for an English teaching job in Colombia would obviously vary with different institutions, your qualifications, and experience but the average salaries for English teachings jobs in Colombia are typically around $500-$1000 per month. As the cost of living is quite low in Colombia, you can live comfortably on a salary within this range. Some private schools and language institutes might also assist you in obtaining a visa and finding accommodation.
Know what to expect while teaching in Colombia
Colombian students are really friendly and the class environment is almost always quite relaxed. The students also generally have a lot of respect for their teachers. However, managing a large class can be a bit tricky at times.
Some students can be undisciplined and disturb the class environment. There also could be some degree of disorganization in certain schools. Class schedules can be changed last minute, classes can be canceled without prior information and sometimes the teacher has to work with limited school supplies.
On the plus side, you will have a lot of time to explore Colombia as the country has one of the most public holidays in the world and traveling within Colombia is also quite cheap. Even though you might have to deal with certain inconveniences while teaching in Colombia, the warmth and vibrancy of the country will definitely make up for it.
Teaching is indeed a quite challenging job but the satisfaction you get from seeing your students’ progress makes it all worth it.
How to find work?
Most of the opportunities for teaching English are concentrated in major Colombian cities like Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Cartagena. You can contact the schools, universities or institutions online through their website, send your resume and cover letter through email and then follow up once you are in Colombia.
You can also search job posting sites and find suitable job openings in your desired location in Colombia. Many Facebook groups can also be helpful in finding information about job openings.
To work as a teacher in Colombia, you would need a Migrant (M) visa. The M type visa is valid for up to a maximum of 3 years. However, the work visa would be valid for the duration of your work contract. The cost of M type work visa is 217 euros for people from Europe or Cuba and 282 dollars for the rest of the countries.
- To apply for the visa, you will need the following documents:
- Photographs with dimensions 3 cm x 4 cm
- A photocopy of the information page of your passport
- A letter of motivation from your employer
- Your employment contract
- Your bank statement of past six months
After getting your visa, you must get a Cédula (foreigner Id). You have to obtain it within 15 days from the date of your entry in Colombia or 15 days from the date of issuance of your visa, it was issued in Colombia.
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