Why teach English in Costa Rica?

To teach English in Costa Rica you will need to get TEFL certified. There is a real demand for TEFL certified teachers in Costa Rica. The market is competitive but it is fairly easy to get a teaching a job if you are properly qualified and have a TEFL certificate that included teaching practice.

Costa Rica is located in Central America and borders Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south. A chain of volcanoes and mountains, part of the Andean-Sierra Madre chain, runs the length of the country and separates the Caribbean Sea on the east coast from the Pacific Ocean on the west coast.

Of all of the places on earth, Costa Rica is by far one of the most exotic. The country offers unparalleled natural beauty, active volcanoes, rainforests, and a wide range of national parks and eco-tourism. In addition, Costa Rica has over 1,000 miles of gorgeous white-and-black sand beaches, copious amounts of sunshine, world-class sport fishing, snorkelling and surfing!

There is a lot to do and see in Costa Rica and rather than give you an edited list, look at Trip Advisor for a lot of detailed information about what to do and see in Costa Rica.

Teach English in Costa Rica - Beach
Teach English in Costa Rica – Beach

Get qualified to teach English in Costa Rica

Best option – Take a four week TEFL certificate course and then let EBC get you a job teaching English in Costa Rica.

Other options – Take an online TEFL certificate course with teaching practice or a hybrid, blended learning TEFL certificate course with teaching practice and then let EBC get you a job teaching English in Costa Rica.

In general, Costa Rican schools will only hire candidates who have attended a TEFL course that included actual classroom teaching practice given to genuine English language learners.

General information about what it is like to teach English in Costa Rica

  • The demand for English teachers in Costa Rica is HIGH and COMPETITIVE.
  • San José has the greatest demand for English teachers in Costa Rica.
  • Main teaching job regions – San José and the coastal regions (EBC has contacts with schools in these regions).
  • Main types of teaching – Through language schools and private international schools: general English, Business English and English for Young Learners.
  • Busiest periods – the academic year from March to December.
  • Summer teaching jobs – intensive courses, exam preparation, summer camps.
  • Private English tutoring – yes, you can build up your own list of private clients.
  • Preferred TEFL qualifications – an accredited TESOL/TEFL certificate with teaching practice.
  • Job duration – up to one academic year.
  • Teaching hours per week – 20 to 30.
  • Monthly pay – $US 800 to $US 1,200 depending on hours worked.
  • Freelance English teaching work – from $US 15 per hour.
  • Average basic monthly expenses – $US 700
  • Initial cost to get established in Costa Rica – US$ 1,400
  • Visa – Tourist
  • Chance of getting a work permit – low.
  • Accommodation – you pay.
  • Flights – you pay.
  • Academic requirements – Degree preferred but not required
  • Contract term – up to one academic year (rolling)
  • Main hiring points – March and August
  • Standard holiday periods – January, Easter, Christmas
  • Final job interview in Costa Rica – Yes
  • Cost of living comparison – Click here to view
  • Voltage – 220/240
  • Main language – Spanish
Teach English in Costa Rica - Tree frog
Teach English in Costa Rica – Tree frog

Facts and figures about Costa Rica

  • Government – Republic, parliamentary democracy
  • Size – 19,653 square miles
  • Capital – San José
  • Population – 4.6 million
  • Main language – Spanish
  • Ethnicity – 66% White/Castizo, 14% Mestizo, 9% Immigrants, 7% Mulatto, 2% Amerindian, 1% Black, 1% Asian and other
  • Currency – Colon(CRC)

Visa and immigration information

EBC recognises that procedures change and that this is a very important topic. Rather than give you information that may be out-of-date which will in turn, waste your time, we would rather that you went to the experts at your nearest Costa Rican consulate or embassy.

To find the nearest consulate or embassy, please use the Embassy World site.

Additional advice articles

Teach English in Costa Rica - Green landscape
Teach English in Costa Rica – Green landscape

Did you know that … ? Interesting facts and trivia about Costa Rica

  • Costa Ricans call themselves “Ticos/Ticas”, males/Ticas.
  • Costa Rica’s national tree is the “Guanacaste” and its national flower is the orchid “guaria morada”.
  • On average Costa Ricans live 77 years, one of the highest in the world.
  • There are 800 miles of coastline in Costa Rica between the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
  • Costa Rica has seven provinces: San Jose, Alajuela, Heredia, Cartago, Guanacaste, Puntarenas and Limon.
  • There are more than 121 volcanoes in Costa Rica, and seven of them are active.
  • Irazu is the tallest volcano in Costa Rica at 11,259 feet.
  • Costa Rica is home tomore than 5% of the world’s biodiversity but its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface.
  • More than 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges.
  • A “soda” is a small, informal restaurant that serves traditional meals like chicken, rice, beans and salad.
  • A “pulperia” is a local grocery store.

Ten famous Costa Rican celebrities

  • Adolfo Diaz – world leader
  • Bali Rodriguez – model
  • Giannina Facio – actress
  • Harry Shum – actor
  • Joel Campbell – football/soccer player
  • Keylor Navas – football/soccer player
  • Leonardo Gozalez – football/soccer player
  • Maribel Guardia – actress
  • Roy Miller – football/soccer player
  • Yeltsin Tejeda – football/soccer player

Contact one of our Student Advisers

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I wanted to know some new modern methods of teaching foreign labguages and it was the main idea I had , but it didn't happen.This course was just a nice posibility to communicate in English a lot. Thank you
Josefina Ortega
Josefina Ortega
10:43 02 Feb 18
I'm very satisfied with the course, I really learned a lot of teaching skills and important techniques that I really could utilize in the future.
Anne Gelica Flores
Anne Gelica Flores
10:36 02 Feb 18
This is a great place to get your TEFL certification. The staff is kind, organized and very helpful. It was such a comfortable learning environment that I enjoyed very much. I liked the personalized attention and I got a lot more confidence and experience to be an English teacher. Thanks for everything!
Victoria Metz
Victoria Metz
10:35 02 Feb 18
I found the instruction throughout the course to be very effective and I finished the course feeling excited and prepared to begin teaching. There is nothing fancy about the EBC facility, however this doesn't in any way reduce the overall quality of the course. John, the instructor, has extensive experience (both as an TEFL teacher and a TEFL course trainer), which is evident in the thoughtful organization of the course. My class had only five students, which created lots of time for personal attention and advice. Make sure you come prepared to work hard!
Adam Schreiber
Adam Schreiber
12:06 14 Dec 17
It was a great and intensive course! I learned and enjoyed this whole learning how to teach experience. Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. I feel well-prepared now. EBC Madrid, 2017.
Michele Buitron
Michele Buitron
11:57 14 Dec 17
I've just finished my EBC TEFL course. It was a great experience. I definitely recommend this course. John is an amazing teacher and he is very professional. It was just a pleasure. Thank you so much and good luck!
Natalia Egorova
Natalia Egorova
15:04 10 Nov 17
The course has been really useful and the teacher, John, made the classes so much fun and very interesting. It is has been a great experience and has helped me realise how much I really enjoy teaching. It has also been a bit intense at times but I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to become an English teacher.
Natasha Jimenez
Natasha Jimenez
20:17 05 Oct 17
Class of August 2017.It's been a busy stressful 4 weeks but I am happy the group and I have all made it and we have TEFL certificates to show for all our hard-work and sleepless nights. Much thanks to our trainer John for his patience and ability to find solutions and guidance to help you find your way and energy throughout the course. EBC international is the best place to learn and share your knowledge of teaching. And for people like me who has no idea how to teach things like grammar and also to learn the grammar...this is the place to be!
Ashley Kabanda
Ashley Kabanda
11:14 31 Aug 17