US expat Moving to Bogota?

We are a family of 5 considering a move to Bogota.  Can anyone recommend an english speaking school for our children ages 16, 12 and 8?  Are there expat neighborhoods near by?  Is it safe?  How is the medical care?  Anything else we need to know?

thanks
wende

Hello Wende.

This thread could help - Schools for expat children in Bogota. :)

Thank you,
Aurélie

Bogota have lots of bilingual schools

actually my daughter is in the Montessori British school wich is really good.you also must put in consideration wich calendar you would like as in bogota they have calendar A y B, wich for expat people calendar B y the best.



-Colegio Anglo-Colombiano (Anglo Colombian School) is a private coeducational non-denominational school founded in 1956 by a distinguised group of Colombians and British citizens.

-The British International College (Colegio Britanico Internacional) is a co-educational, Catholic, bilingual school (English-Spanish) offering a curriculum that meets the academic demand of both the International.

-Colegio Gran Bretaña is a private international school with the aim of offering children in Bogotá a high quality education in a challenging international environment for learning.

- Colegio Nueva Granada, is a private bilingual co-educational day school in Bogotá, Colombia founded in 1938 to provide students from Kinder 4 to grade 12 with a U.S. oriented college preparatory education

-The English School is a coeducational, non-denominational day school founded by Elizabeth Masson (an American school teacher in Bogota) and her husband Richard Masson on September 4, 1961.

Best regards
Jo.

[Moderated]

[Moderated]

Hi Dieselgirl,

Because o my husband,s job we are moving to Bogota the next summer. We´ve got 2 children 11 and 9 years old and We are seriously considering The Montessori Btitish School but i´m not able to find any e-mail to contact them, could you tell me where I can find it?.
Any opinion about this school will be really good welcome.

Kinds regards

Hi Marmu

well my daughter started at montessori last august 9th
honestly it's a awesome school, children learn alot but it's a long day for them. they usually spend 8 hours away from the time they leave and come back home.

Every saturday at 9am the school offers a tour of the school facilities.
then ask at the desk a interview appointment along with the purchase of a payroll. and some papel work and also your kids will be check by a psychologist

after that they will give you 15 days to tell you if your child are accepted.


  the email
infosistemasmontessori[at]mbs.edu.co

address

Calle 128 N.72-80 Calatrava

(57) (1) 652-85-85

best regards

Jo O'shaughnessy

Hi Dieselgirl,

First of all, thanks a lot for your answer it´s really worthy.
We are moving the next August so I think we´ll have no enought time to make all the admission process before the beginning of the classes but I´ll find out how we could manage it.

Kinds regards

no worries

just to let you know

The process is easy and fast, they admit students throughout the year,especially those who come from abroad.

take care

if you have any further questions about anything let me now. I'm here to help.

best regards
Jo.

Thanks again for your help, I have already written to the Montessori and I´m waiting for instructions.In advance, Could you tell me the monthly cost?

And one more thing, did you consider the Colegio Gran Bretaña? Does it has the same timetable than the Montessori School?

Thanks in advance and kinds regards

Hi

We pay a year around 15.000 USD! but the good thing is that Montessori don't ask for annual administration fee! Gran bretana do ask for about 2.000 UDS. that are non-refundable even if you have to removed your kids mid-school year.

So does are things that we considered.
private bilingual schools in Bogota are pretty expensive. starting with uniform that costs about 250 USD per child.

Colegio gran Bretana I don't really consider, because it's located far away from our area, would do worse. Montessori is only 20 minutes in good traffic.

before my daughter started going to the big school, I was very concerned to see many children just waiting for the school bus at 6am. so that mean they must to wake up  half an hour before just to get ready.

Also I have a friend that used to have her 13 year old daughter and have to remove her from Gran Breatana beacuse she says, she was not learning enough...

hope it help you.

We're also looking for a school for our 15 year old starting in august. Based on purely our expat experience I'd like to go with Garn Bretana but I don't think it can meet my son's academic needs. We're looking at Anglo-Colombiano. Do you happen to know anyone there? They definitely have the upper-level classes but few expats, which isnt't necessarily our first priority anyway. Unfortunately, I have yet to read anything positive about Nueva Grenada. I think Anglo-Colombiano is our best option unless anyone has suggestions.

Thanks!

Hi Erininpr


Colegio Nueva Granada at first interested me because it's near my area, I send an email with questions and concerns, but unfortunately they answer came three months later! .. It did not seem very ethical of them to respond so late.

My husband is British, my daughter is American; English is our language at home.
when I went to visit Montessori School, I fell in love immediately, the main teachers are native english speaker and that was our priority that our 5 years old daughter kept the English.

Cologio Anglo Colombiano? not even crossed my head, we didn't had interest in it at all.
 
sorry.

best regards

Jo.

Jo,

Their website isn't very complete so I didn't realize they went to 12th grade. Do you truly feel they would be a great place? My husband is in Bogota right now so I am going to have him visit. I had the same feeling about Nueva Granada. It's really at the bottom of my list because they are unresponsive and I've heard bad things. We'll look more at the Montessori school. Thanks!

Erin

Erin,

Montessori it's a great place, you will be surprise with the facilities of the school. they are amazing My daughter totally love it.
it's funny on saturday when she came to our bed roon dress up for school.

if you have other questions about anything do not hesitate to ask; I have two years living here, what a shame that will be the last year. especially because of the school, the education in Bogota is very good.


take care.

Jo.

Hi!

I was born in Bogota and went to school here, based on that I can give you a valuable opinion about schools. Although there are many bilingual schools in the city the ones named here are in fact the best (in bilingual education at least).

Lets start of with Colegio Nueva Granada, or also known as CNG: For years it's had a great reputation, but I think (and it's just MY opinion) that much of it is just that, a reputation. It's very distinguished and many of Bogota's "high-class" children have attended this school, ex-presidents, politician's children, etc. I have met people that studied there and I think their english was good, but (and of course I'm generalizing here) most are pretty * snobby*
 

Colegio Anglo-Colombiano: I think this would be a good choice, the school has been known for having an overall good academic level as well as  for their high english level.

and last but not least...

After reading your posts I see that The Montessori British School is one of the favorites.
Montessori is fairly new, compared to the other schools I talked about but it gained popularity quickly in the city. I know kids that go there, my cousins (ages: 6-12) From what I see they not only have a great english level but also a great environment. The school is in the city but somehow manages to have a fun and opened campus, it's nice. From what I've seen with my cousins it is very demanding, one of them even had to drop out :S, But all the others are really happy and love their school.

So that's it, I hope this info is helpful.
If you have any questions, just ask!
:)

Hi Jo,

I have no answer from the Montessori, may be I´ve got the incorrect e-mail, could you be so kind to check for me?: infosistemasmontessori[at]mbs.edu.co

Thanks in advance

Hi Erin,

Did your husband finally go to the Montessori? May be you could share here your opinions about the schools you are visiting. My husband is not going till the next May and the rest of the family till August at the beginning of the School Year, so we are looking for schools through the webs and the forums about the subject but it will be really worthy if you comment your feed back.

Kind regards

Hi Marmu



the email address I provide is the only one that appears on the website, and also it's the same from which I receive weekly circulars, I don't know why it does not work.

well the only thing I can think is my daughter's teacher email address, maybe he can provide the email for admissions

His name is Joe Rood, botero[at]mbs.edu.co


best regards

Jo.

Bogotana - Thank you for your thoughts on the schools. It is helpful!

Marmu,

I have looked into numerous schools since we learned we are moving to Bogota and I have definitely ruled out Colegio Nueva Granada.

Our 1st choice school is Colegio Anglo-Colombiano. I have written to the admissions woman via email and she has been so responsive and helpful that it made me think that it might be a great place to be. My husband visited a couple days ago and he loved it. They have a great curriculum with lots of choices but they also seem to be very innovative and concerned with making each student's school experience great for their own individual needs, etc. In addition, I've been sending out my CV looking for a teaching job and I would love to work at this school.

Our 2nd choice school is Colegio Gran Bretana, which I think would be a nice, comfortable place to be but they don't have the academics that my son needs. (No high-level science and math classes.) However, since it seems like a great atmosphere and international feel, we'll make it work if Anglo-Colombiano doesn't work out. My husband visited and he liked it and people seem happy there but we aren't necessarily looking for an international school although, from experience, they are great places to be. Comfortable is the best word I have for it. However, it is very far out of the city.

My husband went to see the Montessori British School, which he said would be fabulous if our son was ten years younger. Unfortunately, no one there that day could tell him about the curriculum for older kids. They are adding grades each year and now they have 10th grade in the coming year for the first time, which is where our son would be. (Our older son graduates this year.) So, we're trying to get more information because he was intrigued but because we don't know enough, this will be a 3rd choice school. If we get more information, I'm open to considering it more seriously.

I hope that helps! Since my husband is already working in Bogota, it helps a lot in planning for the move (even as difficult as it is having him away from home so much). We will be visiting in April and my son will be visiting/interviewing at schools so I will be able to give you more information at that point.

Erin

Very nice comments on the schools in Bogotá. I'm moving there in about 2 weeks.  I visited Bogotá for the 1st time 2 weeks ago and were looking for an apt to live + schools. My husband and I loved the Montessori British School for our 5-yerar old boy.

As far as Kinders, if someone is interested, we liked vey much Platero y Yo. A small kinder for up to 4-5 year old kids. Very nice artistic Reggio Emilia methodology. And the Principals were very nice. And they have optional afternoon with English classes + swimming at a club.

Many people also recommended BaBiDiBu, but I honestly dod not like it. The presentation meeting was long, the Principal was a bit chaotic, and seemed too much interested in the parents occupations and background. I guess Colombians like it because kids from Babidibu more easily are accepted in the "main" schools of Bogotá. Because I know I'm only staying 4 years in COlombia, I could just choose the one I liked best, not the ones that are supposed to put my kids on the "preferred" schools for Bogotanos ... The building is nice, the location is great but they are about to moved from 92 to 77 I guess, which anyway would be too far for us. Oh, also, they don't teach English.

I also visited Arco Iris, which is in a lovely building and in a very good are, but they had two problems: they don't teach English and also are about to be moved (don't know yet where).

Your reply made me realize that I should post a follow up to my original note.

We went to Bogota and interviewed and met with administration at Anglo-Colombiano and Gran Bretana. I really liked Anglo-Colombiano but in the end, we chose Gran Bretana. They are slowly increasing the course offerings in the high-level academics and we had so many people tell us how great it was. In addition, my son found a friend of his there from another international school a couple years ago and he was able to visit a science class and loved it. All in all, I think we made the best choice available to us but if our son were a bit younger, we would have more options to choose from. I really think Alcaparros is a great option but unfortunately too bilingual for my son's age.

If anyone wants more detailed info, feel free to send me a message.

Erin

I loved Alcaparros academic proposal, the campus is great, but unfortunately it is a bit far, a long trip for younger kids, unless you live in La Calera.

Hi, we are group of ex-teachers from Montessori British School in Bogota Colombia and we are trying to spread the warn people about the school.  There are so many things wrong about the school.  For instance, the kids speak incredibly poor English even though it's called a "British" school.

We have made blogs detailing every aspect of the school.
The links are

downwithmbs.wordpress.com (english)

profescontrambs.wordpress.com (spanish)

anyone with kids [at] Nueva Granada? any comments

I only ran into a few people who said they decided Nueva Granada wasn't a good place for their kids (bullying problems) and we met two families who actually left and went to Gran Bretana. I haven't met anyone who presently has kids at the school.

Erin

When I worked at The Montessori they asked me to falsify an exam to make the end of year Cambridge grades look good. I refused.

90% of the teachers there are not qualified in the field they teach in.

Do not believe everything you hear this lady say.

my advise is that you contact Us embassy for this school info. there are several american schools, but you need to live not too far from them as traffic is heavy in the city. I remember seeing several of them, one was Abraham Lincoln school, George Washington,etc  but it is better that you contact the embassy for advise...
many private and good healthcare companies...try COLSANITAS or Compensar...
Bogota in general is safe but as all big cities, this city have neighbourhoods that can sometimes be dangerous, specially at night time...avoid walking around at night time.
stay in the north part of the city, in areas such as USAQUEN, Santa Barbara, cedritos, Multicentro, Country, etc...
have a good stay and enjoy your time in bogota. It is a great city!!

Hi Everyone,

I am considering moving to Bogota and am trying to do a budget.
First of all thanks a lot for all those helpfull comments.

At the collegio GRan Bretana what are the annual scholarship costs and fees ?

thanks

guill

Hi my daughter just got accepted into CGB
the total amount to be pay is the $25.000.000 Colombian pesos

but because is the first time. if my daughter continuing studying there for the next 5 years. we only have to pay the monthly payment that is in between 3.000.000 to 4.000.000 pesos. that include food and transport.

CGB looks really good and they do teach in English

Please do not put your kids in Montessori it's the most
false school I have ever see.
my daughter was there and it was really bad.


kind Regards
jo.

Hi Erin,
How's Bogota so far? We r Canadians living in Puerto Rico soon to move to Bogota. Do you know where the expat communities are? How's the school? I was looking at CGB and CNG. In your opinion which one is better?  How do parents take their children to school if there is the driving restriction for private cars on certain days? Any tips are appreciated.

D

How is CGB so far? Do you have tips as to the best communities close to school, safety, life in Bogota?

My jaw absolutely dropped at the 25,000,000 COP price tag for CGB.

:o

Axita,

I just sent a (long-winded) message via your inbox. :)

Erin

Thanks, I got it. I replied to you too.

Could you please share the information you sent to Axita in regards to English schools?  We are moving to Bogota in 1 month and are looking for an outstanding English school for our 7 yeas old daughter.

Your opinions would be greatly appreciated,
Liliana

Although it seems everyone here has been focusing on the school aspect of your inquiry, I can vouch for the medical care here in Colombia. I am in Barranquilla, but sure it is just as good...and likely better...in Bogota.

Colombia has a national health insurance system, which you really want to get on. My wife and I pay a total of $90-100 a month for this. Well worth it. I recently had a medical situation which kept me in the hospital for almost a month (heart attack). The total out of pocket cost was $150. This included a stay in the ICU and then a private room after recovering enough to be released from the ICU. Very good care, although it can be a bit smothering at times.

I will warn you, though, things happen a lot slower in Colombia than in the US. Whereas, the US wants to get you fixed asap and send you home, I think Colombia wants to keep you in the hospital as long as they can. So, if you ever have the need, communicate very well with the doctors about the time line and plan for your treatment, and then hold them to it.

Anyway, hope this helps.

JRC410 :

I will warn you, though, things happen a lot slower in Colombia than in the US. Whereas, the US wants to get you fixed asap and send you home, I think Colombia wants to keep you in the hospital as long as they can. So, if you ever have the need, communicate very well with the doctors about the time line and plan for your treatment, and then hold them to it.

Yes this comment is valid for people having a good medical coverage (Medicina prepagada, they call it).
If you are a poor Colombian with only the standard social security (EPS), and even worse with the subsidized EPS, hospitals will send you back home as fast as they can.

Shout out to JRC410 and SteveRusso - read these and other posts you guys have made and appreciate the great information.

[at]JRC410,  I am marrried to a Colombiana and living in Bogotá.  Could you provide me some information about the national health insurance, ie: provider, or who to contact to get signed up?

Kind regards,

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