There’s just something about Colombia. It’s a beautiful, colourful, friendly, welcoming, fun, energetic and lovable country.
Colombia offers numerous outdoors pursuits and adventure activities, from hiking to surfing and scuba-diving, incredible nature and an eclectic mix of ancient Mayan and Spanish culture – from food to sightseeing.
Spend your weekends exploring colonial cities, trekking through the Amazon, or basking in the sands of the Caribbean beaches – all while perfecting your Spanish, and contributing to Colombia’s development!
The long palm-fringed coastline on the Caribbean Sea offers stereotypical coastal paradise and the Pacific coastline is renowned for its magnificent meeting of thick jungle and ocean, complete with waterfalls, thermal pools and tiny fishing villages. Inland, verdant coffee-growing areas and rainforests rise up into the magnificent Andes mountain range.
Forget Colombia’s conflict-ridden past, it’s now a popular tourist destination for many. In 2015 nearly 3 million foreigners visited Colombia. Discover what has even the most seasoned of travellers proclaiming Colombia as one of their favourite destinations and a highlight of their travels in South America.
The Only Risk Is Wanting To Stay!
Join this FREE program run by the Colombian government and change lives! Since its launch in January 2015, more than 500 individuals have helped provide English education to more than 30,000 public school students. You too can make a global difference and help improve lives for these individuals from unprivileged backgrounds, who in years to come will have the opportunity to compete in the global marketplace.
Next Ministry of Education Program Dates:
TO BE ADVISED
Next SENA Program Dates:
TO BE ADVISED
Native English speaker or non-native English speaker with Level C1 certified
Bachelor’s degree or 4 year equivalent
Age 20-50 (up to 55 for specific program)
Police clearance report
International medical insurance
Refundable deposit of $400/£300
$1,500,000 Colombian Pesos monthly stipend to cover living expenses
Visa paid for by the Colombian government
Placements throughout Colombia (50+ cities)
5, 6, and 11 month contracts
Co-teaching placements, with other Colombian teachers
End of semester or end of year completion bonuses
Colombian national EPS health insurance
Domestic flight from Bogota to placement city
Accommodation during orientation in Bogota
In-country support from the program organisers
Please note: Flights to Colombia are not included
Is Colombia safe?
Colombia is safe! Until recently Colombia was largely avoided by tourists due to concerns over violence, drug trafficking and the country’s ongoing civil war. Today, however, it’s a different story, Colombia is now a vibrant and largely peaceful country.
Tens of thousands of foreigners visit Colombia each year for tourism, business, university studies and volunteer work. Security in Colombia has improved significantly in recent years, including in tourist and business travel destinations such as Bogotá, Cartagena, Barranquilla, Medellin, and Cali. The number of international tourist arrivals in Colombia has quadrupled during the past decade. Use the same safety precautions you would in any major city or country.
Is the monthly stipend enough to live off in Colombia?
Overall Colombia has a low cost of living. Your monthly stipend will be more than sufficient to cover your rent, transport and meals. Should you choose a placement in the larger cities like Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Cartagena and Barranquilla you can expect a much higher cost of living
When should I apply?
As this program is very popular we suggest you register your interest immediately.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Not at all! In the classroom you will only be using English. However, we recommend you learn some basic Spanish to enhance your personal life in Colombia.
Should you have any other questions, please contact us.
Is accommodation included?
Accommodation is included during orientation in Bogota. After orientation, the teachers will need to find their own accommodation with the support of the program’s regional coordinators who know the neighbourhoods and can help communicate with landlords. Teachers normally stay in homestays as they are more affordable and come with all the facilities you will need to live comfortably. We recommend the following website www.homestay.com.
I’m currently teaching in Cali, Colombia. Cali is a very diverse city and there is much to do. The historic district of San Antonio is a great place to visit and go out with some friends. The people here are collectivists and extremely helpful with anything you need, whether it is directions of how to find a certain place or suggesting places/attractions. The people are very proud of their city and love to tell you about it and want you to feel at home. My students are very eager to participate and learn. They have a fun time learning and advance quickly through the material. My Co-teacher is very friendly and is also knowledgeable in the methodology of teaching English. In co-planning, he helps give me ideas for activities and to guide me through the teaching process. Carlos was very helpful in assisting me with my job placement. From the beginning, I could tell that I was in good hands and that he genuinely cared about my experience. Every step of the process was made easier and simpler because of this help. My experience with the program organizers (Volunteers Colombia) was and is extremely positive. In the orientation, I could tell that the people in charge of the program care about more than just numbers; they care about making a positive impact in the lives of the teachers as well as the students. Also, my regional coordinator is extremely helpful and responds very quickly to any question that I have.
My name is Robyn. I am a 53 year old woman from the state of North Carolina in the United States. Thanks to TEFL Graduate, I am currently living in Socorro, a beautiful town in the mountains of Colombia. I work for one of the many SENA centers in Colombia teaching English to teenagers and adults, who are working through technical training programs. I co-teach alongside a native Colombian English teacher. I had just enough substitute teaching experience to know that I enjoyed being in a classroom, but this is my first time formally teaching. The experience has been wonderful. The students, my co-teacher, mentor and Volunteers Colombia coordinator have all helped to ease the transition into the new culture. Carlos, at TEFL Graduate helped me every step of the way – making my TEFL certification and the entire application process go very smoothly. I continued to receive guidance and support from TEFL Graduate until I was on the ground in Colombia, where Volunteers Colombia took over. I highly recommend TEFL Graduate! Go explore a new place, share your language and culture and learn something about yourself in the process!
Carlos and TEFL Graduate were great in helping me come to Colombia to teach English. They were on top of everything and kept me informed about updates from the program organizers. I am now teaching in Armenia, Quindio, a small city in the heart of the coffee triangle, and enjoying my time working and living here. It’s also a plus to have a contact for assistance who is in the country and always available with resourceful information. Working in the Colombian public school system has been a great experience, and I’m happy I chose TEFL Graduate to assist me in coming down here.
Armenia is a city nestled in the mountains of Quindio, Colombia. The city is very commutable by bus and by foot. I feel very safe here, and the locals have been welcoming. This is my first time teaching abroad.
My students are very happy and full of spirit. I always enjoy walking onto my campus at the start of the day. Young students are eager to learn, and very happy. Co-teachers are helpful and patient. I am grateful for the positive relationships I have developed with my students and teachers at INEM. Carlos is a great person. He is reliable, patient, responsive, and supportive. My experience with Carlos has been very positive, friendly, and genuine. He is amicable and professional.
I’m placed in Ibague, the capital of Tolima department in the Andes region, a cool little city with 500,000 people, the best climate one could find anywhere in Colombia, and surrounded by the misty Andes mountains. It’s my first time teaching and living in Latin America, and for making this happen I have to thank TEFL Graduate, Heart for Change and Volunteers Colombia. It has been wonderful, though not without its challenges. But getting to know the super-friendly Colombians, help their children, and discover their beautiful country have become of the most unforgettable moments of my life!
As a first-time teacher and with living abroad for the first time, it was important for me to feel comfortable with my choice from day one. After Carlos set clear expectations, more than answered all my questions and proved to have excellent follow-up, I knew that this was the company for me. Carlos was so amazing that he spoke with my family to calm their fears about the unknown and gave them a number where he can be reached if they had any other questions independent of me. That’s the kind of special attention that made me and my family most comfortable with TEFL Graduate and making this move. I currently live in a small town called Villa de Leyva in the Colombian department of Boyacá. Villa de Leyva is a beautiful and quaint little town that takes you way back in time with stone streets, locals enjoying melting helado (ice cream) and old-fashioned colonial-style buildings. What strikes me as the most wonderful thing about the Colombian people is that from the youngest to the oldest, they want to know one thing; do you like my country? I have quickly learned to express my love for Colombia and her people. You have to love the pride of the Colombian people and I am glad to give them a good report on my experience, because it has been great.
My name is Pierre-Alain Seya, and I am a volunteer ESL teacher roaming the world. During the month of September 2016, I was lucky enough to come across Carlos Salamanca, a recruitment consultant at TEFL GRADUATE. TEFL GRADUATE is a great ESL academy and I recommend it to all. Carlos replied promptly to my emails, and assisted me thoroughly through all the steps of my application process and subsequent departure to Colombia for the English Teaching Fellowship Program in Colombia. I was extremely pleased by the outstanding service I received from Carlos, and especially his reliable and critical assistance in my first days and weeks in the wonderful city of Bogota. I consider myself an active client of TEFL graduate still, as I plan on embarking on many new journeys through their comprehensive and global ESL references.
My new found profession of teaching is a source of much enjoyment to me. After overcoming the initial overwhelming stage of being the novelty ‘gringo’ in a big Colombian school, I started to really settle in to my new daily habitat at Tecnico Superior. I especially enjoy working with young adults, an age that I had previously not been accustomed to spending time with. Since I myself was at that age. While student’s levels of English are not very high and this can at times be frustrating, I have never in my working life had a more rewarding feeling than providing a successful learning experience for my students. I have found that the more planning and time I put in to my lessons the more I seem to get out of it, as well as my students (I hope at least). I am stationed in Neiva for this year and what strikes me most about where I am is the limitless nature of people’s generosity. I couldn’t have been made to feel any more welcome in a city where there are very few foreigners and it might have been easy to feel otherwise isolated. I have been falling in love with my new home over the past four or so months. The richness and diversity of Colombia is truly something to behold and it has an ability to constantly surprise at every turn. Yesterday I arrived back in Bogota Airport after perhaps ten of the most spiritual days of my life spent in the Colombian Amazon, connecting with nature in a way I previously have not. By the evening I was in the dimly lit rooftop room of a cinema / bar / gig venue watching Colombians do what they do best, dance salsa. This has turned out to be an experience of a lifetime and I recommend it to any who is looking for adventure. Thanks TEFL Graduate!
“I first saw TEFL graduate on the internet and I registered my interest for the Colombian program. I soon after received a call from Carlos, he would be in charge of my application. He duly helped out and made the process thoroughly smooth and stress free. TEFL graduate and Carlos took care of all paperwork and my only task was to send my information over and the rest would be done. When I first found out I was going to be placed in Duitama, I had my reservations. Firstly it is at an altitude of 1,360 metres above sea level which pales in comparison to Hertfordshire in the U.K which is about 120 metres above sea level. Also I was to live in a city with a population of 100,000. As well as being told by some Colombian friends how cold it was, by this I mean it’s cold for Colombian standard, many people in the U.K would definitely take Duitama’s supposed coldness any day. I registered my reservations with Carlos as of course I was a little sad I hadn’t been placed in Cartagena or Medellin as most people want, Carlos assured me despite what I had heard, I would very much love Duitama when I got there; he was very right. My first day in my school was a pleasant surprise, here I was to teach in a school that had all the necessities required from white boards to televisions to laptops in every classroom, I later learnt this is one of the best public schools in Colombia, as proven by the second visit in three years of the minister of education for Colombia. Here I was mixing it with a politician in Colombia, very different to my life last year struggling to make lectures at university because I spent most nights doing my dissertation; how things change so quickly. I have had a wonderful time in Colombia and will not bore you with cliches about the experience of a lifetime and so on but all I will say is that being in Colombia has given me an experience I will never achieve anywhere else. In the end I guess I couldn’t help but express the experience with a cliche, be bold, take hold of your life and come to Colombia and see it for yourself. To quote a famous white bearded economic theorist in relation to Colombia; you have nothing to lose but the stereotypes you had of it before. Thanks to TEFL graduate and Carlos especially for all the help in achieving this experience.”
I made the decision to come and teach here last year after finishing my degree in Spanish and French. I knew that I wanted to travel around South America because I had the level of Spanish and that Colombia would be a fantastic place to start. I was placed in Barranquilla and arrived just in time for the Carnival. Arriving at Carnaval was a crazy time in the city, trying to find a house after staying in hostels and of course finding the time to enjoy Carnaval. As time went on and I got introduced to my school, my co teacher and my students it was hard to think that I could have gotten a better bunch of students and co teacher as they have all been amazing. The relationship that you have with your students grows very quickly. To see the progression in some of the students from when I started is remarkable and when you have evidence where you know that they have all understood a topic gives you a great sense of satisfaction. I now realize that the students to me are the most important thing, that I can show them that they can do as many things as they want as long as they work at it. I would just like to conclude this by saying that none of this could be possible without the help of Carlos Salamanca from TEFL Graduate. His response to my application was extremely fast that same day, not only that, Carlos was extremally helpful every step of the way, carefully explaining each part of the process as it was a lengthy one. I have to hand it to him! I am very glad to have had his help as this has and still is an unbelievable experience that I will not forget.
My experience with TEFL graduate has been awesome. Firstly I decided to complete my certificate with the in September 2016 and then seen the opportunity to teach in Colombia so I applied. The process was so simple with TEFL graduate, and I always felt comfortable contacting my recruitment consultant, Carlos, with any questions or issues I had. Thankfully I was successful for the programme and came to Colombia in July 2017. It was daunting at first, as I don’t speak Spanish, so I was worried how I’d cope. But Colombia is an amazing country with some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met. I have been placed in a small city called Paipa in Boyacà, which is about 3.5 hours from Bogota by bus. Paipa is a very safe, relaxed place with a beautiful lake and thermal springs. Although my Spanish is terrible currently I have always found the locals more than willingly to help and be patient with me and they are so interested in where I am from. My placement school is a 5 minute walk from where I live and I have some of the most precious students, they are always smiling, laughing and mostly full of big dreams and hopes for their futures. Don’t get me wrong, this experience has been difficult at times, the culture shock, language barriers and with having no prior teaching experience it has been sometimes hard to find the balance with co teaching but it has been so rewarding and it is an experience I will not forget. I have also been to Medellin, Bogota and a few smaller cities and hope to visit more places before I leave. Colombia is a beautiful, diverse and friendly country and unique to anywhere I’ve ever been. I truly have gained so much from being here and I am so grateful to TEFL Graduate and more importantly Carlos, for helping me secure my place and being a continued support during my time here.
Carlos at TEFL graduate was there for me every step of the way. I would not be here in Colombia without him. At first, I was not sure about the program but Carlos put me in contact with another fellow who answered my questions and concerns. If you want to teach English in a foreign country, but don’t know how to start, Carlos and TEFL graduate will solve your problem.
I have been working in Colombia as a volunteer teacher for about a month now, teaching English at SENA. When I first heard about the program initiated by the Colombian government to provide every Colombian with access to education, and in particular, the opportunity to learn English I knew that I wanted to be a part of the program. I decided to go with TEFL Graduate and it was definitely the right choice. From the beginning my recruitment consultant gave me all the support that I needed. Each step of the way, from the application process to even after my arrival in Colombia I received all of the necessary information and also advice. All of my emails were answered within 24 hours. The entire process was smooth and easy. So far it has been a wonderful experience! For anyone that is thinking about being a part of the Volunteers Colombia program and has doubts I can assure you that there is no need to worry. It will be a life changing experience, not only for you, but also for the Colombian students, teachers, and all the friends that you will make along the way.
The TEFL Graduate service is truly first-class. The online course was comprehensive and concise. Help and support were available at all times and messages were always responded to in a timely manner. Upon completion of the course, I was able to locate a perfect job placement for myself in Colombia. I was supported by recruitment consultant Carlos throughout the application process. Carlos and I maintain regular contact now. He continues to provide regular support and assistance. The TEFL Graduate course is fantastic one and the job-searching and application support you receive is second-to-none. Applying for a job and moving to a new country is rarely a simple process. However, the support I received from TEFL Graduate made the process surprisingly pleasant. I am proud to say that I now enjoy looking through the TEFL Graduate jobs board, in my spare time and seeing all the new opportunities the company has to offer.
The reason I decided to make Colombia my designated country for the TEFL program originated from what one of my Spanish language teachers talked about in class. My teacher, Dr. Merrill, began to discuss about a large carnival that was going to take place in her home country of Colombia. She recounted the fun life she had in Colombia such as the liveliness of Barranquilla during Carnival, and the bonding of every citizen through the sport of soccer. Dr. Merrill’s discussion in class caught my interest so I decided to do my own research on Colombia. It was fascinating looking over the rich history and culture, and it was discovered that Colombia is quite similar to the United States. Continuing to seek advice from Dr. Merrill, I was informed of the interesting and fulfilling program TEFL Graduate had to offer in Colombia. Once research on that program had begun, my attention had been fully grasped. Early into my second semester of my senior year in college, I completed the application with the hopes of participating in such a fascinating and helpful program. My patience was awarded when I received a call from my coordinator Carlos saying that I was accepted into the English program in Colombia. From there, it was an admittedly long process. Thankfully, I had both my professor Dr. Merrill and my coordinator Carlos to help me along the way. I continued to receive help and advice from the both of them during my term in Colombia which has been amazing.
I am currently working as an English teaching fellow, within the government funded MEN program in Colombia. I arrived in Bogota on the 2nd July, and I’ve so far had a fantastic experience in every respect. The teaching is really enjoyable, the people are really welcoming, and the country itself is beautiful. TEFLgraduate has been essential in getting me here, and particularly Carlos Salamanca, without whom I’d have never have had the opportunity. He was contactable throughout the initial application, and incredibly helpful in planning for my arrival in Colombia. I can’t speak highly enough of the MEN program, TEFLgraduate, and Carlos.
Working with Carlos was immensely helpful. He was always incredibly prompt to respond, and there was no question he didn’t know the answer to. This was my first experience with him and TEFL Graduate, but I plan to work with them again in the future!
I am currently teaching English related to tourism in Florencia Colombia so far I am thoroughly enjoying it. Week by week the students I am teaching are learning more vocabulary and gaining better understanding of the structure English has. Teaching my students is a pleasure because they are very interactive and have lots of confidence. The people in Florencia are so warm and welcoming I feel at home. Thanks TEFL graduate for finding me this opportunity.