Cultural Exchange in Colombia

Due to the Covid 19 Pandemic and US Travel Ban, this program has been temporarily suspended. Please check back for updates.

The YMCA COLead3rs® Program at the YMCA of Colombia

Live a cultural exchange experience in the unique and magical country of Colombia for up to 10 months! No student status or Spanish language skills required! Calling all 21-40 years olds – gain a true cultural experience in this modern nation while teaching English in a Colombian school or university. Colombia has created a “buzz” of attention in the travel industry in the last five years and was named Travel Zoo’s top five “wow deal destinations for 2013” in addition to “the hottest travel destination of 2012” by National Geographic, Gadling, and The New York Times!

Why a Cultural Exchange in Colombia?

  • Learn first-hand about Colombian culture, its geography and idiosyncrasies.
  • Increase and/or develop your Spanish language skills.
  • Make new friends.
  • Develop leadership skills.
  • Gain valuable teaching experience.
  • Internationalize your resume.
  • Promote cultural awareness by sharing the details of your American culture with Colombian students.
  • You will receive a stipend (in local currency) equivalent to approximately US$500-US$600 per month (this will more than cover the costs of room and board while in Colombia).

How the Program Works

Eligible applicants are pre-placed in schools, universities and social institutions around the Colombian territory. During the program you will develop activities that contribute to the learning and strengthening of the English language skills of Colombian students. There are two arrival months to choose from – January or July and participants must arrive in Bogota, Colombia well before the start of the academic period. Internship placements are for up to 10 months with a minimum commitment of 5 months.

As an participant you will have an opportunity to:

  • Assume the role of Cultural Assistant for an average of 20 to 30 hours per week (may include weekends) in universities, schools and institutions where our Colombian co-operator has agreements.
  • Contribute to the bilingual goals established by the National Secretary of Education in Colombia.
  • Develop and guide workshops about American culture in academic and social institutions when required.
  • Plan and develop several types of English Immersion Programs at local YMCAs in Colombia and/or their partnering institutions.
  • Provide administrative and logistic support at our Colombian co-operator’s International Office.
  • Participate in Youth Orientation Workshops developed by the local hosting ACJ-YMCA, if required.


You must:

  • Be a US citizen with a valid US passport.
  • Be between 21 and 40 years of age.
  • Graduated from a higher education institution (preferred) or be a current university or college student.
  • Have previous experience working with children or young adults.
  • Be a native English speaker or fluent in the English language.
  • Be in excellent health.
  • Have a clear criminal record.
  • Be enthusiastic, dynamic and ready for the challenge of an international experience.
  • Provide proof of cull Covid vaccination