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

When classes started at the Language School, I was very impressed by their facilities and the professionalism of their instructors.

They never made me feel uncomfortable or unintelligent no matter how badly I butchered their native language. Even though I was only at the school for a quick five days, my Spanish dramatically improved, and I had a lot of fun learning.

As I arrived on my first day of teaching, right away, I fell in love with the kids.

They were so excited to see a new face, and it was very easy to jump into a teaching role. It was also very easy to adjust to a new routine, and each day the dorm felt more and more like home. Before I knew it, it was time for the children to go on summer break, and time for me to change projects.

It was enjoyable for me to observe a different country's school system and be able to reflect, compare, and contrast.

I greatly enjoyed working with the adult classes. They were so kind and welcoming to me, and quite appreciative of my time spent with them. Their true desire to learn English caused the classes to be quite rewarding. I enjoyed getting to know my two roomates and learn about their lives.

This four week project went by extremely quickly.

Following this, I started my second project at the special needs school. This was a terrific, eye-opening experience. I had previously had some minimal experience working with special needs children as a swimming instructor but never to this extent. I learned a great deal from this experience, especially in terms of patience and perseverance

We arrived in San Jose at night and were greeted by a friendly uVolunteer representative who took us to our homestay family.

Our family was very warm and welcoming even with the initial language barrier. The family went above and beyond their duties to welcome us to their family. The mother would constantly keep us well fed with food, snacks, frescos, and coffee. We became friends with the family and they threw me a surprise party for my birthday.

Costa Rica is an extremely friendly Country.

From the moment you arrive you will put at ease immediately. Your coordinator's main duty is to ensure that you have a great time. The programs' living conditions are clean, comfortable and very safe.

Helping at several schools over the month I found every child excited to be there, much different to my home in Australia.

Having a volunteer from overseas was also very exciting for them as they got to hear stories about places they never heard of. The kids were all motivated to learn and some definitely surprised me how well they could speak English.

There were many summer volunteer placements that could have catered to the adventure I was looking for.

However, I am very thankful to have committed my time with the uVolunteer teaching English program in Costa Rica. During my pre-destination research, I was convinced uVolunteer was right for me because of the well-organized website, the structured volunteer opportunities, and the beautiful location of Costa Rica.

At first, I was nervous about living with so many people.

But, without a doubt, they turned what would have been just a good experience into an unforgettable one. While living in a homestay may give you more practice with Spanish, living in the dorm with the fellow volunteers allows you to share your stories and form bonds that will last a life time. I leave here with friends across the United States, Canada, and even Scotland.

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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