Introducing Ana

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AnaGrowing up in a Colombian family I’ve had the chance to visit Medellin a number of times.

You’d think that after 11 trips to Medellin I’d get sick of it… NOT A CHANCE!

So why am I heading back there? Here’s my story…

I’ve been working as a Spanish teacher in Jersey since I graduated in January of 2009.

My job is a dream, my colleagues have slowly become good friends and my students are hysterical.

I pictured myself staying at H—— School until my retirement but then came the most painful school budget cuts that the state of New Jersey has ever seen.

Unfortunately for me (and for my students), the Spanish program was cut in half and being a non-tenured teacher put me on the chopping block.

I was devastated… but not for long. I had always dreamed of living in Medellin because I wanted to surround myself with its amazing landscapes, friendly people, delicious foods, and crazy nightlife.

In mid April, after weeks of uncertainty at work, I received the best advice from the wisest woman I know.

My mother, born and raised in Envigado, consoled me with these words, “Cuando una puerta se cierra, se abren muchas”. (Let me translate this for all of my Spanish challenged friends out there; When one door closes, many others open up!)

With that I took a quick trip over the Hudson River to visit the Colombian Embassy. In less than 2 hours I received my Colombian citizenship, passport, and “cedula”.

Ironically enough, it took my mother 15 years to get her American citizenship & passport. This was yet another clear sign for me pointing directly towards MEDELLIN!

So here I am today… I find myself with a one-way ticket to Jose Maria Córdoba airport in Medellin, Colombia.

I’m ecstatic to be sharing my journey with Medellin Living and everyone out there who’s interested in traveling to the undiscovered beauty that is Medellin.

I’ll be writing about my day-to-day life as I transition from an American citizen to a Colombian citizen.

I’ll also be writing about some volunteer work I plan on taking part in, finding a job as an English teacher, local rock bars and exciting opportunities in and around Medellin. Enjoy.

 

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30 COMMENTS

  1. Hi..Ana,
    My husband and I are also planning to move to Medellin with our two boys next summer..would like to keep in touch and hear more of ur experience living in Medellin..I visit very summer for three months and I know is different between visiting and living in Medellin …would love to hear of your adventure…

  2. Do share Sar…I’m pretty sure any information is good useful information…p.s information on biligual schools for a four yr old and a six yr old would be helpful. I’m currently searching for schools in Medellin but, it’s difficult to choose with very limited information….thanks

  3. Hi libby

    What do you want to know? Cant help with the school thing Im afraid but I could ask some people and try and find out. You could always post on one of the Colombia forums, im sure someone would know.

    Where are you moving from?

  4. We’re moving next summer 2011 to Medellin..and i have posted in one of the Colombia forums but no luck..I guess the only school everyone is familiar with is Columbus…and I’m pretty sure there’s more than Columbus….but i would be grateful if you find any information…I will be traveling back to Medellin in August or Sept. of this yr to tour a few schools…p.s Columbus enrollment is closed til 2013 (per their website)…Thank you so much..libby

  5. Ana, I would like to keep in touch..My husband is also a teacher (science, bio)..but he’s working on his ESOL cert. at FIU before we move to Medellin…

  6. Hola Ana –
    My name is Lauren Echavarria and I am moving to Colombia in August to volunteer and spend time with family. My dad is from Medellin and I too spent many vacation in the beautiful city as well as on many fincas 🙂 I am in the same boat as you in terms of a job and life situation and what better place to “escape” than Colombia!

    When I read your post what interested me most was that you received your Colombian passport, cedula, and citizenship so quickly! I was hoping you could give me a bit more insight on what you had to go through to get them because I have been interested in becoming a citizen so I can more easily find a more permanent job down there.

    I hope all is well and you are enjoying yourself 🙂

  7. Libby- It shouldn’t be hard for us to keep in touch since I’ll be writing for Medellinliving.com. Feel free to write on my blogs anytime and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP.

    Lauren- I’m very happy for you! I just landed here in Medellin last night but I’m already loving my new life. Getting my passport, cedula, and citizenship was easy. I went to the nearest Colombian embassy, mine being the one in NYC. I brought my parents birth certificates, passports, and their cedulas and I filled out a bunch of paperwork. Call before heading over in case I’ve forgotten something. Feel free to contact me again if you need any other information

    • Hi Libby… everything’s great! I’m trying to settle in more and more each day and I’ll begin my search for a job teaching English pretty soon. Thanks for checking in!

  8. Hello, Ana…

    Haven’t heard a word from your colombia move experience…hope all is well…just wondering and hoping you’re doing fine better yet hope you’re doing GREAT…..PLEASE drop a note or two..take care..

    • Hi Libby,

      I just posted a new blog on how my job search went. Check it out on the site. I’ll be posting some new stuff in a few weeks about my actual position and how teaching is treating me here in Medellin. Stay tuned!!!

      -Ana

      • Hi Ana, read your blog about your job search as an English teacher. Planning on coming down to Medellin in mid January ’12 to check out the ESL scene myself. I have an MA in TESOL and several years experience teaching in Europe, the Far East and the Middle East. Any ideas on how the job market would be for someone with my experience. I am not a US certified school teacher. Feel free to e-mail me at jacannella@yahoo.com.

        Jeff

  9. hello Anna, you are still in Medellin??

    We are looking for an english teacher. Please if you are interested could you send me an email?? Thanks

    Maria

    • Hello Maria,

      Please see my posting to Ana regarding my interest in relocating to Medellin. If you want, I can send you my CV.

      I’m truly considering relocating there, but my main concern is my kids education and a job.

      Let me know.

      Jeny

  10. Hi Anna,
    I’m an italian girl who lives in Medellin since 2004. I rent furnished rooms in beautiful duplex penthouses in the centre of the city for daily, weekly or monthly. These are great alternatives to renting a room in a hotel and are usually cheaper, more private, and more fun. If your husband and you will need a residence, please contact me.

    • Hi riggitte,

      If I ever move there, I would love to meet you to practice my Italian. Perhaps we can exchange language skills. That would be very interesting.

      See the message I posted to Ana! 🙂

  11. Hi Ana,

    OMG, I’m so glad I found this website because I’m trying to obtain as much information as possible on relocating to Medellin. I came to the USA when I was very little and have lived here ever since. I have an MBA degree in Accounting and have many years of experience not just as an Accountant, but also as an Auditor.

    I’m fully bilingual in English and Spanish and speak some Italian. I’ve been thinking about the possibility of relocating there with my family, but my main concern is my kids’ education. I have a 6 and 4 year old, and of course, being able to find a job, perhaps teaching English in a Bilingual School, Institute or at a University or doing Accounting/Auditing for a Multinational Company.

    The main reason for wanting to relocate is due to my kids. I would like them to be exposed to an environment where they cannot only be exposed to some of my family members (my mom is from Medellin), but also to have a more easy going childhood. The quality of life and warmth of people is so much better.

    P.S. Briggitte, if I ever move there, I would love to meet you to practice my Italian. Perhaps we can exchange language skills. That would be very interesting.

    Any tips on finding jobs and prices on bilingual schools for my kids will be appreciated. I can also send my CV to anyone interested.

  12. Ana, tengo un amigo que necesita una profesora de Ingles para una sobrina, pero tiene que ser mujer. Por favor me contacte si esta interesada en conocerla. 321 802 5871 o por correo.

  13. You wrote that you had taught in a bilingual school in Guatemala for 1 1/2 years. Can you tell me the name of the school and where it is located.

  14. Hi Ana,

    I am living and teaching in Colombia right now in San Gil, Santander. However, I am really interested in moving and living to Medellin. I am a licensed English and Spanish teacher. Any recommendations on where to begin the job search. I am at a ´bilingual´school right now, but it is part-time and I dont think they will help me with my work visa.

    Anyway, it would be nice to get some advice and to hear how everything is going for you!

    Cheers,

    Michelle