TEFL Certification in Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

Video and Photos

The view!
The view!
March 2017
March 2017
Manuel Antonio
Manuel Antonio
Sunset in Manuel Antonio
Cooking class at Cosi

About

Become a certified English teacher by earning a TEFL certification with Maximo Nivel on the beach in Manuel Antonio. TEFL Certification is your passport to living and working as English teacher anywhere else in the world!

The 4-week/150-hour certification program includes more than 15 hours of practical English teaching and observation of experienced teachers. Groups are small with 2 to 14 people.

The TEFL Program consists of 12 modules:

- Learning & Teaching Theory
- Lesson Planning
- Class Management
- Critical ESL Techniques
- English Grammar I
- English Grammar II
- Teaching Grammar
- Teaching Vocabulary
- Teaching Speaking & Writing
- Teaching Listening & Reading
- Teaching English with Games
- Assessing & Testing Learners
- Introduction to international English exams: TOEFL, IELTS, and Cambridge

Maximo Nivel is internationally accredited and the Maximo Nivel TEFL Certificate is accepted by institutes, language schools, and universities around the world.

Travel Grants Available for a Limited Time!

Ready to work as an English teacher abroad? Register today for our award winning TEFL Certification in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Peru and apply for a special travel grant.

Questions & Answers

Apart from what the others have already suggested, I would also advise that any travel you intend on doing, you are prepared to leave until you've finished or to start beforehand. Manuel Antonio is a beautiful place, and you will certainly have beach time. But don't be fooled! The classes are intensive and require outside-the-classroom prep time. Good luck and have fun!

Thanks so much for your reply. I'd love if you could connect me with them! I'm going to be studying at Maximo in January 2017 and am very keen to teach :)

I would definitely recommend a laptop. You'll need it to work on assignments and lesson plans out of class. The building can get pretty hot, so being able to relocate to cooler locations is a must. Regarding clothes, I wore decent shorts and collared shirts for the classes. For interviews, I would recommend something more business casual.

The cost of the program varies by location and what type of stay you prefer (apartment, hostel, or homestay). I have added a link to the estimated program costs below that you may find helpful. In general, the cost will be somewhere between $2000-$2500, not including your flight. http://www.maximonivel.com/tefl-tesol/prices/

Reviews

98%
based on 153 reviews
  • Benefits 9.5
  • Support 9.8
  • Fun 8.2
  • Facilities 8.3
  • Safety 9.2
  • Instruction 9.9
  • Support 9.9
  • Value 9.5
  • Academic Rigor 8.5
  • Job Assistance 9.7
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Value 10
Showing 1 - 15 of 153
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Luis Gabriel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Gabriel at Manuel Antonio

Hello to whoever is reading this, I am Gabriel as you read and I'm from the beautiful country of Costa Rica, non native speaker, but I love to speak in English. This time that I spent in Manuel Antonio was incredible. Meeting people form different part of the world, we all speaking English, communicating with each other with humility for the other people lives, and believes. I had just an amazing time, with beautiful sunny days, learning how to Teach English to Foreign Learners. The classes were delighltfully good, the way that Audra (the TEFL teacher in CR) taught us was excellent. She helped me a lot to open my perspective in how a person can feel what I had experienced when I learned the language. She recreate a lot of what it feels like. I think she is a the right person to teach you how to do it kindly. At the end teaching English is helping people. I hope that whoever who decides to come to my Costa Rica, come with open arms to learn what this country and the people can teach you.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
If you feel that you need it and you can have it, go for it. Go hard or go home.
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Heather
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Keep Calm. TEFL It Out & Pura Vida!

My experience in the TEFL course at Manual Antonio was Awesome. I worked hard, but it was well worth it. Every hour of class was a meaningful experience. As a retired high school social studies teacher, I had hoped for just such an experience and was not disappointed. My TEFL class jelled into a collaborative community both in and out of the classroom which enhanced my time here. I had a built in support system from all over the world to work and play with. And lastly, the director of this well orchestrated show, our teacher Audra Wooldridge. Audra is a special bred. She loves her job and it shows. Every time she steps into the classroom, answers her an email or gives a student feedback, she gives 110%. Her experience, knowledge, wit, and humor make her TEFL class a one of a kind experience.

I highly recommend this program to anyone who loves to learn, immerse themselves in foreign cultures and teach english!

If you did this all over again, what's one thing you would change?
I would have liked a local tour of Quepos' running options and trails early on. I found them by my last week here! Also, a more detailed schedule of activities in Quepos.
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Kathy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceeded Expectations

My husband and I have wanted to do a cultural immersion experience abroad for a long time. We also enjoy helping people, so the TEFL opportunity seemed like a good way to do both and be able to support ourselves at the same time. I'm 49 and he's 57, so we weren't sure how well we would fit into the TEFL class, but have enough experience under our belts to feel comfortable making a go of it. Honestly, we thought we would be the only people over 40 in the class, and were pleasantly surprised to find out half of our class of 8 were over 40 with us smack in the middle, and the other half ranged from mid twenties to early thirties. All were here to learn and grow as well as travel and experience a new culture; with that in common, we've been a tight-knit group, enjoying working and playing together and supporting one another through this valuable, but challenging experience.

As for the TEFL experience, I can't say enough about how great Maximo's program is or how amazing our trainer, Audra, has been. From the moment we arrived (and for nearly a year prior in planning), we've been fully supported. Andy, or representative prior to arrival, answered about a thousand questions by email and spent a full hour on the phone with us. Karen made sure we got to our destination and had a nice apartment lined up for us with a wonderful landlady (we enjoyed her hospitality and also a regular visit from sweet, adorable spider monkeys from the surrounding jungle). Audra kept us working our butts off with the TEFL class, but her fantastic energy, humor and encouragement, as well as superior teaching skills, brought out the best teachers in us and taught us more than I ever thought I could learn in a month's time. She gave us the tools to be excellent teachers, as long as we apply her advice and continue to learn and grow in our practical skills. Abby, Nella and Natty helped with quick-turnaround printing of lesson plans and other materials. And Noiley showed great hospitality with coffee and tea and warm, friendly conversation.

I could go on and on about how great the experience was, but the final proof is in the pudding, so they say. Not even two weeks into the class, Audra provided a plethora of job seeking information along with contacts for those she knew personally, and she reviewed our resumes to help us give them an international appeal. My husband and I applied two weeks ago and already have jobs lined up starting January 3rd. Area schools and organizations have a high regard for Maximo Nivel's training of teachers and Audra's recommendation was gold, making getting a job so much easier. This will be my first teaching job, and that's a little scary, but thanks to the on-site practical teaching experience I know I can do it. I am so grateful to Audra and Maximo Nivel for helping us realize our dream of living and working abroad.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The very first weekend after our class started I had to come up with a mini lesson plan to actually teach on Monday AND read a LOT out of our text books. I felt completely overwhelmed with the challenge of the class. I overcame it by taking one bite at a time, and by lifting my spirits with Beach Church - yes, church on the beach! Beautiful setting and wonderful people helped me to feel God's presence and gave me peace. Honestly, though the course was a lot of work and extremely challenging, I never felt overwhelmed again after that. Audra, our trainer, gave us encouragement every step of the way and made sure we believed we were going to make it through.
Default avatar
Atiya
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Bang for your Buck

Hands down the best decision I've ever made. I'm so glad I got my certification in person rather than online/hybrid. The coursework is rigorous and is designed to push you to become a high quality EFL teacher. By the end of the course, you're teaching one hour lessons every day. The school is in a beautiful location, overlooking the beaches and mountains. It was like being in paradise. After working hard all day, be prepared to also work in the evenings to prepare lesson plans, self reflections, or teaching observation papers. This course requires a lot of multi tasking, a skill necessary for teaching. Although it was difficult, I wouldn't have had it any other way. I feel confident in my ability moving forward to teaching English. If you're trying to decide on a TEFL program - this is it.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Be ready to give 100%. This course is just as demanding as it is rewarding.
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Kaitlyn
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My happiness project

I am a student from Canada who is half way through her Elementary Education degree. I chose to come to Maximo Nivel because I had already traveled to Costa Rica and I fell in love with the culture and people here. This program was difficult but it really pushed me to become a better teacher. I am so excited to follow my passion and I look forward to all the connections I will make in the future because of Maximo Nivel. None of this would be possible without the help of Audra, the best instructor I could ask for. She encouraged me to fix my mistakes and I am leaving comfortable in my ability to teach English. I am so happy that I chose Maximo Nivel because it has been a fantastic learning experience that I will always treasure. I encourage you to follow your guts and take the jump in your teaching career.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I was very nervous the first time I stood up in front of adult learners, but as I started to talk I instantly felt comfortable in my surroundings. I encourage others to do the things that are nerve -racking, as you will find out how great you are at overcoming things that you did not think were possible.
Default avatar
Maggie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TEFL in Manuel Antonio

I had just graduated from college with majors in Hispanic Linguistics, International Studies and Non-Profit Management when I decided to sign up for the TEFL program in Manuel Antonio. I wasn't entirely ready for a full-time job in the States quite yet, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to do a "gap year" in between graduating and getting a full time job back home. Latin America is one of my favorite places to travel and Manuel Antonio is a beautiful beach town in Costa Rica. I had no teaching experience before the program and really didn't know much about English grammar. During the course you learn how to teach effectively, how to lesson plan, English grammar, C.V/resume building and so much more. Maximo Nivel helped me get a job and now I am currently teaching in San Jose for 6 months too. Overall, I highly recommend this program!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would recommend learning as much Spanish before you go because it helps you live in the country and helps you understand/connect with your students.
Default avatar
Haley
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Professional and all around delightful experience

I loved my time as a TEFL student with Audra Wooldridge. She challenged us, encouraged us, and motivated us to be the best teachers that we can be. Maximo Nivel is an incredibly supportive and professional company, and I would recommend many people to take this course. I learned so much about teaching and myself that I so much appreciate. What a great and helpful staff. 20/10! They provide coffee and have snacks and drinks for purchase. I really felt comfortable and supported in every way. It has a beautiful view over the ocean, and monkeys and iguanas hanging out around the building. It's a very beautiful place to study if you don't mind the heat. This was a super interesting program all in all, and I have made lifelong friendships! I am so grateful!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Teaching my first lesson. I overcame this fear by just getting up there and teaching. Its a process that you definitely learn as you go. We learned together, and came out stronger on the other side.
Default avatar
Justyna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Stuck in a career...

So I waited a whole month before writing my review- I wanted to come down from the euphoria and whirlwind that this course has brought into my mind. You might be reading this first sentence thinking no way it could be true. But let me start off by telling you a little about myself- I’m 29; have a good, well paying job in finance; and l live in Los Angeles- so if I ever saw myself as an outsider I’d probably think “she’s got it pretty made.” But as an insider of my life- my job burns me out, I’m almost 30 and I don’t enjoy what I do nor do I wake up everyday excited to walk into an office where everyone is out for themselves and will conquer all to get to the top. That’s not my personality and the exhaustion from being at war with the attempt to survive each passing day has caused me to think of “what’s next?” Quite frankly I didn’t know what’s next- so I took a three month sabbatical, traveled with my sister, visited my parents and decided to try something new- something completely outside of my expertise- teaching. I’ve always loved Latin America (obviously you have the food, but also the culture, the people, the music, the happiness I’ve know Every Latino to possess, even when they are faced with some of the most unimaginable hardships) I love talking, and I enjoy helping people and meeting new people. So I thought- why not try teaching in Costa Rica, who knows I just might love it. Day one in the classroom Audra enters, all 12 of us these doe eyed students looking at each other unsure of who this looney is that had just entered the room. She was a wrecking ball- full of energy from the minute her little red scooter pulled in till the rains came and her little red scooter left. Over a four week period she has given us a look into how she had good things going her way and she left it all to explore herself and the world that lays in front of each of us. Going into this I did not know I was a teacher at heart- but from the first day I stood in front of that classroom teaching a “HowTo - 20 minute mini lesson” she helped shaped me and bring my natural Goofyness out. Audra is an inspiration as a teacher as she wants you to feel the pizzazz that comes with standing up in front of a room of limited English speakers and talking. She will goof off and let you see that it’s okay to eff up, or to look like a fool and not always have perfect teaching days. But for each of those moments where you feel you did terrible, shell lift you up by finding something good in you. That’s not to say she’s an easy teacher/grader. Oh no, you’ll want to toss her into the floods outside on numerous occasions- but it’s so worth it. The experience I had at Maximo Nivel has brought me 12 amazing new friends, amazing new mentors as I embark on a frightening yet exciting career change, and numerous lifelong friends across Costa Rica. I so very highly recommend this course for those of you who are in my shoes, or those of you deciding between courses- this is it, it’s the one that will change your views.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The most nerve racking moment about this program was going on my own for four weeks to a country I’ve never been to and not knowing a single soul. Turns out everyone that has that same burst of courage to take this course is pretty darn amazing and worth getting to know.
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Juliana
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

1000% Worth it!

This course blew my expectations out of the water! The course is back-heavy which makes a great opportunity to get to bond with classmates at the start, and then work-together as the course progresses. My TEFL classmates were amazing people. Hence why we formed a tight-knit group with countless memories and stories to share by the end. From having nerdy conversations about the proper order of adjectives during a night out on the town, to doing worthwhile group activities in class, this is a great way to meet new people and expand your world-view. Our instructor, the lovely Audra, was also a massive part of what made the course so worthwhile. It's obvious she loves what she does and that attitude inspires students to want to be the best teachers they can!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
My most nerve-racking moment was getting a needs improvement on my second mini-lesson. This ended being a great experience because I emailed Audra and she immediately responded encouragingly and wanted me to come to talk to her in class. She was really really accessible, and we had great conversation about what I should improve on for the next lesson. She even helped me plan out all my board-work for the next time. This shows how awesome Audra is because she has taken the course so many times that she easily relates to student frustrations and always knows the right things to say and do to encourage and support us.
Default avatar
Cole
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Do this program. Sign up immediately.

This was a completely fantastic experience. The teacher, Audra, is a complete legend, and I can't imagine anybody more qualified to be teaching teachers how to teach. If you think TEFL Certification isn't necessary, wait until you teach your first class. You'll be an awkward weirdo and have no way to keep your class engaged. If, on the other hand, you decide to come live in a fantastic tropical paradise for a few weeks while meeting incredible people and enjoying your life to the highest degree imaginable, you'll be able to develop unrivaled confidence and techniques that will make you a wiz in the classroom. The school is gorgeous and the atmosphere is off the charts. Don't just sit there, sign up for this program immediately when you finish reading this review.

Ready, set.....GO

Default avatar
Marie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

TEFL Heaven in Manuel Antonio Costa Rica

My goal before this course started was to begin my teaching English career. I had gotten a TESOL certificate online in 2014 and I had never done anything with it. I had gotten a Master of Science degree online with Full Sail University and I had not done anything with that degree too. Finally, in July, I had decided to try to volunteer teach abroad. I thought the first thing I needed was to volunteer teach to see if I liked teaching English and I would also be able to gain teaching experience.

I signed up for a volunteer teach English program with IVHQ in San Jose, Costa Rica. A little bit before I arrived in Costa Rica, I learned that IVHQ partners up with Maximo Nivel to deliver their volunteer programs. I learned that Maximo Nivel would be putting me in a volunteer position and would be taking care of my housing. I was very excited. I found out that Maximo Nivel was awesome right from the get go because everything about my arrival to Costa Rica went smoothly. Once I started my volunteer teach program with Fundacion Mujer, I had a field manager who told me about the Cost Maximo Nivel Manuel Antonio TEFL program. On my third day of volunteer teaching, I decided to sign up for the TEFL program with Cost Maximo Nivel in Manuel Antonio.

With my online TEFL program certificate, I could teach English, but I did not have the experience and I felt uncomfortable teaching with very little teaching experience. Once I started my volunteer teach English program in San Jose, I knew I needed more training from an onsite TEFL program. This program has been perfect for me because I am getting first hand teaching with basic English students and with my teacher guiding me. When I was teaching at Fundacion Mujer, I gained a lot of experience, but it was with advanced English learners and I could teach mostly from a provided model. I made articles using Wikipedia articles to hand out to the class, have them read it, and then after go over the vocabulary.

I learned once I started this TEFl course and got to teach the basic English students that a pulled and provided model works best. I learned how to use the EPA model into my teaching. I also learned to create many CCQ questions. I think this experience has been very valuable and I hope to be able to teach in San Jose, Costa Rica in the future.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Make sure to visit Buru restaurant by the beach in Quepos and Victoria's in Manuel Antonio.
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Richard
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Just do it

I really enjoyed my TEFL course at máximo nivel the location at Manuel Antonio is fantastic with amazing beaches and great food and restaurants etc. The staff at máximo were really helpful (Karen, Frances and Abby) and knowledgeable of the ESL industry and were willing to share information internally with maximo and externally throughout other countries. The course had great balance and structure and i learnt a lot more than I anticipated. Our instructor Audra is fantastic with an outgoing personality and passion for her work and life, I gained a lot of confidence and experience from the course and can highly recommend the experienced to anyone thinking about doing the TEFL. It was also a great place to learn Spanish and i was lucky enough to have a great teacher in Frances who helped me learn a lot easier than than I thought it would be

Read my full story
Default avatar
Moriah
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Moving Abroad with Maximo

Coming to Costa Rica with Maximo Nivel turned out to be more than I thought it would. When I had decided to move abroad, I always told people I was leaving to work on my Spanish and to take a break from the US politics of education. What I didn't expect was to gain an additional set of skills and strategies that would forever change my life as an educator. For the first time in years, I was given real time, critical feedback about my teaching. Additionally, I was receiving a personalized style of learning and guidance from Maximo Nivel. My TEFL instructor, Audra, has been a professional mentor to me and also a personal guide to learning how to thrive down here.

The course was rigorous - come prepared to work! I knew what to expect at all times, they guided me in finding a job by helping me to build a resume and make connections, they also hosted weekly free events and I received a tandem at no price from Quepos to practice my Spanish.

Without Maximo or this course, I would not have been able to land on my feet here. Thank you!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Come prepared to work! You'll have time to relax too, don't worry! But, this is an intense program that is definitely worth the money.
Default avatar
emma
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

So much more than I thought!

First off, I have to make it clear that I went into this program blind. Being in my final year of undergrad, with graduation fast approaching, where I wanted to go in the future seemed so up in the air and this seemed like an impulse thought on a quick fix hoping something would come out of it...and boy did it. This course was so much more than I thought it was going to be, in the best way possible. This course challenged me and showed me who I am as a teacher, where my strengths and weakness lie, and gave me the opportunity to see if teaching English is something I truly want to pursue (which, now more than ever, it is). Our teacher, Audra, is by far the best instructor I've ever had for any course I've been enrolled in. She is charismatic, outgoing, and whole-heartedly cares about the growth and success of her students - such a refreshing change for once. The staff at Maximo Nivel are exceptional at their jobs and are sweetest group of people. If you are looking at where to enrol, I'd say Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. Who wouldn't want to stare out at the beautiful views every morning at school or be less than 5 minutes away from one of the world's most beautiful beaches?

Some things, however, to note: Our host family spoke 0 English, so communication with them was very difficult. I thought that our host family would know some English due to having previous students stay with them, however, this was not the case. So, if you know some Spanish, that is fantastic! As well, during the course, you are provided with the best support (from Audra especially) in finding a job as soon as you graduate. If I did not have to head back for my last year of undergrad, this is something I would have pounced on (keep in mind, Audra keeps in contact with us so even in the future when we are looking for a job, she is there to help!). Also note, course work isn't quick and easy! You'll definitely have your down time for the first 2 weekends, however, prepare to be very busy for the following ones, so don't plan any excursions before hand! In terms of bus fare home (specific to those looking into Manuel Antonio), if you have a flight in the morning, the last bus ride to San Jose (about 3 hours away from Manuel Antonio) is 4pm the day before (the first one to leave in the morning is at 5 am, however, our flight was at 11am but there was a high chance that it could be delayed as it is a public bus and we could have missed our plane). If you have a flight in the morning, you will have to take the 4pm bus ride the day before and stay the night in San Jose (this is something me and my roommate wished we had known before hand as we already paid for a night in a hotel room in Manuel Antonio only to have to leave the day before, losing out on about $200 as we also had to spend a night at a hotel in San Jose). These are just a few things I wished I had seen just before heading off to embark on this amazing experience!

Other than that, if you are on the fence about getting your TEFL certificate through Maximo Nivel, just do it! This course compared to an online TEFL certificate is like no other and will exceed your expectations, I promise you. It will be the best choice you make!

Default avatar
Breanna
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing experience, 100% recommend!

The TEFL course is truly amazing. Although there is a decent amount of work, it is a lot of fun and the weeks will fly by! The course content is organized and you will leave with valuable skills you will use when teaching abroad. With 5 hours of practical teaching experience, you are able to become confident as a teacher and use the feedback given to grow. Audra is an amazing instructor. She teaches the content well, is encouraging, gives useful feedback and is always willing to help you succeed. Perfect course for young people who aren’t sure where they want to go or what they want to do. If you want to travel on a budget, this course is a great stepping stone to visit many countries while teaching English. Don’t worry, you will not leave disappointed.