Mention Colombia, and for many the thought that first sprung to mind was ‘it’s a dangerous country’. Well, that may have been the case once, but Colombia has come along way those dark days, and the land of ‘magical realism’ is now considered safe to visit.

In the past few years this incredibly beautiful South American country has really started reaping the benefits of its image overhaul and getting the interest and recognition it deserves.

To back this up, Colombia was voted the No. 2 best country in the world to visit in 2017, by no less than ‘Lonely Planet’, thanks to Colombia’s “rich tapestry of vibrant culture, nature and hospitality”. (The no. 1 country, just by the way, was Canada – for far less enticing reasons!)

If it’s so great to visit Colombia, imagine living and working there as a TEFL teacher! Teaching English in Colombia offers one of the best opportunities to see past the tourist curtain and experience the real Colombia behind it.

Plenty of TEFL jobs in Colombia

There are hundreds of TEFL jobs available in private language schools in all the big cities, such as Bogota, Medellin, Barranquilla, Cali and Cartagena, as well as in several smaller cities and towns. Most private language schools target adults – from college students to business people, thanks to Colombia thriving commercially and becoming a popular tourist destination.

If you prefer to teach children, you can find TEFL jobs in the public-school system, through government-affiliated programs. Colombia’s government is promoting English language instruction to uplift communities that suffered economically during Colombia’s turbulent past.

No BA degree needed to TEFL in Colombia

In many of the more traditional TEFL destinations, you cannot get a work permit without a degree in addition to a TEFL certificate, unless you opt for a relatively low-paid internship program.

However, the demand for TEFL teachers in Colombia has grown rapidly, and while it continues to outstrip the demand for jobs, many schools will welcome candidates without degrees – provided they are TEFL certified, with at least a 120-hour course online behind them. The most important criteria besides your certificate would be that you are a fluent English speaker, mature enough and able communicate well enough to teach adults in conversation classes, conscientious, dedicated and enthusiastic!

Live well in Colombia on your TEFL salary

Salaries are not among the highest in TEFL on a world-wide scale, but the cost of living in Colombia is relatively low.

TEFL teacher salaries range from $500 – $1000 a month. The monthly rental for an apartment in a major city ranges from the equivalent of around $120 – $200 per month up to $300, but more reasonable options include ‘family homestays’ where you board with with a local family, or a furnished room rental. An inexpensive meal will set you back for the equivalent of around $2, and meal in an upmarket restaurant around $10. So, while you won’t live extravagantly, you need not struggle either. You won’t need to, but you can also supplement your income with plentiful private tutoring gigs.

You will certainly be able to enjoy life, nightlife and the cultural aspects that makes Colombia such a great destination. You will be able to travel cheaply to visit some of the most beautiful parks and natural attractions in South America, and if you bring currency from home (as you would for normal travelling), your cash will go far!

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