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6 Myths about becoming an English teacher in Colombia

May 18, 2017Advice, Teach English in Bogota



Colombia is a country which has come a long way in the last 30 years: there’s been a marked transition away from the country’s violent past and there’s a peace deal on the table. Colombia has become an attractive place for multinational businesses to establish their Latin or South American headquarters. Both Bogota and Medellin are rapidly expanding into large metropolitan cities that are full of opportunities. Opportunities bring lots of people to the cities including foreigners who want to establish careers and lives in the cities. One sector which has a lot of job opportunities is the teaching sector: with the arrival of new multinational companies there is a high demand for the English language teachers. Becoming an English teacher in Colombia is a high demand job especially within Bogota, the country’s capital.

Many individuals, looking to become English teachers, forget or don’t realise the country’s business potential and for whatever reason don’t consider the possibility of being an English teacher in Colombia. Many people also dismiss Colombia due to its past problems and the portrayal of the country in the media. This article will examine 6 myths about Colombia and why you should choose Colombia as your next teaching destination.

Colombia is an unsafe place:

Colombia’s reputation often distorts reality: when many people think of the country they think of Pablo Escobar, violence, guerrilla, gangs and drugs. While this maybe the country’s past it’s definitely not its present. Colombia has changed dramatically over the last 20 years as there has been a major increase in safety, and you can now drive around the country without a problem. While there are still places around the country which should be avoided, and areas of the cities which should be kept away from, Colombia’s cities are no more dangerous than cities in the USA (maybe they are even safer than some American cities). You shouldn’t dismiss this beautiful country as a teaching destination due to safety concerns. I have been living and working as an English teacher in Colombia for nearly a year and I haven’t had any problems while travelling around the cities and countryside.

You have to be able to speak Spanish to get a job:

This is the biggest myth of all: many people dismiss Colombia because they don’t speak Spanish and they feel as though you need to speak Spanish in order to live in Colombia. While learning Spanish helps to improve your work and communication with others, and gives you a valuable new skill, it isn’t necessary to be fluent or even at an intermediate level. While being an English teacher in Colombia, it’s good idea to take classes or attend a school to improve or learn Spanish to help you live and immerse yourself in the culture.

Teaching English is easy:

While there are a lot of opportunities for individuals to become an English teacher in Colombia, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Being a native English speaker doesn’t automatically mean you are going to be a great teacher. Teaching is difficult, you need to have a lot of patience, a friendly but stern attitude and go to class with a smile.

Working as an English Teacher in Colombia will be boring:

Teaching English in Colombia is never boring: you have interesting conversations with students, and students or teachers want to practice their English. You get the opportunity to learn about the country from other people’s points of view and travel to classes all around the city experiencing new places.

Colombia isn’t a good place to teach English:

Many people believe being an English Teacher in Colombia is difficult because of the Spanish language, visa problems and many other things, but this is wrong. There are a large number of opportunities to be an English teacher in Colombia: schools, Universities, private institutes and private schools. Many of which will help you get settled in the country, help with the visa process, finding accommodation and answering questions. Being an English teacher in Colombia is an exciting opportunity, to work within a country which is rapidly growing and developing into a major player in the Latin America and world’s markets.

I should be an English Teacher in Asia not Colombia:

While teaching is very popular in Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines and other Asian countries as well as China and Japan, these countries have a high rate of competition, a large number of scam or unorganised businesses recruiting individuals based on the fact they are looking for a once in a lifetime trip. They charge huge deposits and don’t organise visas legally, leaving teachers venerable for problems or trouble. In Colombia many companies have European or American owners who organise their companies in the best way they can, helping with visas, making everything legal, setting schedules and helping individuals to become English teachers in Colombia.

Written by: Anny Wooldridge





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