Here's what you get when you study abroad with CEA in Bogotá:
Experience a Colombian living environment with an independent twist when you sign up to live in CEA’s Casa de Bogotá. A homestay and apartment hybrid, this housing option enables you to have the best of both worlds. Like an apartment, you’ll reside in independent living quarters for the autonomy you desire. Like a homestay, you’ll enjoy the personalized experience of living with a Colombian host who prepares meals, cleans, and interacts with you to the level of your choosing. Casas are located close to transportation, restaurants, and shops.
CEA students have the option of living in shared apartments while abroad. Located in the north of Bogotá, these apartments cater to independent, do-it-yourself-type students who want to experience the city just as the locals do. Apartments are conveniently located near local shops, restaurants, transportation, and services. Cook delicious Colombian meals with your roommate in your kitchen, explore the personality of the surrounding neighborhood, and make your new Colombian apartment a home.
One of the benefits of studying abroad is the opportunity to explore your host country and surrounding destinations. Excursions are offered for all semester and year programs; you’ll receive a calendar of available excursions during orientation. Here are a few past excursions:
Zipaquira Salt Cathedral
Get out of the hustle and bustle of big city life for a daytrip to the Zipaquira Salt Cathedral. Just 30 miles to the north of Bogotá, Zipaquira is a historic pueblo, a town known for its vast cathedral 620 ft. below ground carved completely out of a salt mine. Explore the salt cathedral, learn about the history of the town and how the cathedral was built, do some souvenir shopping, and end the day with a typical Bogotaño lunch before heading back to the city.
Time to explore the ancient legend of El Dorado! Grab a bus to the famous Lake Guatavita, where legend claims the treasures of El Dorado are hidden. Guatavita offers a great opportunity to escape into nature and hike around the lake, as well as learn about the indigenous tribes of the region. After your hike, enjoy the day discovering small town Colombian life as you sip on coffee, tinto, and eat pandebonos, Colombian cheese pastries from a Colombian bakery.
Villa de Leyva
Located three hours outside of Bogotá, Villa de Leyva is a perfectly preserved colonial Spanish town. It is known for its paved streets, white washed buildings, and completely unspoiled colonial architecture. Here, you can hike or horseback ride to Villa de Leyva’s famous blue wells, pozos azules, as well as enjoy live music in small, open-air restaurants. Don’t forget to order an arepa boyacenca, a corn flour patty typical to the region.
Known as the City of Eternal Spring, Medellin is famous for its modern infrastructure, stunning views, and friendly people. Named City of the Year in 2012, Medellin has become a unique location overflowing with cultural activities. Students can try the city’s famous bandeja paisa, take the metro through colorful neighborhoods, or salsa the night away in Parque Lleras. The unofficial walking tour of Medellin is a must.
An UNESCO World Heritage Site, this 400-year old city continues to draw people thanks to its vibrant colors, colonial architecture, outstanding gastronomy, and beautiful beaches. Many claim that Cartagena is one of the most captivating cities in the Americas. Take a trip to Playa Blanca to experience what Colombians consider their most beautiful beach, eat fried fish with famous coconut rice, and get lost walking through the old walled city, replete with ancient cannons left behind from the days of pirates.
The Coffee Triangle is perfect for those who want to plunge into Colombian coffee culture, where they can learn about the cultivation and production of the country’s most emblematic export. Take a tour of a coffee farm and learn how coffee is produced from bean to coffee cup, before drinking some of the farm’s product and spending the rest of the day relaxing in the mountains. Next, head over to Salento to hike or horseback ride through the Valle de Cocora, known for its tall wax palm trees. Don’t leave without trying Salento’s famous trout and fried plantains!
Make the most of your study abroad experience by immersion in the local culture. CEA offer ways you can get involved through activities that fit your interests. Learn about our range of extracurricular immersion activities.
Take on Tejo
Learn to play the national sport tejo, a hybrid of corn hole and horseshoes using metal discs and a target with trace amounts of gunpowder.
Take the train or cable car to the top of Monserrate Mountain in the center of Bogotá. Explore the 17th century church there and take in the panoramic city skyline.
Don’t miss out on the graffiti and street art tour, guided by artists and influencers of the Bogotá urban art scene.
Usaquen Street Market
While it used to be a separate town, Usaquen is now a neighborhood of Bogotá offering upscale restaurants, quaint architecture, and a weekly artisan flea market. Handicrafts and local food make this the place to explore the arts and culture of Bogotá.
On the western side of the city, engage your senses and gain insight into Colombian food culture at this daily food market. Explore the stalls for exotic fruits and vegetables you may have never seen before, let alone eaten!
Volunteer a few hours per week to aid in social work activities. This experience will provide you with a new, potentially life-changing perspective on Colombian culture and life. Please note, most volunteering opportunities require basic knowledge of Spanish language.