I first became interested in The Columbus school mostly because I’ve only heard amazing things about Medellin! Once I started digging around on their website and talking to other teachers, it started sounding better and better.
I give this school a 8/10!
1. What type of school is it?
Non-profit, US accredited. They offer both a US and Colombian diploma.
2. Student population:
On the school website says that there are, “1,472 students enrolled, 98% are Colombian and the remaining 2% are from other nationalities.”
3. Class size:
23 students per class. Not my ideal class size of no more than 18. No Point.
Their website says that there are four “computer halls” shared between the three campuses.
Not mentioned on the school website. No point until proven otherwise.
6. Overall package:
There are not a lot of details on their website about the package. From what I can tell, the package seems pretty average with housing, round trip air, medical, and school transportation provided. While salary info isn’t listed on their website, on a forum post from 2009 salary was reported as $25-35K. They do have the option of taking subsidized courses which you can use to eventually get a Master’s degree. While watching the school recruitment video I heard that the school places single teachers with a roommate (or teachers can pay extra for their own apartments).
7. City Profile:
Medellin is known as a city of eternal spring with a temperature of about 72F annually. People are said to be very friendly and welcoming. It is a modern city with many cultural activities. I read somewhere that it has the largest Botero art collection (which I would enjoy). It also has a comprehensive public transportation system (which I have been missing in my life). According to Numbeo, the cost of living is about half of the COL in Portland, Oregon (you can go to their website to enter your home city).
8. Salsa Dancing:
This site lists 6 nights of salsa dancing per week! Excellent! Who wants to go out salsa dancing on a Monday anyway?
The school website says that there are, “146 teachers, including 59 North American citizens, 81 Colombians and 6 from other nationalities”.
I’ve been to a few Colombian restaurants and the food is good. It is similar to Venezuelan food which I also like. Lots of tropical fruits and vegetables available. My expat friends in Venezuela have reported that they have had no trouble finding imported items. Check out this website for some typical Colombian dishes.
Please comment! Have you been to Medellin? Would you want to work there? Have you or someone you know worked at the Columbus School? Can you add any info to what I’ve listed above?
I taught at The Columbus School from 1991-1994, before they moved to the new site and at the height of the worst Medellin had to offer. I LOVED it. The school community was great and the city was fantastic. A lot has changed in the 20 years Ive been gone but the city is a lot safer. I sometimes think of going back, I loved it so much.
I have not heard of any teachers or travelers who have been to Colombia and didn’t like it. I can’t wait until I get to visit during Semana Santa this year!
What is the starting salary for teachers and/or administrators?
I would love to know! I just use whatever data I can find for free around the internet since I am not signed up for any databases like Search or TIE to search for such things. Let me know if you find out!
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I spent 7 years of my life in Medellin and it was awesome. I was a teacher for 2 years at a different school and owned a hostel / bar there while I was teaching but had to give it up because business was really good and I had to quit teaching. I have had many many friend through the years work at the Columbus school and most say you really can’t save too much but Medellin is a great city. Also, it depends on the part of the school you work for as well. For example, I have friends there now who hate working at the Elementary side and others who love the middle school side. I met a lot of the new administration at a fair recently and they seemed really nice. I don’t think I would put it on the top 10 international school list IMHO though.
Thanks for the feedback!
I think I need to revise that top ten list of mine! I wrote it quite a few years ago and now I would order it a bit differently. While I would like to teach/live in Medellin one day, I don’t think I would do it for the money. I would definitely have to have reached my savings goals before I could ever accept a job there.
I currently teach at TCS and would highly recommend NOT teaching here. From an outsider´s perspective, the school appears to be a dream job. TCS does an amazing job with marketing, and the campus itself is breathtaking. What they fail to tell you: the amount of taxes taken out of your paycheck (leaving peanuts to live on), the horrible daily commute and altitude issues that almost every teacher has trouble with at one point or another, and the most difficult adjustment: the students. After having taught in the US for over 10 years, this place was a shock to my academic expectations. Parents and students run the school, and academics takes a backseat to almost everything else. The level of disrespect shown towards teachers by entitled students is something that all teachers struggle with. In other news, Medellin is an amazing city. A perfect place to visit and possibly live….just don’t work at TCS imho.
I’ve been hearing more and more negative feedback about this school. It is no longer one of my dream schools. Thanks for the info. I hope they get straightened out soon!