Volunteering Teaching English in Costa Rica

English language skills are increasingly in demand in Costa Rica, where speaking English can help open the doors of opportunity to a better future. Join uVolunteer’s Teaching English Project to help children and adults develop conversational English skills and improve their spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Working in local schools and community classes throughout San Ramon, you will plan and deliver both theoretical and practical lessons under the supervision of a qualified English teacher. In addition to teaching classes, volunteers also assist English teachers in their own class preparations.

Program Video

Adult classes are often held in the informal setting of the uVolunteer dorms, providing plenty of opportunities to get to know the locals and build friendships.

No formal teaching experience or qualifications are needed to volunteer for the project — your volunteer coordinator will provide training and direction when you begin your placement.

Find out more about teaching English in Costa Rica by downloading our program information brochure.

Quick facts

  • Program: Volunteer Costa Rica
  • Location: San Ramon
  • Minimum Duration: 2 Weeks
  • Language Requirement: Int. Spanish
  • Airport Pick-up: Yes, for $75
  • Travel Insurance Not included
  • Suitable for Groups: No
  • Region: Alajuela
  • Project Site: Elementary & High Schools
  • Minimum Age: 18
  • Accommodation: Dorm Home
  • Meals: 2 Meals Daily
  • Start Dates: Every Other Friday
  • Suitable for Families: Yes

Your role as a volunteer

Teaching English volunteers in Costa Rica plan and deliver lessons in schools and community classes with a focus on practical use of English. Other tasks include assisting teachers in the classroom, testing and grading students, and encouraging pupils to practice their English skills through group and one-to-one exercises.

Work schedule

Teaching English volunteers work a 4-day week, from Monday to Thursday. Your placement location will depend on the length of your trip. If you are booking a two or three-week placement on the Teaching English Program, you will teach adult community classes in the evening and may also take community education workshops.

Elementary/high school teaching volunteers:

  • Minimum duration of three weeks
  • Working hours are from 7 am until 1 pm

Community education volunteers

  • Minimum duration of three weeks.
  • Working hours are from 2 pm until 5 pm

Adult community education volunteers

  • Minimum duration of two weeks
  • Working hours are from 6.30pm until 8.30pm

Journey to work

The schools we work with will either be a short walk from the volunteer dormitory or around a 30-minute bus ride.

Closed dates

The teaching English project is closed from the second week of December until the second week of February and for one week preceding Easter Sunday. There is also a mid-term break for the first two weeks of July.

Project Photos

Project Location

Project Reviews & Testimonials

It is always motivating to wake up to the fresh salty air of the Pacific ocean in a tropical country.

I knew that I wanted to take part in a volunteer or service project when traveling to Costa Rica. My husband and I encountered uVolunteer on the internet. The website intrigued me, especially the captions about teaching English in a local school. I love children and I love teaching, and out of all the projects I researched this seemed the best for me.

Today is my last day of classes and I already know I am going to miss them and my students.

I live with a host family - the Caballeros - and it is the best choice that I made. Tico families are big so there are always families and friends in the house, talking, laughing, and of course eating! I am always happy to come back from weekends at the beach where it is often hot, humid and buggy.

My first week in Samara as a volunteer started with an English Sports Camp for the children of El Torito.

Each morning we taught a prepared English lesson to these children. The teaching was tough because some of the children lacked knowledge in their own language. After teaching, the children all gathered to eat lunch together.

I decided that I wanted to make more out of my three months of summer break.

Nothing in my twenty years of living could have prepared me for the lifestyle I encountered in Samara, Costa Rica...

I found kinder a bit difficult mainly because it was hard to get the kids to listen and focus, let alone complete an activity.

Communicating was the biggest obstacle and posed a bit of a challenge. Had I known more Spanish beforehand it would have been much easier to get the children to listen, although, they didn't seem to have much more discipline with their regular teacher.

Achteraf is dit echt de mooiste ervaring van heel Thailand geweest! We werden direct met open armen ontvangen.

Jack en zijn familie zijn ontzettend aardig geweest. Jack en zijn familie zijn ontzettend aardig geweest. Je voelt je er echt welkom! Vanaf het moment dat je het dorp inrijdt, ben je in een ander deel van Thailand. Het echte Thailand.

Soon another drop, then another; then we all heard that unmistakable sound that is so common to any "Sounds of the Rainforest" CD.

Just how big? Well, something big enough to get all students out of class for the day and into the sun. As far as kids are concerned, that's just about as big as you can get! Teachers would skip lunch to run some errands or deal with the various logistics. Sensing this energy, the children's anticipation matched those of the adults as they reflected on a day without classes, seeing their friends from other schools, and the best part; all day SOCCER!

The first thing that struck me was the pleasant climate: Samara is very hot and humid while San Ramon is warm and sunny but shill, deliciously fresh.

There is always a cool little breeze. More than anything, through, it was good just to move to a bigger city. San Ramon and its environments offer enough activities to keep you busy.

I arrived under the impression that I would be working in an orphangem but unfortunately, that did not work out.

Alternatively, I was placed in a pre-school. Two days a week I worked with the english teacher.She was extremely kind and very appreciative of the extra help and knowledge. I loved working with the kids. They are very warm and kind hearted.

The first few days I worked in the garden and helped paint the kids hands on a wall by the playground.

Our first night here, Maria Elena, our madre, took us to karaoke where we were made to humiliate ourselves with a terrible rendition of the beatles, although we managed to laugh all the way through.

Costa Rica Information Brochure

If you are interested in joining the program in Costa Rica, you should download and read our destination guide.

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