Teach English in San Jose

Back to Programs

A Guide to Teaching Abroad in San Jose

Pura Vida! If you are coming to San Jose, make this phrase part of your everyday vocabulary. Translating to “pure life” or “simple life,” the phrase encapsulates the way of life in Costa Rica. Locals use the phrase to say hello, goodbye, and everything’s cool. Pura vida means don’t sweat the small stuff, no worries, no stress. If this sounds like a great way to live, then you should teach abroad in San Jose.

What you need to know to teach in San Jose

There’s a lot to consider if you are chasing that pura vida life and choosing to teach English in San Jose. Should you get a TEFL certification before you arrive? Are you looking for a short-term or a long-term gig? Don’t get discouraged, read on for help making the big decisions!

Popular ESL jobs in San Jose. Most English jobs are in private language schools, and for adults who want to improve their language schools to find better jobs and opportunities. You’ll need to be a native English speaker, have TEFL or TESOL certification, and a university degree. Jobs in small communities are often less strict with regards to requirements, as are jobs as private tutors. 

Short-term vs. long-term teaching jobs, and other tidbits on job structure. To teach in San Jose, you can get a full-time or part-time contract, or even several part-time contracts if you’re good at time management. Less formal private lessons, not in a school or institution, offer more flexibility than contract work. Contracts will usually have you working 10 to 25 hours a week (which gives you plenty of time to explore!). The day is generally split up, with school and work starting early and going until noon. Then there is a break, and class/work resumes from 4 to 8 in the evening. 

Teaching English vs. teaching other subjects. English is probably the most in-demand subject to teach abroad in San Jose, since English is such an in-demand skill in today’s economy. As a native English speaker you can offer your students more than just language learning. You can teach them your home and culture too. 

Life in San Jose for ESL teachers

The capital of Costa Rica, San Jose is considered to be one of the safest cities in the region. It’s well connected to the rest of the country and its neighbors, making exploration and travel very easy. When you’re not lesson planning, go get scuba certified, hike a few volcanoes, and venture through the rainforest. San Jose is home to several museums and parks. In your free time from the classroom go discover the city’s growing foodie scene.

On Saturdays that you aren’t exploring the rest of the country, check out the Feria Verde de Aranjuez. It’s a weekly farmers market that brings local artists and farmers to sell anything from produce to crafts to everything in between. Wandering the market is the perfect way to practice your own second language acquisition or unwind after a long week of memorizing grammar structures!

Costa Rican food is not very spicy. Go try the local fare in a soda, a local restaurant serving traditional food at an affordable price. While you’re there, have some casados. Literally meaning “married” in Spanish, it’s a dish consisting of rice, beans, and meat, and usually comes with plantains and/or tortillas. And now all you want is to get your TEFL certification in San Jose, right? Yum!

GoAbroad’s Inside Scoop for foreign teachers

If you’re going to teach in San Jose, you’ll have to learn a few more phrases in addition to pura vida. Headstart: Chepe is what Ticos (the local word for Costa Ricans) call San Jose. 

When you get a job teaching, some placements will provide you with a homestay or will help you find living arrangements. The opportunity to live with a family and learn their customs, habits, and hobbies makes a homestay a unique and exciting experience. A family can show you a unique side to San Jose that you might not experience otherwise. Additionally, most placements will not provide insurance, so you’ll have to arrange your own travel insurance. Check with your provider at home to see if you will be covered abroad. Some policies will, but many will not. There are several companies that can offer travelers insurance to give you peace of mind while you’re abroad. 

Most schools will not sponsor your work visa until you’ve been working for a year. Many teachers work on a tourist visa, which expires every 90 days. To renew it, you’ll need to leave the country. This could be an excellent opportunity to see more of Costa Rica’s neighbors—weekend in Nicaragua? Yes please!

If you want to teach abroad in San Jose, there are plenty of opportunities. English teachers are in high demand in Costa Rica. Teaching in San Jose is an adventure in and of itself, but in Costa Rica there are endless other adventures to experience too!

If you’re ready to eat your weight in rice and beans, read our comprehensive guide on teaching abroad in San Jose.

Read More

written by:

A Guide To
Teaching Abroad in San Jose

READ ARTICLE

 Find Teaching Jobs in San Jose Now

Save

This listing has been saved 24 times

Get Paid to Teach in Costa Rica with a TEFL Certification

Earn your accredited TEFL certification with International TEFL Academy & join 15,000 ITA alumni teaching English in Costa Rica & 80+ countries worldwide. ITA offers TEFL courses online & in 25 locations globally, including Costa Rica. All students receive lifetime job guidance & our expert staff will answer all of your questions salaries, visas and what you need to get a great job teachi...

teach abroad in San Jose
Save

This listing has been saved 13 times

TEFL Certification in Costa Rica—Teach in Latin America!

Certified English teachers are in heavy demand all over the world. This rewarding career will help you develop new skills and travel! Our institute in Costa Rica offers a fun, intensive, internationally accredited TEFL/TESOL Certification program. The TEFL program is 4 weeks/150 hours long, including 15+ hours of practical English teaching and observation of experienced teachers. We offe...

Save

This listing has been saved 4 times

API Teach Abroad Programs in Costa Rica

There’s no better way to travel and discover the world than to take advantage of professional opportunities abroad! Teaching, in particular, allows you to interact closely with local communities and experience their culture. If you’re specifically looking to teach in Costa Rica, API offers two options: • Teacher Program: Teach English to vocational students (17-24 years old) • Teacher's As...

Save

This listing has been saved 924 times

World's #1 Affordable Volunteer Programs. Trusted By 80,000+

IVHQ is the world's most trusted and affordable volunteer abroad organization with the largest range of top-rated programs, available in 40+ destinations year-round! We place over 18,000 volunteers abroad annually and have over 10 years experience in providing safe, impactful and affordable volunteer abroad programs. With program fees starting from just USD 10 per day and the best safety re...

International TEFL Academy
Save

This listing has been saved 4 times

Get TEFL Certified & Teach ESL Abroad with Costa Rica TEFL!

Do you want to see the world, experience new cultures and live abroad? What better way than by teaching English? Why Costa Rica TEFL? - Located in beautiful Samara beach - Internationally Accredited, Intensive, 160-hour course - Includes a minimum of 10 hours of practice teaching with local EFL students - We are privately owned and not a chain school so we are able to offer one of the ...

Save

This listing has been saved 2 times

Teach English in Costa Rica and earn your TEFL

Teaching English to primary school kids a real insight into Costa Rican culture, and in your weekends off you can enjoy trips around the local countryside offering you in a world of adventure sports, tremendous landscapes of natural beauty, great food, lively music and laid-back people. You can get involved from as little as 2 weeks and can earn your TEFL for free.