By Tessa Judge
January 11, 2018
If you’re anything like me, you often fall into daydreams of waking up every morning to the city sounds of Berlin, spending your days off on the beaches of Belize, or falling asleep with the glittering Eiffel Tower right outside of your window. If you’re also anything like me, you’ve decided that the fluorescently lit corporate grind is no longer for you. You’ve decided that life is too short to be a slave to the commute and the 9-5. You need a change.
So, here you are, looking into the Costa Rica TEFL program, just as I was doing less than a year ago. You have a multitude of options for completing your TEFL certificate. You could do it online, at a local university, in a different country – you could even do it in a different Costa Rican city. After weighing all these options myself and taking the plunge with Costa Rica TEFL, I’m here to give you 6 reasons why you should do the same.
- Live the authentic Pura Vida lifestyle.
Year after year, Costa Rica is consistently named one of the happiest countries in the world, and much of that can be attributed to “Pura Vida.” If you’ve ever been to Costa Rica, you’ve heard the phrase, simply translated to, “pure life.” Until you live in the country however, you don’t fully understand that it’s not just a greeting or quippy response; it’s a way of life.
Costa Ricans (Ticos/Ticas) are typically unbothered by the things that stress most people out. Running late? Pura vida. Break your phone? Pura vida. Bike chain falls off and you need help from a stranger? Pura vida. Your one-hour surf board rental somehow turns into two? Pura vida. No hay problema. This take-it-easy, don’t-worry-about-it mentality is infectious and a breath of fresh (read: sea salt) air.
- Spend your mornings before class on the beach.
Located in beautiful Sámara in the coastal province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica TEFL gives you something that most other programs can’t. Because class doesn’t begin until 10:30 every morning, TEFL students have plenty of time to get to the beach every day if they wish to. With an early sunrise, start your day with a cup of coffee, fresh fruit from the stand in town, and a dip in the ocean.
Please note that in Sámara, salty hair and sandy feet are not required but strongly encouraged.
- Get to know the locals.
Through your TEFL training, you’ll be putting your new skills into practice right away by teaching free English classes to Sámara locals. Not only is this a great way to apply what you’re learning, you’ll also get to know the students in your class. You’ll see them out and about town, at the grocery store, at open mic night on Wednesdays at The Flying Taco, or getting lunch at the local sodas. Get used to hearing, “Hi teacher!” alongside a big smile and emphatic wave. They might practice English with you when they see you or challenge you to practice your Spanish. Either way, these connections with the locals really weave you into the fabric of the town.
- Receive lifelong job assistance.
My biggest fear when researching TEFL programs was whether or not I’d find a job afterwards. I can now say with confidence that the job assistance provided by the Costa Rica TEFL staff is unparalleled. Beginning your second week in the program, you’ll have the opportunity to sit down with Barbara, the organization’s founder and director, for a personalized resume review and conversation about where exactly you want to end up. Want to stay in Sámara? Want to move to a different coastal town or a big city? Want to move on from Costa Rica? Barbara’s your girl.
Because it’s one of the oldest and one of the few non-chain TEFL certification programs, hundreds of schools trust Costa Rica TEFL to provide them with quality teachers. Barbara and the staff work tirelessly to ensure its students find their dream jobs in their dream locations. Don’t believe me? Check out more of the blog to see where many of our graduates have ended up.
- Partake in free yoga classes on the beach and Spanish lessons.
Who doesn’t want to start their mornings with some downward dog on the beach? Costa Rica TEFL offers its students a free weekly yoga class on beautiful Playa Sámara. Even if you don’t do yoga regularly, bring your towel to the beach for a fun and relaxing start to your morning with your new friends. Did I mention it’s free?
And if you’re like me and want to move to Costa Rica without knowing any Spanish yet, you’re in luck! Costa Rica TEFL also offers a free weekly Spanish class taught by a local Tica. You’ll be ordering cervezas like a pro in no time.
- Feel confident in your training and new skills.
And last but certainly not least, Costa Rica TEFL will send you into this next chapter of life feeling confident in your ability as an English teacher. Even if – like me – you’ve never taught in a classroom setting before, you’ll take your brand new English teaching job in stride. Equipped with 160 contact hours, ample hands-on and interactive experiences, and an impressive portfolio of your month’s work, you’ll start your new position with the grace and ease of a longtime teacher.
You have a big decision ahead of you: get lost in your daily routine or break the mold and experience life as it should be experienced. With Costa Rica TEFL, I guarantee your world will be rocked in the best way. What’s stopping you?