The 2nd Spanish as a Foreign Language Asia + initiative (ELE Asia +, per its acronym in Spanish) of the Colombian Government, offers 14 scholarships for tourist guides and undergraduate and graduate students from India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka to study Spanish in Colombia during 4 months in the second semester of 2018. During their stay in Colombia, the recipients of the scholarship will also learn more about Colombia’s history, culture, and geography.

The scholarships include, among other benefits, a monthly stipend, round trip air ticket, and the tuition fee in the university in which the student will take the course. The scholars will also engage, through volunteering, in socially oriented projects carried out by the universities that will allow them to exchange and socialize with local communities.

The recipients of the scholarship will also have the chance to take part in the contest “Colombia is what I like”, by showcasing their experience in Colombia through publications using the hashtag #SoyELEColombia in different social media outlets.

By the end of the course, the students will receive an internationally recognized certification of their language sufficiency once they present the SIELE (Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española) exam.

The call for applications was officially launched on 18 April 2018 and will remain open until 18 May 2018. To apply, those who are interested must have a B1 English level and be nationals from India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka, besides other requirements. Further information about the scholarship can be found in the Bases of the Call.

The 2nd edition of ELE Asia + is part of Colombia´s ELE strategy, which also includes the 6th version of ELE Focalae, the 1st edition of ELE Asia Central and the 1st version of ELE Àfrica. With these initiatives, the Colombian Government offers tourist guides and undergraduate and graduate students from Asia and Africa the possibility of learning Spanish in Colombian universities and institutes recognized by the quality of their Spanish programs.
The Colombian Government invites you to apply to the 2nd edition of ELE Asia + scholarships to study Spanish in Colombia! It will be a life changing experience you cannot miss!

Bases of the Call
2nd SPANISH AS A FOREIGN LANGUAGE COURSE FOR TOURIST GUIDES AND UNDERGRADUATE AND GRADUATE STUDENTS FROM INDIA, BHUTAN, NEPAL, BANGLADESH, MALDIVES AND SRI LANKA

ELE ASIA +
AUGUST-NOVEMBER 2018

1. COLOMBIA AS A DESTINATION TO LEARN SPANISH
The strategy of Spanish as a Foreign Language (ELE), per its acronym in Spanish, led by the Government of Colombia seeks to form tour guides and undergraduate and graduate students from Asia and Africa in different Colombian learning institutions recognized by the quality of their Spanish programs. In 2018, this strategy will include the following initiatives: 6th version of ELE Focalae, 2nd version of ELE Asia + and the first versions of ELE Asia Central and ELE África.

2. OVERVIEW
2.1 What is ELE Asia +?
ELE Asia + was born in 2017 as a way of broadening the reach of the ELE Focalae initiative and extend the benefits of said initiative to new countries in the region such as India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka. It aims at fostering the mutual understanding, trust, political dialogue and friendly cooperation between Colombia and the aforementioned countries through the teaching Spanish as a Foreign Language for promoting the linguistic, cultural and touristic values of Colombia.
A total of 14 tourist guides and undergraduate and graduate students from India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Maldives have been benefited by the initiative, which opens the door to cultural and commercial exchange and the growth of tourism from Asia to Colombia. In addition, it seeks to contribute to the internationalization of Colombian educational institutions and consolidate the country’s offer in Spanish language teaching.
In its short existence, nearly 165 people have come forward to participate on the initiative, which testifies the large interest existing in the countries of Asia about Latin America.
2.2. 2nd version of the ELE Asia + initiative
In 2018, the Government of Colombia decided to implement this initiative in the terms detailed below:
a. Number of scholarships
14 scholarships will be offered for tourist guides and undergraduate and graduate students from India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka interested in learning Spanish.
b. Training activities
The course will be offered for one academic semester (approximately 17 weeks) and will be held at Colombian universities recognized for the high quality of their Spanish as a Foreign Language Programs. During their studies, the beneficiaries must carry out the following types of activities:
• Academic activities: They are related to the main component of the initiative, which is the learning of Spanish. They include both the classroom classes and the extracurricular tasks and activities programmed by host universities to guide the beneficiaries through the process of formation. The courses have a minimum intensity of 15 hours per week and each university has the autonomy to set a higher weekly intensity.
• Volunteering activities: This component is part of the learning process. Its objective is to generate a greater approximation of the beneficiaries to the Colombian reality; contribute to the development of activities of interest to the universities; support socially oriented projects; and generate greater exchange and socialization with the academic community.
Beneficiaries must complete a minimum of 10 hours of on-site volunteering per week. The activities are assigned by each university with the guidance and follow-up of the Government of Colombia.
c. Spanish certification exam
The exam “Servicio Internacional de Evaluación de la Lengua Española” (SIELE) will be applied at the end of the course and will provide the beneficiaries with an internationally recognized certification of their language sufficiency.
d. Contest “Colombia is what I Like”
This contest seeks to facilitate the approach to the day-to-day experiences of the beneficiaries in Colombia. During their stay in the country, the beneficiaries share their life experiences and language learning with the hashtag #SoyELEColombia by means of photographs, videos, gifs, boomerangs and collage, among others, published in social networks Twitter and Instagram. Also, those who participate must publish Spanish language blog posts through the official Blog of ELE Asia + in the Storify platform on topics of their choice.
The prize will be awarded to one beneficiary, taking into consideration the following evaluation criteria:
• The use of Spanish
• The use of the #SoyELEColombia hashtag
• Creativity
• Contents
• Periodicity of publications (at least one post per month)
• Have at least one blog entry in Spanish
The winner will have the opportunity to visit one of the National Parks of Colombia with tickets, accommodation and guided tour covered.
2.3. Target group
• Tourist guides duly certified by the National Tourism Authority or Competent Authorities of their countries.
• Undergraduate students currently in their last two (2) academic semesters in any area, and postgraduate students. The Government of Colombia will prioritize candidates who are studying courses related to Languages, Latin-American Studies, International Business, International Relations, International Trade, Business, Management and Foreign Languages.

3. REQUIRED PROFILE
• Be nationals from India, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives or Sri Lanka.
• Be tourist guides duly certified or students who have outstanding academic results and are enrolled in the last academic year of their undergraduate course or in a postgraduate course.
• Have a good knowledge of English (certified B1 level minimum).
• Have been born between January 1, 1978 and December 31, 1998.
• Accept and carry out the rules of this 2018 initiative, submitted as Annex I of this document.
• Have good physical and mental health.
• Have the necessary resources to cover the costs of the first month of their stay in Colombia. It is suggested a minimum amount of US$600 (six hundred US Dollars).
• Have the necessary resources to cover for the costs of the Colombian Alien ID, approximately US$70 (seventy US Dollars.)
• Not to have participated in the previous versions of ELE initiatives offered by the Colombian Government, developed since 2013.
Note: Knowledge of basic Spanish (level A1) will be positively valued.
Possession of a valid USA or Schengen Visa will be positively valued.

4. REQUIRED DOCUMENTS
• Application form completed, available on the webpage of the Colombian Embassies in India countries. Point 8 below has the list of Colombian Diplomatic Missions with their contact details. You must login to a Google account to fill out the form.
• A recent passport size photo (3.5 x 4 cms).
• Copy of the principal passport page, containing biographical information. The passport must have a minimum validity of six months after the start of the program.
• Medical certificate in English, signed by a doctor, certifying that the candidate is in good physical and mental health to take the course in Colombia, submitted as Annex II of this document.
• Yellow Fever vaccination certificate, if you have it.
• Documents evidencing the candidate has a proficient knowledge of English, equal or greater than B1, per the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages.
• For tourist guides only: Acceptance letter or authorization of enrollment issued by the National Tourism Authority or Competent Authorities of their countries.
• For undergraduate and graduate students: Confirmation of enrollment letter issued by the university of origin that includes the Grade Point Average (GPA) of the candidate.
• For graduate students only: Copy of Undergraduate diploma.
Note: Only applicants that comply with the required profile and documents will be considered.
Scholarship Beneficiaries will be asked to submit the Letter of acceptance, available as Annex III in this document, on a later date upon selection.

5. BENEFITS OF THE SCHOLARSHIP
• Round trip, air ticket in economy class from the capital of the home country to the Colombian city where the course will take place. The Colombian Government will be responsible for assigning the placement city.
• Monthly stipend of one million six hundred (1.600.000) Colombian pesos for the beneficiary to cover basic living expenses, such as accommodation, local transport, and the cost of meals in Colombia. The monthly stipend will be proportional to the number of days of the beneficiaries’ stay in Colombia, and will be paid once per month in arrears subject to the assistance to the Spanish lessons by the beneficiary. Attendance will be checked through report, which will be submitted by the university to the Colombian authorities.
• Tuition scholarship for the Spanish course.
• International Health Insurance.
• Courtesy Colombian Visa.
• SIELE exam to obtain the Spanish as a foreign language certification.
Note: The cost of any additional visas of third countries that may be necessary to travel to Colombia, as well as of any extracurricular activities that the beneficiaries wish to undertake at the Colombian host universities, will not be financed by the Government of Colombia.

6. APPLICATION PERIOD
• 18th April 2018 – 18th May 2018 (at midnight Bogotá time)

7. TERMINATION OF THE SCHOLARSHIP
The Government of Colombia reserves the right to terminate the scholarship and withdraw its support any time, if any of the following situations occur:
• Non-compliance of the stipulated regulations of the initiative submitted in Annex I.
• Inaccuracy of the data provided by the fellow in the selection process.
• Being expelled from the Colombian university per the rules of the institution.
• For reasons of serious illness or mental disability.
• For confirmed use of drugs.
• Violation of Colombian laws.

8. TIMELINE OF THE PROGRAM
Dates in Colombia Activity
April 18, 2018 Launching of the call: the applicant must fill out the application form in the link available on the pages of the Colombian embassies, enclosing in PDF format the documents required in the bases of the call. Only applicants that comply with the required profile and documents will be considered.
May 18, 2018 Submission deadline.
May 21 to May 24, 2018 Application form and submitted documents evaluation and notification of pre-selected candidates.
June 4 to June 12, 2018 Online Interviews to pre-selected candidates: In order to come up with the list of the final 14 beneficiaries, 60 pre-selected candidates will be interviewed online following the order of submission of the application form.
June 14, 2018 The Colombian Embassies will publish the results of the selection process on their webpages and will introduce the logistical coordinator of the initiative.
June 15, 2018 Online Spanish level assessment to the selected candidates.
June 17, 2018 Deadline for acceptance of the scholarship.
June 18 to July 8, 2018 Preparation for the trip (remission of information package, air tickets, medical insurance and visa application guide to the beneficiaries)
July 22 to 31, 2018 Arrival of beneficiaries to Colombia, training activities and welcome event.
August 1st to November 18, 2018 Spanish courses.
November 19 to 25, 2018 Closing activities (Spanish certification exam, closing event and return to home countries)

To find the application form and the bases of the call visit www.cancilleria.gov.co/diplomacy/convocatory/extranjeros or the website of the Embassy of Colombia in India: http://india.embajada.gov.co/newsroom/news/2018-04-19/14407

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