How Much Can I Earn?
340,000 - 680,000 CRC
590 - 1,190 USD
Private Tutoring per Hour:
3,000 - 9,000 CRC
5 - 16 USD
Income Tax Rate:
0 - 10%
Ability to Save per year:
500 - 2,770 USD
What Are My Benefits?
Supplementary healthcare recommended
What Will Teaching Be Like?
20 - 30
Typical Contract Length:
One year or less
Typical Start Date:
1 - 3 months
What Do I Need?
Employer sometimes sponsors
Oxford Seminars TESOL/TESL/TEFL Certificate
Candidates are encouraged to apply in person; minimum requirements are generally higher for those applying from out-of-country
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ESL teachers in Costa Rica can enjoy a moderate lifestyle with low cost housing, dining, and traveling. They typically earn between 250,000 - 570,000 CRC
per month. Expected Apartment Costs
There are various housing options for ESL teachers in Costa Rica. Many choose to stay with a family approved by their school, where one can rent a room for around 100,000 - 200,000 CRC per month. Apartment costs vary depending upon large versus small city centers and are generally higher in the Central Valley region. They range between 200,000 - 300,000 CRC per month for a modest level of accommodation.
Costa Rica has two types of banks: private and state-owned. State-owned banks include: Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica, and BanCredito. There are several private banks in Costa Rica, including: HSBC, BAC San Jose, and BanCrecen.
There are advantages and disadvantages to both the private and state-owned banks. State-owned banks are more secure, while private banks are generally more progressive, more customer service oriented, and offer more services in English.
Internet banking is available with most private and public banks, allowing one to pay bills and transfer funds. ATMs are available everywhere and are a very handy way to withdraw cash for shopping in markets. Some ATMs charge a service fee, which can be fairly hefty. Credit cards are accepted at most stores and are the standard for transactions. As credit card theft is commonplace, caution should be exercised.
Most banks in Costa Rica are open Monday through Friday, 09:00 - 16:00.
The following documentation is required in order to open a bank account in Costa Rica:
- Passport or Cedula (Costa Rican ID card)
- Letter from bank in one's home country
- Two or more local reference letters
- Personeria Juridicia (Notarized Personal Guarantee)
- Cedula Juridica (Corporate ID)
A few tips:
- ESL teachers should take start up money to cover initial set up costs, apartment costs, and other living expenses prior to receiving their first paycheck.
- Credit card companies in one's home country should be made aware of one's relocation so that they don't freeze accounts when they see charges in another country.
- Caution should be exercised when using ATM machines by covering the keypad when entering the PIN.
The cost of living in Costa Rica is quite low; however, as in most countries, the purchase of imported goods is generally higher than those found in North America. The following table provides ESL teachers with examples of approximate costs of food in Costa Rica. Prices listed are in Costa Rica Colones (CRC).
- 1 lb. Potatoes - 500
- 1 lb. Black Beans - 590
- Pineapple (large) - 450
- Bananas (large bunch) - 620
- Loaf of French Bread - 1000
- Corn (each cob) - 78
- 12 Eggs - 1600
- Lettuce (each) - 430
- Orange (each) - 43
- 1 lb. Chicken Breasts - 1450
Chain Grocery Stores:
- 1 lb. Red Delicious Apples - 580
- Pineapple (each) - 625
- 1 lb. Potatoes - 500
- Cucumber (each) - 175
- 1 lb. Bananas - 300
- 1 dozen Eggs (Grade A) - 1600
- Kraft Macaroni & Cheese - 375
- 0.5 gallon Whole Milk - 1500
- 1 lb. Chicken Breasts - 1,900
- 12 fl. oz. Coke - 800
- Microwave Popcorn (each) - 215
- 1 lb. Coffee - 1,295
Other Miscellaneous Items
- Complete Meal in Local Restaurant - 4,000
- Aquafresh Toothpaste (6.4 oz) - 1500
- Secret Deodorant (2.6 oz) - 2000
- Ivory Soap (3-pack) - 1,180
- Movie Ticket - 2,500