Study Abroad: Learn Spanish in Colombia

Before I decided to go to Colombia, I had time to think about several other countries to learn Spanish. Until one day I managed to found information on google about scholarships from the Government of Colombia (ELE-FOCALAE). This scholarship is awarded to candidates from all Asian and African countries. This scholarship provides training in Spanish at various universities in Colombia for one semester.

 

When I got this scholarship, many people were worried that Colombia is not a safe country for young girls like me. What's more, at that time I didn't speak Spanish. But I still insisted on going and studying Spanish and Latin American culture in Colombia.

 

It has been 2 years since the study program ended, and now I am sharing my experiences in Colombia with friends in Ivyties. I am very grateful and proud of myself for having the courage to take the decision to keep taking the scholarship and going to Colombia in 2018.

 

Colombia is a beautiful country and is rich in history. If you love history (especially Latin American history), then you must go to Colombia !. The Colombian people are so friendly! you will never feel alienated while living there.

 

The advantage of this program is that I not only have the opportunity to learn Spanish and Latin American culture, but I can also learn a little of the language and culture from other scholars from Africa, Asia and also Europe (Because many French people come to Colombia for student exchange ).

 

It is quite difficult for me to explain how I feel about this experience. However, there is one sentence that was said by one of the scholars in the farewell party of this program: "We met for the first time only as a lecturer-student, and as friends in university. But now we are one family".

 

**Psst… I got SIELE B1 certificate :) 

In general, food is one of the problems for many foreigners. When compared to Asian people, Colombian food uses very little spice and is very sweet (because they don't like spicy food). This is not a big problem for me, because I really like trying new foods. In my opinion, the language was my biggest challenge at that time. Because it is very difficult to find people who can speak English in Colombia (Except people in University). However, I am actually grateful for this. So that I can practice more often. 
 

The cost of living in Colombia is not expensive.

At that time I was living in Bogota (the capital of Colombia and of course the cost of living is a little more expensive when compared to other cities in Colombia). The price of food there is relatively the same as Indonesia. Around 8,500 COP - 15,000 COP for 1 lunch package (food and juice) or around Rp. 33,000 - Rp. 58,000
But keep in mind that they have bigger portions 

If you want to save money, you can cook! :)

This program does not allow scholars to work or do internships. Because the main focus of this program is learning Spanish and Latin American culture (especially Colombia).

But you can still do some volunteering activities at universities or NGOs in that city. At that time I did volunteer activities as a tour guide at the Universidad del Rosario's museum (2 times a week, after class), taught Basic English at traditional markets, and several volunteer activities with NGOs on weekends.

First: Many friends are pessimistic about studying abroad because of money problems. Even though there are so many scholarships that you can try. You must be diligent in searching for information on Google!

Second: Don't be afraid to go on an adventure and learn new things (But remember you also still have to ensure your own safety. For example, contact the embassy)

Third: Do some research. Especially about the weather and culture!

 

 

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