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Teaching in Colombia? Pay? Hours? Job market?

 
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PeterDragon



Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:16 am    Post subject: Teaching in Colombia? Pay? Hours? Job market? Reply with quote

So I'm currently teaching in Asia, but sizing up a potential transition to somewhere in Latin America. So far I've put Mexico on my "maybe" list and Argentina on my "probably not" list. Wanted to research Colombia, glad it has its own forum now.

To those of you who are teaching there or taught there in the past---- what's ESL like there? How many hours a week does one work? Is it better to work at a public school, a parochial school or a "language institute"? Are university positions available to native speakers who only have an undergrad degree?

Is it possible to save up a little money teaching there? If not, is it at least possible to live comfortably and travel within the country and to bordering countries occasionally?

And what of the safety? Does anybody have a link to crime stats for Colombia? I suspect all the talk of how dangerous Colombia is MIGHT be hype, but I'd like to see the stats, too. My brother in law lived there in the 80s, he says things were rough there for a while, and that h's not sure what it's like now.

I'm full of questions, I know. I look foreward to reading any answers y'all can provide.
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Jyulee



Joined: 01 May 2005
Posts: 81

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"what's ESL like there?"

I haven't personally worked for a language institute - but I live in Bogota and understand from other people that it is like this...

There are not many "language institutes" per se that are able to hire foreigners - the ones that do tend to be the big ones, like BC, International House, and Berlitz.

There is one BC and one International House, the BC does not take on staff very often and IH has slightly scetchy reports.

Berlitz pays dreadfully, and has a weird teaching method. And anti-social hours.

There may also be a Wall Street Institute. And maybe one or two others. But that's it.

So, in short, there are not many good options there. But they are worth checking out, nonetheless.

A better option might be teaching ESL at a university. Occasionally, bi-lingual schools hire ESL teachers - which offers much better money (but much more stress!).

Private classes are relatively easy to come by, but good reliable ones are much harder. This doesn't solve the visa problem by itself, though.

I'll try to reply to some more later.
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travelgoddess



Joined: 14 Apr 2004
Posts: 104
Location: on vacation in Chiang Mai, Thailand until next contract starts (updated Jan 2010)

PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 7:20 am    Post subject: Just started looking myself Reply with quote

Hey, welcome to the NEW Colombian forum!!!!

I arrived in Bogota about a week ago and am (intentionally) looking very slowly for work. So whereas I cant answer your questions firsthand yet, I can give you the following links with AMAZING info. Feel free to ping me in a few weeks for a job hunt update.

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=738

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=54592

http://www.colombianblog.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=2083&sid=8e0d1d96a54e2b71d44bf58c47552b78
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pinback



Joined: 18 Oct 2006
Posts: 4
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am currently working at a private bilingual school just outside of Bogota. We will be looking to hire some additional teachers for the 2008-2009 school year starting in August. Drop me a line and I can give you more details.

Gregory
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PeterDragon



Joined: 20 Jan 2008
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PM Sent. It sounds like I may have to move to Colombia, then look for work. How much money should I bring? What does it cost per month to live there?
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holdenshope



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 12:06 pm    Post subject: sorry so late... Reply with quote

peterdragon, i'm hoping to come to s.a. in january to take a celta class. i've been teaching in asia for 3 years now, and i'm trying to decide between colombia and argentina. your initial post caught my attention because it seems you had a very similar decision to make. you referenced that you'd basically crossed argentina off your list. can i ask why? also, did you end up in colombia? or some other south american country? how is it?!

sorry...i wanted to pm you, but i don't yet have that capability.

thanks so much!
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Sehnsucht



Joined: 09 Jul 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 3:59 am    Post subject: Asia or South America? Reply with quote

holdenshope: I also am unable to PM, and I am much more of a newbie to the ESL world than you are. Are you glad you began your ESL career in Asia? I am a 26 year old male from the US, and I am debating between Korea (seemingly the "safe" option, at least from a financial perspective) and South America (either Ecuador or Colombia).

Either way, I plan to complete the CELTA certificate, but I am torn about where to begin this journey. Some people have told me to worry less about finding the "right" country, just research and plan, and know that nothing will turn out perfect in any country - so just make my plan and go with it.

Sorry for the ramble here...thank you to anyone for the input you may have!
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holdenshope



Joined: 13 Feb 2009
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hello sehnsucht,

i guess i am glad that i began my esl career in asia. initially, my first priority was to earn money. teaching in korea and japan helped me pay off some student debt as well as save some money. and of course, it has been a great experience. i've traveled around asia quite a bit, and it's been amazing!

my main priority now, i think, is to travel to new places, and so i'm ecstatic to go to s. america! i studied abroad in venezuela, and from what i can tell, s. american culture really suits me. i'm ready for a lively culture after nearly two years in japan (a culture not so lively, to put it lightly).

wherever you go, it'll be an awesome adventure! how exciting! that said, if you're more concerned about money, you might want to work in asia for at least a leg or two. but if money is no concern, my heart beats with s. america! good luck Smile
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Sehnsucht



Joined: 09 Jul 2009
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Wed Jul 22, 2009 1:23 pm    Post subject: Thanks! Reply with quote

Thanks, holdenshope - that was exactly the kind of response I was looking for...knowing that I have no debt left and have saved up a fair amount to support me, I think I should go where my heart is lead - and that's South America!
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