What to expect
A volunteer placement is a challenging opportunity to positively impact the lives of Colombian students and educators through English language education. It is also a chance to immerse yourself for an extended period of time in an adoptive Colombian community and to enjoy Colombia's vibrant lifestyle, engage with peers from all over the world, and grow personally and professionally.
Despite being a volunteer program, being a volunteer teacher is a commitment. We respect the investment our partners make to ensure that this experience is valuable for all involved and ask that you do as well. This means showing up prepared to motivate and support your students every day, participating in program events and activities, demonstrating patience, adaptability and resourcefulness, and making an effort to foster positive relationships with your students and colleagues at your placement school or center.
Our goal is student success - and your presence as a volunteer teacher is key to that success. We're confident that if you arrive ready to commit yourself to the experience, you will look back on your time in Colombia as one of the best times of your life.
I was ready for a change from my office job and my routines at home. This seemed like a good fresh start and a way to have an impact, while also exploring whether teaching is something I want to pursue long-term.
Clean criminal record
At least 21 years of age
Native or fluent English-speaker
Open to being placed anywhere
and/or prior teaching experience
I wanted to teach in South America to be able to practice my Spanish. Almost all of the volunteer programs required that you pay to volunteer. This was one of the few free programs out there that I thought I could trust.
Volunteers have the unique chance to become part of a new community, learn, engage, exchange ideas and experiences, and make a positive impact. Every volunteer also has the privilege to help change perceptions - of Colombia on a global stage and of their home countries in Colombia.
In exchange for commitment to the program, each volunteer will receive: assistance obtaining a visa and Colombian identification card, 1.650.000 COP monthly living stipend, Colombian health insurance, on-site orientation and training with room and board, 24/7 on-site support from a coordinator in the assigned region, a bilingual mentor at assigned school, a Colombian co-teacher, and a bonus upon completion of volunteer service.
Volunteers also gain access to discounted rates on online, self-paced TEFL certification courses. Volunteer hours completed as part of our English Teaching Program fulfill practicum requirement.
VC has given me many opportunities: to travel, to live abroad, to learn Spanish, to experience another culture, and to develop as a teacher. Working in SENA has given me insight into the challenges and successes of a public (almost) free educational institution and through co-teaching I've had the benefit of learning from other, more experienced teachers in a practical setting.
Volunteers Colombia will assign you a placement based on your experience and the current needs of our in-country partners. Our goal is to find a good fit - in terms of location, and based on what will contribute most to overall program success.
Candidates who are flexible with respect to program and location placement are much more likely to get placed than those who require a specific program or town.
We do our best to inform accepted candidates of their placement prior to their arrival to Colombia, but in some cases, volunteers learn their placement details during on-site orientation. As you can imagine, this is an exciting day!