TEFL Certification in Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica
98% Rating
(90 Reviews)

TEFL Certification in Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica

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.

San José
Costa Rica
Teaching Practicum
Training Type
Training Length
120 hours
Job Placement
Host Family
Starting Price
Other Locations
Manuel Antonio

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/

Program Reviews

based on 90 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
  • Difficulty 8.5
  • Job Assistance 9.5
  • Instruction 10
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Housing 10
  • Value 10
Showing 76 - 90 of 90
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Amazing experience !

Amazing program loved every part of it. Met amazing people. Feel really prepared to be an amazing tefl teacher! Had the best teacher ever ! I absolutely loved Karen! Although difficult at time I would highly recommend everyone to go through with this program

Yes, I recommend
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Amazing experience!

I loved my time in Manuel Antonio getting certified in TEFL. It is such an amazing experience and you learn a lot. It is a way to travel while helping to put back in the community. The staff at Maximo Nivel are super friendly and accommodating. Karen our TEFL teacher is amazing! She makes the course so fun and interactive. I loved it so much. The local students, the people in my course, teaching, Manuel Antonio. I love it all. It became home for a month and it was super bittersweet to leave. You cannot go wrong with choosing to do your TEFL here. Pura Vida!

How can this program be improved?

Emphasize how heavily you will need a computer / should bring a laptop if you have one even though computers are available. And to bring folders to organize all your papers.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Spoon the Moon!

To Karen, Barbara, Suzanne, Sarah and all our basico learners:

I will miss all of you so much. Thank you for sharing the most rewarding 5 weeks of my life. Maximo Nivel's TEFL program exceeding my expectations. Becoming a TEFL teacher is a demanding experience. But the expertise and professionalism of the staff at Maximo Nivel made it all worthwhile. They were there 24/7, if need be. They want you to succeed and to become the best you can be.

My muse, my mentor, my friend, Karen Wilke, made it all possible. She was the most amazing teacher I have ever had. She is the angel on my shoulder and, now that I am a TEFL teacher, she is there to continue to support me in every way. Thank you, Karen. Thank you Maximo Nivel!
I would recommend this program to anyone looking for a life-changing experience. So pack your bags, hop on a plane and come to beautiful Costa Rica and become TEFL certified! It was the best thing I have ever done for myself.

Pura Vida!

Gail Doyle
Connecticut, USA

How can this program be improved?

Quepos/Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is HOT! Swelteringly HOT! Be prepared for sporadic power outages and deluge rain. Thankfully, the TEFL classroom is air-conditioned. I wished my Tico home had AC as well. Now in San Jose and no need for AC :)

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

TEFL Certification in Paradise...

Obtaining my TEFL certificate in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica was a life changing experience. If there is one thing that I will take with me after completing this program, it is the understanding that being a great teacher is one of the most challenging professions, which we often take for granted. Fortunately, I chose the right program to prepare me with the various skills and strategies required to teach ESL. Maximo Nivel and specifically my instructor, Karen Wilke, taught me about what it really means to nurture and foster learning, let alone acquiring a second language. As a global thinker who has been to University twice, I've often reflected on the ways that traditional classrooms are taught and whether I retained the information. There are only a handful of teachers/classes in my lifetime that could compare to this past month in Karen's class. She was constantly engaging and knew exactly how to adapt each class to suit each student's learning styles or our moods that day. There was never a time that the tools she taught were forgotten or hard to grasp, because she made learning fun. At the same time, she was constantly demonstrating to us exactly how to teach our own classes.

I will not lie, the program was intense, however, Karen is extremely compassionate and is the ideal teacher you want to model yourself after. I say that this program was a life changing experience because it changed my outlook on teaching and how I can impact the lives of my students. If you are planning to take a TEFL certification, do not even consider completing an online program. There is no way that an online course can prepare you to walk into a classroom and teach, especially if you have no experience like myself. This program gives you the opportunity to teach several classes and even teaches you how to set up your own private lessons (if that is what you are looking to do). This TEFL program was worth every cent and the administration, Barbara and Karen, were amazing as well and extremely accommodating. Overall, great people and great program with a great view! :)

Yes, I recommend
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Just do it!!

Studying for my TEFL certificate in Manual Antonio was such a challenging and rewarding experience. I never once thought back to my 'deciding' time in Australia and reading countless reviews. But if that's you right now- just do it!! You will quickly discover if teaching English is for you. I definitely did... And I love it! I can't believe I didn't do it sooner. Plus, studying in tropical paradise ain't so bad! I used to take my lunch breaks looking out over the ocean from a hammock! And back in the classroom we had the luxury of air-conditioning so life was easy. Costa Rica is amazing, manual Antonio gorgeous and Maximo Nivel a dream. The team there would have done anything for us- went so far as to call us "VIPs". The night out after graduating certainly made me feel like it! I don't want to give it all away, but that one night makes the whole 4 weeks worth it! Have I convinced you yet?!

How can this program be improved?

If I could change one thing... That time didn't go so quickly!! Can't believe how fast it was all over.

Yes, I recommend
Dave Garner

TEFL certification Manuel Antonio

My experience was really good, I felt really looked after and supported. I received a welcome pack at the airport pick up which had details and contact numbers in. In the course, my trainer, Karen, was amazing. She was really supportive and loved teaching, she would always be honest but always fair and wanted us to do well and she came in every morning and made grammar enjoyable even! Everyone there was really friendly and supported us, every time I asked for photocopies they were there for me. The location was really nice and a great area to be. Luckily the room we trained in was air conditioned as its very humid! At the end of the course, we celebrated and I was informed that a bus ticket back to San Jose was part of the deal which I didn't realise so was a bonus! I got lots of text books and notes to refer back to as I take teaching forward. I have just accepted a job offer too so this whole experience has been great! In fact, it would be nice to work for Maximo one day as a teacher as feel they are really good!

Yes, I recommend
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100% quality omg wow best TEFL certification course great people good vibes

I cannot say enough positive things about the month I spent with Maximo Nivel completing their TEFL certification course. The quality of the instruction, the organization and helpfulness of the staff, and the ease of coordination was all impressively top notch. The course is intense, but richly educational, and the instructor is always available and eager to help. If you want to teach English, this is your best jumping block. I landed a full-time teaching job just two weeks into the course thanks to a connection through Maximo. The experience as a whole was professionally and personally profoundly life-changing. I will (and have already begun to) recommend Maximo Nivel to anyone interested in teaching English, studying Spanish, or volunteering. Also, being on the best beach in the world at Manuel Antonio isn't bad either! Stop your search, you have found the creme of the crop!

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Highly Recommended

The TEFL Certification course with Maximo Nivel is an amazing experience that opens doors for English teachers across the globe. Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is a great place to get certified. The staff there was helpful from the first day to the last. They freely provide life long career support. My TEFL Trainer Karen Wilke is an amazing teacher and person. She went above and beyond in preparing our class to become fully equipped English teachers. I recommend this program to anyone who wants to explore new cultures and work with wonderful people all over the world.

How can this program be improved?

Maybe extend the program a couple weeks because the course load was very heavy.

Yes, I recommend
Default avatar

Great Experience in Manuel Antonio!

I'm so happy I chose this program. It was all I hoped for and more. Not only did I learn a ton, but I had a blast doing it. The staff were also great and more than willing to help set up trips and excursions outside of school. Their helpfulness as well as being a great program in a great country is what made this the experience of a lifetime!

Yes, I recommend
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Maximo in Manuel Antonio is WORTH IT

I had no idea of what to expect from my TEFL course. What I got was an AMAZING teacher. She was always available to help look over my work, make sure my lesson plans were well crafted, or just to talk about teaching and life in general. I learned so much from her in 4 weeks; it was incredible. I have no background in teaching, but after the course I felt like I was equipped to not only teach, but be a good teacher. The staff and Maximo are so great. They are incredibly helpful with anything from printing, to telling you where to eat and where the best beaches are. I felt like I was a part of a family when I was at Maximo! Finding a job can be difficult; I spent a lot of nights scouring Craigslist. But my TEFL instructor was always there for help. She would send us links to jobs, help us prepare our CV's and pretty much anything else you could imagine. The course work is tough, you devote a lot of time to reading, writing and making lesson plans. But I never felt like the work was too much, or not worth it. Every assignment had a purpose and helped me to become a great teacher!

How can this program be improved?

We had some time off in the first two weeks, which made me more stressed in the final weeks. I think it should be five days a week from the get go. I didn't see the point in having days off when there was so much to cover.

Yes, I recommend
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Maximo is the BEST

I did TEFL in Costa Rica with Maximo and I can honestly say that it was the best experience I've ever had. I had never really traveled before going to Costa Rica and I wasn't even that excited about becoming TEFL certified, I was just looking for something to do for the summer. But Maximo is so much more than "something to do for the summer," it is an amazing place to learn and make friends and grow as a person. The TEFL program is fantastic, it's definitely a lot of work but totally worth it because I feel incredibly prepared to teach English anywhere now! The staff in Costa Rica is fantastic, they are some of the nicest, most helpful and supportive people I've ever met and were there for me whenever I needed anything, from a pen to a taxi to life advice. The facilities are beautiful, so much nicer than I would have expected in Costa Rica and I definitely felt very safe. I stayed in an apartment during TEFL and a homestay when I decided to stay longer (didn't want to leave! You won't either!) and both were incredible. Whenever there was the slightest problem (for example, I'm allergic to dogs and my host family had a dog) Maximo took care of it almost immediately and always checked in to make sure things were going well. Basically, I cannot say enough good things about Maximo and I HIGHLY recommend TEFL and any other Maximo program to everyone in the world!!

How can this program be improved?

The only issue I had with Maximo was that prior to coming, I didn't feel totally informed/prepared and I would have felt more comfortable with more information prior to landing in San Jose. But as soon as I arrived at Maximo everything was great!

Yes, I recommend
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Maximum Experience at Maximo

I know my title sounds a bit silly but its really very true. Before I came to Maximo, I taught English in the States. So I really did have high expectations in learning how to teach TEFL. I found that I was challenged and learned a lot of information. My expectations were met at the maximum level. I believe anyone, whether they have teaching experience or have never stepped foot in the classroom as its leader, would gain knowledge and leave being an awesome or better teacher.

My trainers were wonderful. They provided effective feedback on all of my lessons in this short time span. They gave me valuable input and pointers for themed lessons such as in listening, speaking, reading, and writing lessons. I was always learning something new. Although the course is short, it is very intense. Luckily, my classmates were all supportive and I learned a lot from them as well.

How can this program be improved?

This is not a con. Maximo encourages self-motivation and being proactive. They provided all the necessary tools to get a job after the course such as in job postings, where to find a job and how to go about getting an offer. Although they provided assistance, its important to know that a job might not just fall into your lap, so be proactive! I was able to find employment within a week in a half and I'm very thankful for their assistance.

Yes, I recommend
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Maximo Nivel is an awesome place!!

I went to Maximo Nivel to get my TEFL certification in Sept-Oct 2012 because I wanted an opportunity to travel more. When I first arrived at Maximo Nivel I was greeted like an old friend and the staff made me feel at home. They are extremely supportive and they are willing to help out anyway they can. Any question or concerned that I had, I knew the staff would help me, including my TEFL teacher. I highly recommend the Maximo Nivel program to anyone who wants to travel to Costa Rica!

Yes, I recommend
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Good place to teach English and get TEFL certified

I went through Maximo Nivel's TEFL certification program from July-August 2012. The instructor was very knowledgeable, and the class was both challenging and highly informative. I felt very prepared to teach English after the course, and got hired by the institute when I completed my training. So far I have been teaching English at Maximo Nivel for a little over a month, and I love it. The clients are almost all adults and are highly dedicated for the most part. The staff is very helpful for English teachers, offering support and additional materials to supplement the provided curriculum and teaching materials. The other teachers are also very helpful and willing to give help and advice whenever asked. The facility is very clean and safe, and it provides a terrific environment for learning and teaching. I highly recommend Maximo Nivel to anyone who wants a secure place to teach English with dedicated clients, small class sizes, and consistent work.

Yes, I recommend
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Maximo Nivel TEFL Course!

I participated in the Maximo Nivel TEFL/TESOL Certification course in Costa Rica from Jun-Jul 2011 and had a great experience! Not only was the staff available 24/7 and very supportive, the course encouraged fellow classmates to be supportive of each other, as well. We were thoroughly trained in classroom management skills, lesson planning, critical ESL techniques, and teaching grammar, vocabulary, etc. I also felt that I was challenged to think creatively and think of ways to keep the class lively and positive. The course concluded with one week of 'practical teaching' where we took on our own live class for 60 minutes a day. I found the course very intense and challenging in the sense that I pushed myself to become a better teacher and improve my skills. I came away from the course feeling a lot more confident about myself and my ability to handle a classroom. Aside from the course itself, I met some amazing people who either stayed in Costa Rica to find jobs like I did, or used their brand new certification to head off to another foreign country and teach. I highly recommend this course!

Yes, I recommend

About Maximo Nivel

Máximo Nivel (Maximum Level)—The Intercultural Center of Latin America Máximo Nivel is a family-owned, social enterprise founded in 2003. Our three intercultural centers are locally-based organizations focused on international education and cross...