Earn your TEFL certification while living the “Pura Vida” lifestyle in Heredia, Costa Rica.
Get your TEFL certification while living the pura vida lifestyle in Heredia, Costa Rica. Known as the province of flowers, Heredia gives you the best of all worlds: wonderful nightlife, a safe environment, a true cultural immersion experience, and tons of places to explore. With our network of schools and job placement assistance, getting your certification in Costa Rica is by far the easiest way to get a paid job teaching English in Central America. Or, use your summer break to get your TEFL certification under your belt for teaching positions or programs once you graduate from college.
The Costa Rica TEFL Certificate course is an intensive, in-person 190-hour ESL/EFL teacher training course which provides participants with the skills and confidence needed to succeed in the English language classroom. The TEFL Certificate you will receive is accredited and recognized worldwide.
What do past participants say about the program?
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Students who register for any course in Costa Rica 60 days or more in advance will receive $150 early-bird off of the total course fee!
|Program Start Date||Availability|
|September 11, 2023||Open|
|October 16, 2023||Open|
|November 20, 2023||Open|
|January 15, 2024||Open|
|February 19, 2024||Open|
|April 1, 2024||Open|
|May 6, 2024||Open|
|June 3, 2024||Open|
|July 8, 2024||Open|
|August 12, 2024||Open|
While there are plentiful job opportunities year-round, peak hiring periods are in June/July and December/January!
Don’t miss out! Courses are limited to 12 students, and typically fill two months ahead of time. Register early to guarantee a spot on your desired start date.
All participants must show a serious commitment to learning, and a willingness to plan and teach in groups and to work reflectively. In order to make sure you gain all of the tools and practice you need to teach English, the course is intensive and involves long days in the classroom, plus homework on nights and weekends. Other requirements are:
*Native English speakers or non-native speakers with a C1 certificate with a high school diploma may be academically eligible to join the course.
($600 will be paid to Greenheart Travel to secure your spot in the course. The remainder of the tuition will be paid directly to the school.)
What’s not included:
Estimated total costs (excluding flights): $2,350 – $2,550
As an alumnus of the Costa Rica TEFL certification course, you will receive:
Accommodations are not included because we have several different housing options depending on your preferences and budget. Greenheart Travel highly recommends the host family option, as it will give you a great support system, a location close to the school, and culture and language immersion!
School staff will assist you in finding housing for your month of training. You can choose to extend the stay in your accommodation past the original month if you care to.
This option includes three hearty meals every day, your own room, a safe location, wifi, laundry, and no curfews guaranteed. We will match you with a family according to your preferences if you have any. You can choose to be the only student or to have a roommate. We start the process of assigning families about 3 weeks before the course starts and will send you a link and information about your family about 2 weeks before the start date. All of our families have been working with us for a while and are experts hosting students. They understand most of our students have never been in Costa Rica before, don’t speak the language, or sometimes it’s their first time traveling, so they are very helpful, accommodating and welcoming. Because of the school policy, you will not be able to meet your family before you arrive. We recommend our students to arrive 2-3 days before the course starts to get fully acquainted with the family.
The Student house $450/month
The student house is a great option! It allows you to come home after a long day and comfortably unwind, instead of going back to a homestay family. It’s not a frat party house by any means, in fact, there is a “lights out/quiet time” at 10:30 pm weeknights, allowing those who want a good night sleep to get it. However, there are plenty of places nearby for those who want to extend the evening a tad. Student housing allows those who feel that making friends and bonding with their classmates is a big attraction to living abroad. It allows students who feel this way to get the most out of the social aspect of the course, creating friendships that will last a lifetime. Good times, lots of laughs, making friends and creating lasting memories. That’s what traveling abroad is all about.This housing option is cheaper than the homestay option because it does not include food. It includes all the amenities plus a house cleaner 3 times a week who will take care of your laundry as well. Each student will have their own private bedroom and will share the kitchen plus 3 bathrooms and showers.
This course is an intensive 4 weeks and students should expect to be at school for the majority of the day Monday – Friday and to complete homework assignments every night. Here is a typical daily schedule:
7:30 – 9:00 AM Wake up, get ready, eat breakfast
9:00 – 9:30 Commute to school
9:30 – 12:00 Morning session (grammar, lesson preparation, methodology)
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch break
1:00 – 4:00 Afternoon session (lesson planning, prep time for practicum)
5:00 – 8:00 Student teaching and classroom observation with locals
8:00 – 9:00 Eat dinner, go out with friends, relax
9:00-11:00 Homework, prepare for tomorrows class
11:30 PM Go to bed
Although this course should not be taken lightly, as long as you go to class and get your homework done each night, you will do great! It is rare for students to fail this course, but you should expect a fairly intensive 4 weeks.
“From the moment I landed in Costa Rica, everything seems to have fallen into place. I came down here to work on my Spanish and to share my knowledge of English, and so far the dream’s coming true. The TEFL course was fast, fun and full of so much important information, and the day after graduation I was already substitute teaching at a Language school in Heredia. During the course, most of us stayed with a host family which presented a great opportunity to brush up on some Spanish, and of course to get a taste of the local cuisine. In fact, I often find myself wanting to visit them if only for a good meal. The laid back culture, perfect temperatures and lush green landscape really make Costa Rica an ideal spot to dive into a new life adventure.” – Shannon, Dec ’12
All students and graduates of the Costa Rica TEFL course receive lifetime job search guidance to find paid jobs teaching English around the world. This includes — but is not limited to — the following:
Taking the TEFL Course in Costa Rica is the perfect way to find work there in a paid English teaching position upon completion of your course.
There is a large demand for TEFL/TESOL Certified Native English speakers in Costa Rica. Finding a job in Costa Rica almost always requires that the English teacher is already in Costa Rica. Teachers find work by visiting language schools and interviewing in person. Students who take the course in Costa Rica are in a unique position of being in the country for a month before looking for a job. They also have the opportunity to earn a personal job referral from course staff, who have longstanding relationships with schools around the area.
During your course, you’ll have the opportunity to use the staff as a resource and connection for finding paid teaching jobs in Costa Rica.
“Although the teaching methods they introduced to us in the Costa Rica course differ greatly from what I’ve found teaching elementary students in Korea, I believed it has prepared me more so than the other English teachers I have met. The course in Costa Rica focused on teaching independently and with using solely English. It taught us how to think quickly to answer tough questions and explain complicated concepts in a way students can understand.” –Greenheart Travel Costa Rica TEFL participant, Nicole Mekker
Almost all paid teaching positions in Costa Rica are in English language schools. Most teaching positions will be located in and around San Jose in the Central Valley. There is a much higher demand for teachers in this area, as it is where most of the English language schools and international corporations are located. It is possible to find work in smaller towns or near the beach, but teachers should expect the job search to be more challenging, and should plan for it to take longer to find and secure work (and to have more money to last until your first paycheck).
In the language schools, you’ll be teaching adults, and hours will be mostly evenings and weekends. Most teachers should expect to work Saturdays, with Fridays and Sundays off. You may need to travel to get to your classes, as many language schools offer classes to businesses. In these cases, you may be going to the business itself to teach your class.
There are some elementary school positions working with children. Hours for these positions would be during school hours, Monday-Friday.
Setting Your Expectations
There are certain realities of finding work and teaching in Costa Rica that you should be aware of before deciding to go:
Why should I choose this course?
The Costa Rica TEFL training school is the best place to study because it is owned and operated by real English teachers, who know firsthand what it’s like to be in your position. They are all English teachers who have experienced the amazing things that ESL teaching provides, as well as the negative aspects. The staff understands your excitement and enthusiasm, as well as your worries, fears and doubts, and will go the extra mile to address them all.
How do I know if this course is right for me?
You should take this course if you:
Do I qualify to take this course?
Students must be 18 years or older, fluent in English, and have a high school diploma.
Who teaches this course?
Your teacher is guaranteed to have at least 10 years of experience. The instructors are the course’s greatest assets!
What is the job placement assistance like?
During the course, staff will assist you with the creation of an ESL resume and cover letter, and provide you with detailed information regarding what you can expect when applying for jobs around the World. You will also be provided with a detailed Costa Rica ESL School Chart that includes contact info, hiring seasons and the inside scope on what are the best ones to apply to. For those looking for jobs elsewhere around the world, we’ll put you in contact with graduates currently teaching around the world.
Which course dates are the best to align with the main hiring season in Costa Rica?
The three best courses for job hiring seasons are the January, May and November courses, but positions can be found year round.
Will I be able to find a job teaching English in Costa Rica once I’m done with my course?
We do not guarantee job placement after your course, but 90% of the course graduates find work in Costa Rica. We can guarantee that staff will make the extra effort to find you the job you want. Most TEFL schools have a list of phone numbers and emails, which they print off for their grads and say, “Here you go. Good luck.” Our school has strong relationships with many schools throughout Costa Rica, and we will find out which of them are hiring, and put you in contact with them. Plus, the TEFL training center has its own ESL school, with 3 locations that hire teachers. Course graduates get priority for these placements.
Luckily for our students, the training center is located within 20kms of 90% of the English schools in Costa Rica. Making contacts, scouting out schools, getting established before you graduate, meeting teachers, and seeing early where you’d like to live and work WHILE taking your TEFL course gives you a leg up on landing a job after you graduate. Use our central location to your advantage!
The Costa Rica TEFL Course was founded by ESL teachers that have over 20 years of experience teaching English in Costa Rica. Your trainers have contacts in the major ESL schools around Costa Rica, universities, and even access to some public schools (although it is tricky getting a job with the government).
We understand that many people don’t feel comfortable moving to Costa Rica without a guaranteed job. If you’d like a job arranged and guaranteed in advance, along with some additional structure and support, check out our new Teach in Costa Rica program!
What content does the course cover?
What is the job market like in Costa Rica?
Costa Rica is one of the most developed countries in Latin America, and that is due to the large number of foreign companies moving there to provide their services, like Intel, IBM, Western Union, HP, Oracle, just to name a few. This has made mastering the English language necessary, opening the doors to countless ESL schools. This is all excellent news for English teachers wanting to move to Costa Rica and teach English.
Is Costa Rica safe?
Heredia and the community where the school is located are extremely safe, and there are always families and people of all ages strolling about well after dark.
If you choose to work in San Jose once your course is finished, you do have to be more careful. Parts of downtown and San Pedro have more tourists and more crime, so precautions are necessary. It is a capital city and like all capitals, there is a higher crime rate. However, it’s not as bad as other big cities in the US or Europe.
What can I expect when teaching English in Costa Rica?
Monthly salaries range from $400-$750 USD per month. This is considered a “break even” ESL teaching destination. With enough hours, you should be able to support yourself while living in Costa Rica, but you should not plan to save extra money. In fact, it is recommended that you bring some extra money to help support you while you are living in Costa Rica. The peak hiring season is December/January and the end of June to mid-July.
Teaching hours are typically 15-25 hours per week, and contracts are usually 6 months to 1 year. Teachers work on a tourist visa that needs to be renewed every 90 days.
Heredia and the community where the school is located are extremely safe, and there are always families and people of all ages strolling about well after dark. I feel much safer walking around at night here than I have in any of the cities where I’ve taught.
If you choose to work in San Jose you do have to be more careful. Parts of downtown and San Pedro have more tourists and more crime, so precautions are necessary. It is a capital city and like all capitals, there is a higher crime rate. However, again it’s not as bad as other big cities in the US or Europe.
Will I be able to learn Spanish during the course?
Everyone learns at their own pace, but taking your course in Costa Rica is a great way to learn or perfect your Spanish! The training center is part of a local community, which means you’ll get to know lots of “ticos” and have a lot of opportunities to practice the language. We highly recommend staying with a host family if you are interested in practicing your Spanish!
Is it easy to get around Costa Rica?
Because a large portion of the population uses public transportation, the CR bus system is much more efficient than those found in the US and Canada. Buses run frequently, usually passing every 5 or 10 minutes, so unlike in Canada, missing a bus does not mean waiting 35/ 40 minutes for the next one. A trip from our school to downtown Heredia takes about 10 minutes and costs 35cents. Taxis are also a cheap convenient way to travel especially at night. We also provide phone numbers of taxi drivers who work directly with the school, are very friendly, and can be trusted to give teachers excellent service. Prearranged pick ups can also be set up through the school. We also provide the service of borrowing a bicycle free from the school for your time here, if you prefer that way of getting around.
Have questions or want to talk to a program manager? Set up a time to have a phone call below.
1. Start Your Application Here (Approximately 5 Minutes): Greenheart Travel Application. This first step includes things like your name, address and chosen start date and should take around 5 minutes to complete. Once complete, you will receive a link to a digital Terms and Conditions form.
2. Sign the Terms and Conditions Document (Approximately 10 Minutes): These are our basic policies like cancellation policies, deferral policies, etc.
3. Fill out your Registration Form (Approximately 10 Minutes): Fill out a simple form to formally register for your course.
4. Submit your $600 Payment (Approximately 5 Minutes): A payment is required in order to apply for the program and is subtracted from your total program fee.
5. You’re Accepted! Woohoo! We’ll review your application and we are usually able to accept people within 1-2 weeks of when they submit the initial payment.
6. Talk to Your School. After you submit your payment, you’ll be contacted directly by school staff to arrange your housing and arrival details
7. Balance: Your remaining tuition balance will be due to the school 6 weeks prior to your course start date.
Application deadlines: 4 weeks before course start date