“I first saw an advert for the TEFL certification program listed by Global Nomadic’s on my university’s website (McGill University). I already had my teaching certification from Canada, but I was looking for job opportunities in Latin America. After doing much research, I found out that having TEFL certification and being in the country when applying for jobs would increase one’s chances of getting a job. That is when I decided to contact Global Nomadic and clarify all the questions that I had, before applying.
I must say that I was impressed with how quickly and clearly my questions were answered. Elizabeth, my first contact with Global Nomadic was very friendly and never got tired of my emails. I sent at least three or four within two days. I wanted to join the program that started first week of July and I had less than three weeks from the time that I started to inquire. Elizabeth was very clear with the instructions and information. Once I applied, my application was processed, i.e. my reference check and interview was all done within a week. In the meantime, I still kept in touch with Elizabeth as I kept looking up information and had more questions to ask. After my application was processed, I was in touch with Jeremy, the program coordinator and mediator between the local NGO and myself. By this time, I had less than 10 days left to get everything done. Jeremy helped me with getting the travel and health insurance information. He also sent me the link to get quotes for flights, but unfortunately I did not use that service due to the lack of time and for fear of losing good deals, I had to book a flight on my own, which was not a problem.
I was very firm and adamant about getting my own private room with a private bathroom from the first time that I contacted Global Nomadic. I was one of the last people to register and Jeremy as well as Kerri (the director of the NGO) were very patient and cooperative. They helped arrange everything for me, up to and including my trip from the capital city of San Jose to the NGO. Kerri even asked me for my preference of hotels before booking for me. I was arriving at night, so I couldn’t travel to the final destination until the next morning. I was picked at the hotel by a shuttle, had a beautiful ride on a ferry to the Peninsula Nicoya and then another shuttle was waiting to pick me up. I did not have to worry about or inconvenienced about any of those things. Everything, except the night’s stay at the hotel was included in the fees. The cost of the hotel was very reasonable and the location worth the price.
About the TEFL experience itself: I was surprised at the location, because the lodge is a very typical, Costa Rican town type building. However, it is a beautiful and most warm and welcoming place to be. The picture that I’ve posted is the view from the lodge, and I took it one of the many nights when we had beautiful sunsets; didn’t have a good camera to take pictures of the shooting stars. The program itself is extremely well designed and taught. The instructors are amazing; very experienced, patient, friendly and very helpful. The NGO is doing an amazing job helping the local people learn English. They also offer Spanish lessons for tourists. The local people where the NGO is located call their town “paraiso” in Spanish, which means Paradise. I can tell you this: it is a paradise. People come for a week or two weeks’ visit and end up staying for months. Despite having a teaching certification, I found out how different and new the concept of teaching a language was. I learned a new skill and my certification was an asset that put me above any other candidate for the teacher’s position that I got at a private school in central valley. I go back at least once a month to the beautiful town that was my first contact with this wonderful country!
I strongly recommend this program to those who are interested in teaching, doing social service while teaching, working in a developing country and making a difference!
Like the Ticos (how Costa Ricans call themselves) say: Pura Vida!”