It is not very easy to obtain a seasonal or short-term position in Colombia, as the job market is not very dynamic and local unemployment is high. Moreover, because of the different seasons structure in the tropical climate, summer jobs do not apply. However, the biggest hurdle is the requirement of obtaining a work visa even for a short-term position. Few employers are ready to to sustain the process and the expenses for a short-term placement.
Nevertheless, short-term jobs in teaching English or foreign languages such as French, German or Chinese may be available to native speakers or other foreign nationals.
Other hort-term jobs may also be available if you have specific skills that the employer requires. If this is the case, you should first do some research to find out about the potential employers and their needs, then prepare your application and send a professionally drafted CV and a strong cover letter.
Speaking Spanish will be necessary in most cases. The knowledge of any foreign languages is a plus, as there is a shortage of Colombian employees who are fluent in a foreign language.
Jobs search websites that you can use include:
Most offers will be in Spanish, so a good knowledge of the language is required.
You can also check out EasyExpat's Bogota job listings for any open positions.
Online editions of major newspapers may offer classifieds sections where you can view any available positions. Be sure to check the most important national papers, but also the local English-language ones.
The common short-term positions in Colombia are bar, restaurant, call center or other common entry-level positions. However, English teaching short-term jobs are available to foreigners who are native speakers or have an advanced level of the language.
Teaching English is a great way to earn your living in Colombia. Many language schools in the capital and throughout the country are interested in hiring native speakers with or without qualifications. An English-teaching certification such as CELTA, TEFL or TESOL is a plus, as the competition is rather fierce. Prior teaching experience and a genuine commitment and passion for the job are also great assets that you can bring to support your case.
Note, however, that the pay is notoriously low in many language schools and will only allow you a basic lifestyle.
There is also an oversupply of native English speakers currently in Bogota. Few schools are willing to undergo the process of obtaining a work visa for you, and you must be armed with patience in your job search.
Common employers for English teaching jobs are also private universities, the British Council and the Centro Colombo-Americano. Be sure to also check the English teaching program with public educational institutions run by Volunteers Colombia, a government-sponsored nation-wide initiative that offers visa assistance and a living stipend in the country.
Offering private classes is another option, and better paid than teaching in a language school. The biggest challenge in this case is to find a stable and sufficient base of private students. Also, keep in mind that earning informal income is illegal, and teaching only private classes will not get you a work visa in Colombia.
Student employment contracts don't exist in Colombia. A regular work contract should be prepared for any short-term and seasonal work. Consult the section At Work of the present guide for further information.
ISIC (International Student Identity Card) – The only student card that is valid worldwide, recognized by UNESCO and Culture ministries of countries all over the world. It offers discounts for museums, hotels, restaurants, language classes, entertainment and shopping. Full-time students aged 12 or older are eligible to buy the card from the ISIC agencies in their home country. The costs vary from country to country, ranging between $4-25, and the card is valid for 15 month from the issue date.
IYTC (International Youth Travel Card) - A discount card for travelers under 30 who aren't enrolled in school. The discounts are similar to the ones offered by the ISIC card, and the same terms and conditions apply as with the ISIC card.
ISE Card(International Student Exchange Card) - An internationally recognized identification card with thousands of discounts worldwide, it is valid for one or two years from date of issue. Can be mobile-only or mobile and physical. Also offers the possibility of acquiring an international SIM card. A mobile-only card costs $9 for one year, and $15 for two years, and if you add a physical card, the costs are $20 and $35 respectively.
A regular work visa is required to perform any type of short-term or seasonal work in Colombia. A company sponsor is required in order to obtain such a visa, but the application process is the applicant's responsibility.
For more information on visa, consult the section on "Passport and Visas".
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