After One Year Teaching English in Bogotá, Colombia
As an American living in Bogota, Colombia, I have found life to be an exciting and fulfilling experience. The city is full of energy, with bustling streets, lively music, and a rich cultural heritage. The people are warm and welcoming, and I have made many close friends here. The weather is mild and comfortable, with occasional rain showers, and the views of the mountains surrounding the city are breathtaking.
One of my favorite things about living in Bogota is the food. The cuisine here is diverse and delicious, with a mix of indigenous and Spanish influences. I love trying new dishes and exploring the local food markets, where I can find fresh ingredients for cooking at home. The city is also rich in history and culture, with many museums, galleries, and historical sites to explore. I have enjoyed learning about the country's rich cultural heritage, and I feel that my experiences here have given me a deeper appreciation of the world and the people in it.
Going Abroad to Teach English After Graduation
As a recent university graduate, I found myself at a crossroads, unsure of what my next step in life should be. I had always been interested in law, but I also wanted to take some time to explore other possibilities before making a decision. That's when I stumbled upon the idea of teaching English abroad.
I chose Colombia as my destination, a country that I had always been fascinated by, and I've been here for a little over a year now. My time here has been a transformative experience, and I have grown both personally and professionally in ways I never could have imagined.
As an English teacher, I have had the opportunity to work with a wide range of students, from children to professionals, and I have been amazed by their enthusiasm for learning. I have also been able to improve my Spanish, which has opened up new avenues for me both personally and professionally.
One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching English abroad is the ability to connect with people from all walks of life. My students come from all over the world and from different cultural backgrounds, and I have been able to learn so much from them. I have also been able to build strong relationships with my students, and I have been touched by the support and appreciation they have shown me.
In addition to the personal growth I have experienced, teaching English has also given me a new perspective on the world and my place in it. I have come to appreciate the value of cultural exchange and the importance of being able to communicate effectively with people from different backgrounds.
While I am still considering my options for the future, I know that my experiences teaching English abroad will continue to shape and influence me in the years to come. I would encourage anyone who is looking for a meaningful and transformative experience to consider teaching English abroad. Whether you are a recent graduate, a seasoned professional, or just looking for a change, teaching English can be a life-changing experience that you will never forget.
Food in Colombia
As a food lover, one of my favorite things about living in Bogota, Colombia is the rich and diverse food culture. From street vendors to fine dining restaurants, this city has something to offer for everyone.
When it comes to dining out, Bogota has no shortage of options. The traditional Colombian cuisine is hearty and flavorful, with dishes like the classic "Bandeja Paisa" which is a platter filled with rice, beans, plantain, avocado, beef, chorizo, and a fried egg. Another popular dish is "Ajiaco," a soup made with potatoes, chicken, corn, and cilantro.
But what sets Bogota apart is the fusion of traditional dishes with international flavors. I've had the pleasure of trying everything from Colombian-style sushi to gourmet burgers. There are also plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, including a fantastic quinoa burger that I highly recommend.
One of my favorite dining experiences in Bogota was at Andres Carne de Res, a legendary steakhouse known for its lively atmosphere and delicious food. I enjoyed a perfectly cooked steak, along with a glass of local wine, while being entertained by live music and a colorful parade of waiters.
If you're looking for something more low-key, there are plenty of quaint cafes and small restaurants that offer a more intimate dining experience. I particularly love the outdoor cafes in the La Macarena neighborhood, where I can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while taking in the beautiful street art.
But no discussion of Bogota's food culture would be complete without mentioning the food markets. The Paloquemao market is a must-visit for foodies, with rows upon rows of stalls selling everything from exotic fruits to artisan cheeses. I always make sure to stop by the fresh juice stands for a refreshing drink, and I love trying the different varieties of exotic fruits like lulo and granadilla.
In conclusion, Bogota is a city that truly celebrates food, and it's a fantastic place to be for anyone who loves to eat and explore new flavors. Whether you're looking for a fancy night out or a casual street food experience, there is something here for everyone. I feel so lucky to be able to call this vibrant city my home and to be able to enjoy its rich food culture every day.
Saving Money While Teaching in Colombia & Next Steps
Living and teaching in Bogota has been a wonderful experience. Not only have I been able to immerse myself in a new culture and improve my Spanish, but I have also been able to save a substantial amount of money each month. The cost of living here is much lower than in America, and my salary as an English teacher has allowed me to live comfortably while still putting aside money each month.
However, as much as I enjoy my time here in Colombia, I can't help but think about my future. I know that eventually, I will want to return to America and either go to law school or move to a big city to find work. And thanks to the money I have saved while teaching English here, I am confident that I will be able to achieve that goal.
Each month, I add to my savings account and watch my nest egg grow. I know that when the time comes to return to America, I will have the financial stability to pursue my dreams, whether that be going to law school or finding a job in a big city.
In conclusion, teaching English abroad can be a great way for recent graduates or young professionals to gain experience, improve language skills, and save money. And for me, teaching in Colombia has allowed me to do just that, and I am confident that when the time comes to return to America, I will have the financial stability to pursue my next steps.