Costa Rica: Exploring the TEFL Landscape.

Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) is a fulfilling career that allows you to travel and work all over the world. Costa Rica is one of the most sought-after destinations for teaching English, thanks to its exotic lifestyle, friendly locals, and stunning beaches. Are you considering becoming a TEFL teacher in Costa Rica? Then this guide is tailored for you. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore everything you need to know about TEFL in Costa Rica, from visa requirements to finding employment, and everything in between.

Qualifications and Requirements for TEFL Teachers in Costa Rica

To become a TEFL teacher in Costa Rica, you need to meet specific qualifications and requirements. First, you need to be a native speaker of English from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, or Australia. Additionally, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university. TEFL certification is also mandatory, preferably a 120-hour certification that includes a teaching practicum.

Visa and Work Permits

As a TEFL teacher in Costa Rica, you will need a work permit to legally work in the country. There are different types of work permits available, depending on your employment status. The most common permit is the Temporary Residency permit, which is valid for up to two years. You can apply for this permit at the Costa Rican embassy in your home country or in person when you arrive in the country. It’s also essential to note that you cannot work legally in Costa Rica without a valid permit.

Finding TEFL Jobs in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a highly competitive job market for TEFL teachers, and it’s advisable to start your job search early. You can find teaching jobs through job boards, language academies, and online teaching platforms. Additionally, networking and referrals from your colleagues can also come in handy during your job search. Before accepting a job offer, ensure that your employer provides you with a legal contract outlining your salary, hours, and benefits.

Cost of Living in Costa Rica

The cost of living in Costa Rica is relatively lower compared to other countries in the region, such as Mexico or Brazil. However, it’s important to note that certain regions in Costa Rica, such as the capital, San Jose, and the coastal towns, have a higher cost of living. As a TEFL teacher, you can expect to earn between $800-$1300 per month, which can cover your basic expenses such as accommodation, transport, and food.

Living in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a vibrant and lively country that offers a unique blend of paradise beaches, exotic wildlife, and friendly locals. As a TEFL teacher, you will have ample time to explore the country and immerse yourself in the Costa Rican culture. From hiking in the tropical rainforest to surfing in the Pacific Ocean, Costa Rica has something for everyone. Learning basic Spanish is also essential while living in Costa Rica, as most locals speak little or no English.


Costa Rica is one of the most attractive destinations for TEFL teachers, thanks to its tropical climate, breathtaking scenery, and friendly locals. Before embarking on your teaching journey, it’s essential to understand the qualifications and requirements needed, as well as the visa and work permit process. Additionally, networking, referrals, and thorough job research can go a long way in securing a teaching position. Lastly, living in Costa Rica offers unforgettable experiences, and it’s up to you to take advantage of the country’s beauty and culture while teaching English.