Teach in Costa Rica
Costa Rica presents a unique opportunity to teach in a peaceful, environmentally-focused nation, surrounded by immense natural beauty.
Teach English in Costa Rica
Options for teaching in Costa Rica
The majority of English teaching jobs available in Costa Rica are with private language institutions based the country’s major cities. There is particularly high demand for adult English tutors as the ability to speak English has become a coveted skill amongst Costa Rican employers and is essential to finding work in the tourism industry.
Native Costa Ricans are also increasingly looking to move abroad to find employment or further their studies. This means that vacancies are plentiful throughout the year due to a recent boom in private English schools.
Salary and benefits when teaching in Costa Rica
Teaching English in Costa Rica means that teachers can generally earn a monthly salary of around $600-1,000 USD. While the amount may sound low, the cost of living is comparably low as well, and most teachers find that they do not have a problem affording rent, food, and smaller luxuries.
For licensed educators who find work in Costa Rica’s international schools, some institutions provide accommodation in addition to the teacher’s monthly salary.
Teach in Costa Rica – Hiring
Language schools in Costa Rica primarily hire in either January or June. Interested candidates should apply for English teaching jobs in Costa Rica by registering on the Teach Away website.
What you need to teach in Costa Rica
Qualifications to teach in Costa Rica
A TEFL certificate is frequently, though not always, required in order to teach English in Costa Rica. Teachers with a TEFL or CELTA can usually expect to earn a slightly higher salary and will be more competitive for a wider range of teaching jobs.
Visas for teachers in Costa Rica
Because it is fairly expensive for employers to sponsor teachers on a work permit, schools need to ensure they’re hiring the right candidate before they commit to sponsorship. Therefore, when applying for teaching jobs in Costa Rica, keep in mind that the interview process can be lengthy.
Living in Costa Rica
City living in Costa Rica is fairly expensive relative to the average teaching salary, but living standards are very good - the country is regularly named as one of the happiest places in the world. This, combined with the easy-going nature of the locals, has resulted in hundreds of Americans retiring here every year. The main cities have efficient and cheap transport systems and healthcare provision country wide is affordable and world class.
Housing in Costa Rica
Teachers for language schools will usually be expected to find their own housing, which can run anywhere from around $300-800 USD for a one-bedroom apartment and utilities, depending on the city. Some international schools will provide accommodation for teachers as part of their benefits packages.
Things to do in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a paradise for the outdoors adventurer. Some of the world’s most varied biodiversity flourishes within its borders, from tropical rainforest to swampland, which is teeming with unique species of birds and animals. There are always more mountains, volcanoes and lush rainforest to discover. And the beaches aren’t just beautiful – visitors are encouraged to take up surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, kitesurfing, fishing and more.
Costa Rica’s location means that seafood is fresh and plentiful. Traditional dishes also often involve beans, rice, or both, and spit roast meat is popular as well.
OISE TEFL Certification for Private School Teachers
Many private schools in Costa Rica require applicants to possess an OISE TEFL certificate. The University of Toronto’s OISE TEFL Online Certificate can help you become a leading candidate for some of the top Costa Rican private school positions.
Costa Rica at a Glance
Capital - San Jose
Language - Spanish
Population - 4.7 million
Currency - Costa Rican Colón (CRC)
Government - Presidential Constitutional Republic
- As it’s so close to the equator, the sun actually rises and sets in Costa Rica at the same time every day year round!
- Costa Rica shares borders with Nicaragua to the north and Panama to the south.
- Costa Rica has a 96% literacy rate. In more rural areas where Costa Rican children are unable to reach a school, classes are taught over a national radio station.
- Costa Rica is the world’s second biggest exporter of bananas, after Ecuador.
- Tourism is Costa Rica’s leading industry, with over two million visitors every year.
- Costa Rica is one of the top 20 countries with the greatest biodiversity in the world.
- Costa Rica has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates, at 77 years.