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TEFL Training & Teaching in Costa Rica

Paid Teaching in Costa Rica
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Location: Various locations throughout Costa Rica. Training takes place in South Nicoya.

Duration: Minimum 8 weeks commitment for training (unless you already have TEFL certification).
Start dates for 2016 are; August 1st and September 5th.
Start dates for 2017 are; January 9th, February 6th, March 6th, April 3rd, June 5th, July 3rd, August 7th, September 4th, October 2nd and November 6.

Cost: $3,200 USD / £2,500 GBP Project Fee  – see Costs tab for more information

Salary: $800 – $1000 USD per month depending upon experience.


  • Full TEFL training and certification, including 60+ hour classroom experience
  • Full assistance throughout your course
  • Beautiful beach location for training
  • Job assistance and placement support available upon course completion
  • Keywords: teaching English, educational, TEFL training





A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) qualification will open doors to you globally and it is a great way to see the world. Take the chance to earn your certificate in a jungle paradise setting, a fantastic start to teaching in Costa Rica! This accredited course is offered by a local non-profit organisation, which provides free English classes for local adult learners and pupils in Costa Rican elementary schools that cannot afford to hire full-time English teachers. By earning your certificate in the community you will not only gain a valuable skill but you will also help create a brighter future for local school children and adults looking to learn English.

The methodology of this course promotes an innovative training philosophy that focuses on hands-on experience. As you go through your training you will get plenty of classroom confidence by teaching more than 60 hours in nearby elementary and high schools as well as by teaching adult learners in the area.

Once you have completed the course, you will be given assistance in finding the perfect placement. Graduates of this program are currently teaching around the world! Whilst we cannot 100% guarantee a paid placement after completion of the training, it is very likely we will be able to place you either in Costa Rica, or in one of the many other schools we work with in Latin America and the USA.


The program will prepare you to teach listening, speaking, reading, writing and grammar while using only English in the classroom. You will master the art of teaching English by completing the following learning modules:

Module 1- Second Language Acquisition
Module 2-The Specialized Brain
Module 3- Language Aptitude and Motivation
Module 4- Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences
Module 5- The Four Skills
Module 6- Instructional Methodologies
Module 7- Lesson Planning
Module 8- Classroom Management
Module 9- What If ____?
Module 10- Practice Teaching and Feedback

You will have the chance to apply your new skills in your practice teaching sessions with real ESL students in local schools, preparing you for your new life as an English teacher abroad!

The benefits of this novel TEFL location becomes apparent after you have finished training for the day and return to the Lodge to relax in the hammocks facing stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. If you are looking for a more adrenaline-filled pastime, join the Surf School for an exhilarating surf lesson, zip over the lush forest on the Canopy tour, go for a horseback riding tour along the beaches or check out the world beneath the surface on a Scuba diving course


The School Placement:
Upon completion of the training course, we will do everything we can to find you a paid placement at one of the many private and public schools that we work with throughout Costa Rica. Schools are always looking for English teachers (as well as other subjects) and it is very likely we will be able to place you either in Costa Rica or further afield. However we cannot 100% guarantee a placement as it depends entirely upon the requirements of the school and whether you are suitable to them. Full assistance will however be provided throughout the entire process.

November and December are the best times to secure jobs in the school system, for the school year in Costa Rica ends in December and begins in late January. While most schools are finishing the year in November, this is when known openings for the upcoming school year became available. Meaning, you have a better chance of being hired during November and December, but won’t start working until the end of January. There is also a break in July, when many positions also become available. There are year-round opportunities in institutions and organizations that offer classes year-round all the time.

The Schools:
Schools are usually large, with between 1,000 and 5,000 students. The schools are a mixture of private schools and government schools.

* Schools offer many after-school activities for students
* Class sizes will vary and may be up to 50 students
* Schools generally have good equipment and resources, even though English resources are limited.
* Buildings are generally modern
* Recreation facilities are generally of a high standard
* Foreign teachers are not always common in schools

There are two semesters in each academic year. Each term is approximately 5 months in duration

Travel & Accom.

During your training you will be staying in shared rooms at the Lodge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean close to a small and isolated beach. The Lodge is about a 10 minutes walk to the centre of town. Rooms are simple, spacious and stylish. There is a maid service once a week and rooms come equipped with linens, pillows and towels. Private rooms are available for an additional fee.

During your paid placement, you will be given full asisstance in finding a nearby apartment to rent, within walking distance of the school. There are many affordable options available for food and accommodation in Costa Rica.


* Min age 18
* Minimum 2 months commitment (training and classroom experience), no maximum stay
* Native speaker or equivalent English ability
* CRB Police Check to work with children
* Full travel & medical insurance
* The participant should be willing to teach minimum 20 hours a week of English
* Willing to dress and behave properly
* Necessary vaccinations
* Necessary flights & visas (we will offer full assistance in all aspects of your pre-departure arrangements)

Add ons

TEFL & Surf School:
Surfing is a great way to spend time in the sun and familiarize yourself with the beautiful beaches along the Nicoya Peninsula. You can learn at our Surf School and daily Surf Safaris for all levels of surfers. Daily two-hour surf lessons take place in front of the house, a perfect beach break located in the middle of a surfing paradise. In addition, we travel and search for the best waves around the peninsula on the Surf Safaris. Students learn how to read waves, balance on the board, and paddle effectively. Surf with ISA Certified instructors who are bilingual locals who have a minimum of two years teaching experience, in addition to being active in national and international surf competitions. To ensure a safe and engaging learning environment, each surf class has a maximum of three students per instructor. When in Costa Rica you really have to get on a surfboard! This add-on includes three surf lessons each week, and each lesson includes surfboard rental, rash guard and two hours of personalized instruction. SURF’S UP!
Month 1: +$480
Months 1&2: +$960

TEFL & Spanish Immersion:
With us, you will learn to speak formal and colloquial Spanish from native speakers while earning your TEFL degree in a picturesque coastal town. This Spanish Immersion school offers two-hour classes, Monday through Friday for those wishing to gain a solid foundation in Spanish language. Each lesson is led by native Costa Rican Spanish-speaking instructors, and class sizes are kept at a maximum of five people in order to enhance learning and dialogue. Students are placed in appropriate beginner, intermediate, or advanced-level classes based on preliminary placement exams.

All Spanish teachers effectively combine conversational Spanish skills with formal grammar. This ensures students’ mastery of speaking a foreign language in diverse settings and situations. Individual students’ goals and learning objectives are taken into account as lessons are personalized to guarantee success and enjoyment. This experience is ideal for TEFL trainees, for it allows you to experience first-hand both sides of the learning process – the language teacher and the language learner.
Month 1: +$420
Months 1&2: +$840

This is the dream trip! During your two month TEFL program you can combine Spanish classes and Surf School for the ultimate Costa Rican experience. You will have three Surf School lessons each week and Spanish classes Monday – Friday. You will be happily busy learning the TEFL methods of language instruction while, at the same time, being immersed in Spanish language study. In addition, you will be having some fun and releasing any lingering stress in the water on a surfboard during your down time. All levels of surfers are welcome to join! Each surf lesson includes surfboard rental, rash guard and two hours of personalized instruction and your Spanish course workbook.
Month 1: +$850
Months 1&2: +$1600

Costs / Salary

Application Processing Fee:

There is an Application Processing Fee for the internship of £20 / $30. This is to ensure your commitment to the application process and the projects’ time and resources.

This is not an extra charge and will be deducted from the placement cost should you be accepted and confirm your place. However, please note it is non-refundable if you decide to withdraw your interest.

Before any payment is made however, please feel free to ask as many questions as you may need. Once you are sure, we will then be happy to process your application and setup an interview.


$3,200 USD / £2,500** GBP Project Fee for 8 weeks.
Additional training months cost $600 USD / £395 GBP.

If you already have TEFL certification, than it is possible to accept you for 1 month classroom experience only for $2800. Check with us when applying.

* 20% deposit (£500) required to confirm your place. The balance will be due 4 weeks prior to your departure.
** Currency conversions are approximate.


$800 – $1000 USD per month depending upon experience. Living costs are approximately $600 per month

What’s included

Project Fee includes 4 weeks training (including accommodation and access to shared kitchen), + 4 weeks classroom experience at a nearby school, cultural immersion, TEFL qualification & certificate, airport pickup, in-country support and full assistance in finding paid placement upon completion of the training.

We offer full pre-departure support (for all necessary flights, visas and vaccinations) and ongoing assistance throughout your placement.

We also offer additional 24/7 Emergency Support for an extra fee – £195 / $300. You will have access to an emergency phone number and priority support throughout your placement.

Private accommodation options are available at an additional $500 USD per month.

What’s NOT included

Food, flights, insurance, visa  and vaccinations. Full assistance will be provided in getting all these sorted.

You will have access to a shared kitchen during training, and can buy food from the nearby shops and cook together with the other students.


“I first saw an add 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!”

– Hannah More 2014