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Teaching English in Costa Rica

Help teach English in beautiful Costa Rica!

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Teaching English in Costa Rica

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Group Size: Varies

Trip code: CRTE

Duration: 2-4 weeks

Teach English & learn Spanish!
Live & volunteer in beautiful Costa Rica
Gain valuable life experience

Become a volunteer teacher and inspire kids in Costa Rica with this rewarding volunteer experience! Brush up on your Spanish skills with a week of language lessons and then teach English to local kids in San José or along Costa Rica’s beautiful Pacific Coast. With two fantastic volunteer projects to choose from, this is an unbeatable opportunity to make a real difference while experiencing the rich culture and stunning landscapes of Costa Rica. 

Trip highlights

  • Improve your language skills with a week of Spanish classes tailored to your ability!
  • Choose from two rewarding teaching projects in Costa Rica - Teach children between the ages of 6 and 14 in a rural elementary school or get involved with a social work programme in the capital
  • Stay with local Costa Rican families and immerse yourself in Costa Rican culture
  • Put your Spanish skills to good use and help out in volunteer teaching placements
  • Explore this amazing country in your time off!
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What's included

Spanish Classes in San José

  • Arrival transfer
  • Spanish lessons (4 hours a day, Monday - Friday)
  • Cultural activities
  • Accommodation with a local family
  • 24-hour emergency support

Teaching in San José

  • Accommodation 
  • 2 meals a day
  • Orientation in the city
  • 24 hour emergency support

Teaching in Cabuya

  • Airport transfers
  • 2 nights’ in San Jose on arrival
  • 1 night in San Jose before departure
  • Accommodation 
  • 3 meals a day 
  • 24 hour emergency support
What's not included
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Daily transport to projects
  • Travel to Cabuya (Cabuya school project)
  • Some meals
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Free time activities
  • Spanish lessons at our local partner Spanish School. Beginners can book our Learn to Speak Spanish in Costa Rica programme for an extra cost
Further trip information

Take up this volunteer teaching opportunity and make a difference to kids in local schools in Costa Rica. Enjoy a week of Spanish classes and then put your skills to good use at a choice of teaching projects. 

You will be volunteering in schools with limited resources and often working with kids from underprivileged backgrounds. You’ll plan English-speaking lessons which cover a range of subjects and topics and are designed to help improve the English skills of the kids in your care. 

You have three options when booking this programme:

  1. 1 week Spanish classes + 1 week teaching
  2. 1 week Spanish classes + 2 weeks teaching
  3. 1 week Spanish classes + 3 weeks teaching

Please note: If you are already fluent in Spanish, you are not required to attend the Spanish lessons. Please speak to a travel advisor for more information.

Spanish Lessons in San José

Your experience begins with a week of Spanish classes in San José. These lessons, tailored to your ability, will help you brush up on the vital language skills you'll need in the classroom.

Classes run daily, every morning from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Then there is a lunch break from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Afternoon classes run between 1:00-2:00pm. You will stay with a homestay family in the city during this week. 

About the Teaching Placements

Teaching Project 1: Teach English as part of a social work programme in San José. Work with children in orphanages and day care centres, and get involved in a wide range of creative activities. Working hours are flexible. Requires volunteers with creativity, proactivity and great initiative.

Teaching Project 2: Teach English at a school in Cabuya. Volunteer at a small rural school in a beautiful village on the Pacific Coast. Plan recreational lessons, games, outdoor activities and art projects to help children aged between 7 and 12 learn English. 

Please note: The schools in Costa Rica run from mid-February to mid-November, with a two week break at the beginning of July. If you book a programme that runs outside of these dates you will volunteer at an alternative project in Costa Rica. These alternative projects include social work in orphanages, daycare centres and homes for the elderly. Please speak to a travel advisor for more information.

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Booking options

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The language school is closed over Easter, Christmas & New Year. Though the school is closed, airport transfers & homestay services are available. Schools and kindergartens only take volunteers from mid-March to end of November. The schools are also closed Easter week and for the first 2 weeks in July. Please contact a Travel Advisor for more information.

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Call us on: 01892 527392
Email us at: [email protected]
Return Flights from £599

Cheapest flights between London and San Jose for the next 6 months

Cheapest: £599 May, 2023
Most expensive: £1,238 April, 2023
Arrival information

Arrange your arrival into San José (Juan Santamaria International Airport) where you’ll be met by our team and taken to your accommodation.

Return airport transfers are included as part of this tour. If you are working in Cabuya, you will have to make your own way to and from the village.

Accommodation & meals

To make the most of your Spanish skills and to help you get to grips with the language, teaching volunteers will get to experience a true taste of real Costa Rican culture by living in one of our homestay placements. As a part of the family, you’ll be kept safe and enjoy clean accommodation, either in your own room or sharing with other volunteers. Free to come and go as you wish you’ll be provided with a door key, but please be sure to let your host family know where and when you’ll be out so they won’t worry.

Breakfasts, dinners and a laundry service will be provided by your host family, and they’ll be happy to cater for any special dietary requirements as long as you let us know when you book your place. Lunch is also included for placements in Cabuya.

Although your accommodation may be a little more basic than a hostel or hotel stay, it will still be safe, secure and comfortable and the perfect place to experience real Costa Rican life and language in a friendly and hospitable environment. All of our host families have a genuine natural enthusiasm for helping out foreign students, and are selected due to their open-minded, friendly, outgoing and protective attitudes. As they take you around the local hotspots and cultural attractions, you’ll also find your families love to share their interests, hobbies and activities with you as you learn from each other. Evaluated on a regular basis, students are asked to complete a feedback form at the end of their stay so that staff can ensure a good placement service is maintained.

During your stay you should bear in mind that the majority of our host families do not speak English, but they are used to accommodating foreign students. One of the advantages of the homestay is the opportunity to improve your spoken Spanish and practice conversational Spanish with your host family.

Minimum age & eligibility

The minimum age to participate on this volunteer teaching programme is 18 years.

British nationals will not require a visa in order to enter Costa Rica, and can remain in the country as a visitor for up to three months. Before departing for your trip, you should make sure that your passport will remain valid for six months or more after your entry date.

If you are travelling in to Costa Rica from a country at risk of Yellow Fever you must ensure that you obtain the required Yellow Fever vaccinations and bring a Yellow Fever certificate with you when you enter Costa Rica. Even if you have not been through any high risk countries before accessing Costa Rica, it is still wise to get yourself vaccinated. Certificates of immunisation are valid 10 days after the original date of vaccination, and you should consult your GP for more information.


On this particular programme, as you’ll be working with children, you’ll need to undergo an enhanced DBS previously known as CRB, or Criminal Record Bureau check and will need to have a clean criminal record.

DBS checks may list past convictions, cautions, reprimands, warnings, and if applicable will show whether or not you have been barred from working with certain vulnerable groups. Non-conviction information such as fixed penalties may also be included.

There is an addition cost for the DBS check, please speak to your travel advisor at the time of booking. The DBS process is in 3 stages:

1. Once we receive your booking payment, you will then be sent an online application link for the DBS check, which you will need to complete.

2. Once you have completed the application, the DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) will need verification of your identity - to do this you will need to take 3 original documents to your nearest crown post office and use their DBS and ID verification service. This costs approximately £9 and is payable directly to the Post Office.

3. Once the post office verification is done it usually takes up to 2 weeks for your DBS to be processed, and your DBS will be sent to you directly in the post.

Covid safety

This trip is designed with your safety and wellbeing in mind. As a result of Covid-19, many of our suppliers and partners around the world are introducing new policies and procedures surrounding health and safety in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. As the state of travel is evolving these new safety measures will adapt over time, and will be different for each trip. Here are some of the changes you may see on your trip:

Arrival safety meetings
Most trips have an arrival meeting on the first day where the guide or local team will run through the trip, the safety protocols, and to answer any questions you may have. Now more than ever it is important you arrive in time for these meetings.

Proof of vaccination or negative covid test
For the safety of all travellers, at the start of some trips you may be required to show evidence that you are fully vaccinated (14 days after your second dose) and/or show evidence of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the tour start date in order to join the programme.

Updated hygiene and safety procedures
Our suppliers and partners have health and safety procedures in place on all of our trips. These protocols will be updated and adapted as a response to the Coronavirus outbreak, dependent on local restrictions and laws.

Transport and accommodation choices
Our suppliers and partners choose the accommodation and transport on our trips very carefully, and you may see a change to what would normally be used as a response to the outbreak. This may involve such changes as enhanced use of private transport or quieter accommodation.

Trained and knowledgeable staff
Our staff in the UK are trained to help you with your trip before you depart and answer any questions you may have. In addition, the local team and guides on our trips are there to help with any health and safety concerns and to ensure our trips run safely and smoothly.

Reduced group sizes
Some trips will run with reduced group sizes to start with. You may find that trips are more intimate and chilled, whilst still being packed with fun and adventure.

Your guide or the local team will be on hand to help you seek medical attention should you require it during your trip. As medical facilities and standards can vary around the world, you should ensure you have adequate travel insurance in place before you depart to cover you for any medical emergencies.

24/7 emergency support
We operate an emergency phone line for our travellers abroad. This is operated by a UK based member of staff 24/7 if you have a genuine emergency or urgent matter that you need attending.

It is important that you take measures to make travelling safer for yourself and others around you. Ensure you frequently wash your hands, cover your face when you sneeze and cough, bring and use your own hand sanitiser and facial coverings/masks, and enable social distancing where necessary. You should also ensure you listen to the instructions and guidance of the local team at all times, and follow all local laws and restrictions.