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Teaching English Abroad

Teaching English in Costa Rica

Tips for Getting a Job Teaching English in Costa Rica


  • Education: 
    A BA/BS is preferred for teaching English in Costa Rica but not compulsory.
  • TEFL Certification: 
    To teach English in Costa Rica, most teachers will require native proficiency and a TEFL certificate.
  • Peak Hiring Months:  
    All through the year
  • Types of Jobs: 
    Private students and teaching in English schools
  • Typical Hiring Process: 
    Most schools have face-face interviews while some conduct it advance over phone
  • Average teaching hours per week: 
    Weekly 20-30 hours in the classroom plus preparation hours
  • Types of Students/Audience: 
    Business professionals, school children and private students
  • Cost of Living per month:  
    700 - 900 USD (430,000-550,000 CRC)
  • Visas: 
    Tourist visa and independent contractor licenses are available. Visa renewal mostly through a “Border Hop” which is common and legal
  • Average Monthly Pay: 
    700 - 900 USD (430,000-550,000 CRC)
  • Start –up cost: 
    1200 – 1800 USD (729,000-1,100,000 CRC)
  • Potential to save or break-even: 
  • Accommodation Benefits:  
    Usually not provided
  • Fight Reimbursements:  
Teaching English in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a small country compared to some of its neighbours in Latin America. However, this doesn't mean that the TEFL teacher should miss out on some of the best things about the country. Like its neighbours, Costa Rica has beautiful nature and a lot of different types of landscapes. If you go to Costa Rica, it's easy to get from one side of the country to the other to see the beaches of the Pacific or the Caribbean.

Costa Rica has tropical rainforests, active volcanoes, and some of the most beautiful and colourful animals on Earth, like the toucan. Even though Costa Rica is a small country, it has 6% of the world's biodiversity.

Costa Rica is the most peaceful and stable country in Central America, both politically and economically. It has a great infrastructure that makes it a great place to live and a great place to start exploring other parts of Central and Latin America. Nicaragua is to the north of Costa Rica, and Panama is to the southeast. Costa Rica is a good place for TEFL teachers to work because its people are friendly and easy-going. Spain is the country's official language.

You need a TEFL certification for teaching English in Costa Rica. There is no requirement for a 4-year college degree, but it is strongly preferred. To get a TEFL job, you also need to be a native English speaker.

TEFL teachers who have internationally recognized TEFL courses can live comfortably in this country and travel around the region once they got a teaching job with a good salary. A typical English teacher in Costa Rica makes between $700 and $900 USD per month. With a low cost of living, starting your TEFL teaching journey in this country is very cheap.

Most of the schools prefer those who have pursued top TEFL programs in Costa Rica for teaching English to young learners mentioned in their CV. After getting the job you can expect about 20 to 25 hours of work per week at English language schools in Costa Rica. This gives you a lot of time to travel and see the country. Even though a Bachelor's degree isn't required to get a job in Costa Rica, many employers still want to hire people with one. If you don't have a degree, you should expect your job search to be harder.

The majority of teaching jobs are in San Jose, which is Costa Rica's largest city, but there are opportunities all over the country. So, if you wanted to teach in a beautiful destination like Costa Rica then get TEFL certified in Costa Rica and live your dream to teach and live there.