Teaching English in Costa Rica: What You Need to Know

Are you looking for an opportunity to explore the world while sharing your knowledge and skills? Teach English in Costa Rica could be your answer. This Central American country boasts of natural wonders, rich culture, and friendly people. Moreover, English teachers are in high demand as tourism and globalization drive the need for language instruction. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary information to navigate this exciting opportunity.

Get Your Qualifications In Order

Before you can start teaching English in Costa Rica, you need to ensure that you have the necessary qualifications. A minimum of a Bachelor’s degree is required, but possessing a TEFL Certification from an accredited institution will bolster your chances of landing a job. Additionally, being a native speaker or having some experience with Spanish will prove beneficial.

Research Potential Employers

There are various teaching opportunities in Costa Rica, ranging from teaching at private schools and universities, teaching English online, or tutoring privately. Research potential employers extensively before you start applying. Consider the school’s location, the student body, and particular English program needs. Popular locations for teaching English include San Jose, Heredia, and Limón.

Understand the Culture and Language

Before you leave for Costa Rica, take the time to research and understand the country’s culture and language. Knowing basic Spanish will enable you to connect with locals and make friends, making the entire experience more enjoyable. Costa Rican culture is friendly, warm, and welcoming, but it is also laid-back and requires a good deal of patience. Culturally, punctuality is not as significant as it is in Western countries.

Living arrangements

Living arrangements vary significantly throughout Costa Rica. Some schools offer on-campus housing, but it is essential to inquire about the quality, size, and cost. Many teachers in Costa Rica recommend seeking a private apartment, as it provides more freedom, privacy, and better opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture. It is advisable to research apartment rentals extensively before committing to one.


Costa Rican wages can vary from $6 to $10 per hour when teaching English; It is essential to have a budget in mind. Living expenses can be high, especially in popular tourist destinations. However, living in a small town in Costa Rican areas can be cheaper but with fewer amenities. Ensure you have enough savings to sustain your living expenses before you leave.


Teaching English in Costa Rica can be a life-changing experience, enabling you to explore a beautiful country while developing your professional skills. However, it is vital to prepare extensively before leaving by budgeting, researching potential employers, getting your qualifications in order, and understanding the culture and language. With the right effort and preparation, you could land the perfect English teaching job in Costa Rica that offers you a fulfilling experience and the opportunity to make a difference.