Meet Justin and Sarah! They are a couple from Australia, who are now living in San Carlos, Costa Rica. Sarah is originally from the United States but moved to Australia after meeting and marrying the love of her life, Justin! They craved a new, exciting life so they decided to get TEFL certified and teach abroad. They both completed their TEFL certifications at Costa Rica TEFL in August 2023.
Justin explained the most important thing that they learned while completing their TEFL certificate with Costa Rica TEFL, being “you are never too old to learn”.
Why get TEFL certified?
Justin and Sarah decided that they both needed a change from their living and working arrangements, so they found Costa Rica TEFL. Additionally, they found that getting TEFL certified was a great way to experience living in other countries. They share a passion of working with communities, learning about new cultures and traveling. To sum it up, Justin says, “what better way to achieve our passions than complete an internationally recognized certification?” We agree, Justin!
Why Costa Rica TEFL?
Simply put, Costa Rica is a beautiful country! They knew Costa Rica would be the right choice because of the weather, the natural environment, the beaches and the ability to learn Spanish through immersion. In addition, it’s easy access to be able to explore Central and South America.
Experiences at Costa Rica TEFL
Justin and Sarah highlighted a few of the many incredible experiences that they had while being at Costa Rica TEFL. According to Justin this was difficult to narrow down because of the endless good memories. First off, they were able to live in and experience Samara for one month. Secondly, meeting the other trainees/their peers significantly added to their experience. They were able to form amazing, life long friendships, even with peers half their age. Next, they loved to teach the locals of Samara and share cultures and traditions with them. Lastly, witnessing the passion and commitment to learn of the local students was fulfilling and an experience in itself.
Where are Justin and Sarah Now?
They are living and teaching in San Carlos, Costa Rica. A bilingual school hired the both of them immediately after completing their TEFL certification, where they are teaching English. The beautiful Volcan Platanar can be viewed right from the back window of their apartment and the astonishing Volcan Arenal can be viewed from the balcony of their apartment! Talk about some breath-taking views.
A typical teaching day for the two includes:
5:45 AM: Wake up, coffee, shower, pack school bag
6:25 AM: Walk to the bus stop to head to school
6:45 AM: Set up class and MORE coffee
7:00 AM: First class
8:45 AM: Breakfast with the students
9:15 AM: Class
11:45 AM: Lunch
12:30 PM: Class
2:30 PM: School is over!
Depending on the day, one of them may stay for after school English tutoring.
Justin and Sarah offer advice for someone thinking about becoming certified:
Justin says “just do it, it’s worth it!” He mentions that it’s never too late. He strongly advises “don’t let age hold you back”. Travel, teach, earn money and experience new cultures, what more could you want?
Sarah says “you will learn more about yourself and teaching than you would expect”. She is now teaching high school English and couldn’t imagine doing it without the experience that she gained with her TEFL certification.
They also offer advice for new teachers teaching in Costa Rica:
Sarah says “say yes!” Locals have asked them to do many things from indoor soccer to going to a folk-dance show, which have been different and fun.
Justin says “learn and accept the motto ‘go with the flow”, because that’s just how it is with teaching! He also mentions that it’s important to ask for help when needed and to not be afraid.
Is there proof of their ‘new, exciting life’?
Yes! It’s full of adventures! Costa Rica is known for many things, including its peaceful nature, natural environment and outdoor activities. Justin and Sarah spend their weekends adventuring with other teachers and locals, heading to waterfalls, hiking and chilling in the hot springs. They are officially living that ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle!
Does that ‘Pura Vida’ lifestyle seem right for you? Are you ready to take the step towards an extraordinary change? It may be your time to let go of anything holding you back.
Send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or for an application form!
By: Alexis Lattin
Administrative Coordinator CRTEFL