Teach in Colombia - Public School Program
Teach children, teenagers or adults at government schools throughout Colombia.
Founded by Heart for Change and the Colombian National Ministry of Education, the English Teaching Fellowship Program (ETF) is a social initiative that helps bring qualified English teachers to Colombian public schools and institutions with the intent to build a bilingual Colombia.
- Monthly stipend of 1.5 Million Colombian Pesos*
- Orientation including accommodation and meals
- Teach at local middle, high schools and universities
- Domestic flight from Bogota to placement location
- Visa provided by program
- Colombian health insurance
- Assistance finding housing from local coordinators
- Choose from a 5, 6 or 11 month placement
- 24/7 support team to assist you in Colombia
- All public holidays
- Latest Edition Lonely Planet E-Guide to Colombia
*Average local salary in Colombia is around 640.000 COP and so you can live comfortably on this stipend.
Dates & Deadlines
Start: January or March 2018
Finish: One or two semester contract from above dates
Deadline - usually 2 weeks prior to designated arrival date
Upon approval of placement, successful candidates are required to pay a deposit of $400. Your program deposit payment demonstrates your commitment to the ETF Program, Colombia. This commitment helps the local support staff to plan their resources and ensure you have the best possible experience when you arrive in Colombia.
The deposit is fully refundable by SENA or the Ministry Of Education Colombia upon completion of contract.
The deposit is non-refundable if the teacher decides to cancel or withdraw from the program at any time and for any reason.
According to ETF, almost 50% of participants on this program opt to extend their placement
- Fluent English speakers
- Bachelor's degree in any discipline
- 21-55 years old
- TEFL/TESOL certification preferred
- Cultural sensitivity
- Community minded
- International Insurance (required by program) – please note, ESLstarter can provide assistance in obtaining the International Insurance for Colombia
Armenia, Barranquilla, Bello, Bogotá, Bucaramanga, Cajicá, Cali, Cartagena, Chía, Cúcuta, Dosquebradas, Duitama, Envigado, Floridablanca, Girardot, Girón, Ibaqué, Itagüí, Manizales, Mosquera, Neiva, Pasto, Pereira, Piedecuesta, Popayán, Rionegro, Sabaneta, Santa Marta, Tunja, Villa de Leyva.
About this program
The ETF provides a safe, supportive and fun environment for TEFL teachers to grow both professionally and personally. Teaching English in Colombia alongside experienced local co-teachers, allows you to gain priceless teaching experience in Government schools whilst also gaining a deeper insight into Colombian life and culture!
You will teach around 25 hours per week, Monday to Friday.
Quickly becoming one of the most sought-after destinations for TEFL teachers, Colombia has every South American wonder imaginable.
From beautiful coastlines skirted by the Caribbean Sea, to hillsides full of some of the best coffee plantations in the world, teaching English in Colombia is a truly life-changing experience!
As the largest economy in South America, Colombia is both modern and traditional, perfect for those who want to experience the authentic South American lifestyle in well-developed cities and towns.
Are you ready for one of South America’s most spectacular destinations?
- 100s of testimonials
- Receive free expert consultation to decide if teaching in Colombia is right for you
- Over 8 years of recruitment experience for international TEFL jobs
- Full support through the application and visa process
- Dedicated support staff comprising of former TEFL teachers
- Join our Facebook communities & connect with lots of other ESLstarter teachers before you go!
- What is TEFL?
TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language and once you have completed a TEFL qualification, you can teach ESL abroad in a wide variety of countries. There are a few different types of courses for teaching English in Asia, the UAE and many unique destinations, however TEFL and TESOL courses (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) are the most common.
- How do I learn TEFL?
You can learn TEFL in a number of ways including university courses and even internships in various locations such as China and Argentina. English Language teaching allows you to broaden your horizons and gain experiences you will not find anywhere else. Learning TEFL will allow you to embark on various different adventures including teaching in Asia, South America and the Middle East and considering global language training is becoming increasingly popular, international schools are always crying out for additional ESL teachers.
- How will my teaching schedule work?
You will work an average of 40 hours per week. This will be made up of approximately 25 teaching hours and 15 hours of lesson planning and additional activities at your school. Weekends will be free to explore Colombia!
- How many students will there be in a class?
There are usually between 25 and 35 students in each class.
- Will I follow a set curriculum?
Yes, a curriculum is provided and you will also have support from local teachers to help you adjust to teaching in Colombia. In your educational institution (EI), your mentor, co-teacher and/or academic coordinator will be responsible for ensuring that your duties are being fulfilled. You will also be in regular contact with a Regional Coordinator. Your mentor should be able to help you with both the pedagogical and logistical aspects of working in your EI, including lesson planning, classroom management, grading and attendance policies, etc.
- What is the dress code?
Business casual; while the EI ́s are not an overly formal institution (i.e. suits, formal dresses, high heels, etc. are not necessary), keep in mind that you are a role model for students and should dress the part. Avoid wearing flip flops, low cut shirts/dresses, short shorts, or very informal wear in the EIs.
- How many students should I expect to be teaching?
Every program has a different standard class size, but generally this ranges between 25-35 students per class. You should expect to teach between 6-8 classes in total with different co-teachers.
- What happens if I get sick?
If you are sick you should let your mentor, co-teacher and/or academic coordinator know immediately, so that they are able to make other arrangements for your classes. You may also be asked to show a note from a doctor; this is a very common practice among Colombian employers.
- Can couples and friends apply together?
Yes, couples and small groups of friends can be placed in the same city and live together.
- What visa do I get?
You will get the TP-1 visa before arrival in Colombia which is processed via an online application. You will be provided with all visa paperwork needed for this application. Upon arrival in Colombia, you will officially get the visa at the local immigration office.
- How much do I need to budget for the monthly rent?
Depending on the city it can be anywhere from 350.000 pesos to 650.000 (as a very rough estimate). You will receive a monthly stipend to cover living expenses of 1,500,000 Pesos per month. This program is a volunteer position, and the stipend is meant to cover the basic living costs like rent, transportation, and meals.
- What vaccinations will I need in order to come to Colombia – or to travel outside of Colombia?
All travellers must be up to date on their routine vaccines (MMR, DTEP, Chickenpox, polio, and yearly flu shots). Most travellers are recommended to obtain Hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines as it is possible to get these illnesses through contaminated food and water. In order to travel to Central America from Colombia you MUST have your Yellow Fever vaccine.
- Does the visa allow me to re-enter the country during my time with the program?
Your visa allows you to enter and exit Colombia until the time it expires.
- What is the monthly stipend?
The monthly stipend is COP 1,500,000 (2.3 times the minimum Colombian wage). This will be paid each month.
- Is there a bonus for completing the program?
Yes, at time of writing, a completion bonus of COP 500,000 should be payable after successfully completing the program. Volunteers who leave early will not receive the bonus. Your program deposit of US$400 will also refunded to you by SENA or MOE Colombia upon program completion.
- What are the orientation logistics?
There will be an orientation for approximately 2 weeks in Bogota. Lodging and food will be provided during orientation but no stipend will be given during the orientation period.