Teach English in Costa Rica

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  • Overview

    Greenheart Travel’s Teach in Costa Rica program, with an amazing cultural orientation, and a 120-hour internationally accredited TESOL/TEFL certification course, is ideal for anyone wanting to have an amazing cultural experience, and earn a sustainable income! Practice your Spanish, while contributing to young people improving their knowledge and life opportunities.


    • Guaranteed English teaching placements
    • Guaranteed placement location- Beach or City!
    • In-person & online positions
    • Positions with young learners & adults
    • 6-12 month contracts
    • Average salary of $700-$1,500 per month
    • Extensive 1-week group orientation week upon arrival in San Ramon

    Greenheart Travel’s Teach English in Costa Rica Program was the WINNER of Innovative New Teach Abroad/ TEFL Program at the 2019 GoAbroad Innovation Awards!

  • Program Dates


    Start Dates Availability
    November 27, 2023 FULL
    February 12, 2024 FULL
    April 8, 2024 Open
    May 29, 2024 Open
    June 3, 2024 Open
    July 15, 2024 Open
    August 19, 2024 Open
    November 25, 2024 Open
  • Eligibility

    • Native English Speaker
    • Ages 22-49
    • Citizen of the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia
    • University Degree Required: UK, Ireland, New Zealand, or Australia
    • Non-Degree Okay: USA, Canada
    • TEFL/TESOL Certification (obtained on-course)
    • Basic level of Spanish suggested but not required
    • No criminal record
    • Great physical and mental health
  • Costs and Inclusions

    Program Cost

    Teaching Placement +  TESOL certification course: $2,640 USD* (Offering a $100 discount on this option for all 2024 start dates)

    Teaching Placement + online  TESOL certification course: $2,370 USD*

    Teaching Placement: $2,220 USD

    *If you do not have a Bachelor’s degree there is an additional $200 fee, due to the increased difficulty to place non-degree holders. All non-degree holders must do the program with the TESOL in Thailand.

    Program Inclusions:

    • Guaranteed teaching placement in Costa Rica
    • Guaranteed preferred location- Beach or City*
    • Excursion-filled orientation week prior to TESOL course
    • 6 Months of International Health Insurance
    • Airport pickup and transfer to orientation week hotel
    • Transportation to teaching site
    • 120-hour TESOL course, including in-person practicum
    • Documentation guidance
    • Greenheart Atlas Program, an interactive guide to your cross-cultural experience
    • Greenheart Travel Merchandise

    Our Support and Services:

    • Visa Trip Assistance
    • Pre-departure advice and support from Ana and Ian, your program managers! They will be with you from your first inquiry, all the way through preparing to leave and stepping on your flight to Costa Rica.
    • Online webinar logistical orientation before you leave
    • Comprehensive Training upon arrival
    • All teaching materials and a course syllabus for easy planning
    • Highly experienced team of in-country support staff members
    • 24 hour in-country and emergency support for duration of the program, including 24 hour emergency phone numbers to reach a program manager at any time.
    • Constant support from your on-site coordinator at your teaching site
    • Lifetime placement opportunities in Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Costa Rica, and South Korea – depending on degree
    • Opportunity to apply for a Greenheart Grant to give back to your community at home or abroad

    Not included:

    • Airfare to Costa Rica
    • Federal background check
    • A laptop:  Teachers are responsible for bringing a laptop computer to Costa Rica with them for lesson planning
    • Any personal expenses outside the scope of the program

    Payment Structure:

    • $300 Application Fee due to move onto interview (Refunded if you are not accepted)
    • $300 Commitment Payment due after acceptance (Confirms your spot on a start date)
    • Remaining Balance Due 60 Days Prior to Start Date

    Wondering where exactly your program fee goes? Here’s a breakdown:

    * Teachers must be open to teaching position type  

  • Placements

    Placement Types

    • Local Academies:
      • Language schools primarily for adults.
      • Typically in San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica.
      • 20-30 hours/week
      • ~$700/ month (usually paid hourly)
    • Online Schools:
      • Remote positions that allow you to live wherever you want.
      • You may be teaching students from other South or Central American countries.
      • Hours typically varied based on one’s set schedule.
      • $800-$1,000/month
    • International or Bilingual Schools:
      • Not as common, but possibly available for qualified teachers.
      • Typically pays over $1,000/month
      • Mostly hire in January and July. Costa Rican schools start in February, however some schools follow the US school calendar which starts in August.

    *We are happy to accept preferences for which type of school you wish to be placed in, but cannot guarantee we can fulfil them.

  • Accommodation

    Participants are responsible for their accommodation. Our team (as well as your school if you work at a local academy) will provide you guidance and resources to find accommodation suitable to your location. If you are working in a remote position for an online school, you are free to live anywhere you wish. Since most local academies are in the central valley, teachers employed at them typically also live in this area.

    • Apartments are around $300-$500/month
    • Homestays may be available (depending on the area) and are around $100/week and typically include 2 meals/day
  • FAQs

    How do I know if this program is right for me?

    You should participate in this program if you:

    • want to teach English in Costa Rica
    • want to make a true impact on the lives of young Costa Ricans
    • are interested in a complete cultural and language immersion experience
    • do not feel comfortable moving to Latin America without a support network or assistance finding a  teaching placement
    • want to improve your Spanish
    • are seeking a work experience abroad that will look great on a resume
    • are a teacher, even if a novice, looking to improve the lives of locals

    Will I be placed alone?

    While there is certainly a chance to be placed with others on the course, it is most common to be placed alone. However, you will always have your tight network of other participants who went on course with you, our program staff in country, and of course us! There also may be teachers from previous courses at your school.

    Will I have access to internet?

    Yes, the internet in most areas is strong enough to stream Netflix and have video calls, as least in your class location. At home, it is a requirement that the host families have internet in their house, but the families might have a bit poorer quality video calls and slower internet (more buffering times, etc).

    As long as your phone is unlocked, you will also be to purchase a data package for your phone. We would help you to make sure you’re getting the data package with the company that has the best internet in your specific area. You would be responsible for covering the costs of your data package.

    Is Costa Rica safe?

    Yes – Costa Rica is a safe country, and the safety of our participants is our top priority. In fact, Costa Rica is the most politically stable country in the region with over 80 years of democracy without the threat of war. Costa Rica is also one of two countries in the entire world that does not currently have an army.

    However, just like any country in the world, normal travel precautions should be taken to avoid dangerous situations. Here are the basic rules for staying out of any unnecessary trouble:

    1. Try to avoid walking late at night. Take a taxi when you can; it’s very cheap and safe.
    2. Don’t wear expensive jewelry visibly or carry large amounts of cash.
    3. Stay clear headed: do not get intoxicated or use drugs.
    4. Stay away from dangerous areas. If you’re unsure of where it is safe to go, ask your program coordinator.
  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application HereYou will be sent more information as well as the link to our application portal to begin your formal application.

    2. Submit Basic Program Information: The first step in our application portal will be basic things like your chosen start date, etc.

    3. Submit your Application Fee: A $300 deposit is required in order to apply for the program. This is subtracted from your total program fee. If we are unable to accept you following your interview (very unlikely!) we will refund your deposit in full.

    4. Complete Application & Documents: Provide more detailed information about yourself in Part 2 of the application. In this section, you’ll tell us more information like your work history, motivations for joining the program, travel history, and emergency contacts. You will also submit your documents (below) within your portal account.

    5. Interview: Once you have submitted your online application and paid your application fee, you will be asked to schedule a video interview with a Greenheart Travel representative.

    6. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of their interviews.

    7. Commitment Payment: Once you are accepted to the program, you will need to submit a $300 commitment payment within 14 days to confirm your spot on the program. Once you submit your commitment payment you will unlock the acceptance portion of your portal, which includes things like pre-departure videos, travel and arrival information, the Greenheart Travel Atlas, and more.

    9. Book your flights, and get ready for your adventure to Costa Rica!

    Required Documents

    • Signed Electronic Terms and Conditions
    • Resume
    • Passport
    • Scanned Bachelor’s Degree (if applicable)
    • Criminal background check
  • Schedule a Call

    Have questions or want to talk with a program manager? Set up a time to have a phone call below.

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