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Atlas Corps English Teaching Fellowship

Atlas Corps English Teaching Fellowship

Teach English in Colombia
Apply for a Paid, Year-Long Teaching Fellowship

Are you interested in living a year in Latin America? Do you know at least basic Spanish?

Are you ready to join a global network of inspired individuals?

Priority deadline is September 30!

(Applications will be accepted until November 1 though we highly recommend applying early to increase chances of being placed.)


The Atlas Corps English Teaching Fellowship (ETF) is an 11-month English teaching opportunity in Colombia for emerging professionals. This opportunity is a new collaboration between Atlas Corps, Heart for Change, Ministry of Education, SENA, and Volunteers Colombia to facilitate the development of a prosperous Colombia where children and youth have the opportunity to receive a high-quality bilingual education. The model builds on the success of both organizations—together, they have engaged more than 300 volunteers in long-term professional experience overseas. In addition, through this initiative Fellows serve at Host Organizations working on issues that complement their expertise. Fellows learn leadership skills in an international context while inspiring English language skills in Colombian youth. Benefits of this prestigious 11-month fellowship program, include a living stipend, health insurance, teacher training, ongoing professional development, and engagement in the global Atlas Corps network.

Eligibility Details

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent
  • English language skills, as native language proficiency or equivalent
  • Spanish language skills, at basic level or higher (we encourage all levels of Spanish to apply)
  • Interest in serving in an educational environment (we will provide the methodology, you provide the inspiration and energy)
  • Age range between 22 to 55
  • Ability to commit to 11 months of service from January 12 through December 15

Program Details


The English Teaching Fellowship starts in mid-January and continues through mid-December. This unique overseas experience is an opportunity to enhance your own professional portfolio while inspiring a generation of learners in Colombia. The details of the Fellowship are outlined below!

  • Teach and/or co-teach with a local Colombia English instructor 25 hours per week of English instruction, including teaching, co-teaching, and conversation clubs
  • Participate in a two-way learning process in about 15 hours per week to improve English proficiency, which may include administrative-related activities, such as lesson planning, meetings with fellow teachers, paperwork, etc.
  • Attend local parners training days, schedule will coordinate with placement site.
  • Develop reports and follow up processes, as the supervisor requires.
  • Before arrival the applicant must pay a $400 USD deposit, which they will receive back upon successful completion of their contract in December.
  • Applicants must pay for their own travel to and from Colombia.
  • 11-month program (10 months of active service and 1 months of holiday over the course of the experience), includes arriving in Colombia approximately mid-January and leaving mid-December.
  • Participants will work at facilities throughout Colombia. Several placement cities will be announced. Applicants will learn more about specific cities during the application process. We encourage applicants to be flexible.
  • Approximate monthly stipend 1'500.000 COP (approx 750 USD)
  • Local health insurance provided by Volunteers Colombia and Heart for Change.
  • Housing: First month of housing will be provided by local partner. After that time, volunteers are responsible for finding and paying for their own housing.
  • Volunteers Colombia and Heart for Change staff will support the participants throughout the entire program, including facilitating as need conversations between Fellow and placement staff.
  • Orientation Week includes: training on English teaching techniques and logistics related to living in Colombia (visa, identification, bank accounts, mobile phones, and more)
  • Volunteers Colombia and Heart for Change staff will check in with participants regularly, and will do site visits to make sure the program is running smoothly.
Important Details:
  • Per this visa, the Colombian Government does NOT allow full-time employment in Colombia. Other volunteer (unpaid) activities are permitted if they do NOT affect Fellowship commitments.
  • Please note that selected Fellows will be responsible for covering travel to Colombia.
  • Participants are required to be covered by valid medical and travel insurance for the duration of the Program. The participant understands that VC and Heart for Change only provides local Colombian insurance with the Program. Participants are required to purchase international health insurance. Neither VC nor Heart for Change will be responsible for any medical or other expenses incurred by the participant before, during, or after the program.

Collaborating Organizations

Atlas Corps (www.atlascorps.org) — Atlas Corps, started in 2006, is an international network of nonprofit leaders and organizations that promotes innovation, cooperation, and solutions to address the world’s 21st century challenges. Our mission is to address critical social issues by developing leaders, strengthening organizations, and promoting innovation through an overseas fellowship of skilled nonprofit professionals. Profiled as a “best practice” in international exchange by the Brookings Institution and World Economic Forum, featured in the Washington Post and Forbes as a model social entrepreneurship program, and recognized as a Top 10 International Voluntary Exchange Program by the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy, Atlas Corps engages leaders committed to the nonprofit sector in 6 to 18 month, professional fellowships at organizations (like Ashoka, Peace Corps, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure) to learn best practices, build organizational capacity, and return home to create a network of global changemakers. Our network of Fellows includes 206 nonprofit leaders from 54 countries and 100 Host Organizations.

Heart for Change (www.heartforchange.org ) — Heart for Change, Colombia Volunteer Program is a social business that encourages intercultural exchange by bringing volunteers from around the world to work in development programs in Colombia. The mission of Heart for Change is to provide support to social impact projects through volunteer programs. We want to create ambassadors for our social causes so that volunteers share a positive image of Colombia. Through our programs, we will empower and strengthen local organizations with the knowledge, vision, and innovation that volunteers bring. We want to enhance the field of "Voluntourism" in Colombia to attract more socially committed people to our country.

Ministry of National Education (Colombia) — The Ministry of National Education is responsible for overseeing the instruction and education of the Colombian people, the mission made by the body itself is to "guarantee the right to education based on equity, quality and effectiveness, forming honest citizens, competent, responsible and able to build a happy, equitable, productive, competitive, supportive and proud of herself. " Its services are the definition of policies and regulations, distribution and monitoring of funds, project development, technical assistance, care quality assurance procedures in higher education, the provision and dissemination of information.

SENA (www.sena.edu.co) — SENA is a Governmental Agency that provides vocational training to Colombia’s work force. It serves millions of Colombians that couldn’t afford a university degree. The goal of SENA is to train its students with practical skills that are demanded by the different industries and sectors in Colombia. Therefore, it bridges the needs of the companies (in terms of skills) and the Colombian citizens who are seeking a job. SENA is known for being recognized as the agency Colombians “love the most.” Within its portfolio or services, SENA offers some programs that are English-intensive, such as BPO (business process outsourcing), logistics, and tourism and hotel management. As one of the most ambitious bilingual programs of Colombian Government ever, SENA partnered with Volunteers Colombia to recruit native English speakers that become English Teachers and English Teaching Assistants in SENA’s institutions for one academic year.

Volunteers COLOMBIA (www.volunteerscolombia.org)—Volunteers Colombia is a Colombian nonprofit founded in 2008 with the mission of expanding English language proficiency and educational opportunity among Colombian underserved communities. Our vision is to create a Colombia that is competitive and prosperous by ensuring that children and youth receive high-quality bilingual education. Thanks to the success of our English for Opportunities and Competitiveness (EFOC) program, we have grown from 5 volunteer English teachers in 2009, to 50 volunteer teachers in 2013. Over the last 5 years, we have brought more than 150 volunteer teachers. Moreover, city governments nationwide increasingly request our services, allowing us to plan for a rapid expansion to more than 100 volunteers by 2014. Corps members are high-quality native English speakers invested in education and international development. Volunteers COLOMBIA is run by U.S. educated, Colombian professionals who understand the contexts and expectations of both U.S. and Colombian settings. Volunteers Colombia’s founders have also launched successful international businesses and established Enseña por Colombia, member of the Teach for All Network.

Application Process:

1. Online Application: All applications need to be submitted online. We will not accept applications via email or mail. You will need to create a login and you can save your responses so you can return to the application at any time. The application consists of background information, personal biography, essays, and letters of recommendation.

2. Review Process: Applications will be reviewed by the Selection Board—a trained group of professionals that includes representatives from Atlas Corps, Volunteers Colombia, Heart for Change, and nonprofit sector, government, and business leaders from multiple countries. Skype interviews and Spanish/English writing tests will be requested from semi-finalists. Placement sites will conduct Skype video interviews with selected finalists. Placement sites will make their final recommendations to Atlas Corps, and Atlas Corps will notify the selected candidates.

3. Visa Process: After being selected, candidates will go to the appropriate Consulate in their respective countries to apply for a Visa. Volunteers Colombia and Heart for Change will provide support in obtaining this visa.


If you have any questions about the Fellowship, please email infocolombia@atlascorps.org

Host Organizations

Our U.S. Partners:
American Jewish World Service
AsianAmerican Lead
Center for Inspired Teaching
Civic Enterprises
CORE Group
Free the Slaves
Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute
Global Citizens Network
Global Fairness Initiative
Global Health Corps
Global Kids
Grameen Foundation
Habitat for Humanity
HasNa, Inc.
International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children
International Peace and Security Institute
International Relief and Development
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service
Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota
Management Systems International
National Audubon Society
New York Needs You
One World Youth Project
Operation Smile
Out & Equal Workplace Advocates Partners of the Americas
Points of Light Institute
Population Action International (PAI)
Susan G. Komen for the Cure
U.S. Fund for UNICEF
U.S. Peace Corps

Atlas Corps Network

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