Colombia

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Study in Colombia

Surrounded by beautiful sceneries, having a large multicultural environment and a warm weather all year round, Colombia is truly a fascinating country and an option worth considering for a degree abroad.

Over the last years, the Colombian government has allocated significant funds for education, being specifically interested in drawing a larger number of international students.

Colombia is also probably one of the best locations in the world if you are interested in learning or improving your Spanish. The Spanish language spoken here is standardised, clear and easy to understand by any foreigner.

Find the best information about what it’s like to study in Bogotá, including degree course offers, career opportunities, student life, living costs, and more.

Education System

Although in Colombia, a big part of the costs for higher education is covered by the state, around 70% of higher education institutions are private.

The type of higher educational institutions includes: universities, university institutions (offering undergraduate programmes up to professional degree level and specialisations - career-related qualification above Bachelor’s but below Master’s level), technological institutions and professional technical institutions. Technical and technological institutions provide only undergraduate degrees.

Two important institutions that keep track of the higher education system in Colombia are: The National System of Higher Education Information (Sistema Nacional de Información de la Educación Superior), and The Labour Observatory for Education (OLE, Observatorio Laboral para la Educación).

In Colombian universities, the academic year starts in July and ends in May.

Study Options

In Colombia, students have the option to enrol in one of the twenty accredited universities, including both public and private institutions. You can choose from a wide variety of study options like: architecture, arts, sciences, education, law, philosophy, medicine, social sciences, economics and more.

Some of the top universities in Colombia were best ranked for subject areas, such as: engineering and IT, social sciences and management.

Application Requirements

The application process for a university in Colombia is usually not complicated. Most universities have set an online application format, in which applicants simply have to register, complete the application form and upload copies of requested documents.

Most common required documents for university application

  • Application form
  • Personal statement (explaining the reasons why you want to study at the university)
  • Official transcripts
  • Spanish/English Language Certificate
  • Copy of passport photo
  • Colour photographs
  • Additional documents may be requested, depending on the university or the programme you wish to enrol in. It is advisable that you always consult with the university directly and see the exact list of required documents.

    Language of instruction

    Spanish, the official language in Colombia is also the language of instruction used in universities. International students must prove their proficiency in Spanish, either by obtaining the DELE diploma B2 level or by being certified as having advanced proficiency by a licensed Spanish teacher.

    In some of the Colombian universities, you can find several degrees available in English; for enrolling in these programmes, you will also have to provide evidence of your language knowledge, mainly TOEFL and IELTS are the accepted language certificates.

    English language preparation for studying in Colombia

    Develop your academic English language skills in order to meet the English language requirements at Colombian universities offering degree studies for international students. Choose an English language school anywhere in the world and pick your preferred English exam preparation course from diverse language course options.

    Living in Colombia

    • Universities in Colombia set their tuition fees according to the income of the student and the subjects of study. Average tuition at Colombian universities is about 6,000 USD per year and can reach to 14,000 USD per year.
    • The national currency is Colombian Peso.
    • Colombia is home to nearly 9 million people that are 15-24 year old, with nearly 98% of them are literate.
    • Colombian universities require from international students about 50.000 pesos (16 USD) to pay per semester for medical insurance.
    • You can get a meal in a budget restaurant with just 4 USD.
    • Monthly living costs in Colombia range between 250 – 300 USD (not including the accommodation).
    • Places worth visiting while in Colombia are Arenal Volcano, in central Costa Rica that still spurts out rocks of cooled lava and the Amazon Jungle with its dense vines.
    • The world-famous Barranquilla Carnival, the second after that of Rio de Janeiro, has been designated by UNESCO as one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
    • At 8,360 feet above sea level., Bogotá is the highest city in the world, having a population of around 3 million.
    • The name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of Christopher Columbus.
    • Gabriel García Márquez, one of the world’s most famous writers that hold a Nobel Prize for literature, was born in Colombia.

    About Colombia

    Colombia is located in the North Western corner of South America, bordered by Panama, Venezuela and Brazil to the east and sharing the Andes Mountains and the Amazon Rainforest. Colombia has beaches along both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.

    The country’s official language is Spanish, and 90% of the population is Roman Catholic.

    Colombia is a republic with a democratic government, headed by the president, who is both head of state and head of government, the vice president and the council of ministers. The president is elected by popular vote to serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Colombia is divided into 32 departments plus the capital district of Bogota, which is treated as a department.

    The country is rich in natural resources, having substantial oil reserves and is a major producer of gold, silver, emeralds, platinum and coal. Colombia is also a large exporter of coffee, meat, cereals and vegetable oils, cotton and oilseed.

    Colombia is a republic with a democratic government, headed by the president, who is both head of state and head of government, the vice president and the council of ministers. The president is elected by popular vote to serve a maximum of two four-year terms. Colombia is divided into 32 departments plus the capital district of Bogota, which is treated as a department.

    With numerous forests and mountains, the largest number of species of flowers, birds, amphibians, Colombia is considered the most biodiverse country in the world.

    Since the equator passes through the southern tip of Colombia, there is a warm weather all year round.

    Colombia is ethnically diverse, its people descending from the original native inhabitants, Spanish colonists, Africans originally brought here as slaves, and starting with 20th-century, many immigrants from Europe and the Middle East decided to settle here.

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    Where to study abroad?

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    Finland
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