WorldTeach - Volunteer Teaching in Costa Rica - Past Programs

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from WorldTeach.

Video and Photos

Costa Rican breakfast
WorldTeach volunteer & students
WorldTeach Costa Rica students
WorldTeach volunteer with host family
Small town life in Costa Rica

About

WorldTeach's volunteer program in Costa Rica, established in 1989, is their oldest continuously running program. Volunteers work with WorldTeach and the Ministry of Public Education (MEP) to provide Costa Rican students the opportunity to learn English. Volunteers teach in rural elementary schools as well as in the only two public bilingual elementary schools in the country. In rural areas, the students wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity to learn English in school even though it is an official school subject. At the bilingual elementary schools, volunteers make an impact by working with local English teachers to provide integrated instruction to students who live in areas economically fueled by tourism, and thus where there is a high demand for English language skills. Volunteers have the option of serving for an entire academic year or for a summer.

Yearlong program: January through mid-December
Summer program: late May / early June through mid-August

Questions & Answers

Hi Candace, You can start applying here--- http://www.worldteach.org/site/c.buLRIbNOIbJ2G/b.6150583/k…

Reviews

9.36 Rating
based on 39 reviews
  • Benefits 9.6
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.3
  • Facilities 9.5
  • Safety 9.6
  • Instruction 9
  • Support 8.9
  • Value 9.3
  • Academic Rigor 7.5
  • Job Assistance 6.9
Showing 1 - 8 of 39
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Kristi
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Amazing Experience

I decided to do WorldTeach Costa Rica a little over ten years ago because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, learn Spanish, and help people. My actual experience way surpassed these goals. It’s difficult to summarize all of the amazing things about the country and program: the people, the environment, the time to be alone and challenge yourself. I was probably a little too rose-colored glasses at times (I was fresh out of undergrad), but now that I reflect back more critically on what happened that year, I have a deeper appreciation for WT and what the MEP was trying to do. My main job was co-teaching kinder-3rd grade, and that was challenging and rewarding. I was also lucky to have a great family, who I am still in touch with and hope to visit again soon, and to live in an area where there was always something to do (having another WT volunteer in my town was so much fun!). I enjoyed the little trips with the other volunteers and having my WT best friend come visit whenever she could! The directors were great in prepping us, Orosi was a perfect training site, and I felt lucky to have the support. This program also introduced me to teaching, which I thought at the time would be my eventual path. It also gave me something unique to talk about in job interviews and grad school applications.

What would you improve about this program?
I’m so sad to see this program is no longer offered. I read some reviews that the program cost was too much... not sure how much it increased, but I imagine it can’t be more than rent, food, and teacher/language training for a year. But anyway, if I could help at all to bring it back, I would :)
Default avatar
Isobel
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I applied to World Teach on retirement from UCSC. The training and support I received were impeccable. The adventures I had were like nothing I had experienced before, and broadened my understanding of culture and people, literally changing my outlook and approach to life. I am still friends with some of my first grade students in Costa Rica, who are now entering college and working in helping professions. They share their accomplishments and my joy and pride in these relationships is exquisite, invaluable payback for that year of my life.

What would you improve about this program?
It is constantly improving.
Default avatar
Stephanie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing

I went to Costa Rica with WorldTeach for a year in 2010 and ended up staying for two years. It was the most incredible and life-changing experience. Not only did I learn a language and gain valuable teaching experience (and life experience!), I also created deep and lasting bonds with my community, my school, and my host family. This has been the greatest blessing of the program. I have a second family whom I am very much connected with, and we celebrate one another's life events. I met my host niece the day she was born, and I've seen her grow into an amazing little girl, already poised for kindergarten.

I chose WT because it was the most bang for my buck, and offered comprehensive training and in-country support. I am so glad I chose WT over other programs, and I would tell anyone the same.

The WorldTeach program itself provided an incredible platform for mine and my cohort's success. The in-country staff were helpful in every way you might have needed them. I went through a crisis situation and knowing they had my back made me feel so much safer and supported.

What would you improve about this program?
I'm sad to see the Costa Rica year is not longer offered...bring it back!
Default avatar
Shannon
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Costa Rica

The placements and training were wonderful but the materials provided were not great. We could have benefited more support in the field. The overall program cost was very expensive and volunteers could have benefited from getting more of a stipend. Also volunteers needed more support from field staff. I would recommend providing more materials and more videos, songs and books for volunteers. I think the families who hosted the volunteers were wonderful and very accepting. I hope that WorldTeach brings the Costa Rica program back because it’s an asset to the communities it serves.

Response from WorldTeach

Hello Shannon,

Thank you very much for leaving this review. We appreciate any feedback that we receive from current and former participants, so your advice is taken to heart. I myself participated in a WT program in Costa Rica, and my host family was the kindest I've ever met - I'm glad to hear that was your experience as well.

As for support and more detailed materials, we agree, and so we have taken many steps over the last few years to continually improve our materials and training offered to Field Staff.

Moreover, we completely agree WorldTeach was a big asset to the communities in which it served in Costa Rica, and so we would always be open to bringing it back in the future.

Thank you again Shannon for your feedback.

Best,

Caitlin

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

WorldTeach

My WorldTeach experience was amazing! 16 years later, I am still in regular contact with the community where I served. The program was structured and supportive. While the focus was education and I ultimately decided to pursue a different career, I still rely on the experiences and things I learned during my year with WorldTeach in my professional and personal life. I would strongly recommend the program.

What would you improve about this program?
N/A
Response from WorldTeach

Hi Lauren,

Thanks so much for providing this review! We're so glad you had a positive experience and that you are still in contact with your community. While many WT alumni stay in education, many also decide to go into other fields but like you say, retain the skills they developed through their WT experience.

Thanks again Lauren!

Best,

Caitlin

Default avatar
Melanie
6/10
Yes, I recommend this program

World Teach

World Teach gave me the opportunity to learn Spanish, make lifelong friends and give back to an amazing community. I am in regular contact with my village and still stay in touch with fellow volunteers. Life changing experience for sure! It was also a beautiful country to explore. Since teaching there I have visited on a regular basis. There is a sense of calm and simplicity in the village that I carried with me after leaving Costa Rica.

What would you improve about this program?
Unfortunately WT no longer serves in Costa Rica
Response from WorldTeach

Hi Melanie,

Thanks so much for providing this review! We're so glad you had a positive experience and that you are still in contact with your community and WorldTeach cohort. I also served in Costa Rica and likewise consider my experience life-changing :-).

Thanks again Melanie!

Best,

Caitlin

Morgan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A Summer of Pura Vida

I had the pleasure of going to Costa Rica in the Summer of 2010 via WorldTeach. They helped me every step of the way not just in planning my trip but support when I was in country at my placement site. I can't recommend this program enough. It is well established so there is no concern for your safety or concerns that you will be completely alone when you go. I was able to fundraise ALL the money I needed to go and WorldTeach offers materials about how to get your fundraising started.
They offer many programs but Costa Rica was especially beautiful and my host family were so welcoming.

What would you improve about this program?
The only improvement is that more people should know about it.
Response from WorldTeach

Hi Morgan,

Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this review! I'm glad to hear you had a great experience :-). My own personal experience in Costa Rica was the same!

All the best,

Caitlin

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

World Teach Costa Rica

This was seriously a life changing experience. I got to live and volunteer in another country for year. I got placed with an amazing host family and got to experience and be a part of the Costa Rican culture. I loved working with the kids each day. It was challenging but so rewarding. I learned a lot of Spanish and was able to make lots of friends that I will have forever. Costa Rica is such an amazing country and I feel blessed I got a chance to live and volunteer her for a year.

Response from WorldTeach

Hello Sarah,

Thank you very much for sharing your experience in words and photos!! Those are excellent photos that show off a gorgeous country. We're so glad to hear that you were able to develop your Spanish and build solid relationships through the WorldTeach Costa Rica program.

Thank you again Sarah!

Best,

Caitlin