JANUARY (Year) AND JUNE (Semester) DEPARTURE ・ HOST FAMILY ・ TEACH ENGLISH
A country full of diversity and charm, Colombia is now fast becoming a major international tourism and trade center, emerging from decades of turmoil. The Colombian National Ministry of Education, as well as various private educational organizations, have targeted English language instruction and interaction with foreign teachers as keys to enabling the people of Colombia to become self-sufficient participants in a changing environment. WorldTeach is the first major international volunteer organization to partner and join the effort in the millennium.
WorldTeach began offering opportunities to teach English in Colombia in the fall of 2008, when it was invited by the Colombian NGO, Volunteers Colombia, in coordination with the Colombian Ministry of Education and other regional partners, to bring native English speakers into schools on Isla Baru, near Cartagena on the Caribbean coast. Although English is already on the local school curriculum, most students have little chance to interact with native speakers. During the 2009 calendar year, the first group of five volunteers worked in coordination with local teachers to bring listening and speaking comprehension activities into English classroom instruction.
The response to the WorldTeach program within Colombia has been overwhelming, with requests for volunteer teachers coming from all corners of the country. With the help of partner organization Volunteers Colombia, the program has expanded with volunteers serving in schools in Barranquilla, Bogotá, Cartagena, Medellín, Villavicencio, and other smaller cities.
I am in love with the both the physical beauty of Colombia as well as the kindness of its people.
Assignments in Colombia span a wide range of levels and ages, however, you are for certain teaching English as a Foreign Language. There are opportunities to teach in elementary schools, in high schools, in universities, and in adult education learning centers. You may be co-teaching with a Colombian counterpart or single-handedly leading your own class.
You will likely be responsible for teaching 25 hours a week, in addition to allotting time for planning lessons, developing new language instruction materials, and coordinating some activities such as introductory English instruction for younger students at the schools.
In addition to your teaching responsibilities, you are highly encouraged to actively participate in community life and engage in additional activities or projects of interest. There is no better way to truly immerse yourself in a culture.
You could be placed in both urban and more rural placements throughout Bogotá, Medellín, Cartagena, and Baranquilla. These placement cities tend to remain similar from year to year, however, the program expands and contracts in different cities each year due to changes in local needs.
Volunteer housing arrangements vary from site to site. Because housing comes in all shapes and sizes, you could be living with host families, with individuals, in pensions or teacher housing, houses or apartments. Some will share housing with fellow WorldTeach volunteers while others will be placed individually, but you most likely have your own room and share the bathroom and living space with your housemates. While most homes have hot water and a telephone, some may not have such amenities.
The cost of the Colombia Year program is $1,750. This includes visa, housing, monthly living stipend, supplemental overseas health and emergency evacuation insurance, orientation and additional training conferences, 24-hour in-country field director support, access to a remote teacher quality coordinator, alumni support and networking.
Many volunteers are able to successfully fund raise all or a significant portion of their volunteer commitment. Please refer to our fundraising page for more information about fundraising possibilities.
Volunteers in the Colombia program must:
- Be a native-level English speaker
- Have a bachelor’s degree by the time of the program’s departure
- Be between the ages of 21 and 74
- Be highly flexible, mature, and have a genuine interest in teaching