Teach English in Costa Rica
4-10 weeks from £849
- Being part of the community in the stunning Costa Rican countryside
- Helping develop the language skills of your students
- Help out the local English teachers and learn about real life in rural Costa Rica
- Practice your Spanish - much more fun than in a classroom back home!
In Costa Rica, as in most countries in the world, it’s the rural areas that need help and assistance the most; outside the cities resources tend to dry up and children are left with far less opportunities.
Luckily for you, rural Costa Rica is also home to some of the most inspiring scenery and these schools in particular provide a stunning backdrop to your time here. They are located in and around the small village of La Fortuna in the Central Valley, right by the amazing Arenal Volcano, although not too close!
You will be volunteering as an English teaching assistant alongside the local teachers in the schools during the English lessons schedule and you will be a welcome resource appreciated by children and staff alike.
Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!
We work with several schools in the La Fortuna area. These are schools run by the government of Costa Rica, the Ministry of Education.
You will be volunteering as teaching assistant alongside the English teachers in the schools and during the English lessons schedule. As well as spending time teaching, you might also spend time helping to plan and prepare lessons for all age groups (from first to 6th grade).
Student population varies from school to school; ranging from 150 to nearly 800 students. Kids are aged from 4 years to 12 years.
There is a need for English language education as the community is gearing up to be the future eco-tourist guides for the area and English is an essential skill for such a role.
Either of the schools that you’ll be volunteering at is in a scenic, rural location that has quite a tourist trail running through it, to learn English for these kids is extremely important in order to better their chances at employment in later life. Depending on the school, there are one or three teachers who work full time but need plenty of assistance in the form of volunteers to improve their English and give the children the best education possible!
An important key for being a successful volunteer is the flexibility. Starting with your volunteer schedule, it will probably be disrupted at some point.
You need to be a creative, self-motivated and self-starter person who enjoys working with children. Perseverance and tolerance of volunteering in a new environment is a plus; however, the student's genuine need for tuition and conversational English practice make this project really rewarding. Have patience and go with the flow!
Your assistance is needed from Monday to Friday anytime between the hours of 7am and 5.30pm as this is when lessons take place. However, you’ll be working out a schedule with the teachers when you arrive, so be prepared to get stuck in and working long rewarding days!
Day 1: Arrival into San Jose airport (airport code SJO)
You will met at the airport by a member of our friendly in-country team, and taken to the Alajuela Backpackers hostel, where you’ll be spending your first 2 nights in Costa Rica. If you arrive before 6:30pm a tasty welcome dinner is provided, and the rest of your time is yours to spend as you chose – exploring Alajuela’s bars and shops, getting to know your fellow volunteers or catching up on some sleep!
If you are on a flight departing Mexico on Saturday evening that arrives into San Jose at 10 minutes past midnight on Sunday morning your airport pick up will be included however you will need to pay for an additional night’s accommodation - please arrange this with our office in advance.
As volunteers are not able to check into their rooms before 2pm on the arrival day, anyone arriving earlier than midday, that would like to have a room available for them, will need to pay for an additional night’s fee for accommodation - please arrange this with our office in advance.
Day 2: Orientation and overnight in Alajuela
At 8:30am a member of the in-country team will pick you up from the hostel and take you to the office for orientation. This will give you a good insight into Costa Rica - the culture, things to do and see, what to do in case of an emergency and much more! It can also be a good way to meet other travellers and ask any questions you may have. You’ll then be given some lunch and will have the afternoon free to explore or relax. A tasty dinner will be served in the offices in the evening!
Day 3: Let’s get to La Fortuna!
You’ll transfer to La Fortuna early in the morning. A member of the in-country team will take you to the bus stop, and make sure you get on your way! Your family will be waiting for you at the other end. We like to get you to La Fortuna today; instead of straight after the orientation as it is a long journey and we don’t want you to arrive at the project after dark (you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression!). The transfer to La Fortuna takes around 4 hours by public transport.
Day 4: An apple for the teacher – that’s you
Today you’ll start your first day of teaching near La Fortuna. You will meet all the kids at the school so don’t worry if you don’t take in everyone’s name on the first day! You’ll be taken to the project on your first day by your home stay family and introduced to the staff and children. You can work out a schedule together with your class teachers and get stuck in – there’s no time like the present!
Days 6 and 7: Free time
Yahoo it’s the weekend! So what you do want to do? Oh I don’t know… you could choose between a tree top zip wire tour, or hike around the Arenal volcano, trek through a tropical forest, swim around a waterfall, or have a disco in the Baldi hot springs – Costa Rica is cool man!
Build an unbreakable bond with the children and staff of your school as you become more and more involved in the school and community of this close community. Whether you’re here for four weeks or four months, you’ll find it equally hard to leave and return to your everyday life.
Some schools teach from 7.00am through to 5.30pm with a break for lunch – but you’re not expected to be there all that time though! You’ll tend to follow your English teacher’s schedule which is discussed on your arrival. Depending on which school you are placed at you could volunteer from 4 to 8 hours per day. The Schedule will be discussed with you in more detail during orientation.
Your Last Day
Your last night will be back at the Alajuela backpacker’s hostel which is just 4km from the airport for your onward or homeward bound flights on Sunday. Alajuela Backpackers offers transfers back to the airport depending on departure time.
Schools in Costa Rica run from mid-February to mid-November of each year, with a short two week break in early July. Please note that this programme is only available during term times. Contact us for more information.
- Shared Accommodation in a Homestay
- All Meals
- Arrival Airport Transfer
- In-Country Orientation, Local in-country team and 24 hour emergency support
- Return Airport transfer
- Local Transport
You will be staying in a home stay accommodation near to your project, which will be in the La Fortuna area.
The rooms are twin share (where possible) and we’ll do our best to place couples together but this cannot always be guaranteed. You’ll be sharing a living space and bathroom with the family.
All of our home stays are within a short distance of the others so you can meet up in the evenings and socialise together. They all have good facilities with running water (probably not hot water but you won’t need it!), bedding, electricity and lots of delicious food! You won’t need a mosquito net in La Fortuna unless you particularly want to bring one with you to protect your bed from the creepies!
Your families will also wash your clothes once a week. The home stay accommodation is based around a 5-10 minutes’ walk from your school.
You will be provided with 3 meals a day. Rice and beans is going to be your main diet, it is often eaten 3 times a day here!
We let the home-stay families know in advance if you have special dietary needs, but please also remind them on arrival to avoid any inconvenience.
To get a flight quote simply use the form below, or contact our fantastic flights team on 01892 277037.
Get Flights Quote
Your flight to Costa Rica should arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), San Jose, Costa Rica at any time on your programme start date, and your return flight should be arranged for your programme end date.
To book your flights, please contact your travel advisor who will do their best to get you the best deal on the day. Please provide them with your full name as it is stated in your passport. Before you make the call please make sure you have your required departure dates, return dates and other details you may require.
Please note: If you are flying to Costa Rica via the USA you will need to obtain Travel Authorisation by registering online through the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) no later than 72 hours before departure. This is compulsory and will cost USD$14 to register. To register, please visit: https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/
It is important that once you have booked your flights you add these details to your Online account, or alternatively you can contact us with your departure date, the flight number and arrival time at your destination.
Minimum Age 18. CV/resume, insurance details and police check requested by project 1 month before arrival.