The official language in Colombia is Spanish, but the country has more than seventy languages spoken throughout its territory, including the ones spoken by the indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities.
A secondary language, generally English, is taught in all schools, but despite that, Colombians on average have a rather poor level of English. A working knowledge of Spanish is necessary in most social and work contexts.
It is fairly easy to find schools that offer Spanish classes in Bogota. Many are private language schools, but classes can also be found at universities. Your company may also help by recommending you Spanish courses at preferred rates. Shop around and you will surely find the options that best fit your schedules, preferences and budget.
When choosing your school, you should consider your initial level of Spanish. Spanish schools operate with the European level system, where A1 is beginner level, and C2 is native-like. Courses for all levels from A1 to B2 are easy to find, but you may have to search a bit if you intend to take classes for level C. Most schools will ask you to pass an initial diagnostic test.
Other criteria to take into account are the intensity of your classes, your weekly workload and the number of people in your group.
Institutions and schools that offer Spanish classes:
Private classes are another option if you prefer customized lessons that give you the possibility to learn at your own pace and in your own style. However, they will also be more expensive than group classes. Expect to pay the equivalent of around 10-20 usd per hour, depending on the tutor's experience and credentials, as well as the area in Bogota you are located.
Most language schools offer the possibility of private lessons with one of their staff, but you can also find independent teachers who give Spanish classes for foreigners. The best way is through personal recommendations, but you can also search the message boards in universities, cultural centers, supermarkets, English-language newspapers or online forums such as EasyExpat.
Language exchange events are a more relaxed way of practicing what you learn, while at the same time allowing you to make friends and find out about the culture of your host country. Language exchange partners can answer all your questions about daily life in Colombia, nightlife, events and local customs, and offer a supportive environment for you to share your own culture. There are plenty of language exchanges in Bogota, for all age groups, as Colombians are generally curious and welcoming of this type of events.
Some of the best language exchanges in Bogota: