Sitting at the crucial gateway between North and South America, Colombia has for a long time been one of the most prominent nations within the continental landscape. Gaining full independence in 1886, Colombia then proceeded to successfully industrialize throughout the 20th century, and today boasts the fourth largest economy in South America. A country on the rise with promising job prospects, a diversity of peoples and cultures, and immense natural beauty, you will not regret finding work abroad in Colombia!
Colombia is located on the northern tip of South America, bordered by Panama to the north and Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, and Venezuela to the south and east. As the point of entry to South America from the north, it has long been of strategic importance to the continent. Sitting just above the equator, Colombia is also one of the few countries on earth to be classified as “megadiverse” because of its immense variety of endemic plant and animal species.
As the capital and largest city, Bogota is typically the first choice of many where to look for a job abroad in Colombia. Sitting in the heart of the continent on the eastern slopes of the Andes, Bogota is a major economic and cultural nucleus of South America, with nearly 10 million citizens living in the metropolitan area (roughly one-fifth the population of the entire country).
Other potential destinations where you might look for work abroad in Colombia include the key cities of Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla. While none of these cities are as globally oriented as the capital of Bogota, they all nonetheless can offer a unique immersive work experience in a more regionally-focused environment.
Jobs & Positions
There are several paths you can take to finding work abroad in Colombia. Firstly, there are many jobs abroad programs in Colombia that can secure you temporary employment in fields as varied as the culinary arts, hospitality, and ranch employment. These jobs abroad in Colombia tend to have a continuous open door for international workers, wherein employment will typically last anywhere from six months to two years.
Teaching English is an especially popular way to work abroad in Colombia if you are looking for temporary employment. Generally you do not need to be fluent in Spanish to land a teaching position in this realm; however a university degree and further TEFL or TESOL certification are often required. These positions also tend to last for one or two years.
If you are looking to launch a more permanent career path in Colombia, then your best bet is to either apply to jobs directly in the country, or else work to gain employment with an international company which can then send you abroad. Colombia’s economy is largely diversified, but some of the most prominent fields where foreign workers can get a foot in the door include energy, finance, and communications.
Salaries & Costs
Salaries for jobs abroad in Colombia will vary widely depending on what industry you find yourself within. Typically you can expect temporary job placement programs to set you up in a position where you earn enough to get by with some spending money, but no extravagant amount on top of this. Higher-level, more permanent jobs will obviously compensate you with a more substantial salary.
Colombia nevertheless remains an affordable destination for most international workers coming from developed countries. Although it has one of the largest economies in the world, Colombia also struggles with a great degree of inequality, and so most living costs are held necessarily low. The national currency is the Colombian peso, which trades at about 3,000 COP to $1 USD.
Accommodation & Visas
Some temporary jobs abroad programs in Colombia will set you up with accommodation, but it is more common for international workers to find their own housing. Rent is generally affordable across the country; in most cities you can find a single bedroom apartment for around $300, and living with roommates will make rent even cheaper. The best ways to find housing are either online, or staying in a hostel upon arrival and finding a place in person.
What kind of visa you will need to work abroad in Colombia typically depends on the length of your stay, type of job, and what country you are coming from. Jobs abroad programs in Colombia will usually organize the necessary permissions for you, while for longer-term jobs your employer will have to be willing to endorse you for a work and/or residential visa. For more information, check out our Colombian Embassy Directory.
Benefits & Challenges
Rising Prospects. Colombia was plagued by internal conflict around the turn of the 20th century, but has made significant strides recently toward establishing a stable peace. It’s a great place to start building momentum with a job abroad.
Cultural Diversity. At the intersection of the American continents, Colombia is at a point of long-standing cultural fusion. Communities from all around the world continue to make an impact.
Background Scenery. For adventure travellers, there are few better employment options out there than to work abroad in Colombia. One of the world’s most biodiverse countries, you’ll never run out of new terrain to explore.