Teaching English in Costa Rica
Whether you are looking for teaching jobs in private language schools or just want experience teaching abroad for the first time, Costa Rica is a good option and you can travel to the rest of Latin America after your placement too. Below is Shelly's story of her personal account of teaching English in Costa Rica. I hope that this inspires you.
“You Weren’t Born to Just Pay Bills and Die”
I saw this quote on a meme as I scrolled through my social media pages during work and I thought, “tell me about it”. My limited travel experience left me yearning to see more of the world. The first time I took a vacation with a group of friends, I knew it wasn’t for me. Travelling with others was chaotic, and disorganised, and no one could readily agree on what to do. So when I decided I would travel for an extended period, I knew I would go about it on my own.
Deciding on my Costa Rica TEFL
I wasn’t gullible enough to think that leaving my entire life behind for a world of unknown was going to be like an extended vacation. I was prepared for the challenges that could come with extended travel such as culture shock, homesickness, inability to adapt, language barriers, and of course the dreaded loss of important documents. However, none of that would stop me. I was ready to branch out and discover my independence and resilience, all while building new skills along the way.
Where Shall I Teach English Abroad?
Before I left, I made a list of what I wanted from this trip. It would be different from anything I could ever get on a one-week vacation in the most “instagrammable” destination. Here’s what I came up with: 1.) a sense of freedom and independence, 2.) culture & understanding, 3.) develop new skills including language, 4.) give back to the local community 5.) outdoor adventure & exploration.
Having travelled solo to Mexico on a two-week vacation before deciding on the big move, I knew I wanted to further explore Latin America. so I did a job search for projects to volunteer teaching English in Costa Rica and for Spanish language schools in the region. I even decided on taking a TEFL course to teach English as a plan B in case I ran out of money and wanted to continue my gap year abroad.
English Teaching Program Costa Rica
Since I would be studying (read: going to class), I decided on Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica; a piece of paradise that would calm my academic anxieties. I completed my 4-week TEFL in Costa Rica on-site, and then traveled to San Jose to study Spanish since I knew the capital city would allow me a more authentic, cultural experience.
After Spanish classes, I volunteered teaching English in a local community as I felt well-equipped with my newly acquired TEFL certification. Weekends allowed me “vacation time” to visit top-destination sites throughout the country.
My Costa Rican Experience
Learning, growing, volunteering, and travelling through Costa Rica has kept me too busy to miss home. I haven’t felt lonely with all the new people I’ve been meeting, culture shock has been quite minimal with Costa Rica’s growing expat population, and my Spanish courses have helped me to avoid too many language barriers. I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, the people I’ve met, and all of my experiences. But I know this isn’t the last of my travel stories, and I look forward to sharing more in the near future.
About The Author – Since teaching English, Shelly has studied Spanish and volunteered in the country. Follow her journey on Instagram or her blog.
How To Teach English in Costa Rica
Teaching English abroad is one of the most enriching experiences you can have and teaching English in Costa Rica is a great choice. English teachers are required in Costa Rica year-round and you can expect a teaching English in Costa Rica salary to be approximately $800 USD a month. A degree isn’t necessarily required for native English speakers.
If Shelly's story of teaching English Costa Rica has inspired you, Global Work & Travel helps you to organise teaching abroad placements in Costa Rica and around the world. Choose from a working holiday, summer camp, internship, volunteering or tutoring and teaching abroad. Their teach English in Costa Rica placements include all the support you need for a life-changing adventure.
Teaching English Testimonial
“I had an awesome time booking through Global Work, they accommodated me through every part of the journey and made sure I was good to go. During my course in the TEFL community, one of my greatest experiences were the people I have met, everybody was so open minded and friendly. Also, I loved that the TEFL course in Costa Rica included free Yoga and Spanish classes it really got me moving physically and mentally, more than I ever had.
Another one was all the biodiversity the country had, words cannot explain how amazing everything was, I have met so many wonderful people and I have seen sides of the country I thought I wouldn't, such as the wonderful waterfalls, volcanoes, rainforests, sloths and toucans!” – Amanda L on her Teach Costa Rica trip.
N.b. By booking through this page with Global Work & Travel you are helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping.
FAQs For Teaching English in Costa Rica
- Where can I find English teaching jobs in Costa Rica? Through Global Work & Travel, you complete your TEFL Costa Rica course in Playa Samara. You can then stay longer in Costa Rica and earn an income with one of the private language schools. Find TEFL jobs Costa Rica here.
- Can I just teach in Costa Rica for the summer? International school teaching jobs in Costa Rica usually offer a contract for one year with an average of 24 hours teaching a week. Other placements for volunteers are 3 months minimum. Global Work & Travel offer a 10-month placement beginning with a 4-week orientation with a school placement option guaranteed. Their earliest arrival date is currently August 2022.
- Is it possible to teach English in Costa Rica without a degree? Costa Rica is a country that doesn’t require a degree to teach English. For this placement, you only need a high school certificate or diploma.
- How much can I earn teaching English in Costa Rica? A teacher salary in Costa Rica is on average $600 a month. Costa Rica English teachers can earn up to $1,000 USD each month.
Whether you’re 18 and looking for a teach English abroad gap year experience or 50 years old and searching for Costa Rica jobs teaching English, teaching English in Costa Rica will definitely be a life-changing experience. I hope that this article has inspired you to teach English abroad.