Teaching English in Medellin

Downtown Medellin

Downtown Medellin

In late August, after about a month of exploring Medellin and its surrounding regions, I decided to start looking around for English teaching positions.

I started off by asking my family for some names of good bilingual schools and English institutes in the area and they gave me quite a long list.

Here’s a short list of the schools I looked into:

Here’s a short list of English institutes I looked into:

Well, I’m more than happy to say that I ended up getting a fist grade teaching position at a top bilingual school here in Medellin!

I’m equally as happy to report back to Medellin Living followers that it was a pretty simple process… although at times I found myself disappointed and discouraged.

I started preparing for my job hunt back in Jersey by making dozens of copies of my resume in both English and Spanish.

I was then advised to “apostille” my college diploma and my New Jersey teaching license (for those of you who have never heard this term, like myself, an apostille is a seal that your state places on documents to show authenticity overseas).

Once in Medellin I simply began calling the schools and institutes mentioned above.  Typically I introduced myself and told them that I was a certified teacher from the USA hoping to find a position as an English teacher.

A number of places informed me that they were in the middle of the school year and that they would not be looking for anyone until the beginning of the school year in late January… this was not good news for me.

A few places did however show interest in me and invited me in for interviews.  The interviews were all held in English and they were pretty straight forward.

Typical questions like:

  • “What experience do you have as a teacher?”
  • “Which age groups do you enjoy working with the most?”
  • “How would a typical lesson run in your class?”

All of the questions were easy for me to answer being that I had teaching experience from home.

I came to Medellin thinking that it would be easy for me to find a good paying job because I’m a native English speaker and because I have teaching experience and credentials but this wasn’t necessarily the case at most of the schools and institutes that offered me positions.

Here’s what some of the job offers looked like…

A number of language institutes offered me part-time positions, about 10-15 hours a week, paying 8 thousand COP ($4.40) per hour (the hours and pay were not exactly what I was looking for).

One well-known English institute offered me 15 hours a week and a private preschool offered me a Saturday morning position, both paying 18 thousand COP ($10) per hour.

These were two offers I was about to take but then… I received a call from a well-known bilingual school.  They called me in for an interview and offered me a full-time teaching position, with benefits, as a first grade teacher… it was my Colombian dream job!

I was offered a salary of two million COP ($1,100) per month which will now allow me to stay in Colombia for as long as I wish.

I’ve now been working for two solid weeks teaching English in Medellin, and every day I enjoy my job more and more.

I’ll be writing about my experience as a teacher in the future but I hope that this blog gives everyone some insight into looking for a position as an English teacher in Medellin.


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About Ana


  1. Hello guys!
    Just like most of you I’m planning to move to Colombia and ideally find a job as an ESL teacher. English is not my mother tongue, however, I have an equivalent of bachelor’s degree in teaching English as a foreign language and master’s degree in English Philology from my home country (Poland). I have experience teaching in a school and to individuals. Also I have now lived in the UK for 6 years working with preschool age children. Do you think I have any chances of finding a teaching job in Medellin, not being a native speaker? Any info will be greatly appreciated!

  2. Thank you for this information. I have been in Medellin for a week and love it here. I am just starting to get myself motivated to look for English teaching jobs. You have confirmed my thoughts, that most schools won’t be hiring now until January. I feel that now is the time to start looking. Thank you for the list of schools and also the idea of salary. It is always difficult to know exactly where to start and if I get a job offer, is it a good one?

  3. Hi there,

    How is it possible to travel into Colombia and start a job there without having to fly out again to get your work visa. I presume you’d have to do this?

  4. Hi everybody, Internships Colombia offers some paid English Teachers position in Medellin, Colombia.

    I suggest you to take a look at this link http://www.internshipscolombia.com/#!blank/cvkq

    They charge a fee for their services.


  5. What certifications did you have for teaching English?

  6. Everyone here is making this way too difficult……I was a teacher in the states who did not have the money to go back to school and get my teaching certification. I came to Colombia on a tourist visa, interviewed and accepted a job at an institute…..took the bus to Ecuador, changed it to a work visa and now I have switched over to a bilingual school where I make a decent middle class income which allows me to travel off and on while also giving me benefits and vacation. That being said I consider myself a professional and I continue to work on myself professionally by studying English (even though I am a native speaker) and gradually earning better certifications. Right now I am working on my C2 level certificate from Cambridge University (good bragging rights) and my future plan is to earn the TKT Certificate also. I think employers in Colombia want someone who is passionate and dedicated more than anything else so just get your feet on the ground and see what happens!!

    • Daniela Powers says:

      Hi Donaldson,
      I just moved to Medellín and am a freshman college student. I’m from the U.S. so I’m a native English speaker and I really need a part-time job. Could you direct me to any particular place/school/company etc. that you know of that is looking to hire part-time workers?

  7. Hi everybody!

    I know I am in an English web page but somebody told me maybe I might have some contacts here!

    So I am looking for a place of French Teacher in Medellin!

    I am French, teacher in France, and I will come back to Medellin in November in order to find a job!

    I speak Spanish and as you can see a little bit of English!

    So if somebody can give me some contacts of school, institue or whatever, I will be very thanksful!

    My mail is: ketchupmayo@hotmail.com

    Thank you everybody! :)


  8. Hi everyone.. I came across this blog obviously with the interest of teaching english in Colombia where i have great colombian friends and i have recently visited a few months ago. I am argentinian so my mother tongue is spanish but i ve been living in uk for 10 years so far. While i was back home since an early age i studied for many yrs English as another language in a private institute which it has helped me out a lot since then. My plan is to move to Medellin in the near future have a living out of teaching there. I d love to know what type of courses or diploma etc etc would i need to start off and where to get them in order to execute my desired plan productively . Many many thanks !

  9. Would like to share with you Google people that I have personally contacted well over 25+ schools either in person, online, or via telephone over the course of three months and have received absolutely zero interest. Nothing. Nada. Zip.
    I am an Australian with the CELTA, IELTS experience, and have taught for three years. I even have a Colombian former co-worker helping me out here. She has been teaching in Medellin for 10+ years and is trying hard to help me.
    Closest I have come was a school (term used loosely) saying they would contact me the next day to arrange a language test. Surprise, surprise, I am still waiting for that call! Only one school has sent me a courtesy email to say no.
    Personally, I feel that I have exhausted absolutely every possible option with regards to finding employment here in Medellin or the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, my present situation means that I just have to keep on tryin’.
    Just felt that I should post this here since this is the top Google search result. Don’t want anyone to pack it all up and come here thinking it will be a breeze.
    Good luck to all seeking employment :)

  10. Hi
    I was hoping that anyone who currently is residing in Medellin now could recommend schools for elementary and high school for my children. We are American but we have also been living in the Caribbean for the last 5 years. My children are fluent in Dutch, English and a little Spanish.
    Thank you for any info you can provide.

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