Although violence and drug related crime have dominated the headlines in Colombia in the past, the country is now changing dramatically. Peace has largely returned to the streets and the tourism industry is thriving as people flock to enjoy the country?s many attractions. Colombia is an exotic and exciting place to teach English, but just make sure you get there before the whole world finds out.
What are TESOL salaries in Colombia?
Although the average salary of between $700 and $1,000 per month is not particularly high, teachers can still live well in Colombia due to the relatively low cost of living. The best salaries are usually found in private schools which also typically provide extra benefits such as housing assistance and health insurance. The average hourly rate for private tutoring is around $12 to $25, depending on where you are working and your previous experience. Teachers who are placed in a school via the Teach English in Colombia Program will receive $400 per month as well as an accommodation subsidy. Most employers prefer to hire native English speakers with a TESOL qualification.
Who are the main employers of English language teachers in Colombia?
The Teach English in Colombia Program (TEC) is a good way to get a teaching job while also helping out the local community. The program has a very good reputation and provides free language instruction for people who are not able to pay for their own lessons. To join the scheme you need to be a native English speaker from the US with a TESOL qualification or at least one years teaching experience. Despite being a volunteer scheme, teachers receive a monthly stipend, as well as help with housing.
Private international schools and language institutes are two good options for teachers who want to earn a higher salary. The highest salaries are found in international schools, although you will need some experience and teaching qualifications to apply. If you don?t qualify, you should look towards private language schools as they pay a decent rate and jobs are relatively easy to come by. In recent times the government has started an initiative to hire foreign teachers to work in public high schools. The salary for these jobs is generally less than private schools, but you should find the working conditions to be relaxed and comfortable.
What is the recruitment process for English teachers in Colombia?
As most jobs are not advertised online, it is best to actually be in Colombia while looking for a teaching position. Although the exact requirements will vary between jobs, most employers will expect their applicants to be native English speakers with a college degree and a TESOL qualification. The largest number of language school jobs are located in big cities such as Bogota, Medellin and Barranquilla.
If you want to work in a public school or join the TEC program, these jobs are usually arranged in advance from within your home country. In most circumstances the employer will arrange the necessary work visa for you. However, it is not uncommon for schools to expect you to work without an official work permit. While this is technically illegal, it is still commonplace and is normally overlooked by the authorities. Although a TESOL qualification is not an official requirement for teaching in Colombia, having one will certainly give you more options and possibly a higher salary.
What is the cost of living for English teachers in Colombia?
The cost of living in Colombia is relatively low in comparison to most Western countries. Accommodation is traditionally the biggest expense, so finding a job that provides any kind of housing assistance would be a big advantage. The reality for many teachers is that house sharing is a necessity in order to keep costs down. The location of your apartment or house is also very important, so getting local advice on which areas are safe and affordable is a must. Everyday expenses such as public transport and groceries are typically inexpensive in Colombia.