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How miuch money in USD minimum to get to Bogota for ESL
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:43 am    Post subject: How miuch money in USD minimum to get to Bogota for ESL Reply with quote

What is a realistic minimum for Bogota in USD:

1. To get a small but adequate apartment -- and where, what parts of town are a good bet,

2. To tide you over while looking for work. My only qualifications are being a native speaker and a BA in English from a US university,

3. The number of hours per week I will need to be teaching to earn enough to pay the bills, and,

4. How much time outside of class is necessary to devote to course planning.

Thanks.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1462
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Given that this forum isn't terribly active, you might do a Facebook or Google search for Columbia expat forums. Such forums generally are a good place to get the inside scoop on cost of living. In the meantime, hopefully, someone who has actually taught there will turn up on this forum or one of the expat forums to answer your other questions.

Regarding prep time, that largely depends on how thorough you are and how much previous teaching experience you have. If you're a new teacher, then plan to spend hours and hours--indeed, most of your free time--doing prep unless you happen to land a job at a school with a prepackaged step-by-step curriculum. Prep time, of course, decreases with experience. Your first year will be the hardest.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for that.

What sort of wage range should I be looking for with my abysmal qualifications? Already I'm having trouble converting multiple hundreds of thousands of COP's into USD.

Have you been to Lima? How does Bogota compare to Lima? Or to Buenos Aires?
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1462
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My overseas experience was in the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. I'm currently teaching in the States.

As a rule of thumb, entry level jobs at language schools in Latin America will, in the best case scenario, cover your cost of living for a very simple, no frills lifestyle. In many cases, you may find that teaching simply serves to stretch out your savings or, perhaps, supplement another source of income (e.g., retirement or disability pension). There are, of course, exceptions but you'll probably need to acquire more experience and spend some time in-country to network and develop connections before such opportunities become available.

Here's a link to some of the better English teaching opportunities in Columbia: http://www.tefl-tips.com/2014/09/the-best-tefl-jobs-in-colombia.html

Having a BA in English will probably give you a little bit of an edge at some schools. It's certainly not an abysmal qualification. If you can get a TESOL certificate, that will go a long ways towards enhancing your performance in the classroom. Though, unfortunately, certificates don't always translate to better pay and job opportunities in Latin America.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much for that.
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9028
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been to Lima. Not Bogota though. Lima really isn't that nice of a place.

You'll figure out how the money works soon enough. It helps if you just think in COP.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Fri Oct 03, 2014 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, Lima is a bit of a drag. No one can accuse it of being Buenos Aires.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is $5000 enough to make a start in Bogota; land, stay in hostel, get small apartment, look for work,etc?
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1462
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Sat Oct 04, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leretif9 wrote:
Is $5000 enough to make a start in Bogota; land, stay in hostel, get small apartment, look for work,etc?


For most places in Latin America, that would likely be enough to get started and/or allow you to bail out and head elsewhere if things don't work out.

As I mentioned before, you might do a Facebook or Google search for Columbia expat forums as they would be the best place to get the inside scoop on cost of living.

Most of us responding here (at least so far) have experience in Latin America and can give you a basic idea of what to expect. However, it would be well worth the time and effort to try connecting with expats who are actually living and working there and could give you a much more detailed picture of what things are like.

Another issue--which varies significantly from Latin American country to the next--is work permits and legal residency. Again, as it appears that nobody with recent (or any) experience in Columbia is currently on this forum, try connecting with with an expat forum elsewhere on the internet to get the most up-to-date information.
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leretif9 wrote:
Is $5000 enough to make a start in Bogota; land, stay in hostel, get small apartment, look for work,etc?


Yes, easily. You can get by on a $1,000 to $1,500 a month if you're careful with your money. If you want your own apartment it really varies. $500 -$600 a month will get you one. You can also rent a room in an apt or house easily for anywhere from $100-$400 a month.
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2014 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as minimum hours, it entirely depends on where you are working. You can work at some places like American School Way for less than $5 US an hour and you'll need to put in almost 50 hours a week just to make around $1,000 a month. Most other places pay $10-$20 an hour, but will require you to travel around the city to do lessons on site.

Planning also entirely depends on who you are working with. Some places provide you with books and the students do lessons out of the books, which requires little to no planning. Other places have the teacher plan the lessons entirely. If you're working for an institute, you won't have to devote too much time planning, especially if you have a degree in English.

Hope that helps.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone here.

What are, say, three or four neighborhoods that might be good for finding a small, tolerable apartment at whatever is considered decent rent these days for Bogota? I figure, find the apartment first, then look for ESL work.
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esl_prof



Joined: 30 Nov 2013
Posts: 1462
Location: peyi kote solèy frèt

PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2014 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, it might be better to stay in a hostel until you get a job lined up. Then you can look for an apartment that's within convenient commuting distance of your job and, more critically, if a job is not forthcoming, you can simply pack up and leave without worrying about having put money down on an apartment.
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leretif9



Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 92

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are opinions about three or four neighborhoods in Bogota that would be good to call home? I am not thinking of extremely bourgeois places, either; places akin to Miraflores in Lima are too bourgie, I think.
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G22



Joined: 25 Oct 2010
Posts: 78

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The further north you go, the more expensive it gets. Chapinero is very nice. It isn't so far north that you're around mercedes dealerships and places that sell domestic beer for $5 a bottle, but nice enough to live comfortably and without the petty crime of la candelaria. I also lived in las aguas, which is in the city center, it has a bohemian feel to it, lot of old colonial buildings, but like I said, due to the high number of foreigners in that area petty crime is pretty bad.
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