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Guide to Living and Teaching in Costa Rica

September 24, 2013

About Costa Rica


Costa Rica – in a part of the world not often associated with a dream vacation, we find a true gem. A country full of beauty – its range of physical offerings range from beautiful beaches to rustic mountains to active volcanoes – Costa Rica has much to offer. Consistently ranking in the top five of the world’s happiest countries, its endearing qualities are not restricted to its people. Though small – its population is roughly 4 million people – many people travel to Costa Rica, fall in love with it, and eventually call it home.

Costa Rica is also often described as the most developed nation in Central America, and with good reason. With the highest literacy rate in the region, social security coverage for all of its residents and a growing middle class, Costa Rica certainly stands out in comparison to its geographical counterparts. In combination with the social growth, the financial district is not lacking, either. The country is home to many Fortune 500 companies from around the world – Intel, Hewlett-Packard, DHL and Kraft foods being examples.

With the business implications that result from this, the need for Costa Rican citizens to speak English with high degree of proficiency is at an all-time high. The market for ESL teachers is healthy and jobs are plentiful. As with many places around the globe, finding a teaching job in Costa Rica is not difficult, but finding a good one is.

Most schools don’t offer visas (see our visa section) and wages are minimal. With this said, it is easy to enjoy living in Costa Rica as an ESL teacher - with the right mindset. A sense of adventure, creativity and an open mind are all essential qualities. Keeping this perspective, and not getting discouraged in the early going, are all important when getting established in Costa Rica.

The ELT News guide to living and teaching English in Costa Rica was compiled by Andrew Woodbury.

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