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

I didn't know what to expect of my English classes, but they ended up being another very rewarding part of my experience as well.

The students were so enthusiastic to learn- English skills help them a lot- and I do feel like they improved. The weekend trips were awesome highlights as well- each weekend I just hopped onto a bus with a couple of other volunteers and took it from there.

I've been fortunate enough to be given a glimpse into life in another culture, and my perspective's broadened from it.

Neither a tourist nor a resident, as a volunteer I've been able to interact with people that have lived their whole lives in Samara. Mostly those people are the children of this community, as I've volunteered at several schools assisting with physical education, teaching English, and an after school program.

The students were greatful for my assistance and my only work is that I had been able to absorb and learn more of the language.

I saw this as a good sign for the whole trip. I had planned on a week in Spanish School in San Jose to be followed by a month of volunteer work helping adults learn English. I attracted to uVolunteer because they offered a program that help adults learn English so they might get better jobs and in turn improve their lives.

Traveling every weekend was one of my favorite parts of the experience.

Costa Rica has so much to offer and is easy and inexpensive to get around. I am studying elementary education in the States and decided to volunteer teaching English in an elementary school in San Ramon. I hadn't taken Spanish in a few years and decided to do the language program for two weeks prior to my volunteer project. The staff at the language school was so great welcoming and helped me to adjust to a new country. I also met a few friends at the school who were traveling to San Ramon with me which was nice.

This was a great way to see what life was like for Ticos and not just tourists.

They answered all of my questions and made me feel comfortable with everything. I needed to spend the night in San Jose before leaving for my project and uVolunteer had everything organized for me when i arrived.

Even though the experiences were new to us and required some getting used to and some flexibility, the English teachers also had to be flexible and get used to having us around.

We learned that having a teacher's aide is not common for teachers in Costa Rica. However, for the most part, the teachers learned how to use us to their best advantage in the classroom and we felt very helpful.

Since I was there for quite a while, I got a good chance to see many exciting new places.

Costa Rica is an amazingly diverse country and there is so much to see from volcanoes to beautiful beaches and everything in between. I tried surfing for the first time and was hooked from day one. It is hard to name highlights of the trips because they were all great in different aspects.

During my placement each day I would teach English for 3 hours at an elementary school, and 3 hours at another school helping to teach physical education.

Every day I was excited to go to the school and see the smiling faces of the little kids. The school atmosphere was awesome, because as soon as you walk into the school there is a load of kids there to greet you with hugs, hellos, smiles and questions each and every day.

I originally planned to teach English to adults during evenings, but 3 out of the 4 weeks I was in Costa Rica, the schools were closed.

I suddenly found myself as a volunteer in the office, proofreading and editing volunteer documents, making myself useful in a new and unexpected way. And it worked! I am very proud of what I was able to accomplish for future volunteers.

I was becoming anxious that I would never begin my intended project, but also grateful to have the opportunity to help elsewhere.

I went to an orphanage in Palmares with a group of about 7 of us to paint a mural on one of the bare walls in the garden. It was so much fun to test our 'artistic' skills, and also to spend time with the children.

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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