8 Insider Tips for getting a job as an English teacher in Colombia
SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROJECTS! GET IN TOUCH TODAY!
PRACTICAL AND EFFECTIVE SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR ENGLISH LANGUAGE PROJECTS! GET IN TOUCH TODAY!
Being an English teacher in Colombia can be a rewarding and challenging experience with a large number of benefits for a teacher’s future, CV and life path. Many people believe it’s difficult to gain a teaching job in Colombia, or that you have to visit the country with an organisation – both of these are false. Finding a job in Colombia is relatively straightforward if you know where to look. The country is full of opportunities for teachers to work in schools, institutions or companies.
Here is a list of insider tips for successfully gaining a job as an English teacher in Colombia:
The first thing to think about when applying for a job as an English teacher in Colombia is what type of work you want to do: do you want to work in a school, institution, private school etc. There are lots of articles and information online regarding previous teachers’ experiences and different types of jobs and opportunities. There are lots of Facebook groups with information about jobs, and job advertisements can be found on job websites such as indeed.com.co. Research should be done on salary range, typical working hours, the qualifications required, and the location. Colombia is a big country with a small number of big cities where opportunities to teach are in abundance.
Once you have researched your jobs it’s time to gain your qualification. The research you’ve done should identify the qualification required for the type of job you desire. Teaching qualifications vary depending on the specific job requirements, but when working as an English teacher in Colombia you can gain a job with a variety of qualifications. The typical and most reputable qualifications are the CELTA qualifications which give participants experience teaching in real life situations, knowledge of teaching methods, a foundation to build on, language skills, and teaching skills. The qualifications teachers can obtain are TEFL, TESOL and TESL; these qualifications will be accepted by a large number of institutes and some public schools. Private schools and universities may require a masters degree in teaching or a degree plus experience. More information regarding qualifications can be found here.
Where to teach:
Once you have researched the types of jobs available, the qualifications required and started your qualification course, it’s time to decide specifically where you want to live. There are a number of options to consider when working as an English teacher in Colombia. Colombia’s capital city is Bogota, and its other big cities with teaching opportunities are Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla and Cartagena. The best way to decide where to live is to begin researching the teaching opportunities in all cities: find out information about what it’s like to live in the cities and the costs of living in each place. Colombian cities vary in size, weather, population and things to do.
Applying for jobs:
While some companies accept job applications online or by email, the majority of companies will require in person interviews (companies will very rarely employ an English teacher in Colombia without seeing them in person first). While you can send emails and applications off before you arrive, start scheduling interviews for when you arrive in the country and your desired city.
Visit or Call Companies:
An alternative way to apply for jobs, or if you don’t receive email replies, is to call schools and companies or visit them to hand in your resume. In most cases there is no need to translate your resume into Spanish, handing it around in English won’t affect your job chances. This way of applying for jobs can be highly successful due to the fact many companies in Colombia don’t answer emails promptly. Remember to chase up all applications if you haven’t received an answer.
Once you have applied for a job and scheduled an interview, it’s time to prepare. Preparing correctly for an interview can make the difference between being successful or not. Research and think of questions you might be asked and prepare answers (it is also useful to prepare questions for the interviewer). Remember you have to feel comfortable in your workplace, you are interviewing the interviewer as much as they are interviewing you.
Obtaining a job and visa:
Once you have successfully received a job offer or have decided between your job offers it’s time to organise yourself in the city. Companies will often give you an orientation to explain how the company works, what they expect of you and the rules you should follow. When working as an English teacher in Colombia, you are required to obtain a TP4 working visa and a Cedula identification card. Many companies will help you with the paperwork required to obtain the visa and ID card, and provide you with information as to how the process works (all the information can be found here.)
Once you have obtained a job and started the visa process, it’s time to find somewhere to set up your life in your chosen location. Colombia’s cities can cover a large area and even with public transportation links it can sometimes take a large amount of time to travel to where you desire. A good way to find accommodation in Colombia is through Facebook or rental agents (links can be found here).
Now it’s time to start work, if you want to find out more about being an English teacher in Colombia follow this link.
Written by: Anny Wooldridge