English Teaching Costa Rica

Take part in an introductory course for teaching English as a second language (ESL) before the start of your project and learn how to be more confident in the classroom and well as teaching strategies.

WHY
we need you in Costa Rica

  • Around 30% of the population in Costa Rica sits below the poverty line
  • The majority of poverty is seen in rural areas, where there may be a lack of resources and limited job opportunites
  • Although Costa Rica has a national educational system, those in the poorer rural areas often lack teaching staff and resources
  • Climate change and deforestation are damaging Costa Rica’s natural biodiversity

costa-rica-4018153_640

APPLY NOW

Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in 5 min 


NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info


SCHEDULE A CALL

Let’s talk about it! Schedule a preferred time and date to chat via phone or video   

HOW
can you help?

  • Teach children or adults at schools, community centres and other facilities
  • Take part in an intro ESL course to help you get started
  • Increase your skills as a teacher by creating your own lesson plans
  • Install confidence within the students as they practice their new skills

WHAT
you can do?

  • Teach reading, writing, basic phrases, pronounciation and grammer
  • Create your own lesson plans and come up with creative ways to teach
  • With the children, find fun educational games and creative activites to help them learn English
  • Have one on one conversations with the students to help them practice their conversational skills

Why Involvement Volunteers International?

  • Non Profit Organisation & Charity
  • Over 30 Years Expertise Globally
  • Low Program Fees – From US$295
  • Excellent Safety Record, In-Country 24/7 Support & Emergency Assistance
  • 1 Application Fee – Multiple Countries

creative lesson drawing

Project Description

  PROJECT NAME: ENGLISH TEACHING 

LOCATION: MANUEL ANTONIO & SAN JOSE

  START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)

  ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY (SHARED ROOMS)

  MIN DURATION: 1 WEEK (San Jose) 3 WEEKS (Manuel Antonio)

  MIN AGE: 16+

  SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Criminal background check required

  

outdoor teaching
Helping with students work
Teaching in circle
teaching at the table
writing on the whiteboard
Teaching in classroom
teaching in Costa Rica
marking-students-work

Overview

Many of the public education systems in Costa Rica do not offer high quality ESL classes (English as a Second Language). Knowing how to speak English is a life-changing skill for people in developing countries, because it offers academic opportunities and more job prospects, allowing them a chance to stay out of poverty. There are indeed private language centres but usually only the middle and upper class students have the opportunities to learn here as the fees can be high, creating a larger gap between rich and poor.

On this project you can teach English to both children and adults to improve their English skills, making a true difference to the lives of the local people. Before the start of your project you will take part in an introductory course for teaching English as a second language (ESL). You will be taught techniques and strategies to help you be effective and confident in the classroom, as well as classroom teaching ideas, lesson plans, workbooks and strategies.

This project provides free English language lessons to children and adults from underprivileged communities. You may be volunteering at public schools, community centres, after school programs, shelters for street children, and other educational programs for the poor.

Location

Manuel Antonio is a small beachside village, situated right on the Pacific Ocean. There is a nearby National park which is considered one of the most biodiverse parks in the world. You may even spot a howler monkey or a sloth! The area is known for its biodiversity, as well as perfect white sand beaches. There are lots of activities to do in the area, like mountain and rainforest trails.

San Jose is the capital of Costa Rica and located in the middle of the country. It’s in a great spot to enjoy the city, as well as trips to the beach on the weekends. Around a 2 to 4 hour drive from the city, you will find rainforests, mountains, volcanoes, and beautiful beaches. San Jose also has plenty of shopping, cinemas, restaurants and nightlife.

Project Tasks

  • Creating lesson plans
  • Teaching classes
  • One-on-one tutoring
  • Playing educational games and activities
  • You may also work in other areas such as cleaning teaching areas, fundraising and collecting donations of books and various educational materials.

Food & Accommodation

The majority of our volunteers will stay with a pre-approved middle-class Costa Rican family. You have the option of a shared or a private room. For shared rooms, you are placed with 1-3 other people of the same gender and age group. In San Jose, the host families live in the San Pedro area, which is around a 10 to 60-minute walk or bus ride (depending on where you’re placed) from the volunteer centre. In Manuel Antonio you will stay in the Quepos area. You’ll be given a key to the house and are free to come and go as you please, but you must respect the house rules and practices of your host family.

The host family can help you with washing laundry. There is a small charge of ₡2,500 or $5 per kilo (2.2 lbs) which is paid directly to the family. If you are staying at a student residence, hostel, hotel or apartment that does not have a laundry service available, you can use a nearby laundrette (lavanderia).

Breakfast and dinner will be served 7 days a week and will usually be local cuisine, cooked by your host family. The food in Costa Rica is a mix of African, Italian, French, Chinese, and Spanish cuisines. Common food are grains such as rice, corn, and beans and different meats mixed with spices like coriander, saffron, parsley, oregano, thyme and nutmeg. The food is usually mildly seasoned and has plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Below images show a typical South American homestay, and some of the volunteer hub/ centres.

south american homestay
south america dining room
south america living room
south america single bed
south america bathroom
south america twin bed
south america host family
south america kitchen
blue teaching building
San Jose Volunteer Centre
computer room
San Jose Volunteer Centre
Spanich teaching center san jose costa rica (5)
San Jose Volunteer Centre
outside area of centre, overlooking ocean
Manuel Antonio Volunteer Centre
sitting at centre with view to sea
Manuel Antonio Volunteer Centre
learning spanish at the centre
Manuel Antonio Volunteer Centre

fees

San Jose
Standard Projects

– Childcare
– English Teaching
– Animal Care

All prices in USD

  • 1 Week – $495
  • 2 Weeks – $765
  • 3 Weeks – $1035
  • 4 Weeks – $1250
  • 8 Weeks – $1990
  • 12 Weeks – $2750


Home Stays

Manuel Antonio
Standard Projects

– Childcare
– English Teaching
– Animal Care

All prices in USD

  • 1 Week – N/A
  • 2 Weeks – N/A
  • 3 Weeks – $1095
  • 1 Month – $1360
  • 2 Months – $2095
  • 3 Months – $2895

Home Stays

What’s Included
  • Accommodation
  • Meals
  • Airport Pickup
  • Local Transportation
  • 1 Day Orientation
  • 24/7 In-Country Support
  • Project Materials & Equipment
  • Pre-departure Expert Advice
  • Preperation Tools & Checklists
  • Certificate of Completion

– US$275 application fee applies in addition to program fees
– Application fee is one off per person (unlimited placements)
Click Here to convert the below prices to your local currency
– Discounts may apply if travelling in a pair or group!
– All credit card fees included in below pricing 🙂

Testimonials…

My goal when I came here was to help children and try to make an impact on their lives the best way I could in the three weeks I had and with your guys help, I feel like I was definitely able to do that and I am so grateful for the opportunity to do so.
Alex
AlexCosta Rica Childcare Project
Awesome program in San Jose where I taught English to refugees. I had a great time. My students were awesome and I gained teaching experience
Inez
InezCosta Rica English Teaching Project
I worked alongside nurses and doctors in a retirement home and learned so much! As a nursing student, I felt the medical project really helped me become eager to learn more about healthcare in poverty countries. The staff was beyond helpful and so compassionate, they always made sure I felt at home and never had any questions!
Izzy
IzzyCosta Rica Medical Project
While the work shifts focus between high turtle season to low turtle season, it displays all aspects of the conservation efforts and showcases the importance and connections varying disciplines have on the sea turtle population.
Les
LesCosta Rica Turtle Conservation Project
I felt like being part of the family. The entire staff welcomed me with open arms and has always been there for me. I always felt supported in my projects when I needed some help. Over such a long time I got to know a lot about every unique project that is offered here. The locals show so much gratitude for all the work volunteers do that it´s not only us volunteers teaching and helping them.
Saskia
SaskiaCosta Rica English Teaching Project
I had no experience with Spanish before arriving and I learned so much in just four weeks. I feel confident living day to day life in a Spanish speaking country. I feel like I have the preparation and materials to continue learning Spanish with confidence. In San Jose, I volunteered with a healthcare project and had a very humbling and eye opening experience.
Lauren
LaurenCosta Rica Healthcare Project
I have had the opportunity to get to know many members of the community and help them learn English. English is incredibly important for the people to learn in this community because it is a tourist based economy. Students come motivated and ready to learn! I would highly recommend this program if you are looking to make a real difference in this community and get to know many locals.
Colleen
ColleenCosta Rica English Teaching Project
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FAQ

Is English Teaching in Costa Rica the Right Project for Me?

This would be the perfect project for anyone wishing to get into teaching or to gain experience as an ESL or TEFL teacher. As well as gaining valuable classroom and teaching experience, you are also providing a great opportunity for those who you are teaching.

What’s Included in the Volunteer Fees

  • Airport pick-up
  • Host family accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner, 7 days/week
  • 1 day orientation
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • Walking tour
  • Official certificate of volunteer service
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Spanish language tutoring table
  • Tandem Conversation Program
  • WiFi and computer lab
  • Salsa dance classes
  • Cooking classes
  • Free coffee and tea and on-site snack bar
  • Volunteer centre open 7 days/week

What’s Not Included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Daily transportation
  • Travel and tours
  • Transfer back to the airport
  • Personal spending money

Is there an Orientation?

Each project will include a 1-day orientation to familiarise yourself with the local area, rules, safety advice and general information. Your host family will show you the best way to get to/from your accommodation to the volunteer centre. Orientation will include health and safety advice, do’s and don’ts, cultural norms, activities and tours you can do on weekends, and a short walking tour, showing you the local area. You are also able to take a free Spanish placement exam. On your first day the local coordinator will take you to the placement, where you will be introduced to everyone and shown around the project.

Arrival Information

For San Jose
Our local team will pick you up from San Jose airport on the Sunday before your project. Sunday night accommodation is included in the fees.

If you arrive outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer for an extra fee.

If you want to book any extra nights before or after your program, you can do this for an extra fee.

For Manuel Antonio
Our local team will pick you up from San Jose airport on the Saturday or Sunday before your project. It is recommended to arrive Saturday or before 3pm on Sunday, so you can go straight to Manuel Antonio. If arriving after 3pm on Saturday or Sunday, you will stay with a host family for 1 night in San Jose, and transfer to Manuel Antonio the following day.

The transfer to Manuel Antonio is in two parts. A member of the local team will pick you up from San Jose airport and take you to the bus station in San Jose. You will then get the bus to Manuel Antonio (ticket included), where your host family will meet you at Manuel Antonio bus stop. The bus journey is around 3 hours.

If you arrive outside the pickup times, you can book a private transfer for an extra fee.

If you want to book any extra nights before or after your program, you can do this for an extra fee.

Transportation whilst on your project

Most volunteers either walk or take the bus, depending on how far their project is. Journey time varies widely from project to project, and you should expect to spend 15-60 minutes traveling each way. You might also need to change buses during your trip. Taxi’s are also widely available but do cost more than buses. It can be hard to change your project after you start volunteering, so please be ready to travel to your designated project every day.

PLEASE NOTE: Volunteers are required to pay for the daily transportation to and from your project. Local buses are very affordable, and a one-way trip will cost around ₡350 (around $0.60) on average. Taxis are more expensive, and costs vary based on how long the journey is. A budget of around US $5 is recommend per day for transportation to and from your project.

What does a Typical Day Involve?

Sunday – Arrival / Welcome and Home Stay Introduction

Monday – Orientation day

Tuesday to Friday

Here is a rough guide on what to expect:

  • Breakfast at the accommodation
  • 3-4 hours of volunteer work either in the morning or afternoon
  • Your own lunch at the accommodation or project site
  • Free time
  • Dinner at the accommodation

What Happens on Weekends?

San Jose

San Jose is the capital city and has plenty to do from city tours, watching a show at the theatre, markets, museums, parks, and city walking tours. You can also take day trips to mountains, volcanoes and the beach.

Arenal Volcano

Situated about 90 km northwest of San Jose is Arenal volcano, measuring 1,633 metres high. This scenic volcano is one of the most popular tourist attractions, with daily tours walking around it, plus it’s proximity to the nearby rainforest and waterfalls make it a popular place to visit.

Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio

Close by the where a lot of our projects are, this National park is one of the most popular in Costa Rica. With beautiful beaches, rainforest walking trails and an abundance of wildlife, this is a must visit for any traveller!

Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve

Another stunning destination to visit and a lush oasis of green rainforest and misty fog and clouds sitting at the top of the canopy. There are around 420 different types of orchids, ferns mosses, as well as a large bird population- perfect for nature and wildlife lovers. There are also night time walking tours.

Corcovado National Park

A stunning national park with plenty of hiking trails, natural swimming holes, waterfalls, rainforest, wildlife, flora and fauna and camping. Here you will find more than 400 bird species, monkeys, sea turtles, over 40 frog species, 100 butterfly species and perhaps even a jaguar.

Adventure activities

Costa Rica has so much to do for those who like to live on the wild side! From ziplining, white water rafting, canyoning, surfing, snorkelling, diving, horse riding and paddle boarding. This is a nature and adventure lovers paradise!

Beach Hopping

There is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. From white sand, black sand, beaches that meet jungle and all with crystal clear, blue waters. Many of the beach town have cafes, restaurants, accommodation and places to grab a fresh coconut juice, the perfect way to chill out after a hot day!

Are There Any Special Requirements?

Volunteers must:

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Those under 16 are welcome when there is a faculty leader, parent, or guardian present
  • Have a valid CRB check working with children
  • Attend the ESL intro course before starting project
  • Be a native or fluent English speaker
  • Be hardworking, and be able to adjust working with limited recourses

Country Information

Costa Rica is a small country in Central America and is bordered by Nicaragua to the North, Panama to the South, the Pacific Ocean to the West, and the Caribbean Sea to the East. The country has a population of 5 million people and is roughly the same size as a large city in the USA! Costa Rica offers incredible mountain trails, coffee plantations, lush rainforests and some stunning beaches, with a huge variety of landscapes.

Volunteer projects are situated in the beach town of Manuel Antonio and in the capital city of San Jose. Some projects are situated in areas further afield, offering a more ‘off the beaten track’ option. These areas are Guanacaste (beach), Caribbean (beach), and Monteverde (cloud forest).

Climate

Manuel Antonio: Located at sea level, you can expect average temperatures from 19 degree Celsius to 28 degrees. The dry season is from December to April with hot and humid weather. The wet season is from May to November. The weather will be humid, with showers throughout the day. The plus side of travelling during this time is that everything will be so green!

San Jose: At 1170 metres above sea level, temperatures can range from 20-30 degrees Celsius. December to April has little to no rain, moderate temperatures and can get cooler during the evenings. May to November experiences warm days, cool nights and short intermittent bursts of rain and sun.

What’s the Culture Like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica still has much of its Spanish heritage (the national language), with a vast amount of the population being of Afro-Caribbean descent. There is also a small population Jewish and Chinese communities. A large proportion of the country is Catholic and Latino music and dance are enjoyed throughout the country, as well as a love for soccer. Cost Rica disbanded their armed forces in 1949, as the area is so safe. The people are happy, laid back and welcoming.

About Involvement Volunteers International

30 Years Non Profit Experience

IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.

Affordable Volunteer Travel

We’re not motivated by shareholder profits.   Our fees are fully transparent to ensure maximum benefit where it is most needed. 

Safe & Responsible Projects

All projects include a dedicated 24/7 in-country management team, operational & risk assessment & overseas support contact.   All projects are personally inspected to ensure very high quality. 

Work Experience & University Credits

We place thousands of Uni students and can assist you with course credits and in-field experience points.   Many of our project coordinators are qualified practitioners in their respective fields allowing unique in-field supervision and Uni accreditation options 

See More

How Can I Raise Funds for my Trip?

Check out this amazing blog with step by step info on how to raise funds for your overseas volunteer experience to help maximize your impact abroad. Guide to Fundraising

Weekends & Extra Tours

Situated about 90 km northwest of San Jose is Arenal volcano, measuring 1,633 metres high. This scenic volcano is one of the most popular tourist attractions, with daily tours walking around it, plus it’s proximity to the nearby rainforest and waterfalls make it a popular place to visit.
Arenal Volcano
Arenal VolcanoCosta Rica
A lush oasis of green rainforest and misty fog and clouds sitting at the top of the canopy. There are around 420 different types of orchids, ferns mosses, as well as a large bird population- perfect for nature and wildlife lovers. There are also night time walking tours.
Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve
Monteverde Cloud Forest ReserveCosta Rica
There is no shortage of beautiful beaches in Costa Rica. From white sand, black sand, beaches that meet jungle and all with crystal clear, blue waters. Many of the beach town have cafes, restaurants, accommodation and places to grab a fresh coconut juice, the perfect way to chill out after a hot day!
Beach Hopping
Beach HoppingCosta Rica
San Jose is the capital city and has plenty to do from city tours, watching a show at the theatre, markets, museums, parks, and city walking tours. You can also take day trips to mountains, volcanoes and the beach.
San Jose
San JoseCosta Rica
Close by the where a lot of our projects are, this National park is one of the most popular in Costa Rica. With beautiful beaches, rainforest walking trails and an abundance of wildlife, this is a must visit for any traveller!
Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio
Parque Nacional Manuel AntonioCosta Rica
A stunning national park with plenty of hiking trails, natural swimming holes, waterfalls, rainforest, wildlife, flora and fauna and camping. Here you will find more than 400 bird species, monkeys, sea turtles, over 40 frog species, 100 butterfly species and perhaps even a jaguar.
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National ParkCosta Rica
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Ready to Volunteer in Costa Rica?

APPLY NOW

Ready to volunteer abroad? Complete your application online in 5 min 


NEED MORE INFO?

Not sure which program is right for you? Contact us for more info


SCHEDULE A CALL

Let’s talk about it! Schedule a preferred time and date to chat via phone or video