Bogota · CELTA · Colombia · South America · Teaching English · Travel

Celta – or… a month of hell

Coming back to the US for Christmas was easier in that I had a return trip planned and I knew I would soon be back.  I have decided to pursue my career as a English Teacher and so planned to take the CELTA course which should help me wherever I choose (or have) to live. I signed up for the course before I left Bogota and was waiting for a follow-up interview when I went back to the US for Christmas – so hopefully I would return to Bogota by the 6th of January for the month long course – I was excited about the plan.

I found out I was accepted on the CELTA program about a week into my time back and bought my ticket back that day!  I am so excited – I get to go back to Bogota for another month at least.  I have heard that the course is very hard and intense and I am nervous about it. In fact as soon as I got the acceptance letter, they sent me homework and pre-course reading to start on! It is rather daunting, but it opens a lot of doors.

Even with the plane tickets and the Airbnb expense, taking the course in Bogota is cheaper than it would be in the US and the Denver school doesn’t even offer it until Spring.  So… that is how I justified it – plus, the school I’m taking it at in Bogota has openings and if we do move to New York – I can use the certificate to teach English there -London is a possibility as well and the course is offered by Cambridge University – very British.

I got a room in a house off of Airbnb – near the planetarium and the bull ring – it wasn’t great in that I had to live with 5 men – but I like the location and it wasn’t that expensive.  The flat was near a lot of Transmilenio stations, so easy to go back and forth to class.  It was so nice to be back – I walked all over the city after I recovered a bit – I was there only two days before the course and during the course I was so busy I had no time to see anyone – we were writing papers and preparing lessons and studying all the time.  Class was from 10am – 6pm every day.  We taught in the morning, then had two classes, then reviewed our teaching to get feedback on how to improve our lessons and then got our lessons planned and ready for the next day.  It was constant.

I slept about 5 hours a night.  I was so tired and my brain was so full – I wasn’t sure what to do or think and was moving on autopilot.  I had no time to see anyone at all and  it was  so very overwhelming.  There were times when it was only my pride and the money that kept me in the course.  Being older did not help either – It’s been a while since college and grad school!

The others on the course were very helpful though– we all kind of pulled together to try to make it as we were in the same boat.  Three people ended up not finishing the course.  We lost one at the beginning of the second week, one at the beginning of the third week and one in the middle of the fourth week it was sad and a little scary in that we could be next.  I knew though that I had to do it – it is pretty expensive.

It was truly one of the hardest things I’ve done.  I’m really glad I did it and excited to see where it leads me.  Now to start applying for some jobs and a new chapter of my life.


I really hope I get to stay in Bogota, but if not, I’m sure I’ll be back some day.