What it’s like to live and begin working in Bogota, Colombia
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Working in Bogota, Colombia can be a rewarding, cultural and intense learning experience. Whether you want to arrive and begin working as an English teacher, want to improve your Spanish or work another job, Bogota is a great place to live and work.
When you think about working in Bogota, Colombia you should first consider the type of job you would like to do. Whether that is a teacher, business worker or any other type of job, Bogota is a city with great opportunities. International businesses are establishing their headquarters in the city and lots of expats are arriving in the city to undertake a large variety of jobs within international companies.
When working in Bogota, Colombia you have to remember that the city is home to over 9 million people spread over a large area and the only public transportation is the Transmilenio system. The Transmilenio is a bus network that has its own lanes on the roads; this system, connected with other buses, transports a large number of people all over the city daily. While this system makes it easy to get around the city it can become overcrowded at peak rush hour times. Cycling, taxis, and Uber are all other popular forms of transportation around the city.
While thinking about moving and working in Bogota, Colombia, it is good to take into account your level of Spanish. While it is not necessary to speak a high level of Spanish for a number of jobs in the city, don’t expect everyone to be able to speak English. Having a good level of Spanish is highly beneficial while working in Bogota, Colombia as it can open more doors and opportunities. There are a number of institutions in the city that run Spanish classes including International House, British Council, Nueva Lengua, and universities such as Universidad Nacional and Universidad Javeriana.
While working in Bogota, Colombia, depending on the job you hold, your holiday time will vary. Many Colombians have to wait a year before taking any kind of holiday days. Despite this Colombia is a country with one of the highest number of public holidays a year; each and every year the country has around 14 public bank holidays. These holidays give employees a large number of long weekends and opportunities to travel without taking holiday time off work.
Many people are discouraged by the idea of working in Bogota, Colombia due to safety concerns. Colombia’s very public history has given many people around the world an impression of the country’s safety which is often negative and portrays the country as dangerous and unsafe for visitors. While working in Bogota, Colombia this doesn’t have to be the case. Bogota, and Colombia as a whole, has increased its safety standards over the last 10 years due to the new peace deals and negotiations taking place. Bogota is a big city and like any other big city it has its problems. There are neighbourhoods of Bogota that should be avoided as there are neighbourhoods of New York that should be avoided. The safest neighbourhood of Bogota are Chico, Zona Rosa, Usaquen and North Chapinero. While living and working in Bogota, Colombia caution should be taken in public areas as it should be in other big cities around the world.
Written by: Anny Wooldridge