Top 5 Reasons to get TEFL Certified in Costa Rica

Top 5 Reasons to get TEFL Certified in Costa Rica

Latin America has always been a popular destination for ESL teachers to live and work abroad. From the abundance of plantains to the laid-back Tico lifestyle, it’s not hard to see why Costa Rica is one of the best teaching markets in Central America.

If the opportunity to get paid to teach and travel abroad isn’t motivating enough, check out five more reasons from our Greenheart Travel Costa Rica TEFL Course graduates on what they loved most about getting certified in Costa Rica!

1. The Food

“I love plantains so much! Fried, grilled, on the top of sushi (the restaurant about 100-150m south of school does the best sushi.) The tico roll is amazing and has plantain on the top.” – Johanna Chipp, May 2, 2016 Costa Rica TEFL course graduate

“During the first week of the course my host family made chifrijo, which is a Costa Rican soup with flavors of cilantro and lime. It was amazing!” – Laura Gorden, May 2, 2016 Costa Rica TEFL course graduate

2. The Costa Rican Culture

“I’ve been living with Dona Viki and Don Rodrigo (home stay accommodations) and what I’ve noticed about living with them is that they put so much love into their cooking for us. Even at the end of the day, or when we get home late from teaching, they still have the food ready for us and prepare our plates.” –Laura Gorden


“I love that the Tico culture is so friendly. The people are amazing. I have made so many new friends here in such a short space of time. It’s the little things, like yesterday a man held his hand out for me to help me getting off the bus. The owner of the nearby bar asks me to let him know that I got home safe. Neighbours here are people who you know well, not strangers who you live near to.” –Johanna Chipp

“For the four weeks of the program, I learned so much from the instructors, but also from the other participants. We studied grammar together, planned lessons, taught, explored, shared meals, laughed, and talked about our hopes, dreams and travel goals. When you embark on this adventure, you are not alone. You have a team of people who will support you and share in your challenges and triumphs.”  –Cheryl Rettig, August 3, 2015 Costa Rica TEFL course graduate

3. The Costa Rica TEFL Course


“Before I talk about benefits like travel, new friendships, and adventure, I need to mention one of the most important reasons to complete your TEFL training in Costa Rica – the program itself. Luke and Melanie are absolutely fantastic instructors. They are fun, dynamic, extremely knowledgeable, encouraging, and committed to helping you succeed (as long as you are willing to put in the work that is necessary). Plus, the program is constructed in such a way that there is ample time to learn so many important things, including grammar (you will know all your tenses so well), lesson planning, how to teach specific skills like reading, writing, listening and speaking….the list goes on. By the end of your four weeks, you have so much practical knowledge, plus the confidence you gain from six observed teaching opportunities. You might be (ok, you will be) nervous the first time you teach in front of a group of students, but with all the constructive feedback provided by Luke and Melanie, your nerves will calm and you will (hopefully) start to look forward to standing in front of your students. Plus, the experience and knowledge you gain in this program will really serve you well in your first teaching placement after graduation. I know it helped me a lot.” – Cheryl Rettig

“The course itself I definitely underestimated the intensity of. It’s intense, and full on, and a lot of work. But it’s not excessively difficult or unachievable. If you work hard you will be fine, and the intensity of the course is actually a blessing in disguise as it helps you to be properly prepared for teaching. The students are awesome. I’ve taught a mix of levels from beginner to advanced and they all have a real thirst for knowledge which is so awesome that it’s something you can give them. There’s like a magic moment where something you’ve been trying to teach them throughout a lesson finally gets through, and the look on their face when they finally understand is awesome. It makes everything worth it.” – Johanna Chipp

4. Speaking Spanish with Locals

“Before I went to Costa Rica, I had taken Spanish courses in high school and university, but I was a bit rusty to say the least. However, when you live with a host family who only speak Spanish, you pick up the language very quickly – by necessity! My host family was wonderful and quite patient. Each evening we would talk about our day or discuss the events on the news, in Spanish. By the end of the month, I was so much more confident and able to not only understand spoken Spanish, but also communicate my thoughts and ideas more fluently.” – Cheryl Rettig

5. So Many Fun Activities to Do in Costa Rica

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“If you are feeling a bit stuck in your day-to-day life and have always thought, ‘I would love to travel…some day,’ choose today as that “some day” to make a change. Costa Rica is absolutely gorgeous. I had the incredible opportunity to travel throughout the country and visit places like Arenal Volcano and La Paz waterfalls. It is extremely easy to find a tour company that provides day trips, or you can travel with friends by bus. Oh, and I also went zip-lining. What an incredible experience! I highly recommend Costa Rica for its natural wonders, beauty, and adventure opportunities.” – Cheryl Rettig

“It’s really easy to get around, buses are SO cheap, Ubers are readily available, as are taxis and piratas. Bartenders are always happy to call you a taxi, as are people in restaurants etc. My favourite thing to do so far is go to the nearby seafood place or sushi, grab some food, bring it to the bar, grab a beer with friends and study or hang out together. I haven’t travelled much as yet but it’s so cool how much you can see just by running a couple of miles in the morning. One of the girls in the course saw a cow sitting in the middle of the road, I saw a turtle crossing the road this morning, and I’ve walked by cows, chickens and a coffee plantation or two on my way to school this morning. It’s awesome how much there is to see.” – Johanna Chipp

Interested in getting TEFL certified and teaching English in Costa Rica?

3 thoughts on "Top 5 Reasons to get TEFL Certified in Costa Rica"

  1. Mark says:

    Interested in TESL training in puerto rico.
    What are some things americans need to know before going?
    Does this training qualify for specialties in other countries also?

    1. Shannon Pedersen says:

      Hi Mark,
      We don’t have a program in Puerto Rico, so we can’t speak to things to know, placement information, etc. If you have questions about Costa Rica, please let us know!

  2. Karen Grose says:

    I’m currently doing missionary work in Guatemala, but I’m very interested in your ESL program once I’m done with my commitment in Guatemala.

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