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Reasons Why Expats Leave Colombia: Colombia is Not for Everyone - Medellin Guru
We look at 10reasons why expats leave Colombia. Living in a foreign country like Colombia is not for everyone, regardless of what retirement publications may say.

10 Reasons Why Expats Leave Colombia: Colombia is Not for Everyone

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7 thoughts on “10 Reasons Why Expats Leave Colombia: Colombia is Not for Everyone”

    1. Geoffrey June 7, 2021

      i’ve been living in Medellin without any local bank account. To pay my bills I make US debit card cash withdrawals and walk a few steps to the the Gana or Baloto kiosks. Across the street there is a Bancolombia branc bank so I stopped in to see about opening an account but after an uncomfortable conversation with their representative I decided against it. She seemed to have no experience dealing with foreigners even if their Spanish is good. My ATM approach has been working great for 5 years anyway. I found a machine that charges no bank fees per transaction and I set my daily US bank withdrawal limit high enough to cover all the expenses.

      I’m settled in here but the comments above are well described and ring true. I’ve experienced those same frustrations but what saved my bacon is that I’d spent sufficient time learning Spanish. It made all the difference.

    2. Sam Underhill June 6, 2021

      Colombia has some strange and difficult laws specifically for gringos bringing money into the country and Bancolombia makes matters worse. I was doing fine with my Bancolombia account here and using it to pay for normal day to day living expenses and also for my monthly rent payments. In September of last year I was informed that I reached the $ 28,000 USD annual limit for gringos to bring USD into Colombia. I was immediately denied from making any deposits into my Bancolombia account. (I was simply using a remittance company in the United States to accept USD from my US bank, then convert them to COP and deposit into my Bancolombia account). Obviously this caused much inconvenience and many difficulties for me until January 1, when they returned my account status to normal. Also, Bancolombia forbids bank transfers (wire transfers are a different animal), in excess of $ 4.800.000 COP, while most other Colombian banks allow transfers of $ 15.000.000 COP. Thus I caution anyone reading this to handle your incoming money here to avoid reaching the $ 28,000 USD annual limit for gringos to bring USD into Colombia. This may be a big issue for some readers so beware!

    3. Guilty. I left colombia due to not being fluent in spanish. I loved colombia and wish i can become fluent… how long did it take u guys to learn spanish FLUENTLY.. some guys say they learn it after 7 months which seems unrealistic but then again i never tried to study 3 hrs a day… i have bad adhs as welll

    4. Rahul Iyer November 19, 2020

      Jeff, Spanish language skills are key to developing connections anywhere in Latin America, Colombia included. I happen to speak Castellano (albeit with an Argentine lilt).

      Please highlight places where expats can learn Spanish / Castellano in Medellin and Colombia.

      • Jorge Quintero November 22, 2020

        I am a fluent Spanish speaker though raised in United States. As it is I sometimes don’t understand certain expressions here and the masks and shields make hearing more difficult and that alone is frustrating. I can’t imagine living in Colombia without speaking Spanish. I have only lived here a few months and have no plans to leave but if I were to leave I think the reason would be the level of noise and general tolerance of noise. Accelerating motorcycles with modified exhausts I think are the biggest culprits. A close second would be street vendors with amplified sales pitches, often recorded, as well as the the latest trend of roaming minstrels with boom boxes begging for money. It’s the amplification that’s the biggest problem. The generally low quality windows and sliding doors together with always open outside ventilation grills don’t do much to control the noise.

        • Edward H. Kramer November 23, 2020

          Christmas fireworks thoughout the night in Medellin was difficult to tolerate.

    5. Language barrier is probably the top reasons some expats leave. If you can not speak the language, how can you enjoy Colombia…

    Comments are closed.

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