Costa Rica FAQs
Questions about Costa Rica
The course is an intense, challenging, and fun experience. The school day usually begins at 8:30 am but can start as late as 10:00 am or as early as 7:00 am depending on scheduled Teaching Practice. During the first sessions of the day grammar, theory, and teaching skills are taught while afternoons are usually spent doing supervised lesson planning during the last few weeks. While on course you can expect to be busy, especially during your teaching practice days. It is best if you do not plan to be involved in any extensive extracurricular activities or courses. Be prepared to spend a fair amount of time outside of the classroom studying and completing your lesson plans. That said we also want you to thoroughly enjoy your time in Costa Rica. If you manage your time well you could have Friday afternoons and your weekends to travel and relax as you wish.
The climate in the Manuel Antonio area is hot and humid year round though we do enjoy sea breezes that go a long way toward making it comfortable. The seasons in Costa Rica are divided between summer and winter or the dry season and the wet season, respectively. On the Pacific slope the rainy season begins in May and runs its course until November. The days often begin sunny and pleasant, with rains coming later in the day and dissipating very quickly leaving the nights cool and beautiful. If attending a course that is scheduled during the rainy season, we recommend that you bring a rain jacket and/or an umbrella. The dry season begins at the end of November and runs through mid-May. The skies are often cloudless with rain occurring on a weekly, rather than a daily basis. Temperatures vary between 74 and 95º F (23 to 35ºC) with the average being around 85ºF (29ºC).
In terms of clothing, lightweight fabrics are best. Manuel Antonio and Quepos are beach towns so wearing shorts and tank tops are acceptable outside of the classroom. While you are teaching shorts, spaghetti straps, loud t-shirts, and general beach attire are not allowed. We are representing ourselves to the community and it is expected that you dress appropriately. Comfortable walking shoes/trainers with a good grip are highly recommended but to teach you will have to have shoes that are not flip-flops or trainers. Open toed sandals are okay (a piece of advice for women…heels are murder here). Further; a rain jacket or umbrella and a flashlight are practical accessories regardless of the season. And don't forget your bathing suit and beach towel!
Visitors to Costa Rica from the USA, Canada and the UK can enter the country without a visa. Visitors must carry a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date of arrival and can remain in the country for 90 days. The initial 90-day period can be extended for an additional 90 days within the country. Visitors to Costa Rica from Ireland, Australia and New Zealand can also enter the country without a visa. Visitors must carry a passport that is valid for at least six months after the date of arrival and can stay in Costa Rica for a maximum of 30 days. The initial 30- day period can be extended for an additional 60 days within the country. Citizens from all other countries should contact their local consulate to obtain current travel regulations.
Our knowledgeable staff is available to assist you in resume preparation, interview consultation, and application procedures. Course graduates are also given lifetime access to our extensive database of job openings with contact information and details of institutions all over the world.
Your teaching practice may occur in the local schools or at the TEFL International school site. You will be teaching small groups of adults or children that are of all ages, backgrounds, and proficiency levels.
While TEFL International is not involved directly with flights and travel arrangements we would like to recommend STA Travel for all of your travel needs. They offer competitive rates, flexible return flights, and travel insurance. Please visit them at www.statravel.com/teflcourse for more information.
The average salary in Costa Rica is about $900 USD a month (with this being on the higher end).
If you are looking in Costa Rica specifically you will find the vast majority of openings at language institutes in and around the San Jose area. These companies are looking for TESOL certificate holders and pay between $7 and $10 USD an hour with more hours being assigned according to seniority. Spring and summer is the best time to seek employment in Costa Rica, but ample jobs can be found year round.
On average we have about 15 students enrolled in each program, most of whom are American, British, or Canadian.