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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?


The Atlas Corps 2014 Volunteers COLOMBIA Fellowship is an 11-month (January – December 2014) English teaching opportunity in Colombia for emerging professionals. This opportunity is a new collaboration between Volunteers COLOMBIA and Atlas Corps 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, 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. In addition to full-time teaching, Fellows participate in ongoing professional development activities offered by Atlas Corps through the Global Leadership Lab and Volunteers COLOMBIA. Benefits for this prestigious 11-month fellowship program, include a living stipend, health insurance, teacher training, and ongoing professional development.

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)
  • 35 years or younger
  • Ability to commit to 11 months of service from January 12 through December 15, 2014

Program Details

  • 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 Volunteers Colombia and Atlas Corps 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 250 USD deposit, which Volunteers Colombia will refund to the applicant as part of the first stipend payment.
  • Applicants must pay for their own flight tickets for 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 January 12 and leaving December 15
  • Special Note for June 2014: This mid-cycle placement is six months with opportunity for extension into 2015.
  • Participants will work at SENA facilities throughout Colombia (description below). Several placement cities will be announced. Applicants will learn more about specific cities during the application process. We encourage applicants to be flexible.
  • Stipend of $800 USD/month month (To support the 10 months of direct teaching service at the SENA placement sites—Fellows receive a month of holidays over the course of the year as mentioned under “Length”)
  • Special Note for June 2014: Opportunity to receive bonus of $250 USD after complete the six-month Fellowship. There is an opportunity to extend into 2015, to be discussed mid-Fellowship.
  • Local health insurance provided by Volunteers Colombia
  • Housing: Volunteers Colombia can provide housing for participants. Around $300 USD will be deducted from the stipend if Fellows elect to have housing provided.
  • Atlas Corps Global Network: Fellows enroll in the Atlas Corps, which includes more than 200 individuals from 54 countries, ongoing access to in-person and virtual professional development, preferred registration and access to scholarships to attend top international convenings (such as Clinton Global Initiative, NEXUS: Global Youth Summit, Social Good Summit, and more)
  • Volunteers Colombia and Atlas Corps 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 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 the their travel to Colombia.

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.

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:

Note: Application deadline is March 22, 2014, to be considered for placement in June 2014.

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. Letters of Recommendation: Atlas Corps and Volunteers Colombia require two (up to three) letters of recommendation from individuals who know you in a professional capacity and can write about your skills and experiences as well as your potential for success as an Volunteers Colombia Fellow. You will need to send your request for a letter of recommendation directly through the application system. Your recommender will receive an email that asks for a recommendation. NOTE: These recommendation requests will NOT be sent until your application is submitted. Applications without at least two recommendations will NOT be considered.

3. Review Process: Applications will be reviewed by the Selection Board—a trained group of professionals that includes representatives from Atlas Corps, Volunteers Colombia, and nonprofit sector, government, and business leaders from multiple countries. Phone 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.

4. Visa Process: After being selected, candidates will go to the appropriate Consulate in their respective countries to apply for a Visa. Atlas Corps will provide support in obtaining this visa.

February to April Application process opens
March 22, 2014 Deadline to apply
April Screening interview process for semi-finalists
May Final decisions and Notification to applicants
June 2014 - December 2014 Fellowship (with opportunity for extension)


If you have any questions about the Fellowship, please applybogota@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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