There aren't many cities in the world that offer a lifestyle like “la ciudad de la eterna primavera.” An English teaching job in this paradise location offers you the chance to experience something that most people will die dreaming about. If you haven’t heard much about Medellín, it would serve you well to do some research on one of the world’s most innovative cities to see what you’re missing. After reading about Medellín, if you are still not convinced that it’s a place that you’d like to call home, see below for 5 more reasons Medellín is a great place to teach English.
1.) The Climate
Where else in the world can you live where it is 72 degrees Fahrenheit every single day of the year? One of the biggest attractions to living in Medellín is certainly the weather. The city’s average annual temperature is 22 °C (72 °F), and because of its proximity to the equator and high altitude (5,000 ft or 1,500 m), its temperature is constant year round, with minimal variations. Because of the pleasant springlike climate, Medellín has been dubbed “la ciudad de la eterna primavera,” which means “the city of eternal spring.” The biggest decision you will ever have to make in the morning is whether you are going to wear a short or long sleeve t-shirt.
2.) The Culture
The inhabitants of Medellín are referred to as Antioqueños (Antioquians) named after their province. They are also often known as Paisas, a name which some suggest comes from the coffee growers. The term Paisa comes from the word paisano (fellow countryman). Paisas make up one of the five different regional cultures within Colombia. The Paisa region includes the states of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio and some towns of Valle del Cauca and Tolima.
The Paisa culture is entrepreneurial, hard-working, and famously hospitable. Paisas are known to speak softly and quickly, to smile easily, to love music, poetry, soccer, bargaining in the markets, and parties. They are proud of their city, and work hard to keep it clean, stemming from the campaign begun in the 1980s, “Depende tambien de ti, darle amor a Medellín” (It depends on you too to give love to Medellín).
If you open yourself up to the Paisa culture, you are sure to fall in love with it.
3.) The Nightlife
Nightlife in Medellín is generally referred to as La Rumba, which means party. It’s hard to find a Paisa who isn’t all about La Rumba on the weekends…or whenever there is a good excuse, for that matter. The Medellín nightlife generally takes place in discos, pubs, parks, and certain dedicated streets. There is a neighborhood that fits everyone’s style of going out. If you make a lot of Colombian friends, they will surely introduce you to one of their favorite alcoholic beverages. Be careful with aguardiente… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
The metropolitan area of Medellín lies within the Aburrá valley at an elevation of 1,500 meters (about 4921 feet) and is divided by the Medllín River. Because of its proximity to the mountains, Medellín offers easy access to many trails, lakes, forests and streams, where you can go trekking, kayaking, biking, camping, fishing, swimming, sailing rowing, horseback riding, do bike tours and have picnics. The Arví Ecotourism Park and other popular destinations just outside the city offer incredible views and experiences with nature.
5.) Cost of Living
While you’re not going to get rich teaching English in Medellín, you’re certainly not going to go broke either. Everything from housing, food, to going out is unbelievably cheap, for the most part. Of course, there are always ways you can find to spend money, but the cost of living in Medellín for an English teacher is roughly $1,000 per month on average (a little less or a little more depending on your preferences). As an English teacher, you can expect to pull in as much as $1,500-$2,000 per month. You can do a little better than breaking even and even stash a couple hundred bucks a month if you live within your means.