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Bogota - tops in my book!
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Joined: 27 Aug 2014
Posts: 103
Location: Colombia

PostPosted: Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iggyiggy wrote:
so how far does 1.5 mil go in bogota these days? what would you recommend as a minimum amount to be making per month to have a reasonable lifestyle? im not trying to be carlos slim.

Not far. 1.5 mil pesos is roughly $500 US dollars with the current exchange rates. You're gonna pay at least $200 US (600,000 pesos give or take) for a shared place in a good neighborhood. I personally think it's sound financial wisdom to pay no more than 25% of your monthly income for rent in any country. Others might disagree, but on a teacher's salary in any Latin American country you are going to have to look for value vs. frivolous spending.

2.5 mil is roughly $800 US. Much more doable for a middle class lifestyle. If I had to recommend a minimum, this would be it.

3 mil pesos is roughly $1,000 USD. Once you get to this point, you're making decent money in Bogota. But you still can't spend frivolously. It depends on your lifestyle and expenses at the end of the day. If you want to party every night of the week, eat at high end restaurants often, take taxis everywhere, and live in the most exclusive neighborhoods, no country in Latin America is gong to afford you that kind of lifestyle on a teacher's salary.

But if you are sensible with your money, Bogota seems to pay enough to live well. That is, you go out on weekends, but not to the most exclusive clubs. You can treat yourself and a date to a movie a few times per month. You can go to a very nice restaurant a few times per week. You can rent a shared place in a nice neighborhood (such as Chapinero). You are comfortable taking buses to get where you need to go. Once you find the right job, of course.

Out of curiosity, I took a peak at Bogota's Craigslist site. I searched the job postings for teachers and here's what I found to be the norm:

- Of the 8 job ads I looked at, only 2 offered less than 25,000 pesos per hour. The caveat is that only 1 of the 8 was a full time position. Many people start out working part time at two different institutes. If you do that you can definitely make money. Get some experience and you'll get higher pay and a full time position with paid visa.

- The average pay of these job ads worked out to around 26,000 pesos per hour. At 25 hours per week, that's 650,000 pesos per week. Per month that's 2.6 mil pesos. If you can build up some private lessons, you can definitely make 3 mil pesos per month, or if you can work 30 hours per week between different institutes, you can make 3 mil per month.

Bogota is a huge city ripe with ESL opportunity. If you have good timing and some luck, you should probably make far more than 1.5 mil per month right off the bat. Keep in mind that most of the job ads I quoted at 26,000 pesos per hour want qualifications and experience. But if they really need someone and you present yourself well (dressed nicely, very articulate speaker, university degree, etc... ) you would stand a decent chance of landing a good first job.

Networking is big too. If you know when you'll go to Bogota, start making friends online. Meet up with them when you arrive. Maybe someone knows someone who knows someone who manages a language school. Word of mouth goes a long way in any field in any country, but it will help you greatly when you're new in a country looking for ESL work.
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Joined: 16 Jul 2015
Posts: 5
Location: DF

PostPosted: Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool thanks for the info.
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Joined: 22 Aug 2012
Posts: 828

PostPosted: Fri Sep 04, 2015 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3 mil pesos a month was a great deal. I got offered a job at a mid tier colegio in Cali and it was only 2.2 mil a month. I have lots of experience, an MA, and a PGCE.

I think earning 2 mil at a language school is not too bad but after a few years I would want to be hitting 3 mil plus.
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Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PittsburghSound, you're not there yet, right? So your numbers are based on what you read on the Internet (which could be other people taking 2nd or 3rd hand info). Bogota is very expensive compared to the rest of Colombia -- eating out "At a very nice restaurant a few times a week" would be extremely expensive. The grocery store is expensive if you want to buy anything packaged. Don't forget to add utilities to the rent. You're right that 3 million pesos should give a pretty nice lifestyle, but be ready for some surprises in the budget. Piecing together various jobs sounds great, and buses are really cheap, but the traffic is absolutely horrendous, so you need to make sure jobs are very close and/or all on the transmillenio route or you'll be spending literally 1-2 hours between every class. And there's the visa situation -- you can't do the gigs for that long. The good news is that because of the exchange rate right now, the dollars that you go with to get by until you have a job and you're established are going to stretch a lot further, and for anyone with a source of income in dollars, now's a great time.

(by the way, I don't live there either, and haven't in years, but I was there last year and talk to people in Bogota regularly. But still, a current resident who is a teacher would be a better source. I'd especially be curious to know about those Craigslist jobs, and how real they are, and what the competition is for them)
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Joined: 25 Mar 2015
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2015 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok I looked at Craigslist (since I'm interested in Medellin, but most jobs were Bogota). They mostly looked like they were 1-1.5 hour classes, and hard to say if they were 5 days a week. The other issue, is that most places want the same hours (6-9 am, around noon, evening; but usually companies prefer early morning and maybe lunchtime) so having 25 teaching hours a week might be difficult given the traffic. OTOH, if they do want someone 5 days X week, getting a gig five days X 1.5 hours X 35,000 would be a million a month, which is great for so little work, if the work is fairly consistent.
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