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Current U.S. Student

United States citizens who are currently enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are eligible to apply.If you are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at a U.S. college or university, you will apply through that institution, even if you are not currently a resident there. Find the Fulbright Program Adviser on your campus.

U.S. Citizen but not a Student

If you are a U.S. citizen, will hold a bachelor’s degree by the award start date, and do not have a Ph.D. degree, then you are eligible to apply. Non-enrolled applicants should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Candidates with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

The Getting Started page will provide information on eligibility and next steps.


The Fulbright U.S. Student Program welcomes applications in the creative and performing arts. Arts candidates for the U.S. Student Program should have relatively limited professional experience in the fields (typically 7 years or less) in which they are applying. Artists with more experience should consider applying for the Fulbright Scholar Program.

Creative & Performing Arts projects fall under the Study/Research grant category and are available in all countries where Study/Research grants are offered.


U.S. Professor/Administrator

If you are a U.S. citizen and a professor or administrator at a U.S. institution and are interested in applying for a Fulbright Scholar Award, you will need to apply through

To support your students in applying for a U.S. Student Program award, please connect with the Fulbright Program Adviser at your institution.

Non U.S. Citizens

If you are a non-U.S. citizen interested in applying for a Fulbright Award to the United States, you will need to apply through the Fulbright Commission or U.S. Embassy in your home country. Find out more information on the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program or Fulbright Foreign Student Program.


60 English Teaching Assistant Award

Accepted Degree Levels
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Grant Period
August Start
Grant Length
10 Months
Award Type
English Teaching Assistant
Award Profile

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant Program (ETA), in collaboration with the Ministry of National Education and ICETEX, will offer up to 60 Fulbright ETA awards for the 2025-2026 academic year in Colombia. The Fulbright ETA Program aims to strengthen English language instruction at Colombian Post-Secondary and/or Tertiary Education Institutions* by establishing the presence of native speakers. At the same time, U.S. participants benefit from the intensive cross-cultural interaction and international educational and/or research opportunities provided at the host institution.

The grantee will be assigned to a specific academic institution based on the candidate's academic profile and the specific needs of the host institution. ETAs will be assigned as language-teaching assistants for up to 30 hours per week (20 hours for lessons and class activities and 10 hours for planning). Responsibilities may include giving presentations on different topics related to the United States, preparing classroom activities, and/or encouraging Colombian students to communicate in English.

Lessons and class activities may include but are not limited to:

  1. Supporting English instructors in the classroom according to the Action Plan and Schedule agreed upon.
  2. Designing and implementing projects that will support the improvement of communicative skills, according to the needs and resources of each of the Host Institutions.
  3. Proposing or supporting activities that promote multiculturalism and cultural exchange.
  4. Preparing students for international English exams such as the TOEFL or IELTS.
  5. Tutoring students, administrative staff, and/or teachers in English, preparing classroom activities, and/or encouraging students to communicate in English.

Also, grantees are required to engage in a social/volunteer project related to their personal, career, and/or educational interests (approximately 10 to 15 hours per week are to be spent on this project). They should keep in mind that these activities should be flexible concerning geographic location.

The Fulbright English Teaching Assistant (ETA) Program not only provides a unique opportunity for individuals interested in teaching English but also creates a platform for fostering a deep cultural exchange between host institutions and participants. Unlike traditional study abroad experiences, the Fulbright ETA Program is more than an investment in participants' professional development; it is a significant contribution to Colombia's educational progress. As ETAs, individuals play a key role in shaping the country's educational landscape in line with its broader goals of achieving academic excellence and fostering international cooperation. This formal teaching experience provides participants not only with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in Colombian culture, foster mutual understanding, and actively promote cultural diplomacy but also impact communities and generate change.

*Tertiary Education Institutions: University Institutions, Technological Institutions and Professional Technical Institutions.

Grant Length
10 Months
Grant Period
August Start

Grant dates correspond to the academic year, August 2025 to May 2026. Changes to or deferrals of the grant period are not allowed. Through a selection process, Fulbright Colombia offers a select number of grantees the opportunity to extend their grants in Colombia for a second academic year through the "Senior ETA Program." Senior ETAs receive the same benefits as they did in their first year, including round-trip airfare. 

Senior ETAs are assigned to a different host institution, based on the experience gained during their first year and their academic profile. Instead of the Supplementary Project, Senior ETAs act as mentors for new grantees.

Pre-Departure and In-Country Orientation

Before arrival, the Fulbright Commission offers a series of informative webinars in which relevant information is shared regarding the grantees’ preparation, the visa application process, and grant document processing, among other key aspects for a successful grant start. The grant period begins with an Orientation Seminar organized by the Fulbright Colombia Commission in late July, developed under the hybrid modality. Attendance to the Orientation Seminar is mandatory for all ETA grantees.

Candidate Profile

Candidates with strong teaching experience or those who have worked with young adults are preferred. Also, candidates with undergraduate degrees in Education, English, Spanish, or Applied Linguistics are preferred, especially those with TESOL, TSL, or TEFL degrees. Educational Institutions in Colombia want ETAs to be native English speakers to improve both the English level and proficiency of students, teachers, and administrative staff, as well as the Language Teaching capabilities of its English teachers and instructors. 

A successful experience for ETAs is deeply related to strong intercultural abilities, adaptation skills, flexibility, resilience, and a willingness to teach others. As the Fulbright ETA Program in Colombia is very diverse in terms of the host institutions, grantees may encounter diverse challenges not only in intercultural aspects but also in their professional experience. The demands and needs of each language program/department/campus may vary, even on a single campus. 

What is life like for Fulbrighters in the host country?

Life for Fulbrighters in Colombia can be varied and enriching. Colombia offers a vibrant cultural scene, rich history, and stunning natural landscapes for Fulbrighters to explore.

Fulbrighters in Colombia often find themselves immersed in a welcoming and hospitable society where people are eager to share their culture and traditions. They can experience the warmth of Colombian hospitality firsthand, whether through conversations with locals, participating in cultural events, or enjoying traditional Colombian cuisine, as well as a natural curiosity to learn about the diversity and culture of the United States.

Academically, Fulbrighters will have the opportunity to interact with leading grantees, teachers, and researchers in their field, as Colombia is home to several prestigious universities and research institutions. They can also contribute to the academic community through teaching, research, or both, fostering cross-cultural exchange and collaboration.

While living in Colombia, Fulbrighters may encounter some challenges, such as language barriers, adapting to a new environment with each host institution, or adjusting to a different pace of life, but these are often outweighed by the rewards of cultural immersion and personal growth. Overall, Fulbright life in Colombia is characterized by a blend of academic pursuits, cultural exploration, impact on diverse regions, and meaningful connections with the local community.

For more information, please visit our website, where you will find testimonials, videos, and photos from past Fulbright ETA grantees. We also invite you to follow us on our social networks to keep up with all of our grantees' experiences in Colombia.

Residency in host country permitted in year prior to grant
Dual citizens of this country are eligible

  • U.S. citizens holding dual U.S.-Colombian citizenship are eligible. 
  • Residency in the host country is permitted in the year prior to the grant. 
  • Grantees with dual U.S. and Colombian nationality are required by Colombian law to enter the country on a Colombian passport.
Degree Level of Applicant
  • Bachelor's
  • Master's
Foreign Language Proficiency
Required - Intermediate

Spanish language proficiency is required, not only for the development of the proposed grant activities but also in order to more easily settle in and communicate on a daily basis. Applicants should discuss plans for language study between the time of their application and the commencement of the grant with the Language Self-Evaluation. A Foreign Language Evaluation by a college-level Spanish language instructor is also required.

Placement Type
  • University/Post-Secondary Institution
  • Other Educational/Community Institution

Post-Secondary and/or Tertiary education Institutions: Teacher Training Schools (Escuelas Normales Superiores), Universities (Universidades), University Institutions (Instituciones Universitarias), Technological Institutions (Instituciones Tecnológicas), Professional Technical Institutions, (Instituciones Técnicas Profesionales).

Placement locations vary and will not be limited to specific host institutions. Host institutions include both public and private Post-Secondary and/or Tertiary education Institutions throughout the country, many of which offer teaching-training degree programs in a foreign language. Other grantees will work with beginner-level English young and adult learners. Placement is done based on the host institution's availability, the institution's needs, the grantee's background and skills, the grantee’s interests (to the extent that it is possible), and the parameters of the program sponsor. While candidates may express their preferences for their host institution, they must be flexible, as these are determined depending on Colombia's educational needs and available slots.

Placement Locations
  • Capital City
  • Regional City
  • Rural

All placements are security-cleared by the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. For some specific placements, the U.S. Embassy may provide additional security recommendations. All ground travel in Colombia must be approved by the Fulbright Colombia Commission and the U.S. Embassy before making travel arrangements.

While grantees are encouraged to explore the cultural and biological richness of the country, any travel not related to the grant must not interfere with the needs of the host institution or the academic schedule of the ETA grantee. Please note that all domestic and international travel during the grant period in Colombia, including fieldwork trips, must be approved by the Fulbright Commission.

It is worth mentioning that the main cities of Colombia are usually the most desired by all applicants. These are Bogota D.C., Medellín, and Cali; but just 30% of our grantees tend to be placed there, and the remaining 70% (the majority) are located in cities/municipalities other than the three main cities. Therefore, bearing in mind Colombia's cultural and social diversity, the Commission seeks candidates who are resilient, adaptable, and flexible in the face of difficult, challenging, and changing situations, as well as candidates who want to impact those remote regions.

Supplementary Project

Grantees are expected to engage in a social or community project related to their academic and personal interests. Applicants should keep in mind that these activities should take place in the region where they are located. The Commission offers additional resources so that the grantee can find an institution to carry out their social project, but this is ultimately the responsibility of each grantee.

Award Benefits
  • A stipend broadly based on the cost of living in the host country. These funds may be used by the grantee to support housing, meals, and incidental costs during the grant period.
  • International travel benefits
  • Accident & sickness health benefits
  • 24/7 mental health support line for urgent and non-urgent situations
  • 12 months of non-competitive eligibility (NCE) hiring status within the federal government
  • English language teaching preparatory course
Stipend Amount

This is an estimated amount and is subject to change. The financial terms of the grant will be confirmed in the grant document issued after selection.

879.00 monthly stipend amount in
$ [US Dollar]

The monthly stipend is based on the local social and economic context. This stipend is intended to cover various living expenses in Colombia, including settling in, maintenance, housing, etc. It's important to note that while this stipend contributes to the essentials of daily life, it is not designed to cover additional activities such as travel, entertainment, or other non-essential expenses.

At the time this award description was published, the Monthly Stipend in Purchasing Power Parity rate (PPP) corresponds to USD 2,578. This is a preliminary estimate projected in U.S. dollars at market exchange rates. These values are estimates and depend on the availability of funding from stakeholders for the development of the Program.

Additional Grant Benefits
  • Health insurance (in addition to ASPE)
  • Mid-year seminar

In addition to the universal Fulbright US Student grant benefits provided (see "Award Benefits" section), Colombia also provides the following benefits to grantees:

  • Additional health insurance.
  • Assistance in the visa application process.
  • Orientation Seminar at the beginning of the grant period.
  • Mid-Year Enrichment Seminar.
  • Monitoring and advising by the Fulbright Commission during the period of stay in the country.
Estimated Cost of Living

Consider using cost of living comparison websites to gain a better understanding of the potential costs in your host country.

Navigating life in Colombia involves understanding the expected daily expenses. This includes housing, daily necessities, and cultural activities. The cost of living in Colombia varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. Affluent areas, such as Cartagena's Boca Grande and Medellín's El Poblado, generally charge more for rent and food. In addition, cities known for tourism often have higher overall costs, with more budget-friendly housing alternatives typically found away from the beach.

The Commission strongly recommends that interested candidates explore various non-official websites for comprehensive information on the estimated cost of living in Colombia. Platforms such as Numbeo, Expatistan, and Causa-Efecto-Propuesta serve as valuable references and provide insight into the financial aspects associated with living in the country. However, it's important to note that these are external resources and are not officially affiliated with the Commission.

Dependent financial support is NOT available
Housing Arrangements

Fulbright Colombia provides general information to grantees about housing options. While the Commission can assist with providing housing information, they cannot make any housing arrangements. It is the grantee’s responsibility to secure housing in Colombia, during the grant period, according to their preferences and needs. 

Grantees are strongly encouraged to contact the International Relations Office at their host institution, which is accustomed to receiving foreign students and therefore, may be able to share resources for housing in different cities. The Commission and its staff understand that the placement process may cause some concern and anxiety for the candidate, especially in the face of the need to find housing. For this reason, the Commission will offer additional resources, such as past experiences and mentoring (when available), so that once the placement is communicated, the grantee can choose their housing.

Fulbright Program Management Contact
Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Website
Country Profile

Life as a U.S. Fulbrighter in Colombia

Located in the northwest corner of South America, Colombia has a rich and complex geography that is shaped by three exuberant branches of the Andes mountain range system and lined by both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. With more than 50 million citizens, Colombia has the second-largest population in South America and is Latin America’s oldest and most stable democracy. Colombia is a free market economy with major commercial and investment ties to countries around the world, including the United States.

In the last five years, Colombia has established itself as one of the most innovative economies in Latin America. The country’s natural diversity is comparable to its rich cultural heritage reflecting the indigenous, Spanish, and African origins of its people. This makes Colombian food, music, dance, and art greatly diverse and unique.

Colombia is a paradigmatic example of a middle-income economy, and although still highly dependent on fossil fuels for national income, it is poised to transition towards a carbon-neutral and circular economy which could become a replicable example for other developing countries. Colombia's diversity –ecosystemic, economic, social, and cultural– offers an engaging setting for research projects that seek to find solutions to the largest global challenges of our times.

A remarkable location for biodiversity, sustainable development, and peace studies

Colombia has always been a preferred destination for students and scholars worldwide conducting research or interested in biodiversity and sustainable development. As the second most biodiverse country in the world, Colombia opens numerous possibilities for academic visitors to expand their knowledge. Colombia houses an unparalleled diversity of natural environments ranging from plains and deserts to high mountains, snowy peaks, Amazonian jungle, and Pacific and Caribbean coastlines — each with its own set of unique fauna and flora. Thus, providing the perfect context for adventurous scholars aiming to engage in research on distinct ecologies and establish networks with local communities. 

As one of the largest economies in Latin America, Colombia has the potential to influence the region as a whole, and in particular, exemplify a pathway towards sustainable development despite challenging sociopolitical contexts. The country’s deep connection with the Pacific Alliance and its strategic geographic location, as well as its historic drive in international contexts, position Colombia to lead efforts that can be transformative at the regional and global levels.

Due to its location and geographical situation, Colombia has been identified as being among the most vulnerable countries in the face of climate change. Along these lines, education at all levels plays a key role in the adoption of change towards sustainability, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.

In recent years, the country has also become a primary destination for those studying peace processes, rural development, and social transformation. In recent years, Colombia has undergone a remarkable transformation that has turned the tide on a long-running civil conflict. The signing of the peace agreement in 2016 between the 50-year-old FARC guerrilla group and the administration of former president Juan Manuel Santos opened up a historical opportunity for peacebuilding in Colombia, especially in regions heavily affected by decades of conflict.

There has been considerable progress in the implementation of the peace agreement, particularly in terms of the demobilization of the former insurgency, and the recognition and reparation for victims; however, there are several key points of the agreement that are lagging, such as the comprehensive rural reform, FARC political participation, the cessation of violence in some regions, the solution to the problem of illicit drugs, and violence against demobilized ex-combatants. 

The Ivan Duque administration focused on and prioritized specific parts of the Agreement such as reincorporation, the formulation of national rural development plans, and issues related to the PDET (Programs of development with territorial approach, by its Spanish acronym). The main achievements in this field were the attention to the most abandoned municipalities of Colombia, the substitution of illicit crops, and the financing of productive projects led by ex-combatants. 

Under the “Total Peace” policy, the current government aims to involve other armed groups and criminal bands that have caused violence in peace negotiations and processes of submission to justice. This policy puts the communities at the center of negotiations and creates a fund for peace that seeks social investment for distant regions highly affected by the presence of irregular armed groups. The current government has publicly announced its commitment to work on the breached agreements through the discussion of rural reform and has also begun to conduct peace dialogues with the ELN guerrilla group to achieve more peace and stability. 

While there have been major improvements in Colombia in terms of security, significant challenges remain for the successful implementation of the peace agreements and the reintegration of the members of the former insurgency. 

Colombia’s current challenges and Government agenda

During the last decade, Colombia has consolidated a visible leadership in the area of sustainability on the political agenda in the region, discussing clean energies, energy transition, and strategies to tackle the climate crisis in Latin America. In this sense, the country has gained recognition for setting in place the first regional policy on circular economy and is trying to advance a Climate Action Law in Congress, which seeks to enforce UN Climate Change Conference (COP) commitments. In 2022, President Gustavo Petro stated during the United Nations General Assembly that the protection of the environment and biodiversity was a priority for the country. 

Another recent challenge in Colombia is the increasing inflow of migrants from Venezuela in past years. As of August 2023, approximately 2.8 million Venezuelans had arrived in Colombia, according to Colombian official statistics. Colombia has taken a leading role in adopting an open borders policy and implementing humanitarian practices in the provision of services such as education, healthcare, employment services, and humanitarian aid to Venezuelan migrants and repatriated Colombians.

Lastly, Colombia started a recent transformation towards the recognition of political and cultural rights of different groups of populations based on their ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation. The National Plan of Development of the current administration (2022-2026) states that Colombia will guarantee the inclusion and effective implementation of a differential approach, in which the transformations it proposes will be carried out with the Colombian population in all its diversities, to achieve changes that lead us to an inclusive and free society of stereotypes and stigmas.

These transformations seek to overcome, among other things, discrimination based on gender, so that diversity is a source of sustainable development and not exclusion in our society. This way, the Petro administration has placed a priority on adopting advanced policies that recognize the importance of diversity and social inclusion to overcome current social, political, and economic challenges.

Colombia’s economic context

Colombia is the fourth-largest economy in Latin America, with a GDP of around USD 350 billion in 2022, and a population of 52 million. Colombia has consistently grown faster than the Latin American average over the past decade, supported by the peace deal with the FARC guerrilla movement in 2016, but remains notably poorer than the regional average in per capita terms.

Due to its mountainous geography, Colombia is more culturally and geographically diverse than many Latin American countries. Large parts of the country are very isolated, and building infrastructure is a challenge in many cases. For this reason, it is important to note the economic differences between the different regions. The most developed part of Colombia is its interior, including some departments such as Cundinamarca (including Bogotá D.C.), Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, and Santander. These departments have a well-developed commercial and industrial base, especially in their capitals. Antioquia, Valle del Cauca and Santander also have important agricultural industries. On the contrary, peripheral departments such as Sucre, Cesar, and Magdalena (on the Caribbean coast), and Chocó, Cauca, and Nariño (on the Pacific coast) are among the most underdeveloped in Colombia. These departments base their economies on agriculture, cattle ranching, and mineral extraction which is also an important part of the economy.

Colombia has a pronounced socioeconomic stratification, especially in the large urban centers, where neighborhoods are divided into “estratos”. Colombian cities are geographically divided into six socio-economic strata (from the lowest stratum 1 to the highest stratum 6), in which dwellings are grouped according to their characteristics and the area where they are located. Estrato 1 includes the most economically disadvantaged neighborhoods, while estratos 3 and 4 represent the middle class, and estratos 5 and 6 represent more affluent communities.

In 2024, the current minimum wage in Colombia was set at COP 1,300,606 per month. When converted, this amount is approximately 332 USD, subject to exchange rate fluctuations. According to Colombia's National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), supported by the Ministry of Labor, more than 2.2 million people earn only the minimum wage, representing 9.9% of the country's 22.7 million workers.

Educational System Overview

In recent years, Colombia has made education a top priority in the country’s economic and social development and has invested more resources in this sector than in any other area. Colombia is a country that has made great efforts to offer inclusive and quality education for all by implementing policies that have increased the number of hours that children attend school, ensured access to education for children of younger ages, and strengthened the bridge into higher education settings. The country has also focused on increasing access to higher education for vulnerable and marginalized populations and investing in improving teacher training and development.

Colombia has invested in education as a main driver of transformation in the middle of what is perhaps the greatest socio-economic challenge of its recent history: the beginning of the post-conflict and the opening of the country after more than 50 years of war. Despite the challenges, the country has many advantages: abundant natural resources, an open economy that has had significant growth in recent years, and, especially, a population of around 50.8 million inhabitants, full of hope and ideas to transform their country.

Education in Colombia is a right and is mandatory for citizens between 5 and 15 years of age. The education system is structured as follows:

  1. Initial Education and Comprehensive Care for Early Childhood starts at birth and continues until the child is 6 years old. Very recently (in 2016), the country created a federal policy called: “De Cero a Siempre” (From Zero to Always) that promotes regulatory and technical innovations in early childhood education. There are around 2 million children and pregnant or lactating mothers in the Initial Education System, which addresses the well-being, education, health, nutrition, recreation, and socialization of children.
  2. Basic Education includes grades from 1st to 9th (children from 6 to 14 years old). Approximately 7.5 million students are enrolled in Basic Education, in more than 50,000 school campuses (sedes escolares). Many state-run schools in Colombia have an estimated school day of 5 to 6 hours, although the government's effort has focused on increasing the school day to 7 hours in order to achieve equity. Such efforts are in response to the fact that around 19% of basic education students and 23% of middle school students attend private education institutions, where students receive around 8 hours of instruction.
  3. Middle Education lasts for two years, from 10th to 11th grade (15 to 16 years old). Approximately 1.4 million young people are enrolled in Middle Education. Students can study in general academic training programs (academic baccalaureate), vocational training and education programs (technical baccalaureate), or in one of the 137 Teacher Training Schools (Escuelas Normales Superiores), which train future preschool and elementary teachers.

    Students in Teacher Training Schools (Escuelas Normales Superiores) complete grade 11 and receive a high school diploma. If they wish to become preschool and elementary teachers, they can continue their teacher training education at the same institution, where they proceed with more advanced studies in pedagogy and teaching subjects for two more years (complementary cycle).

    Upon successful completion of Middle Education, students receive a bachelor's degree and take the national test (SABER 11) in order to enter higher education.

  4. Higher Education System: there are approximately 381 Higher Education Institutions (HEI), which offer academic and vocational programs. The HEIs are divided as follows:
    • Universities (Universidades) offer both undergraduate academic programs and graduate programs (Specialization, Master's, and Doctoral degrees), and participate in scientific and technological research. 28% of HEIs are universities.
    • University Institutions (Instituciones Universitarias) offer professional undergraduate and specialization programs only. 44% of HIEs correspond to this category.
    • Technological Institutions (Instituciones Tecnológicas) offer technical programs. 17% of HEIs are technological institutions.
    • Professional Technical Institutions (Instituciones Técnicas Profesionales) offer professional training programs for specific jobs and represent 11% of HEIs. The National Training Service (SENA) offers the majority (58%) of technical and technological higher education programs.

Due to the extent of marginalized populations, Colombia has a great variety of flexible and non-formal educational models, such as Escuela Nueva. Given its multi-ethnic and multicultural nature, Colombia also has ethno-educational centers, which are schools with majority indigenous populations, and which follow an ethnic education program that is developed in collaboration with the local community. 

Finally, it is important to highlight the efforts made by the Colombian government to lead the energy transition and strategies to tackle the climate crisis in Latin America. In this sense, the country has gained recognition for setting in place the first regional policy on circular economy and its progress, making headway in discussing a Climate Action Law in Congress aiming at drawing together and enforcing COP26 commitments.

A diversified and connected system of higher education

In recent years, Colombia has made education a top priority in the country’s economic and social development and has invested more resources in this sector than in any other area. Colombia is a country that has made great efforts to offer inclusive and high-quality education for all by implementing policies that have increased the number of hours that children attend school, ensured access to education for children of younger ages, and strengthened the bridge into higher education settings. The country has also focused on increasing access to higher education for vulnerable and marginalized populations and investing in improving teacher training and development.

Colombia has a growing and diverse higher education system, composed of over 360 active higher education institutions, offering 2,968 master’s programs and 462 doctoral programs. Out of those higher education institutions, 92 count with High-Quality Accreditation. Colombian higher education institutions have been innovating their programs and procedures to attract more foreign scholars and students. The National Ministry of Education and its allies, MinCiencias and ICETEX, have invested heavily in advancing the installed capacities of Colombia's higher education system to improve the research and teaching on their campuses.

The country has generated policies in order to increase the number of employees with graduate degrees and to encourage research. There are currently 6,160 research groups in Colombia, and the main areas of research are Social Sciences, Engineering and Technology, Humanities, Agricultural Sciences, and Natural Sciences. For further information on Research Centers and other recognized institutions that are part of the National System of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Colombia, please click here. Furthermore, the nationwide initiative “Colombia Challenge your Knowledge” (CCYK), which the top universities lead in the country, has been analyzing and implementing the best internationalization practices to attract more international visitors.

Lastly, according to the Plan Nacional Decenal de Educación (2016 - 2026), the current government is working towards an education system that promotes the social and economic development of the country, and the construction of a society based on the recognition of differences. Also, it is important to note that, this plan seeks to increase the quality of education by looking first into the social and economic aspects of how education is provided, to identify and tend to the needs of the population that is eager to ample their knowledge in different regions of Colombia.

Fulbright ETAs in Colombia

Since 2008, 661 English Teaching Assistants have visited our country, as part of the Fulbright ETA Program, to strengthen international mobility programs between Colombia and the United States, as well as academic networks between both nations, in which approximately 82 Educational Institutions in Colombia have benefited. Among those, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia, Universidad Industrial de Santander, Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina, Universidad de Boyacá, Fundación Universitaria Compensar, and Universidad Pedagógica y Tecnológica de Colombia stand out. Based on their feedback and comments, the following recommendations can facilitate future ETAs’ adaptation process and overall experience in the country.

Each host institution can be of great help to U.S. grantees to better prepare for their experience and cultural adaptation. Selected grantees are encouraged to discuss issues related to the local context, lifestyle, and culture with their hosts in the months before their arrival in order to better manage their expectations and gain a deeper understanding of everyday life in their cities of placement. Along these lines, U.S. grantees are also encouraged to reach out to the International Office of their Host Institution, which can provide insightful specific orientation and additional resources.

Maintaining close communication with the assigned Program Officer and mentors will allow the Fulbright Commission to provide orientation or assistance in a timely manner, and identify specific issues or situations in which grantees may require additional accompaniment and help.

Plan any in-country trips in advance. Please note that all domestic and international travel during the grant period in Colombia, including fieldwork trips, must be approved by the Fulbright Colombia Commission. Potential candidates can find additional information and recommendations about safety and security, health, housing, and how to prepare for living in Colombia in the Orientation Handbook for U.S. grantees available at:

Fulbright in Colombia

The Fulbright Commission in Colombia has made determined efforts aimed to enhance diversity, equity, decentralization, and access to its portfolio of opportunities for graduate studies, research, teaching, and English teaching. Broadening the geographical presence of U.S. grantees in the country has been critical to achieving these objectives. The extended coverage of Fulbright Programs for U.S. participants in the country has been possible thanks to the significant contributions from Colombian partners such as ICETEX, the National Ministry of Education, MinCiencias, SENA, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Universidad del Valle, Universidad de los Andes, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Universidad de Antioquia, Universidad del Norte, Universidad del Rosario, Universidad EAFIT, among others. 

To promote the internationalization of higher education and position Colombia as a quality academic and scientific destination, the National Government developed the Go Colombia platform in 2020, as a result of the joint work of the Colombian Association of Universities (ASCUN), the Ministry of Education, ProColombia, ICETEX and the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation. This initiative is built and articulated with the entire educational sector and Higher Education Institutions, allowing students, teachers, and researchers of any nationality to obtain relevant information on the country's educational offer. To access these resources, please click on the following link: To learn more about Colombia as a travel destination, visit

For questions related to the Fulbright U.S. Student Researcher Program in Colombia, please email Ana María Carvajal, Educational Advisor at the Fulbright Commission in Colombia at

Finally, to learn more about the history and impact of the Fulbright Program in Colombia, we invite you to watch the 65th Anniversary miniseries of Fulbright Colombia, which was an arduous work of historical memory that brings together interviews and anecdotes from members of the Fulbright Community (grantees and alumni), members of the Fulbright Colombia team, partners, members of our Board of Directors and winners of the Fulbright Excellence Award. Through 7 chapters of less than 7 minutes each, you will learn about the milestones of our Commission in parallel with historical and cultural moments in Colombia and the United States through six decades of history: click here to watch.   

Fulbright Commission/U.S. Embassy Contact
Asesoría Educativa:
Juan Andres Suarez: