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A guide to living as an English Teacher in Bogota, Colombia

Mar 30, 2017Advice, Teach English in Bogota



Living as an English teacher in Bogota is a rewarding experience that presents you with a once in a lifetime opportunity to meet new people and learn a new language. 

While living as an English teacher in Bogota can seem scary, it doesn’t have to be; in this article I am hoping to answer some questions to make the experience less overwhelming and get you off to a good start. 


While working as an English teacher in Bogota you may end up travelling all around the city which is a good way to experience and get to know areas you might not have otherwise visited. When you live in one area it is easy to get stuck in that area and not explore other places, so check out this guide on which neighbourhoods to live in. Bogota is organised in Carreras and Calles with Carreras running parallel from east to west from the east mountains (Carrera 1) to Carrera 119 at the Bogota river. Calle’s run from South to North from 1 – 235, this makes it easy to find where your classes are easily by looking and recognising the numbers. 


Bogota is a big city covering a large area, so travelling around the city can take time especially in rush hours. The best way to get around the city is to walk, cycle or take the Transmilenio. Bogota has a large cycle lane route around the city and most places can be reached using cycle lanes. On Sundays major road networks around the city are closed to traffic and open for cycling, running and walking. Check out this guide to public transport in Bogota for advice on how to get around the city. 


While parts of the city are unsafe, other parts are safe enough to walk around in the evening. While caution and common sense should be used in all areas of the city, the same as with every other city. The safest neighbourhoods in the city are: the neighbourhoods of Chico, Zona Rosa, Usaquen and North Chapinero. 

The neighbourhoods you should avoid day or night is pretty much any neighbourhood south of La Candelaria. While La Candelaria is relatively safe in the day light it should be avoided. A guide to where to live in Bogota can be found here.


While Bogota is a big city with lots of small shops and shopping malls, the biggest malls in the city are Titan Plaza, Andino, UniCentro and Santa Fe. When shopping for food, there are a number of choices: Carulla is an upmarket supermarket with a large variety of products; you can find well priced goods there as well as their own brand and fresh fruits and vegetables. Exito, Olimpica and Jumbo are big chain supermarkets that vary in products depending on shop size (some include clothes and electrical goods other just have food items). These supermarkets contain a large amount of own brand items sold at relatively cheap prices, and have a large variety of different products available. 

D1 is a cheap supermarket with a small variety of products at very reasonable prices and it is good for household or cleaning items, cereals, and cheap alcohol. D1s can be found all over the city in a variety of buildings, primarily in low income neighbourhoods. Just Bueno and Ara are similar to D1 stores, but harder to find. Each of these stores have all their own brands and cheaper versions of well known branded products. Products vary from store to store and sometimes you just have to try things out to see how they are. 


Colombia is a country with a large number of long holiday weekends which give you many perfect travel opportunities whether it’s a long weekend on the Caribbean coast or a weekend in the countryside outside of the city. Colombia is a biodiverse country with beautiful landscapes and amazing things to experience. There are a large number of places you can get to by bus from Bogota or by aeroplane. Flights can be cheap if booked in advance and buses are inexpensive and comfortable for travelling. While working as an English teacher in Bogota it is well worth getting out of the city and experiencing the different regions of Colombia. 

Spanish Lessons:

Bogota is a good place to learn Spanish, Bogotano’s tend to have a neutral accent which can be clear and easy to understand compared to other Latin American countries and other regions in Colombia. Some good institutions to learn Spanish in Bogota while working as an English teacher in Bogota are the following;

– Nueva Lengua – This language school offers a wide range of Spanish courses, along with other activities such as; dance, volunteering, music and tourist activities. The school is located in Calle 69 #11a.

– International House – This language school offers group intensive courses from 9am -1pm Monday to Friday, with between 4 and 8 students in a class. The school is located on Calle 10 #4 in La Candelaria. Courses start from $220 and run from 4 to 12 weeks.

– Universidad Nacional – This well respected University offers 2 month 80 hours courses for 2 hours a day Monday to Friday or Intensive 4 week course, 80 hours for 5 hours a day Monday to Friday.

– Universidad Javeriana – This high accredited University located in Chapinero, runs an intensive 80 hour month long course, run every month with a variety of levels, they have small class sizes and classes run from 9am – 1pm Monday to Friday. 

Written by: Anny Wooldridge





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