Teaching English in Costa Rica

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How to Begin Teaching in Costa Rica

Costa Rica has tropical rain forests, active volcanoes and is home to some of the most beautiful and colourful animals on Earth.

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.

A part of the earth that lifespan is considerably longer than other parts of the world is referred to as a Blue Zone. The Nicoya Peninsula of the Guanacaste province is one such area. People commonly live til over 100 here and the average life expectancy is 90 years of age. But what is the secret? Well, the locals put it down to local waters that have high levels of calcium and magnesium, their close connection with religion, an emphasis on getting good sleep and a healthy diet. What makes all of this even more impressive is that there are only 5 blue zones in the world today!

Costa Rica is seriously ahead of the curve when it comes to being eco-friendly and has a strong ambition to become the first fossil-free country on earth, and are already on track to achieve this. In the world today, it is up there among the most eco-friendly countries and a serious high proportion of their energy comes from renewable sources. Some of the bigger, more polluting countries in the world could take note!

An animal that has gained something of a cult following over the last number of years in the humble Sloth. These amazing animals can be found in their droves in Costa Rican forests so keep an eye out if you are ever there!

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 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 doorstep 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 the 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 changeover 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
    Not required
  • Typical Contract Length
    6 - 12 months
  • Peak Hiring Seasons
    October - December
  • Visa Info
    Tourist visa
  • Typical Students
    Business professionals, children
  • Average Monthly Cost of Living in £ GBP & Local Currency
    240,000 - 400,000 CRC (300 - 500 GBP)
  • Average Monthly Salary in £ GBP & Local Currency
    252,000 - 544,400 CRC (315 - 680 GBP)

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