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Teaching Abroad: Local Schools

Project Information

You will be teaching English in the local schools. Placements can be in Elementary, Middle or High Schools. Participants will be working directly with teachers at the school, and will assist with lesson planning and teaching classes. Public schools in Costa Rica are closed from the third week of December until the second week of February with a two week holiday beginning  the first week of July. If participants arrive while public schools are closed, they will teach to members of the community. Depending on the community needs, participants will either teach workshops to adults or children in English, or be placed at a local school.

Participants will teach and help instructors as needed, maintain a helpful, caring, positive, and professional demeanour. Participants will create lesson plans in accordance with their students understanding and grasp of the English language. Participants will help with the pronunciation of words, sentence structure, vocabulary, colloquialisms, culture, and basic conversation skills. Participants in the school project do not work on national Costa Rican holidays and breaks according to the Ministry of Public Education’s calendar. Participants interested in becoming teachers are able to do semester-long teaching internships.

Additional Information

It is incredibly beneficial to have exposure to native English speakers, and it is also a wonderful opportunity for participants to brush up on what they learned in school! If you are interested in also obtaining a TEFL certification while volunteering with us, please contact us directly.

Skills & Qualifications

How can I teach if I don't speak Spanish? Great question! As most of the children and adults that you will be teaching, have very little grasp of English, knowledge of Spanish is helpful, but not at all necessary. Many ESL teachers worldwide have no knowledge of the language in the various countries where they teach. However, we create placements based on the participant's level of Spanish, and if there is none, they are placed in classes with students that have a very basic level of English.



Volunteer's Role

Where will WE stay?

Participants have the option to either stay with well-screened host families or at our headquarters depending mainly on availability and preference. Should participants have a preference, they should let our in-country coordinator know as soon as possible-in their application. We try to accommodate preferences. Host Families are well-screened and offer participants a shared bathroom, private bedroom, electricity, and running water. Headquarters housing offers participants shared bathrooms, hostel-style bedrooms, electricity, running water, and WiFi. Participants receive three light traditional meals per day at either accommodations.

What will we eat?

Participants will be given 3 meals per day. Keep in mind that food will be typical Costa Rican food, so participants may want to bring snacks like granola or protein bars with them to the project site.

What Will our Schedule Look like?

The program usually consists of 4 hours of teaching a day. Participants will be responsible for not only teaching the classes, but also planning the classes and any games they would incorporate into the classes. After your time in the classroom teaching, you will be in your own Spanish classes. Your Spanish classes are more conversational, focusing on verbs, common phrases, and useful information as it relates to your project and program.

What can we do in our freetime?

Yes! Evenings and weekends are for you to spend either relaxing, or doing pre planned excursions and activities. We have partnerships with various tour groups to offer participants a number of fun things they can do in addition to their Spanish Immersion Service. Some of the activities we are happy to help plan for your group are: Zip Lining, ATV Tours, Surf Lessons, Beach Days, Tours and Sightseeing, Snorkeling, Boat Tours, Horseback Riding