Peak ESL Hiring Season in Costa Rica
How to Find Jobs Teaching English in Costa Rica
Large Chain Schools in Costa Rica
Tips for ESL Teachers in Costa Rica
Teaching Requirements for ESL Teachers in Costa Rica
Embassy and Consulate Information for Costa Rica
The Costa Rican school year begins in February and goes through until December, at which time students enjoy a two-month holiday. They are given a two-week semester break in July. Peak hiring is generally between September and December. Teaching positions are available through public and private schools, language schools, universities and colleges, and through private tutoring. Language schools typically hire year-round.
Public and Private School System
The Costa Rican government places a high priority on education and has poured its energy and resources into this sector of society in a significant way. As a result of this, and ongoing reforms, its literacy rate is now over 97%.
While literacy has been a main focus in the education system, resources for anything beyond this is lacking. Public schools in Costa Rica are generally quite poor and lack necessities by North American standards. Books are in short supply and finding a computer in a classroom would be highly unusual.
Private schools vary in quality. Some have a solid reputation and follow the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, while others follow the National Baccalaureate program.
Private Language Schools
Private language schools provide supplementary education for students who require additional tutoring. Classes are offered during after-school hours and at other convenient times. As private language schools do not follow the semester system of conventional schools, teachers are hired year round. Most positions are available in the Central Valley region.
Teaching Business English is in demand in Costa Rica as in other parts of Latin America. As in most other Latin American countries, applying in person is a definite advantage. Many Costa Rican newspapers, some of which can be viewed online, have classified ads for English teaching positions.
Universities and Colleges
Public universities in Costa Rica conduct their classes in Spanish, while some smaller, private universities offer classes in English. Tuition for public universities is quite low and scholarships are available, albeit competitive. Tuition for private universities, compared to their public counterparts, is quite high.
ESL teachers who choose to do private tutoring can expect to earn approximately 10,000 - 18,000 CRC per session, which is higher than most school teaching positions. Provided that it is not a breach of contract, gaining contacts through one’s primary place of employment, for example, a school or company that hires in-house English language instructors, is a great way to build a tutoring clientele.
There are many resources available to ESL teachers searching for teaching positions abroad, including:
Graduates of Oxford Seminars receive our Job Placement Service with exclusive access to established schools and recruiters around the world.
Jobs Teaching English in the Summer in Costa Rica
ESL teachers who are interested in teaching during the summer in Costa Rica will find that the North American summer does not coincide with the summer months in Costa Rica, February through December. As such, seeking a teaching position during North American summer would be to arrive in the middle of the school year in Costa Rica, for which there are short-term teaching opportunities. The most likely way to find teaching positions during these months would be to contact volunteer agencies and refer to job boards for applicable positions. Private tutoring is also an option during the summer months.
Additional ESL Resources to Help Teach English in Costa Rica
There is an abundance of ESL resources for teachers to help teach English as a Second Language on the Internet. Examples are listed below.
The requirements and guidelines below are listed for ESL teacher applicants to Costa Rica who are citizens of: United States, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand or South Africa.
Minimum Requirements to Apply for Teaching Positions in Costa Rica:
Types of Applicable Visas:
Important Visa Information:
Standard Process for Obtaining Documentation to Work Legally in Costa Rica:
Standard Required Documents for Visas:
(Important to check with embassy/consulate as variations in requirements sometimes occur)
American Embassy Office in Costa Rica
Embassy of the United States, San José
Street Address: Calle 98 Via 104, Pavas, San José, Costa Rica
Phone: + (506) 2519-2000
Fax: + (506) 2519-2305
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday: 08:30-16:30
Canadian Embassy Office in Costa Rica
Embassy of Canada, San José
Behind the “Contraloría” in the
Oficentro Ejecutivo La Sabana
Building 5, Third floor
San José, Costa Rica
PO Box: 351-1007, Centro Colón
San José, Costa Rica
Phone: + (506) 2242-4400
Fax: + (506) 2242-4410
Hours of Operation: Monday – Thursday: 08:00-12:00; 12:40-16:00, Friday: 07:30-13:00
Australian Embassy Offices in Costa Rica
Address: San José, La Sabana, Oficentro Torre La Sabana, Third Floor. Costa Rica
British Embassy Offices in Costa Rica
Embassy of UK, San José
Address: Apartado 815-1007, Edificio Centro Colón and streets 38 and 40
Phone: + (506) 2258 2025
Fax: + (506) 2233 9938
Hours of Operation: Monday -Thursday: 08:30-12:00 and 12:30 to 16:00 / Fridays 08:00 - 13:00
Irish Embassy Offices in Costa Rica
Diplomatic representation for Ireland in Costa Rica is handled by the embassy in U.N., New York, USA: https://www.dfa.ie/
New Zealand Embassy Offices in Costa Rica
There is no diplomatic representation for New Zealand in Costa Rica
Embassy Offices Outside Costa Rica
Embassy of Costa Rica in the United States
Embassy of Costa Rica in Washington, DC
2112 S Street, N.W.
Washington D.C 20008
Phone: +1 (202) 499-2980
Fax: +1 (202) 265-4795
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday: 09:00–17:00
Embassy of Costa Rica in Canada
Embassy of Costa Rica in Ottawa
350 Sparks Street, Suite 701 (Office Tower)
Ottawa, Ontario, K1R 7S8
Phone: +1 (613) 562-2855
Fax: +1 (613) 562-2582
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 09:00-17:00