Teaching English Abroad in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Do you want to leave your 9 to 5 job and start a career that allows you the freedom to travel and the opportunity to experience other cultures?  Meet Nicci Chiarelli, a Florida native from the United States who came to Costa Rica to learn how to teach English in 2017 and has made this paradise her home. She has immersed herself in the local culture, has learned Spanish, and is dating a local Costa Rican~ the complete pura vida experience!

Why did you first come to Costa Rica?

I first came here to work for a sea turtle conservation organization.  During that time, I was exposed to my first teaching abroad.  While working there I helped plan and execute English lessons for local children as well as environmental education for the local community and volunteers.

When and why did you decide to get TEFL certified?

I have experience as an educator (in Marine biology) and I enjoyed the feeling of helping others reach their goals.  As a result, I decided to look into getting teaching abroad by getting TEFL certified after a friend recommended Costa Rica TEFL’s program in Playa Sámara.  I graduated from the program in July 2017.

Did you teach right after getting TEFL certified?

Yes! I immediately began teaching children and adults at a language school in Liberia, Costa Rica.  After that, through the lifetime job placement assistance offered by Costa Rica TEFL, I secured a teaching position at a bilingual school in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.  Not only am I teaching English to third and sixth graders, I am also teaching science and history to students who are native to beginner level speakers.

What’s the next step in your career?

My goal is to continue teaching in a different city in Costa Rica or maybe even another country. Another idea of mine is to one day return to South Florida and teach immigrants.   I am undecided!  No matter where I go, I will continue teaching.  I have found my dream career as a English language teacher!

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