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What’s it like to teach English in Costa Rica? Costa Rica TEFL graduate Kasey McCulloch shares her story.

We’ve just received an update from our November 2015 graduate, Kasey McCulloch, who has secured her first paid teaching job in Costa Rica. Kasey is teaching at Inglingua, a language school based in the bustling university area in San Pedro, Costa Rica. She’s given us a really good report of the English Teacher lifestyle in Costa Rica!

Kasey says:

San Pedro is unlike the rest of San Jose. There are 3 major universities close by, so most people in the area are young and educated. There are also a lot of international students in the area, and all different types of people. Unlike when I am in downtown San Jose, in San Pedro, I fit it perfectly and am often mistaken for a college student! Due to the young demographic there is also a lively night life. Every night of the week you can find something to do, or a fun ladies night (ladies drink for free!). The climate here is mild. During the day, in the dry season, it is usually around 80 degrees, more or less. When the sun goes down, the temperature drops to the 60s! Bring closed toe shoes, or boots and a sweater if you come here because it gets chilly!

I teach business English for adults between the ages of 25-40. Companies hire Inlingua to come in and teach their employees English. Right now, the two biggest clients of Inlingua are Intel and St. Jude Medical Supply. Most of my classes are done one on one through Skype. Currently, I have one on-site class in Alajuela, but more on-site classes are soon to come. I mostly teach more advanced levels of English, and I am always surprised how much my students already know!

Learning the communicative approach definitely helped my in classes now. I continually check to be sure my “teacher talk time” is low so my students can get the most practice. Most lessons for business English are a bit dry, so having a access to the Costa Rica TEFL activity library is something I often refer to. I also still refer to my TEFL course book for clarifications on grammar.

The weekends are always a new adventure. San Jose is such a centralized city, the “hub” of the country, it is cheap and easy to get around. Round trip bus tickets generally only cost about $8 for most places I have researched. I am not always able to travel every weekend, but staying in the city is fun too! There is a great nightlife here, in addition to museums, live music, parks. Every weekend on Sunday I go to the big farmers market in Zapote(a neighborhood close by). It is a great place to get fruits and veggies for the week. I usually spend about $10 and have enough to feed me for the whole week!

Since graduating, I’ve gone hiking in the Monteverde cloud forest, which was beautiful. I went to Jacó beach for the day last Sunday (it is only an hour and half bus ride away). Just west of San Jose is a place called Palmares, which hosts the largest festival in Costa Rica. It lasts for two weeks, and has big concerts, food vendors, a rodeo, and dancing. If you are in Costa Rica next January I definitely recommend going to the Palmares festival! I have also been to Playa Dominical. In the near future I will be visiting Arenal National Park, Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side, Cartago, Poas Volcano, and many more! This country is small, but has so much diversity in places!

I am still getting used to teaching, so I will be working at Inlingua for at least 6 months. My goal is to work in a school with kids, once I have the experience I hope to achieve this goal! The future is pretty open for me, and that’s how I like it!”

We love to hear from our graduates, and it sounds like Kasey is doing really well after graduating!