Costa Rica TEFL Certification Course in Heredia

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  • Overview

    Get your TEFL certification while living the pura vida lifestyle in Heredia, Costa Rica. Known as the province of flowers, Heredia gives you the best of all worlds: wonderful nightlife, a safe environment, a true cultural immersion experience, and tons of places to explore. With our network of schools and job placement assistance, getting your certification in Costa Rica is by far the easiest way to get a paid job teaching English in Central America. Or, use your summer break to get your TEFL certification under your belt for teaching positions or programs once you graduate from college.

    The Costa Rica TEFL Certificate course is an intensive, in-person 190-hour ESL/EFL teacher training course which provides participants with the skills and confidence needed to succeed in the English language classroom. The TEFL Certificate you will receive is accredited and recognized worldwide.

    What do past participants say about the program?


    Course Overview:

    • 190-hour TEFL Certification Course
    • Intensive 4-week in-person training
    • Located in Heredia, Costa Rica
    • Fully accredited and internationally recognized
    • Highly qualified, passionate professors
    • Limited class sizes (12 students per class)

    Course Benefits:

    • In-person training – students study in a highly academic environment Monday – Friday, for 4 weeks
    • Cultural Immersion – A “real” Costa Rican experience in a small town. Wonderful Costa Rican food and people!
    • Learn or Practice Spanish – the option to stay with a host family as you take your course allows complete language immersion
    • Practical experience – your observations and practical teaching are done with real Costa Rican English learners
    • Worldwide recognition – an accredited LEVEL 5 TEFL certification course, with graduates now teaching English around the world
    • High-quality trainers – all trainers have a wealth of  formal training and practical experience
    • Resource Pack – receive a comprehensive resource packet that includes tested ESL activities, and teaching tips for both kids and business classes
    • More attention – With class sizes limited to 12, you’ll receive plenty of personal attention
    • Accredited and Internationally Recognized
    • Location – The school is strategically located near all of the major ESL schools in Costa Rica, making it easy to find a job once you’re certified
    • Teach in Costa Rica – Excellent school network and job placement assistance. Over 90% of course graduates find jobs teaching English in Costa Rica upon course completion.
    • Lifetime international job search guidance
    • Never expires!

    Have questions for a program manager? Email us at

  • Dates

    Students who register for any course in Costa Rica 60 days or more in advance will receive $150 early-bird off of the total course fee!

    Program Start Date  Availability 
    November 18, 2024 Open

    While there are plentiful job opportunities year-round, peak hiring periods are in June/July and December/January!

    Don’t miss out! Courses are limited to 12 students, and typically fill two months ahead of time. Register early to guarantee a spot on your desired start date.

  • Eligibility

    All participants must show a serious commitment to learning, and a willingness to plan and teach in groups and to work reflectively. In order to make sure you gain all of the tools and practice you need to teach English, the course is intensive and involves long days in the classroom, plus homework on nights and weekends. Other requirements are:

    • At least 18 years of age
    • Native English Speaker*
    • High school diploma
    • Must be open minded, flexible, and adaptable
    • Have a laptop (tablets not acceptable)

    *Native English speakers or non-native speakers with a C1 certificate with a high school diploma may be academically eligible to join the course.

  • Costs and Inclusions

    ($600 will be paid to Greenheart Travel to secure your spot in the course. The remainder of the tuition will be paid directly to the school.)

    • Early Bird Discount: $150 discount if you register 60 days before your course date! ($1,649) This discount will be reflected in the balance that you pay to the school, not the application fee.

    What’s included:

    • 4 weeks of intensive TEFL training in Costa Rica
    • 190 Hour TEFL Certificate (upon successful completion)
    • Lifetime job search guidance
    • Practice teaching real Costa Rican ESL students
    • Resume workshop
    • Wireless internet
    • Free airport pickup
    • Assistance in finding accommodation
    • Contact information for top ESL schools in Costa Rica
    • Letter of recommendation upon request

    What’s not included:

    • Accommodations during the course (~$500-700/month)
    • Meals (meals ARE included with the homestay option)
    • Airfare to/from San Jose, Costa Rica
    • TEFL Course Book ($50)
    • Access to a computer

    Estimated total costs (excluding flights): $2,350 – $2,550

  • Why Greenheart Travel?

    As an alumnus of the Costa Rica TEFL certification course, you will receive:

    • A highly accredited TEFL certification upon completion of the course
    • $100 alumni discount off any future Greenheart Travel programs
    • Lifetime job placement assistance for jobs worldwide
    • Community of other graduates who are teaching all over the world
    • Community of other Greenheart Travel teachers to reach out to for tips and advice abroad
    • Access to Greenheart Grants to establish community service projects at home or abroad
    • Waived Teach in South Korea Program Application Fee
    • Personal pre-departure orientation and cultural training
    • Hands-on support before you travel to Costa Rica
    • In-country support from school staff once you arrive
    • Check out reviews of the course to learn more about our commitment to our TEFL students’ experience
  • Accommodation

    Accommodations are not included because we have several different housing options depending on your preferences and budget. Greenheart Travel highly recommends the host family option, as it will give you a great support system, a location close to the school, and culture and language immersion!

    School staff will assist you in finding housing for your month of training. You can choose to extend the stay in your accommodation past the original month if you care to.

    Homestays $625/month

    This option includes three hearty meals every day, your own room, a safe location, wifi, laundry, and no curfews guaranteed. We will match you with a family according to your preferences if you have any. You can choose to be the only student or to have a roommate. We start the process of assigning families about 3 weeks before the course starts and will send you a link and information about your family about 2 weeks before the start date. All of our families have been working with us for a while and are experts hosting students. They understand most of our students have never been in Costa Rica before, don’t speak the language, or sometimes it’s their first time traveling, so they are very helpful, accommodating and welcoming. Because of the school policy, you will not be able to meet your family before you arrive. We recommend our students to arrive 2-3 days before the course starts to get fully acquainted with the family.

    The Student house $450/month

    The student house is a great option!  It allows you to come home after a long day and comfortably unwind, instead of going back to a homestay family.  It’s not a frat party house by any means, in fact, there is a “lights out/quiet time” at 10:30 pm weeknights, allowing those who want a good night sleep to get it. However, there are plenty of places nearby for those who want to extend the evening a tad. Student housing allows those who feel that making friends and bonding with their classmates is a big attraction to living abroad. It allows students who feel this way to get the most out of the social aspect of the course, creating friendships that will last a lifetime. Good times, lots of laughs, making friends and creating lasting memories. That’s what traveling abroad is all about.This housing option is cheaper than the homestay option because it does not include food. It includes all the amenities plus a house cleaner 3 times a week who will take care of your laundry as well. Each student will have their own private bedroom and will share the kitchen plus 3 bathrooms and showers.

  • Your Day to Day

    This course is an intensive 4 weeks and students should expect to be at school for the majority of the day Monday – Friday and to complete homework assignments every night. Here is a typical daily schedule:

    7:30 – 9:00 AM                        Wake up, get ready, eat breakfast
    9:00 – 9:30                               Commute to school
    9:30 – 12:00                             Morning session (grammar, lesson preparation, methodology)
    12:00 – 1:00                              Lunch break
    1:00 – 4:00                                Afternoon session (lesson planning, prep time for practicum)
    5:00 – 8:00                                Student teaching and classroom observation with locals
    8:00 – 9:00                                Eat dinner, go out with friends, relax
    9:00-11:00                                 Homework, prepare for tomorrows class
    11:30 PM                                   Go to bed

    Although this course should not be taken lightly, as long as you go to class and get your homework done each night, you will do great! It is rare for students to fail this course, but you should expect a fairly intensive 4 weeks.


    “From the moment I landed in Costa Rica, everything seems to have fallen into place. I came down here to work on my Spanish and to share my knowledge of English, and so far the dream’s coming true. The TEFL course was fast, fun and full of so much important information, and the day after graduation I was already substitute teaching at a Language school in Heredia. During the course, most of us stayed with a host family which presented a great opportunity to brush up on some Spanish, and of course to get a taste of the local cuisine. In fact, I often find myself wanting to visit them if only for a good meal. The laid back culture, perfect temperatures and lush green landscape really make Costa Rica an ideal spot to dive into a new life adventure.”  – Shannon, Dec ’12

  • Job Search Guidance

    All students and graduates of the Costa Rica TEFL course receive lifetime job search guidance to find paid jobs teaching English around the world. This includes — but is not limited to — the following:

    1. Greenheart Travel Teach Abroad programs – if you meet the other program requirements, obtaining a TEFL certificate will qualify you for any of our excellent Teach Abroad programs. You’ll receive step-by-step assistance and support from your application to the end of your program. This is a great option for anyone who wants a little bit more structure, support, and community in their teach abroad experience.
    2. Personal guidance from an experienced Job Search Advisor – Expert Job Search Advisors are available to speak with you and correspond by email to address all of your questions and to assist you with every aspect of your job search from writing your resume/CV and cover letter, to coaching you on the interview process in different job markets, to helping you assess which destinations might be the best fit for you based on your preferences and qualifications.
    3. Local Costa Rica Job Search Guidance – During and after your course, local staff will do as much as possible to introduce you to the local ESL market here in Costa Rica. During the first week of the course, you will receive a packet of invaluable job search resources, including lists of schools and institutes in Costa Rica that hire foreign ESL teachers. The lists are categorized by students’ ages as well as school locations (ie, at the beach). Many of the possible employers, especially the language institutes, have a working relationship with the TEFL school, and happily hire course graduates regularly.
    4. Staff will recommend the schools and institutes with the best reputations, and warn you of those without good reputations. Surveys are given to course graduates working in local schools and institutes to find out what the benefits of each school are and what type of environment it has.
    5. ESL job search manual: All graduates of the online course receive a manual detailing all relevant information for major job markets around the world, including hiring seasons, academic standards, and the interview process as well as templates for resumes and cover letters. This manual also incorporates extensive listings of online resources, including nearly 100 ESL international job boards listing thousands of teaching opportunities around the world.
    6. ESL worldwide school directory: We will send you a directory of approximately 8,000 schools worldwide that you can contact directly regarding employment opportunities.
  • Job Market

    Taking the TEFL Course in Costa Rica is the perfect way to find work there in a paid English teaching position upon completion of your course.

    There is a large demand for TEFL/TESOL Certified Native English speakers in Costa Rica. Finding a job in Costa Rica almost always requires that the English teacher is already in Costa Rica. Teachers find work by visiting language schools and interviewing in person. Students who take the course in Costa Rica are in a unique position of being in the country for a month before looking for a job. They also have the opportunity to earn a personal job referral from course staff, who have longstanding relationships with schools around the area.

    • Peak hiring season: June/July, December/January
    • Low hiring season: Christmas through mid-January (Most schools hire before the holiday break for positions beginning in January)

    During your course, you’ll have the opportunity to use the staff as a resource and connection for finding paid teaching jobs in Costa Rica.

    nicole-mekker“Although the teaching methods they introduced to us in the Costa Rica course differ greatly from what I’ve found teaching elementary students in Korea, I believed it has prepared me more so than the other English teachers I have met. The course in Costa Rica focused on teaching independently and with using solely English. It taught us how to think quickly to answer tough questions and explain complicated concepts in a way students can understand.” –Greenheart Travel Costa Rica TEFL participant, Nicole Mekker


    Almost all paid teaching positions in Costa Rica are in English language schools. Most teaching positions will be located in and around San Jose in the Central Valley. There is a much higher demand for teachers in this area, as it is where most of the English language schools and international corporations are located. It is possible to find work in smaller towns or near the beach, but teachers should expect the job search to be more challenging, and should plan for it to take longer to find and secure work (and to have more money to last until your first paycheck).

    In the language schools, you’ll be teaching adults, and hours will be mostly evenings and weekends. Most teachers should expect to work Saturdays, with Fridays and Sundays off. You may need to travel to get to your classes, as many language schools offer classes to businesses. In these cases, you may be going to the business itself to teach your class.

    There are some elementary school positions working with children. Hours for these positions would be during school hours, Monday-Friday.

    Setting Your Expectations

    There are certain realities of finding work and teaching in Costa Rica that you should be aware of before deciding to go:

    • Costa Rica is considered a “break even” country. Teachers will be able to earn enough money to live off of if they are working enough hours per week. Teachers should expect to live frugally and bring additional savings to travel or supplement their income.
    • It may take 2-4 weeks to secure enough teaching hours to live off of
    • A one year teaching commitment is the norm
    • Each position and school location will vary
    • Most teachers are paid hourly (roughly $8/hour)
    • Monthly pay can range between $400-900 per month (depending on the school and number of hours worked)
    • Teaching hours can range from 18 – 40 hours per week
    • You may need to work at more than one school to acquire enough teaching hours to live off of (some hours at one language school, some hours at another)
    • Some teachers choose to supplement their regular teaching hours with private tutoring (found independently)
    • Classes can begin as early as 7:00 AM and finish as late as 10:00 PM
    • Students can be either kids or adults
  • FAQs

    Why should I choose this course?

    The Costa Rica TEFL training school is the best place to study because it is owned and operated by real English teachers, who know firsthand what it’s like to be in your position. They are all English teachers who have experienced the amazing things that ESL teaching provides, as well as the negative aspects. The staff understands your excitement and enthusiasm, as well as your worries, fears and doubts, and will go the extra mile to address them all.

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

    You should take this course if you:

    • prefer learning in a physical classroom (instead of online)
    • want to teach English in Latin America
    • are still in school, but want to teach English when you graduate. Get qualified now!
    • are interested in being immersed in a different culture while earning your certification
    • want to learn or practice your Spanish while getting certified
    • are seeking the best accreditation from an independent accrediting body
    • are a novice teacher: The course offers solid, practical, teaching techniques to ensure you enter the classroom with confidence
    • want to teach English in Costa Rica or other Latin American countries
    • decide on quality rather than price alone because you realize that you are investing in your education and your future
    • understand that a highly qualified, experienced instructor, an exceptional curriculum and excellent accreditation are absolute necessities in TESOL / TEFL Certification training

    Do I qualify to take this course?
    Students must be 18 years or older, fluent in English, and have a high school diploma.

    Who teaches this course?
    Your teacher is guaranteed to have at least 10 years of experience. The instructors are the course’s greatest assets!

    What is the job placement assistance like?

    During the course, staff will assist you with the creation of an ESL resume and cover letter, and provide you with detailed information regarding what you can expect when applying for jobs around the World. You will also be provided with a detailed Costa Rica ESL School Chart that includes contact info, hiring seasons and the inside scope on what are the best ones to apply to. For those looking for jobs elsewhere around the world, we’ll put you in contact with graduates currently teaching around the world.

    Which course dates are the best to align with the main hiring season in Costa Rica?
    The three best courses for job hiring seasons are the January, May and November courses, but positions can be found year round.

    Will I be able to find a job teaching English in Costa Rica once I’m done with my course?
    We do not guarantee job placement after your course, but 90% of the course graduates find work in Costa Rica. We can guarantee that staff will make the extra effort to find you the job you want. Most TEFL schools have a list of phone numbers and emails, which they print off for their grads and say, “Here you go. Good luck.” Our school has strong relationships with many schools throughout Costa Rica, and we will find out which of them are hiring, and put you in contact with them. Plus, the TEFL training center has its own ESL school, with 3 locations that hire teachers. Course graduates get priority for these placements.

    Luckily for our students, the training center is located within 20kms of 90% of the English schools in Costa Rica. Making contacts, scouting out schools, getting established before you graduate, meeting teachers, and seeing early where you’d like to live and work WHILE taking your TEFL course gives you a leg up on landing a job after you graduate. Use our central location to your advantage!

    The Costa Rica TEFL Course was founded by ESL teachers that have over 20 years of experience teaching English in Costa Rica. Your trainers have contacts in the major ESL schools around Costa Rica, universities, and even access to some public schools (although it is tricky getting a job with the government).

    We understand that many people don’t feel comfortable moving to Costa Rica without a guaranteed job. If you’d like a job arranged and guaranteed in advance, along with some additional structure and support, check out our new Teach in Costa Rica program!

    What content does the course cover?

    • Pre-Course Grammar Module
    • Basic Principles of Teaching
    • Grammar
    • Resources
    • Reading
    • Listening
    • Writing
    • Speaking
    • Classroom Management
    • Lesson Planning
    • Error Correction
    • Visual Aids

    What is the job market like in Costa Rica?

    Costa Rica is one of the most developed countries in Latin America, and that is due to the large number of foreign companies moving there to provide their services, like Intel, IBM, Western Union, HP, Oracle, just to name a few. This has made mastering the English language necessary, opening the doors to countless ESL schools. This is all excellent news for English teachers wanting to move to Costa Rica and teach English.

    Is Costa Rica safe?

    Heredia and the community where the school is located are extremely safe, and there are always families and people of all ages strolling about well after dark.
    If you choose to work in San Jose once your course is finished, you do have to be more careful. Parts of downtown and San Pedro have more tourists and more crime, so precautions are necessary. It is a capital city and like all capitals, there is a higher crime rate. However, it’s not as bad as other big cities in the US or Europe.

    What can I expect when teaching English in Costa Rica?

    Monthly salaries range from $400-$750 USD per month. This is considered a “break even” ESL teaching destination. With enough hours, you should be able to support yourself while living in Costa Rica, but you should not plan to save extra money. In fact, it is recommended that you bring some extra money to help support you while you are living in Costa Rica. The peak hiring season is December/January and the end of June to mid-July.

    Teaching hours are typically 15-25 hours per week, and contracts are usually 6 months to 1 year. Teachers work on a tourist visa that needs to be renewed every 90 days.
    Heredia and the community where the school is located are extremely safe, and there are always families and people of all ages strolling about well after dark. I feel much safer walking around at night here than I have in any of the cities where I’ve taught.
    If you choose to work in San Jose you do have to be more careful. Parts of downtown and San Pedro have more tourists and more crime, so precautions are necessary. It is a capital city and like all capitals, there is a higher crime rate. However, again it’s not as bad as other big cities in the US or Europe.

    Will I be able to learn Spanish during the course?

    Everyone learns at their own pace, but taking your course in Costa Rica is a great way to learn or perfect your Spanish! The training center is part of a local community, which means you’ll get to know lots of “ticos” and have a lot of opportunities to practice the language. We highly recommend staying with a host family if you are interested in practicing your Spanish!

    Is it easy to get around Costa Rica?

    Because a large portion of the population uses public transportation, the CR bus system is much more efficient than those found in the US and Canada. Buses run frequently, usually passing every 5 or 10 minutes, so unlike in Canada, missing a bus does not mean waiting 35/ 40 minutes for the next one. A trip from our school to downtown Heredia takes about 10 minutes and costs 35cents. Taxis are also a cheap convenient way to travel especially at night. We also provide phone numbers of taxi drivers who work directly with the school, are very friendly, and can be trusted to give teachers excellent service. Prearranged pick ups can also be set up through the school. We also provide the service of borrowing a bicycle free from the school for your time here, if you prefer that way of getting around.

  • Schedule a Call

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

  • Application Process

    1. Start Your Application Here (Approximately 5 Minutes)Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 5 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.

    2. Sign the Terms and Conditions Document (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.

    3. Fill out your Registration Form (Approximately 10 Minutes): Fill out a simple form to formally register for your course.

    4. Submit your $600 Payment (Approximately 5 Minutes): A payment is required in order to apply for the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.

    5. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We’ll review your application and we are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of when they submit the initial payment.

    6. Talk to Your School. After you submit your payment, you’ll be contacted directly by school staff to arrange your housing and arrival details

    7. Balance: Your remaining tuition balance will be due to the school 6 weeks prior to your course start date.

    Application deadlines: 4 weeks before course start date

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