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Paid Teaching in Costa Rica

Fully accredited TESOL course & guaranteed teaching placement

Book now for £199

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Group Size: Average 8

Trip code: CRET

Duration: 7 - 13 months

No teaching experience needed
Fully accredited TESOL course
Learn Spanish

Teach Costa Rica is one of our top working holiday programmes for a reason! This amazing programme offers four weeks of intensive TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) training, during which you’ll learn everything you need to know, to smash your teaching placement, as well as picking up plenty of Spanish language skills. You’ll stay in the beautiful city of San Ramon during your course, where we’ll take you on exciting cultural excursions, from volunteering in a local wildlife sanctuary, to cooking classes. You’ll also have plenty of free time to explore the spectacular cloud forests and nature reserves in the surrounding area. Once you’ve got your TESOL certificate, our friendly local team will help you find a teaching placement and somewhere to live. With options to work in local academies round the country, or in an online school for total flexibility, you’re sure to find something that suits you perfectly. You’ll come back with tons of new skills, friends for life, TESOL certification, and the most incredible memories. You don’t need Spanish language skills or previous teaching experience – just pack a great attitude and willingness to learn and we’ll sort the rest!

Trip Highlights

  • Gain full TESOL certification on our internationally accredited course
  • Pick up some serious language skills with our intensive Spanish lessons
  • Take part in amazing cultural excursions, from volunteering in a local wildlife sanctuary and exploring a coffee plantation to cooking lessons and visiting a sugar cane plant
  • Explore Costa Rica’s dazzling beaches, lush forests and rich culture in your free time
  • Build your CV with tons of real-world teaching experience 
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What's included
  • 4 week (120 hour) internationally accredited TESOL course
  • Accommodation during TESOL course
  • Airport Pickup 
  • Spanish lessons
  • Trip to a local coffee plantation
  • Market tour and cooking class
  • Wildlife rescue centre volunteering -
  • Sugar cane processing plant visit
  • Project T-Shirt
  • Comprehensive job placement service
  • Travel and accommodation support
  • Visa support
  • Ongoing support once your placement is confirmed
  • Help with documentation
  • 24-hour emergency support
What's not included
  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance
  • Meals and drinks
  • Accommodation once placed
  • Day to day transport (including to interviews and TESOL course)
  • Return airport transfer
  • Optional activities
Further trip information

Our amazing teaching programme kicks off with our comprehensive 120-hour TESOL course. Once you’ve achieved your certification, our local team will find you a teaching placement, and give you plenty of support in finding accommodation and onward travel as well. It’s an incredible way to experience this beautiful country, while earning money and building your CV at the same time.  

About the TESOL course

The course runs Monday to Friday over four weeks and includes teaching theory, practice, and Spanish language skills. The course covers:

  • Costa Rican culture, history, politics, and society
  • Spanish language
  • Cultural excursions (coffee plantation, local markets and cooking class, sugar cane plant visit, volunteering in a local wildlife sanctuary)
  • Grammar refresh and teaching grammar
  • Teaching listening, reading, speaking, and writing
  • Lesson planning, presentation, and feedback
  • Teaching English to every age group (focus is mostly on teaching adults)
  • Working with technology and resources in the classroom
  • Effective classroom management
  • Curriculum development and long-term learning goals
  • 16 hours supervised teaching practice (classroom and online)
  • Instructor feedback on your teaching practice

You’ll stay in our student accommodation in the beautiful city of San Ramon during your TESOL course. San Ramon is a laid-back place with few tourists, and an incredible backdrop of mountains, cloud forests and nature reserves, which you can explore during your free time at the weekends. It's a great place to kick off your Costa Rican experience.

About the teaching placements

Once you’ve completed your TESOL course, you’ll go on to put the skills you’ve learnt into practice during your teaching placement. There are three main types of placements.

  1. Local academy

Private language schools where you’ll work with small groups of students (4 – 10). Classes are mostly held either in the evening or the morning and you’ll usually work 20 – 30 hours a week. Schools are around the country but are mostly found in the Central Valley, which is one of the most populated areas of Costa Rica. If you’re teaching in an academy, you’ll need to base yourself nearby.

  1. Online placements

Lots of participants choose online schools because they want total flexibility. Teaching online allows you to live where you want in Costa Rica, or to travel around while teaching. Schedules are also more flexible. Teaching hours vary, but the most popular times are evenings and mornings, so you may work for a few hours in the morning, spend the afternoon in the Costa Rican sunshine, and then log back on, in the evening!

      3. International or Bilingual School Placements

At the beginning of the year and around July international and bilingual schools are often hiring. They typically look for education degree holders. They offer great pay and give experienced teachers the chance to gain valuable international experience.

You’ll work with the placement coordinator to find available opportunities to fit your preference and once you’ve been offered a contract, the coordinator will advise you on travel and accommodation. We have a good success rate in meeting teacher preferences, but can’t guarantee specific placements, so you’ll need to be flexible. Wherever you’re placed, you’re sure to have the experience of a lifetime!

Once you’ve started your placement, the local team will still be on call to support you in any way you might need. 

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Booking options

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Online booking isn't currently available but if you'd like to enquire please use the form below. Alternatively if you'd like to discuss alternate trips or if you have any other questions please don't hesitate to contact us.
Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Flights from £556

Cheapest flights between London and San Jose for the next 6 months.

*Prices updated every 72 hours

Cheapest: £556 August, 2024
Most expensive: £975 July, 2024
Arrival information
Fly into San Jose Airport (SJO) on the Sunday before your course starts, between 8am and 6pm. One of our local team members will meet you from the airport and transfer you to the starting accommodation. If you're arriving before Sunday, you should arrange to stay in a hostel near the airport. If you're travelling around Costa Rica before your course start date, you'll need to make your own way to the hostel in time for the course start. 
Accommodation & meals


During the TESOL course

Accommodation in San Ramon is included during your TESOL course. San Ramon is a tiny city set in the middle of a dramatic mountain range. It's a great place to kick off your Costa Rican experience.

Rooms are on dual occupancy (single sex) basis with en suite bathroom and fans (it's a lovely temperature year-round, with a cool breeze, so air con isn't necessary). There are also common areas for study, relaxation, a shared kitchen, and a laundry service. The hostel is in a fantastic central location, within easy walking distance of most amenities.

Please note: You’ll be asked to pay a $100 deposit on arrival, which is fully refundable, assuming there have been no breakages or damage.

Accommodation after the course

It's up to you to find your own accommodation after the course. There are lots of different options in terms of accommodation type, location, and budget, from homestays to shared apartments (participants often share with other teachers they've met in week 1). Homestays are typically the cheapest option (around USD100 per week with 2 meals a day included) but most travellers share 2 bed apartments and split the rent (USD300 - 400 per month), plus one month’s deposit).  The most budget friendly options are usually in small and medium sized towns in the central region rather than San Jose or the beach towns. If you need any assistance with negotiation, language barriers or accommodation options, we're here to help.

If you're going to be teaching in person in a local academy, it's best to look for accommodation nearby so you can easily access classes every day. Academies will often be able to provide guidance and may be able to recommend homestays if you'd like a really immersive cultural experience.

If you're going to be teaching remotely, Costa Rica's your oyster! You might like to look at hopping between short term rentals so you can see more of the country.


Meals are not included as part of the programme, so you'll have to source them yourself. This means you'll have total flexibility to explore Costa Rica's delicious cuisine. There is a great local ‘soda’ (café) a two-minute walk from the hostel which sells a whole variety of local breakfast and lunches that is popular with participants. There is also a full kitchen so you can prepare your own meals. The supermarkets are a 10 minute walk away so you’ll have everything you need. Western style food is available but is significantly more expensive. 

Minimum age & eligibility

Candidate requirements

We can only accept degree holders. Candidate requirements are as follows:

  • 21 - 45 years old
  • Degree holder
  • Native English speaker
  • Good physical and mental health
  • Smart appearance (tattoos must be covered when teaching and facial piercings removed)
  • Available to work for a minimum of 12 months after completing the TESOL course
  • No previous criminal record, arrests, or charges
  • Sufficient funds to pay the programme fees as well as the cost of personal living (recommended savings £1,200 - £2,150)

Entry and visa requirements

You'll need to have at least one day's validity remaining on your passport from the date you're leaving Costa Rica. Entry may be refused if you are unable to produce evidence of onward travel.

British citizens can stay in Costa Rica for up to 90 days under a tourist visa waiver. 

Technically, teachers can 'sell' their professional work services on a tourist visa. The only added consideration is that teachers need to do a visa trip every 90 days, exiting to a neighbouring country (typically Nicaragua or Panama) and re-entering on a new 90-day visa. You'll be able to do this as many times as you want without any issues, as long as you meet the exit and entry requirements. 

Applying for a work permit

Some schools may offer to sponsor a work permit, but this is only for year contracts or longer. Teachers are usually responsible for a one off 'change of status' fee and the school is likely to cover any additional costs. However, obtaining the permit is a lengthy and difficult process and most schools are not keen on following it.

Applications for work permits must be made while you're in Costa Rica, and you'll need to have all the required documents authenticated and legalised. We recommend that you have all documentation ready and prepared before your trip so that you have everything you need, should you wish to apply for a work permit. Refer to the Costa Rican embassy for details of the process.

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