Study Abroad in Colombia: Cost Of Living, Application, Tuition & Top Universities
Colombia is a South American country located at the northern tip of the continent. It is linked to Central America by Panama, while to the south, it is bordered by Ecuador and Peru. Brazil takes up most of the Eastern border with Venezuela to the northeast of the country.
This tropical country with an extensive rain forest, beautiful beaches, mountains and vast deserts also has the distinction of having access to the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.
The country of about 50 million people has numerous vibrant cities with Bogota, the capital, being the largest.
Reasons to study in Colombia
1. Three years ago, it became the fastest growing economy in the region making it one of the most favorites destinations for tourists.
2. Some of the best universities in the region are based in this country. According to the latest rankings, over 30 universities are in the top 300 universities in the continent. The National University of Colombia is the tenth in the region and 269th in the world.
3. It is a great study abroad destinations if you are interested in wildlife, nature, and conservation. This is due to the large expanse of forest, grasslands, and mountains. This makes the country rich in plant and animal species.
4. The cultural diversity of the country is amazing. A Cultural anthropologist would have a great time with many indigenous tribes with unique cultures and traditions.
Cost of living in Colombia
The cost of living in Colombia depends largely on lifestyle and location. The Colombian currency is known as the Pesos. A US dollar is roughly equivalent to about 3,076.2 Colombian pesos.
Compared to cities in western Europe, the cost of living here is very low. Even in comparisons to major capitals in the region, Colombia stands out as one of the cheapest countries to live in.
For instance, the consumer prices including rent in Mexico city (Mexico), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Buenos Aires (Argentina), San Jose (Costa Rica), Miami (USA), Panama city (Panama) and Lima (Peru) are 16.4%, 62.0%, 50.0%, 59.7%, 200.1% and 27.1% higher than Bogota (capital of colombia) respectively.
The list below shows the specific cost of some items in Colombia:
|Meal in modest restaurant||3.25 $|
|Coke/Pepsi (0.3L small bottle)||0.67 $|
|Milk (regular), (1 gallon),||3.04 $|
|Bread (0.45kg)||0.81 $|
|Rice (white)||0.45 $|
|Eggs (12||1.38 $|
|Beef Round (0.45kg)||2.18 $|
|Water (1.5 liter bottle)||1.00 $|
|Onion (0.45kg)||0.35 $|
|One way Ticket Local Transport||0.65 $|
|Monthly Pass ,||26.01 $|
|Gasoline (1 gallon)||2.69 $|
|RENT AND BASIC UTILITIES/Month||Prices|
|Basic utilities||67.40 $|
|Prepaid Mobile Tariff/min||0.06 $|
|Prepaid Mobile Tariff/min||0.06 $|
|Apartment ( 1 bedroom) city center||256.82 $|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of city Centre||237.00 $|
Students cost of living in Columbia
Study abroad students to Colombia would find it rather inexpensive. After all, the minimum wage is low which has impacted on the prices of goods and services.
That said, with a budget of around $500/month, a student can live comfortably in any Colombian city.
Applying to Study in Colombia for international students
There is no central admission body for all universities in Columbia. Whatever University you decide to attend, getting the full guide would require you to contact the University.
All of them have a functional website, so you can go there for all the information you need.
However, for you application to be accepted, all universities require the following documents:
- Proof of Spanish language proficiency
- A copy of your high school diploma if you are applying for a bachelor’s program
- Copy of bachelor’s degree for postgraduate students
- Academic transcript from your previous school
- Traveling passport
Some universities would require undergraduates students to take the ICFES exam. It is a test for Colombian students wishing to gain admission to a University.
For study abroad students wishing to stay for more than 3 months, a Colombian student visa (TP-3) is needed. The student visa is usually valid for one year. You can renew it yearly.
To apply for the visa in your home country, the place to go is the Colombian Embassy. There, you need to present the following documents:
- Your passport
- 2 passport photographs
- Proof of ability to fund your studies.
- An admission letter from the University
All documents submitted to the Embassy must be translated into Spanish. The cost of the visa is about $40.
The tuition fees in Columbia depends on whether you study at a private University or public University
Generally, private universities are more expensive. Some universities also base their tuition on the duration of the program and the number of courses per semester.
On Average, private Universities charge between $1,000 to $5,500 per semester. Public universities, on the other hand, charge a maximum of $1,000 per semester.
List of top universities in Colombia
- Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Bogota
- Universidad de los Andes, Bogota
- Universidad de Antioquía, Medellin
- Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogota
- Corporación Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Bogota
- Universidad del Valle, Cali
- Universidad EAFIT, Medellin
- Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellin
- Universidad Distrital Francisco José de Caldas, Bogota
- Universidad del Norte, Barranquilla