Teaching English in Costa Rica

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Teaching English in Costa Rica

Tropical Rainforests & Active Volcanoes

Costa Rica, despite its size, holds claim to 6% of the Earth’s biodiversity.

Compared with some of its neighbours in Latin America, Costa Rica is a relatively small country. However, this does not mean that the EFL teacher should overlook some of the country’s main highlights. As with its neighbours, Costa Rica boasts beautiful nature and a wide variety of geographical features. The visitor to Costa Rica can easily cross the country to experience the Pacific or the beaches of the Caribbean. It has tropical rainforests, active volcanoes and is home to some of the most beautiful and colourful animals on Earth; the toucan is a native to Coast Rica. Interestingly, Costa Rica, despite its size, holds claim to 6% of the Earth’s biodiversity.

On another note, Costa Rica also should not be overlooked, due to the fact that it is the most peaceful and stable of all Central American countries, both in terms of politics and economy. It has an impressive and efficient infrastructure, which makes it a great place to live as well as a great base to explore other corners of Central and Latin America. Costa Rica neighbours Nicaragua in the north, and Panama in the south east. Coupled with the friendly and laid-back attitude of its residents, Costa Rica is well worth considering as a job option. The official language of Costa Rica is Spanish.

Teaching Opportunities

The stability of Costa Rica also means that it has an impressive educational system. The population has a high educational level, and seeks English as a way to improve their career opportunities. In order to teach in Costa Rica, applicants generally need to have a 4-year bachelor’s degree in any subject. If you are applying directly from the UK or for private language institutes, then you will also need to have a 120-hour TEFL certificate. Having said this, many companies prefer to hire people who are in the country. It seems that if you are willing to make the flight to Costa Rica, you will be rewarded with a job. Teachers can show up on the door step of prospective schools and request a face-to-face interview. This means that you will need to have savings for the flight and your expenses for a couple of months, while looking for work in country.

If you are planning to work in the private sector, then hiring happens all year round. However, if you are considering applying for schools or universities, the recruitment season is slightly different. The main school change over is in December, when the school year is finishing and again in January when the school year begins. This means that schools begin looking for teachers from October to December for January hiring. Most employers are reluctant to pay for a work visa until you have completed a year with them.

Teaching Requirements

Degree Requirement Typical Contract Length Peak Hiring Seasons Visa Info Typical Students Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
Not required6 - 12 months October - December Tourist visa Business professionals, children 240,000 - 400,000 CRC (300 - 500 GBP) 252,000 - 544,400 CRC (315 - 680 GBP)
October - December
Tourist visa
Business professionals, children
252,000 - 544,400 CRC (315 - 680 GBP)

Your TEFL journey starts here! Fancy teaching English as a foreign language around the world?

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