Teaching English in Costa Rica: Requirements and Qualifications

Teaching English in Costa Rica: Requirements and Qualifications

Are you a native or fluent English speaker looking to teach abroad? Costa Rica could be the perfect destination for you! This tropical haven in Central America has become one of the most popular places for English teachers, thanks to its laid-back lifestyle and stunning scenery. In this comprehensive guide, we will give you all the information you need to know about Teach English in Costa Rica.

Finding a Teaching Job

The best place to start your search for English teaching jobs in Costa Rica is by perusing job boards such as Dave’s ESL Café or searching job postings on social media. It’s also advantageous to network by attending local events and making connections. Most schools require a bachelor’s degree, TEFL certification, and some prior teaching experience. A good tip is to prepare a professional-looking CV and cover letter to stand out from the competition.

Salaries and Living Costs

The average salary for English teachers in Costa Rica is around $500-$700 a month, which may not be enough to cover all your expenses. However, many teachers supplement their income by taking on private tutoring jobs or teaching at multiple schools. Costa Rica is generally an affordable country to live in, with a low cost of living compared to the USA or Europe. A month’s rent for a modest apartment can range from $300 to $500. Food and transportation are also reasonably priced, making it an excellent place to save money while enjoying your stay.

Teaching Environment and Experience

Teaching English in Costa Rica is a great opportunity to gain experience in the field, as you will be working with diverse groups of students in various settings. You can expect to teach classes of all levels, from beginners to advanced learners. One interesting aspect of teaching in Costa Rica is that the classroom environment is typically relaxed and informal, with students often calling teachers by their first name. Another positive thing about teaching in Costa Rica is that you will have holidays during the country’s many-festivals, including Christmas and Easter.

Culture and Lifestyle

Costa Rica offers you an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in Latin American culture, from tango dancing to fiestas with fireworks and music. The “Pura Vida” lifestyle of Costa Rica is one of the country’s most appealing features, focusing on peace and relaxation. The proximity to nature is also one of the reasons why many choose to settle in Costa Rica long-term. With spectacular beaches, jungles filled with exotic plants and animals, and plenty of outdoor activities, Costa Rica is paradise for nature lovers.

Preparation and Planning

Before taking on a teaching job in Costa Rica, it’s essential to do some research and plan accordingly. The first step is to obtain a long-term visa, which can be obtained from the nearest Costa Rican embassy. Another thing to consider is healthcare coverage, as it’s essential to be insured in case of illness or injury. Finally, research the local customs and etiquette, including the Spanish language and necessary vaccinations and visas.


Teaching English in Costa Rica is a great way to gain international experience while enjoying the country’s beautiful surroundings and relaxed lifestyle. With the tips and information provided in this guide, you can take the first steps towards fulfilling your dream of teaching abroad. So, pack your bags, brush up on your Spanish, and head to Costa Rica for an adventure of a lifetime.