Colombia is one of the most vibrant and diverse countries in Latin America, with tropical beaches, rainforest, glaciers, remote deserts, soaring mountains, and vibrant cities.
Colombia attracts many international students owing to its vibrant culture, rich history, and world-class coffee.
Colombian universities provide world-class higher education in a diverse and culturally rich country.
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Studying in Colombia
Colombia will always have reasons to visit with its bustling cities, lush rainforests, and world-class beaches.
When students study in this vibrant country, they will enjoy and experience nature, nightlife, and culture.
Colombia is ideally located for students to spend their free time exploring the rest of Latin America.
Three Colombian universities are among the top 500 in the 2019 QS World University Rankings.
The highest-ranked institution is Universidad de Los Andes, which is ranked 272nd.
The next highest-ranked institution is Colombia’s Universidad Nacional, which is ranked 275th. The Universidad Externado de Colombia is ranked 407th, following these.
The country ranks second in the world in terms of biodiversity.
It is located in northern South America and has coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It is bounded to the west by the Darien jungle and the east by the Amazon.
Colombia is home to 20% of all bird species on the planet, with 1,889 different species. Cao Cristales, a river dubbed a “liquid rainbow,” is hidden away in the country’s east.
One of the country’s many natural treasures is this five-coloured river.
All of this beautiful scenery serves as a backdrop for one of Colombia’s best assets: its welcoming people.
Colombians are eager to share their country with visitors and will warmly welcome you into their communities with music, dancing, interesting local food, and, of course, festivals.
Almost every city and town has a festival to commemorate some aspect of Colombian life.
Colombia’s second-largest capital, Medellin, hosts the Feria de las Flores (flower festival) in August, followed by the International Jazz Festival in September.
Every December, they put on the world’s most spectacular display of Christmas lights.
Colombian life ranges from the laid-back, relaxing beach life of Taganga to the culture-rich capital city of Bogotá, which is filled with theatres, churches, and the Gold Museum, which houses the world’s most extensive collection of Pre-Columbian gold artefacts.
Bogotá and Medellin, and several other large cities, have trendy nightlife, upscale shopping, and an array of imaginative restaurants.
Many Colombian cities provide a first-world lifestyle for significantly less than living in the United States.
Colombians and the Colombian government have worked hard to overcome the country’s previous negative image.
Since Pablo Escobar’s notorious days, more than two decades have passed, and much of the country is now lively and prosperous.
Multinational corporations with a significant presence in Colombia include those in telecommunications, mining, banking, and healthcare.
Colombia has 20 approved universities, as well as public and private institutes of higher learning. Master’s degrees are available in various academic fields, including architecture, communications, economics, and public health, to name a few.
Almost all programs are taught in Spanish.
Here are some compelling reasons to study abroad in Colombia.
1. A low average cost of education
With the prospect of incurring significant expenses in a foreign country, the method of selecting a place for studying abroad can be intimidating.
However, the cost of studying in Colombia, especially at a public university, is usually meagre.
Tuition at Colombia’s public universities is approximately 857 euros per semester.
Tuition fees at private universities, on the other hand, range from 857 euros to 4711 euros per course.
When you study for a semester exchange at a university in Medellin, you would most certainly not have to pay any tuition.
This is since many of the city’s universities have collaborations with universities from around the world.
They will send students to your university, and you can attend theirs for free.
Aside from the expense of tuition, living in Colombia is also relatively inexpensive.
It significantly reduces the total cost of your tuition.
2. Immersion in the culture
Studying in Colombia will encourage you to meet the locals and learn about their customs and values.
You will gain a new outlook on how people in other parts of the world live.
Colombia’s roots and cultural heritage are well-known in the world.
Colombia has a lot to give for a great semester abroad, from its old colonial charm to its modern urban scene.
The scenic attractions, including the rich and breathtaking landscapes, are difficult to avoid.
There is plenty to do in this country, from learning about coffee to hiking in the stunning Tayrona National Park.
You can sample the famous Ajiaco soup or visit one of the many beautiful beaches.
This country will never cease to enthral you.
Without a doubt, your experience as an international student in Colombia will provide you with a one-of-a-kind perspective.
When studying Spanish in Colombia, make sure to enter an organization that offers an experience rather than just a lesson.
The Whee Institute is an excellent example of this.
The fastest-growing Spanish school in Colombia provides high-quality Spanish classes at a low cost, also opportunities to learn about the culture in a social setting.
3. Rankings of universities
The National University of Colombia, one of Colombia’s most prestigious universities, is ranked 254 in the QS world university rankings. The University of Los Andes comes in at number 256 on the chart. The ranking reflects the global prestige of these universities. Colombia has over 30 universities that rank among the top 300 in South America and are rapidly drawing international students worldwide. Colombian universities are well-known for their expertise in engineering, management, and social sciences programs.
4.The High Academic Level of Its Universities
The British association Quacquarelli Symonds compiled a ranking of the best 300 universities in Latin America in December 2016, which included 41 Colombian universities due to their high expectations and quality of education. They provide students with an atmosphere conducive to improving their abilities both in and out of the classroom.
5. Interaction with other foreign students
International students from all over the world are flocking to the country in record numbers.
Cities such as Medellin and Bogota regularly host many international students who come to study Spanish, do internships, participate in semester exchange programs, and volunteer.
The government and universities are working hard to transfer Colombia to the forefront of academia.
It is accomplished by initiatives such as “Colombia Challenge Your Knowledge.”
Many Colombian universities have collaborations with foreign institutions that bring students from all over the world.
Meeting students from various backgrounds and cultures enriches the international student’s experience even more.
You have the opportunity to meet people of a wide range of interests.
Studying here allows you to communicate with people from all over the world while also learning about different cultures and languages.
Living with international students broadens the perspective. Engage in Colombian culture at university and meet new people in one of the student accommodations in Bogota or the student spaces in Medellin.
6. Many opportunities to learn Spanish
Colombia’s official language is Spanish, which is also the most widely spoken language in the country.
Staying and studying in Colombia provides you with numerous opportunities to learn this lovely language.
All across the world, there are numerous Spanish language schools and institutes.
Medellin and Bogota are the most famous cities in Colombia for students to learn Spanish.
Learning Spanish broadens your skillset and opens the door to a variety of career opportunities.
After all, it is the world’s second most commonly spoken language in terms of foreign communication.
7. Relieve of Access to Education
Another benefit that attracts international students to Colombia is how immigration procedures and obtaining a visa to study in Colombia can be completed.
In reality, the majority of Colombian universities approved by the Ministry of Education work to develop agreements with universities in other countries to facilitate student exchanges and procedures such as obtaining temporary visas, which enables students from all over the world to enrol in academic programs in Colombia with or without a scholarship.
Furthermore, if you are a citizen of a Pacific Alliance member country, you would not need a visa to study in Colombia.
One such example is Universidad ICESI, which established international alliances that brought 44 students from Germany, Spain, France, and the United States to Colombia in the second half of 2016 to study Business Administration, Anthropology, and Political Science.
8. Specialized Programs
One of the most significant benefits of higher education in Colombia is the availability of advanced academic programs that are difficult to find in other countries.
Some examples include Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana’s Nanotechnology Engineering degree, Universidad Nacional de Antioquia’s Pedagogy of Mother Earth bachelor’s degree specializing in indigenous customs and traditions, and Universidad Externado de Colombia’s Archaeology, Museology, and Conservation and Restoration of Movable Cultural Heritage degree.
9. Ministry of National Education
With the introduction of higher education reform via Decree 2230 in 2003, the Vice-Ministry of Higher Education was established as part of the Ministry of National Education’s organizational structure.
The Vice-Ministry of Higher Education promotes the establishment and implementation of higher education policies, plans, and initiatives in Colombia.
This division is in charge of assisting the Minister’s Office in the organization and articulating intersectoral ties with the bodies and agencies participating in the various roles of the country’s quality assurance system for higher education.
The Colombian Institute for Student Loans and Technical Studies Abroad (ICETEX) promotes Colombia’s educational and cultural growth, primarily through student loans and other national and international academic cooperation programs.
11. Colombia Challenge your Knowledge
Colombia Challenge Your Knowledge is a campaign launched by Colombia’s network of accredited universities, in partnership with the Ministry of Education, ICETEX, Procolombia, Colciencias, and other strategic national allies Colombia as a gateway for scholarly and science collaboration.
The primary goals of CCYK are to promote and disseminate Colombian scientific, academic, and outreach programs internationally, strengthen the internationalization of Colombia’s accredited universities, review current trends in internationalization, and promote quality processes in all Colombian higher education institutions.
CCYK encourages active collaboration among Colombian universities to transform our country into a diverse and increasingly integrated campus for national and international students and a relevant and dependable partner for international education programs.
Colciencias, Colombia’s Administrative Department of Science, Technology, and Innovation, reports directly to the President and oversees the country’s National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation (SNCTI in Spanish).
The entity’s activities are concentrated in four areas: science education, research, innovation, and mindset and culture.
Application procedure for student visa in Colombia
The Colombian student visa is intended for international students enrolled in an academic program at a Colombian university.
The Colombia student visa is reasonably simple to obtain.
A student visa also allows you to remain in Colombia for longer than the six-month tourist visa allows.
To qualify for a student visa, you must be enrolled in a Colombian government-approved public or private educational institution.
Colombia’s majority of universities are accredited.
You must also attend at least 10 hours of class a week.
Colombia student visas are also available in two types.
The Migrant (M) student visa is designed to pursue a degree program, such as a bachelor’s degree.
The Visitor (V) student is designed for non-degree programs such as learning Spanish.
How to apply?
You may apply for a student visa to Colombia online.
Furthermore, Colombian visas are available at Colombian consulates worldwide.
Colombia has consulates in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Newark, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
The Colombian visa application process is relatively simple since it is completed online.
By clicking here, you can apply for a Colombia visa online.
This application will require PDF scans of all required documents, as well as a jpg photo.
A comprehensive guide for applying online can also be found here.
If you are doing this in Colombia, you must fly to Bogotá once you have received the online visa approval.
If you are in another country, you can get the visa stamped in your passport at a Colombian consulate.
Visas are distributed in Colombia at the Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores office in Bogotá.
Required Documents for obtaining a student visa
- A photocopy of the first page of your valid passport, which contains your personal information.
- A photocopy of the page of your passport containing the last stamp of entry or exit from Colombia is required.
- If you have a previous Colombian visa, bring a photocopy of it.
- A certificate of admission or enrollment to studies in elementary school, high school, or higher education in undergraduate school is required.
- Photocopy of the university’s “certificate of life and legal representation.”
- Authorization of the parents and identification of the person responsible for the student during his or her stay in Colombia, authenticated by a Colombian notary or, in the case of minors, a consul.
- A certificate proving that you have an international health insurance policy is needed.
- Since the validity period of your visa is contingent on the validity period of your foreign health insurance, this policy should be valid for at least six months to a year.
- This health insurance policy must include at least USD 35,000 in cover for a Visitor student visa and USD 60,000 in coverage for a Migrant student visa.
- A letter (in Spanish) from the person with financial responsibility for the student promising the student’s costs and records demonstrates economic solvency.
- If you are a student, the letter should state that you will be financially responsible for yourself during your stay in Colombia.
- To demonstrate “economic solvency,” a bank “certificate” demonstrating that the average balance for the previous six months is more than ten times the legal minimum wage in Colombia or 9,085,260 pesos in 2021 may be used.
- This document can also be notarized and translated.
- There is no need for translation if you have six months of bank statements.
- You can also use credit card statements with a sufficient remaining balance.
- A Passport-style picture with a white background, 3 cm width X 4 cm height, with a maximum file size of 300 kb jpg for online application.
If you are in Colombia but not in Bogotá and do not wish to travel, you can receive a Colombia student visa via a visa agency.
A visa agency will process the online application and courier your passport to Bogotá to get the visa.
Colombia is an ideal place for non-native speakers to learn or develop their Spanish, as the language spoken in the country is formal, straightforward, and easy to understand.
Since Spanish is the second most widely used language for international communication, those fluent in it would be in high demand by multinational corporations.
Its location also makes it an ideal starting point for trips to countries in North America, Central America, South America, and even the Caribbean