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

During the time I was in San Ramon, I formed strong bonds with many of the students I worked with.

On my very last day at school, the students surprised me with homemade cards, telling me how much they enjoyed our time together. Although this day was an emotional one for me, it helped me realize what an impact I had in the lives of these children.

From the moment I got there to the minute I left, I found something every day that intrigued me and kept me busy.

I had night patrol 6 days of the week, where I would dig up the turtle eggs, and relocate them. The park managers would then measure the turtles and record anything important. I felt very blessed at the project, as on the first night I saw a Leatherback turtle - which at the time of my project was extremely rare.

I really enjoyed my time there and am sad to have to say goodbye to the students (who were absolutely adorable) and the teachers.

Everyone was so friendly and welcoming to us from the start, really making us feel like part of their community. They were also very thankful so it really felt like we were helping. Katie and I also decided to raise money to donate paint and help re-paint the school, along with some friendly locals, which we have spent our last week doing.

My initial speculations proved to be right and wrong.

These volunteers certainly came from different backgrounds, and many were still search for their life callings, but at the same time it was a really social group that was easy to get along with and open-minded.

The first week was very stressful and very fun because my teacher spoke some English so we could get a point across, but never have a good conversation.

The kids were so young and so cute that whenever I felt stressed they cheered me up. I also enjoyed getting to know everyone in the dorm and legaly drinking for the first time. For the weekend my mom and I took a guided trip to see volcan Arenal and la Fortuna. This was an expensive, yet great get away from living with 14 people LOL.

I guess I will start out by saying that this has been an amazing experience and I have no regrets in doing it.

I knew I wanted to travel to Costa Rica but I've never traveled alone and couldn't convince any of my friends to do it. I found uVolunteer when researching programs online and liked this one because of the dorm option, the location, the price, and the fact that I could volunteer at an orphanage, something I have always wanted to do

I assumed in my head that we would be living in cabins or tents, but the house is closer to a hotel.

Hot water, comfortable beds, wifi, 2 meals a day and laundry have made the time spend here incredible!The fruit market is a must see, with produce I have never heard of in my life including dragonfruit, and guanabana ( a watermelon looking fruit that it white instead of pink, slightly creamy, and ten times as sweet).

This was a very worthwhile experience for me as my spoken Spanish needed to be improved.

There was a really great spirit in that school and the standards of teaching were superb.On my arrival here in San Ramon, I stayed in Dona Nidia’s house. I met her son for the first time on Sunday evening. On the following Tuesday I was shocked and saddened to learn that he had died suddenly.

Upon my arrival, I was nervous and unsure of what to expect as a new volunteer but I quickly felt at home in the dorm.

Working in an elementary school, I was fortunate enough to meet so many amazing students and teachers. I primarily worked with first, second, third and forth graders and loved every second of it! I also adored my teacher, Nela, a great educator. She helped me with my Spanish and I helped her with my English, which was a great trade off.

When I initially signed up for the trip I was expecting a relaxing vacation in the sun.

But what I ended up experiencing was not just an ordinary two weeks in the sand; it was much more than that. I was able to experience a whole new culture and I met people that I will never forget.

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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