Earn your TEFL certificate in one of the most beautiful and bio-diverse countries on the planet. With over 500,000 different plants and animals, Costa Rica is a natural wonder. Cloud forests, jungles, beaches, volcanos, and waterfall gardens are all in your backyard. Every night you can sit and watch some of the most stunning sunsets you will ever see. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing a TEFL course in Costa Rica:

  • Authentic, practical experience in a real English classroom is key! Don't consider a course that doesn't require you to actually teach. It's only through practical teaching, with feedback from a professional trainer, that you will develop the confidence to teach ESL anywhere in the world.
  • Observation of experienced English teachers at work — a quality TEFL course will provide opportunities for you to observe and learn from other teachers in action.
  • Look for courses that are at least 120 hours long. Prospective employers are far less impressed by short courses and online-only certification programs. Quality TEFL courses are intense and challenging — as they should be! The curriculum should cover: foundational teaching techniques unique to ESL, learning and teaching theory, English grammar, and the methodologies for teaching ESL anywhere in the world… plus a ton more.
  • Look for programs that offer plenty of support. When you're reading reviews about TEFL programs, look for graduates who were impressed with their TEFL trainers, and who received support from the entire staff in regards to housing, health, and overall happiness. You should also expect job assistance including resume writing, job contacts, contract guidance, etc.
4-Week TEFL Courses:

4-week TEFL courses are the most common type of course offered in Costa Rica. These are courses in which you complete the entire program in-country. Students benefit from the supportive community of other teachers and staff, develop a close, professional relationship with their TEFL trainer(s) and bond with classmates—often forming lifelong friendships. Look for courses that are internationally accredited, offer small class size, at least 120 hours of instruction, observation of experienced teachers, and most importantly be sure the course offers a practical teaching component in real classroom settings.

Hybrid TEFL Courses:

A combination of self-study and classroom learning (hybrid programs) is another common type of TEFL course offered in Costa Rica. These courses are designed for people who prefer to complete some of the theory and reading work online. Then the final part of the course, including the practical teaching component, is completed in-country.

Most TEFL programs will help you get suitable housing during the course. Host families are always a great way to learn about the area and they will also include meals. Apartments, hostels, and hotels are also good options and offer more privacy, but they are more expensive.

When and Where to Look:

You've got two main options for TEFL course locations in Costa Rica: 1) City or 2) Beach. Many TEFL courses are offered through private language institutes in the capitol city of San Jose. TEFL certification programs are also offered in some of the beautiful coastal towns. Conveniently, programs are offered year-round in most of these locations.

Qualifications:

Whereas you do not need a Bachelor’s degree to teach in Costa Rica, the best places to teach will expect you to have one. Master’s degrees are helpful, but you will normally not be paid significantly more if you hold one. There is also work to be found with just a TEFL certificate and no university degree (most programs will not require you to have a Bachelor's to enroll).

You do not need to be a native English speaker to enroll in a TEFL course in Costa Rica. However, your level of English needs to be fluent and will be assessed by the school before allowing you to enroll.

Post-TEFL Resources:

There are plenty of teaching opportunities throughout Costa Rica. The Costa Rican economy is built on tourism, so Costa Ricans need to learn English for job security and career advancement. Thus, English teaching jobs are plentiful in Costa Rica. Most positions are found in the Central Valley region in the cities of San Jose, Heredia, and Cartago (Heredia & Cartago are extremely close to San Jose). There are also plenty of opportunities to be found in the public and private schools in more rural locations and coastal beach towns. The pay is often less, but the quality of life is superb.

Private language schools offer the most common positions available to English teachers and they hire year-round. The public school year runs from February/March to November, while many international schools follow the North American school year calendar. Often language institutes that offer TEFL certification programs are larger schools that are always looking for new teachers. This means you can complete your TEFL course and start working for them right away!

Schools in Costa Rica and all throughout Central America prefer teachers to be in-country. Once you complete your course, you're at a huge advantage over other applicants not in the country. Go into the school you would like to teach, drop off your international resume and introduce yourself with a smile!

Cost of Living:

Cost of living in Costa Rica is slightly higher than other Central American countries, but you can make ends meet on $500 to $1,000 USD per month. Rent is typically between $150-$350 USD per month plus utilities which vary from $40-$100 USD per month.

The cost of food is higher in Costa Rica compared to its neighbors with groceries from the local super market costing around $30-40 USD per week. Eating out can vary from cheap lunches bought at a local “Soda” for only $5 USD and the average dinner out ringing in around $12-$20 USD.

Contributed by Karen Wilke

TEFL Courses in Costa Rica

Displaying 1 - 15 of 15 programs
154 reviews
Maximo Nivel
TEFL Certification in Manuel Antonio Beach, Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.83 •154 reviews

Become a certified English teacher by earning a TEFL certification...

Maximo Nivel
TEFL Certification Program — Costa Rica | Guatemala | Peru
Multiple Countries
9.92 •36 reviews

Get TEFL certified now and start your career as a professional English...

International TEFL Academy
Get TEFL/TESOL Certified & Get Paid to Teach English in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.61 •18 reviews

Want to get paid to live in a tropical paradise known for its stunning...

Maximo Nivel
Accelerated-Hybrid TEFL Certification — Online + Onsite
Multiple Countries
10 •1 review

Maximo Nivel's Accelerated-Hybrid TEFL Certification course was...

1 new reviews
Costa Rica TEFL
Get TEFL Certified in a tropical paradise!
Costa Rica
9.62 •26 reviews

Do you want to see the world, experience new cultures and languages...

TEFL Heaven
TEFL Heaven: Shine in Costa Rica with Guaranteed Paid Job!
Costa Rica
9.75 •8 reviews

TEFL Heaven offer the exciting opportunity to earn your TEFL...

Hibiscus Travels
TESOL Certification Program
Costa Rica
10 •1 review

TESOL stands for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages and...

Proyecto Montezuma
TEFL Certification + Teaching Practicum
Costa Rica
10 •1 review

Proyecto Montezuma offers a unique opportunity for completing your...

globalU
Costa Rica TEFL Course with Job Assistance!
Costa Rica
9 •1 review

Want to live and teach in tropical paradise? With our four-week...

Center for Teacher Development
TESOL Program with CFTD in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
8 •2 reviews

The CFTD TESOL course difference • Challenging academic TESOL program...

Westminster College London
150 Hour Accredited TESOL Course - Westminster College London
Multiple Countries

The Wesminster TESOL Course will discuss the key skills and knowledge...

Teach to Travel Academy
TEFL Course San Jose, Costa Rica and Job Contacts with Teach to Travel Academy
Costa Rica

Earn an internationally recognized and accredited 4 week 190hr TEFL...

TravelBud
Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Costa Rica with TravelBud
Costa Rica

Teaching English in Costa Rica offers the wonderful opportunity to...

Cactus TEFL
Cactus TEFL - Get TEFL Certified in Latin America
Multiple Countries

In its over 20 years of experience, the school has worked with...

Global Nomadic
Paid Teaching + TEFL Training - Costa Rica
Costa Rica

A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification will...

Teaching Programs in Costa Rica

A TEFL Certification will help you acquire the skills and qualifications to teach abroad in Costa Rica
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    Teach in Costa Rica | Teach & Travel Around the Americas
    Costa Rica
    8 •2 reviews

    When people talk about “running away and living on a beach somewhere”...

  • Mareas International Homeschool Samara
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    Costa Rica

    We are a very small school (PK-12) in Costa Rica that offers highly...

  • Frontier
    Costa Rica Teaching in San Jose
    Costa Rica

    Visit the tropical paradise that is Costa Rica and take part in a...

  • TravelBud
    Paid Teaching & TEFL Program in Costa Rica with TravelBud
    Costa Rica

    Teaching English in Costa Rica offers the wonderful opportunity to...

  • WISE Abroad
    WISE Abroad - Teach in Costa Rica!
    Costa Rica

    Costa Rica has long been a popular tourist spot due to its striking...

  • Global Nomadic
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    Costa Rica

    A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification will...

  • Centro Educativo Futuro Verde
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    Costa Rica

    Centro Educativo Futuro Verde is looking to hire an adventurous...

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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...

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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...

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