TEFL Certification Program — Costa Rica | Guatemala | Peru
99% Rating
(34 Reviews)

TEFL Certification Program — Costa Rica | Guatemala | Peru

Get TEFL certified now and start your career as a professional English teacher. English teachers are in high demand all over the world! Maximo Nivel offers our 4-week internationally recognized TEFL Certification course every month at our institutes in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica; Antigua, Guatemala; and Cusco, Peru.

The TEFL program is 4 weeks/150 hours long, including 15+ hours of practical English teaching and observation of experienced teachers.

The TEFL Certification course consists of 12 modules that provide you with an important set of competencies to effectively teach English in foreign countries, including:

- Learning and Teaching Theory
- Lesson Planning
- Class Management
- English Grammar Review, Part 1
- English Grammar Review, Part 2
- Teaching Grammar
- Teaching Vocabulary
- Teaching Speaking
- Teaching Writing
- Teaching Reading
- Teaching Listening
- Assessing Learners

Plus an introduction to international English exams (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

South America » Peru » Cusco
South America » Peru
North America » Guatemala » Antigua
North America » Guatemala
North America » Costa Rica
Teaching Practicum
Training Type
Training Length
Job Placement
Host Family
Starting Price
Other Locations
Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica

Program Reviews

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Program Reviews (34)

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27 years old
Manuel Antonio
University of Puget Sound

TEFL in Ticolandia


I am nearing the end of my TEFL/TESOL Certification course with Maximo Nivel and glad to honestly share my experience with you, online readers. Maximo Nivel is a great company from what I know of several weeks into their Costa Rica TEFL course. Everything promised has been provided. The course expectations are clear, the workload is manageable and most importantly the staff is personable and familiar. I haven't had met one sour person associated with the organization here. The location in Manuel Antonio is beautiful and there are added perks like an pool accessibility, great coffee, and fast WiFi. Audra, my TEFL Trainer is an outstanding human being. Dani, her assistant is equally as helpful. All-in-all, MA is a beautiful, safe, and relaxed location to study English and Spanish at your current level and pursue the Maximo Nivel as your GOAL!

How can this program be improved?

The COSI center has great resources at its disposal but I think it would benefit from more local students taking English classes in order to criss-cross the institute and make it feel less like an young traveller sanctuary and more like a meeting place of languages and cultures.

28 years old

Learn To Teach In Peru


If you are looking not only for a wonderful place to grow spiritually and emotionally as a person, but to also have an amazing adventure a long the way I highly recommend going to Cusco, Peru! Maximo Nivel offers a plethora of programs. If you want to learn Spanish, Maximo Nivel has experienced and helpful teachers that will gladly help you. If you are like me, someone who wanted to learn how to teach English to non-native speakers, then the TEFL program is what you are looking for. My teacher and classmates are people I will never forget and I cannot express how fun this program is! It is quite challenging, but at the end of the day I am extremely thankful I can now use my TEFL certification to travel and teach in different countries. There is also so much to do in Cusco, Peru it was almost overwhelming! There are so many agencys that will help you go paragliding, white water rafting, bungee jumping, and so much more!

20 years old
Chicago, Illinois

TEFL Certification in Cusco


I can honestly say I wasn't expecting to have as much fun as I did during this certification course. The instructor (Claudia) is amazing and her teaching style is very straightforward and accommodating. The course is intense, I won't lie, but if you've ever taken a college level course, I guarantee the workload is manageable and you'll still be able to travel and see Peru on the weekends. The staff and international team are incredible and amazingly supportive, I cannot recommend this program enough!

How can this program be improved?

The program itself was amazing, but I would've loved to have a little more communication and information in the months leading up to the program.

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26 years old

Maximo nivel TEFL course Cusco


I wasn’t expecting the high energy I experienced on this course when I signed up. I knew that it would be very intense, and it was, but the Maximo Nivel team were so supportive and encouraging, and I genuinely had so much fun with my teachers and my class, despite the fact that a school environment has never been my thing. It wasn't easy, but I don’t think I’ve ever taken such a high quality course, where every little detail is taken into account. The teaching style was excellent: clear, fun and really didactic, and there were a lot of opportunities to practice teaching. I definitely recommend taking the TEFL course with Maximo!

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24 years old
Mandeville, LA

The perfect TEFL program for me


After graduating college, I wanted to make a smart choice about how I should move into this next phase of my life, one which would inspire me, provide me with unique experiences, allow me to use my strengths, challenge me to grow, and still advance my future academic and professional career. After months of searching for the perfect TEFL program, I was confident in my choice to study through ITTO with Maximo Nivel in Cusco, Peru. However, I found myself very unsure the night before the course as to whether the program would be as exemplary as advertised. I was both ecstatic and relieved to find myself enrolled in a program which aligned with my own teaching values, challenging TEFL students to facilitate language learning instead of teaching through lecture or translation. I knew I was in for a demanding month, but I was ready to use the multiple resources that the beautiful Maximo Nivel learning center provides its TEFL students to grow into confident, informed, and well-rounded English teachers.

I was consistently amazed by how quickly we could cover material in this course, while still retaining and applying that same information. The instructor’s passion for the material was evident as she epically modeled each teaching technique and made herself always available for support or discussion outside of regular classroom hours. Now, I feel able to confidently walk into a room full of a variety of people, who speak no English at all and whose language(s) I do not speak, and be able to effectively communicate and teach.

I believe in being a part of the place that you are visiting, and this certification will allow me to provide a community that I spend time in with something in return for allowing me to experience their part of the world. Outside of the actual course, the centrally-located facilities and welcoming staff of Maximo Nivel made my entire experience in Cusco smooth and exciting. The course was organized so that I still had plenty of time to explore Peru and make lasting connections with my fellow TEFLers. I am so completely proud to have graduated from this internationally-recognized program, and I will never forgot the experience.

How can this program be improved?

I would love to have more direct contact with the amazing on-site staff earlier in my application process, just to chat about the day-to-day routines and expectations in the course.

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32 years old
Dubai, UAE

TEFL in Antigua


I had clear expectations prior to the course that it would be intense and I was absolutely right, however I lost count of the amount of times we would laugh, sing, dance and be silly everyday. Exactly the right atmosphere to help lighten our load.

Our group was very small, with 4 students in total, which meant that we equally received more than enough time and guidance from our teacher Karen. She went out of her way to help us get to know each other and the students easily formed a very nurturing and supportive group, whereby we encouraged and praised each other from the first day of the course up until until we graduated and beyond. Solid friendships were formed :)

On our first day of the course, Karen told us that we'd be teaching a mini-lesson that same week on the Friday, and as daunting as that initially sounded, she built up the methods we would require throughout the week with ease. Karen assisted us with every single step from brainstorming lesson ideas, practicing the ESL techniques, planning our lessons, to preparing our materials and giving us incredibly positive yet constructive feedback at the end of the lessons. We each couldn't believe that we had taught, and that our students had had so much fun. That was a great end to a very rewarding first week.

Re-learning grammar was tough for most of us since we were all native speakers that had acquired English as opposed to having 'learnt' it in the traditional sense but Karen really helped to break down the various topics into digestible chunks, which we easily grasped, especially as she went out of her way to make her classes as fun and creative as possible.

The practical teaching element of the course had again initially sounded daunting but by the time the last week of the course had rolled around, we all felt extremely confident and were prepared with all of the tools and support required to teach a class for a full week.

Studying in Antigua was the cherry on the icing on the cake! Throughout the course, we had many materials to read and papers to write, yet working from the rooftop terrace of a cafe overlooking the lush Central Park and volcano in the distance made it a breeze. The daily walk to school each day was an absolute delight for my eyes, and taking a lunch break surrounded by gorgeous colloquial buildings, ancient ruins and colourful streets was exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries before the afternoon class.

Overall, it was an incredibly fulfilling 360 experience to have grown from being a student in a classroom, to a teacher that taught students grammar! I cannot recommend this course and Antigua enough to anyone who is considering becoming a TESL/ESL teacher. It really was a well paced course, in an incredibly supportive environment with the backdrop of such a stunning and fun town of Antigua.

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117 years old
Trinidad and Tobago

A Priceless Experience


I did not know what to expect from a TEFL program except what I read in different articles. Coming from a finance and management/administration background I thought this would be easy-I have handled top executives and interactions with politicians-how hard can this be?. It was night and day but the staff at Maximo especially the TEFL trainer/ facilitator Claudia made it an amazing experience. I moved from being a very confident person to feeling overwhelmed and inadequate but, with the patience, guidance and encouragement from my TEFL trainer I felt my confidence re-emerge in a more holistic way. I am now a TEFL teacher and one of excellence because of the experience at Maximo Nivel

How can this program be improved?

This is an excellent program

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47 years old

Great Experience at Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica


I had a great experience in Maximo Nivel's TEFL course in Manuel Antonio. My only regret is that I didn't have more time to explore the local area. The course kept me busy, which is good, because I really wanted to get the full value out of it. Audra Wooldridge, the instructor, did a fantastic job of challenging us while keeping the class fun and lively. We had plenty of class time, teaching time, and homework that included written assignments and lesson planning. I enjoyed teaching the local Costa Ricans who came to the classes--what a great group of folks! I'm so glad I had the chance to work with them and get some "real world" experience before striking off on my own at a job in Latin America. The feedback that I got from Audra has given me a clear idea of my strengths as well as my opportunities for improvement in my teaching, so I will be able to go forward with confidence.

How can this program be improved?

I would suggest to anyone enrolling that you consider coming a couple of days early or staying a couple days afterward to explore the area more. It's a beautiful part of the country!

24 years old
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Great Program!!


In June 2016 I finished my TEFL with Maximo Nivel - Cusco. I can't say enough about the TEFL Training and the entire Maximo staff. Going in I wasn't sure what to expect of the TEFL training, however it turned out to be very organized, structured, and lots of fun. Tomorrow I start my first day of ESL teaching ever in Costa Rica, and thanks to my TEFL experience with Maximo I couldn't feel more prepared.

How can this program be improved?

Nothing comes to mind.

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37 years old

Great course, great trainer, well worth it!


I completed the TEFL Certification program in Manuel Antonio in May 2016. As someone who has worked for many years in education and community programs in Latin America, I wasn't sure I'd get that much out of it, other than the certification paper. I was dead wrong. I was blown away by the course. My instructor, Audra, was fabulous. Dynamic and hilarious, she is a great presenter of information, but also really knows her craft and kept us on our toes. I learned so much more than I could have imagined, about teaching techniques, the English language, TEFL strategies and more. I learned so many skills that I wish I had known in my previous positions. The course is hard work, as it should be, if you want to get something out of it. The practical teaching portion, and the fact that you work with real students from the first week, really helps to solidify skills, provide opportunities for feedback & improvement, and allow you to get past the nervousness of that "first real class". Overall, I highly recommend the course -- I only wish I had done it sooner! Also, if you've never been, Manuel Antonio is a tropical paradise -- GO!

How can this program be improved?

I'm always one for constructive feedback, but to be honest, I think Audra (the trainer) and all the Manuel Antonio staff did a great job. I'd love to have even more classroom time teaching multiple different levels, but that would require a much longer program -- they really pack a ton of teaching into the one month program already!

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34 years old

I like turtles


After the initial shock of the humidity and not being in London I settled into the classroom being apprehensive as to what i got myself into. I had no experience teaching and wasn't quite sure how i would pull it off. That was until we got introduced to Audra our astonishing tefl trainer and the lovely team at Maximo Manuel Antonio. The course itself was intense and nerve racking but at the same fun fun and exciting. The place was well run and extremely organised and went by so fast it was a pleasure to be apart of. The students we taught were an amazing group of people and i loved every minute of it.

How can this program be improved?

Discounts for other programs

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44 years old
Boston College

Fantastic Experience for TEFL in Cusco Peru


Maximo Nivel and our TEFL Certification teacher, Claudia Behnke surpassed every expectation I had. The school anticipated just about every day-to-day need that students might encounter and prepared us or found us solutions right away. Maximo Nivel provided housing, that was top notch. The school is centrally located so it was easy to get a taste of Cusco, and all its cultural activities while keeping up with studies.

Claudia Behnke is one of the best professors I´ve ever had. She has been teaching TEFL certification for several years, and it shows. Our classes were challenging but Claudia kept us prepared and motivated. Her expertise in teaching was most valuable in helping each TEFL candidate to understand the subtle nuances that would propel us to gaining full confidence in front of classes.

Plus, Maximo Nivel put a lot of effort into our career development. We had seminars to understand the TEFL teaching experiences around the world, and the school and staff continue to be a wealth of information for job hunting and contacts.

I can´t recommend this program more.

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24 years old

Great Program


This TEFL program is super intensive and super awesome. I had so much work to do during the course but I constantly felt like I was learning really useful skills and was working every day towards becoming a legitimate teacher. I not only received an intense review of Enlgish grammar, but I also learned really simple and effective ways to teach things like grammar. The practical teaching portion of this course was great since I got to actually put my skills to the test and find out exactly what I am good at and exactly where I struggle. If you want a legit TEFL course that will really prepare you to be a good English teacher, Maximo Nivel is the way to go.

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25 years old

TEFL Experience


So I took my TEFL Certification course at Cosi in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. The experience was wonderful I made many friends along the journey. The entire staff at Cosi is more then helpful with everything they have done for me. Audra is a amazing teacher she knows what she is talking about, and is always there to answer any questions you may have along the way. Audra also gives a lot of advice and encouragement throughout the time of the course. Over all I would refer anyone interested in receiving a TEFL Certificate to take the course here in Manuel Antonio.

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29 years old
Norristown, PA
Hofstra University

TEFL Manuel Antonio


I recently completed the TEFL program in Manuel Antonio. It was an incredible experience that I will never regret. Audra was my teacher and she was a rock star in every way. Her huge personality and experience made all the difference. She gave us her all everyday and we couldn't get enough. Keep up the good work champion. I now have a job teaching English in Antigua, Guatemala thanks to Audra and the team. The program was fantastic and the location is unparalleled. I highly recommend this program.

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30 years old
Burlington, VT

Maximo Nivel


I found my Maximo Nivel experience to be very rewarding. The TEFL course was an intensive one, with a lot of material to go over in four weeks. The way in which it was presented made it really fun, and the month flew by. There was a lot to learn but Claudia, the instructor, presented the information in such a way that anyone could succeed. She was also available at all times, in class and out, to answer your questions or help you perfect a lesson plan. I gained a lot from this TEFL program, and would recommend it to anyone.

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28 years old
University of Western Ontario

Challenging and Rewarding Experience


The people at Maximo are absolutely amazing! I was originally enrolled in the Peru TEFL course when I got sick and had to come back to Canada. The Maximo team was super supportive and very accommodating the entire time. For that alone I am grateful!

Once I was back in Canada I was paired up with Audra online. BE FOREWARNED - THIS IS NOT EASY ! Taking the course online you not only have to keep focused and work hard, but you also have to consider new issues such as working around schedules and dealing with Skype (quite frustrating on a normal day). But, in the end, it is very rewarding. I loved that I still got to do practical teaching with an amazing and extremely patient learner!

Overall, the experience was AMAZING! If you are at all interested in getting your TEFL Certification, you cannot go wrong with Maximo. I can't wait to see where TEFL takes me, and I wouldn't be here without the awesome support of the Maximo team!!

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823 years old
University of Cape Town

Just Do It!


Having turned down an offer to study a Master's degree in Finance, I decided to step out into the world and become an English teacher.
There are many companies around the world that offer similar TEFL/TESOL courses. However, Maximo Nivel in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica is the best. Here is why:

Manuel Antonio is the typical tropical setting: palm trees, exotic wildlife, and the picturesque beaches. People in Costa Rica are friendly and accommodating. On weekends and after class you have the opportunity to visit hotel pools for cocktails, or head down to the beach to body surf, to throw a frisbee, or simply to sunbathe. Manuel Antonio was the perfect setting to reflect on what was important in my life and inspire me to head out into the world to teach English.

TEFL Course:
The main purpose of the TEFL course is to teach you the critical ESL techniques. Along the way you get the opportunity to improve your own grammar. The course is well organised and set out in a structured yet flexible manner. You have the opportunity to observe various teachers apply the skills you have been taught and in the last week. You step to the front of the class and teach your students for a whole week.
One of the module of the course is dedicated to helping you apply for a teaching job. The trainer's experience in the field makes her the best person to advise you on various job opportunities around the world. My trainer, Audra, helped me apply for a job and as a result I had secured a teaching position before even having completed the TEFL course!

The are no words to describe the Manuel Antonio staff. Karen and Brandon at the reception welcome you with a warm smile and are always willing to help you out. The lovely Rosita at the snack bar makes the best coffee (which is free) and she will help you improve your Spanish. And finally the one and only Audra:
Audra the TEFL trainer is probably the BEST teacher I have ever had. She brings fun, humour, and an incredible amount of energy to each and every class. She makes learning English incredibly interesting and amusing. Audra is very knowledgeable and she has the ability to make you understand difficult grammar points, and help you improve your teaching style.

This was the perfect program for me: a fresh-out-of-college person going through the classic quarter-life crisis, in pursuit of meaning in life. I would recommend this program to anyone. I have no regrets!

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24 years old
Sofia, Bulgaria
University of Cambridge

Hybrid Course in Antigua, Guatemala


I did a four week "hybrid" course divided into two parts: the first two weeks I did online from home in Bulgaria before coming to Antigua for the last two weeks, the second of which was dedicated entirely to practical teaching. This worked particularly well for me, since I wasn't able to commit to the full four weeks of the regular course, so being able to do the theoretical half from home was really convenient.

I remember reading reviews of the course prior to signing up. The general consensus seemed to be: challenging but ultimately rewarding. I couldn't agree more with this. The course is a real test of character, and getting to the end of it (as 99% of people do) is an achievement to be proud of. I had a very positive mindset from the beginning, but even so I was tested on numerous occasions, especially during practical teaching week. This is the part of the course which, in my opinion, is most invaluable: taking responsibility for a class' learning for an entire week, teaching one one-hour lesson a day for five days, is as daunting as it sounds, but it is also the time when the learning curve as an aspiring teacher is the steepest. It is an experience which a purely online TEFL course simply cannot replace.

I cannot sing the praises of the Máximo team enough. My instructor, Karen, was an incredibly enthusiastic and highly dedicated teacher and guide throughout. The amount of individual attention I received from her both in preparing for and reflecting on my practical teaching experience was amazing. Karen struck a balance by being professional whilst also showing great care and understanding, as well as an ability to adapt to our needs. I am very grateful to her, and indeed all the staff at Máximo, for their support and smiles throughout the course.

How can this program be improved?

For those considering taking the hybrid course, I would like to highlight one thing which it is worth being aware of prior to signing up. Apart from the significant time difference between the Americas and Europe (for me it was 7 hours), the Internet connection was not always smooth and reliable, so be prepared to be patient and flexible when it comes to scheduling Skype tutorials. This slight inconvenience aside, the course was worth every penny - don't hesitate to sign up!

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31 years old
North Carolina

Come to Maximo!


I LOVED my time at Maximo Nivel! Not only did I have incredible classmates but we had an energetic, lively, knowledgable, and professional instructor named Karen. I can honestly say that the course would not have been as much fun without Karen as our instructor. She puts everything into her teaching and devotes time after class, during lunch, on the weekend, or whenever you need it. I am already planning a trip back to Guatemala for an add-on course in TEFL. I know I will be in great hands and I am going to learn a lot. I'm so excited for my return to Antigua!

How can this program be improved?

Anything can be improved but I really have to think of something to put here.....I don't know. The practical teaching was great (not too much or too little), the feedback is ultra helpful, and the staff is amazing.

About The Provider


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-cultural experiences. Our programs include: Volunteer Abroad, International Internships, TEFL Certification, and Spanish Language