Volunteer to teach English in the ‘City of Presidents and Poets’.
Teach English in Costa Rica and live like a local for 1 to 2 months. Don’t worry if you’ve never done this before! The local group you’re teaching English to (and your host family) is more interested in learning conversational English than they are grammar.
You will have so much fun living in Costa Rica by simply speaking English the way you normally do at home and sharing that with an interested group each week along with your host family. In addition, you also have a unique opportunity to improve your Spanish! In a matter of hours you are walking around your new community like a true Tico. It won’t take long for the locals to start recognizing you and for you to consider your host community your new home. It’s real and authentic. Get to know the locals. Wake up each day and feel a connection. Most of all, make a difference in your host community.
Are you 21 years of age or older? Please join us! We also place a lot of mature travelers looking for a different way to travel and connect with new people and explore different cultures. All you need to begin is to be a native English speaker and hold a passport from the UK, USA, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa or Australia.
You have your own private room in a host family. Or, if you prefer to stay in a local hostel, we can arrange that for an optional fee. It’s totally up to you. If you stay with a local host family, we include 3 meals each day. Your host family asks that you set aside about 15 hours each week speaking conversational English with them and then you will teach English in a more formal setting 3+ hours a week in a classroom in a local community center with 4-6 “students” wanting to improve their conversational English. Weekends are normally free to experience the culture by traveling around Costa Rica.
When you teach English in Costa Rica, you soon discover that all trails lead to waterfalls, misty crater lakes or jungle-fringed, deserted beaches. Explored by horseback, foot or kayak, Costa Rica is a tropical choose-your-own-adventure land.
And then there are the people. Costa Ricans, or Ticos as they prefer to call themselves, are proud of their little slice of paradise, welcoming guests to sink into the easygoing rhythms of the pura vida (pure life). Life in Costa Rica is simple. Yet there is a profound ability to let people relax and enjoy their time. With the highest quality of life in Central America, all the perfect waves, perfect sunsets and perfect beaches seem like the pura vida indeed.
You will volunteer to teach English in the colonial town of San Ramón. But it is no wallflower in the pageant of Costa Rican history. The ‘City of Presidents and Poets’ has sent five men to the country’s highest office, including ex-president Rodrigo Carazo, who built a tourist lodge a few kilometers to the north of where you will live and teach. Another of Costa Rica’s beloved presidents, José Figueres Ferrer, is paid respect in an edifying culture and history culture center just north of the city’s central park.
Tourism is a big industry in Costa Rica. With over 2 ½ million tourists visiting Costa Rica in 2015, (more than 50% of Costa Rica’s population!), visitors from the US alone make up about 40% of those tourists. Knowing some English is definitely an advantage for some Costa Ricans who earn money from tourism. That is one reason this program is so important.
What are the benefits of this experience?
- A second home with new friends.
- You are more independent and confident.
- Your Spanish improves because of the immersion. You are now a local.
- New interests discovered and experienced.
- Your organizational and creative skills are put to the test.
- Get to know yourself better.
- You are helping your host family realize their goals of speaking English. You will make a lasting and sustainable impression.
- Add an international reference to your resume which helps with future job applications because of your experience teaching English in Costa Rica.
- Absolutely! Explore Costa Rica with friends! Bring as many friends as you like. Make a lasting difference and enjoy Costa Rica with friends and family!
- 4 and 8 week teaching programs.
- $1,329 flat fee for 4 or 8 weeks.
- Personalized placement with a screened host family. Or, for an optional fee, a private room in a local hostel. In other words, a place to call home in Central America. Our unique matching system ensures a great fit.
- A comfortable private bedroom for the duration of the program.
- Home-cooked meals each day with your host family, except when you’re traveling.
- Local office support in Costa Rica.
- Pre-departure materials.
- Comprehensive medical insurance if you’re from the US.
- Our own manual, A Tutor’s Guide–Teaching English To Families and Children, which you download and take with you to Costa Rica if you want.
- Our ESL-Lounge for access to games, flash-cards, and worksheets.
- Private Language Tutor experience to enhance your resume.
- Full immersion Spanish language through your host family.
What’s Not Included:
- Your flight to Costa Rica.
- Any Visa fee as you enter Costa Rica.
- Meals when you travel or go out on your own.
- Spending money for personal expenses, when you travel or optional activities.
Why is there a fee? Where does my money go?
The program fee for this experience covers our costs of placing you on the program in a safe host family and neighborhood. The fee helps us in providing your accommodation, meals, insurance, pre-departure & in-country support. We provide 24/7 emergency service, manned by real people. We update our tutor materials and tutoring aids constantly and provide a real ESL Teacher who is here via email to give you personalized assistance if you feel you need ideas. You are supported from the moment you contact us to the time you return … and beyond, through our active Alumni Community. You’re not a customer. You join our family.
How does GeoVisions choose families?
Host families contact us because they want to provide room and board to a native English speaker who will help them with their conversational English. When there are children in the family, mostly they need help with their English homework, but many times the adults want to join in as well.
Families, like you, are screened. They have to show a need and a desire to host an English tutor. And they have to pass a background check, an interview by staff in Costa Rica and agree to a home inspection and provide photos of the home (inside and out). Tutors are promised their own private room but there are times a bathroom might be shared. Families provide meals except when the tutor is traveling.
An ex-pat group of Americans have set up the daily and weekly English classes when you’re teaching to your group. These are local citizens who really want to improve their English, and the classes are a lot of fun.
Does GeoVisions provide materials to help me be successful? How am I supported?
Not only do we provide our own book, A Tutor’s Guide–Teaching English to Families and Children (you download this document and take the parts you want with you), you receive hundreds of FREE materials through our ESL Lounge, and we employ a full time ESL Teacher, right here on staff. Betsy is here for you before you depart and while you’re abroad. Email Help Me Teach and you are connected with Betsy who will answer your questions and provide detailed and personalized ideas to help you be successful.
Can I choose my location?
The location for this program is set, because of the English classes that are already set up in San Ramon.
What if I don’t like my placement when I arrive or I have host family issues? Can I move?
Before you depart, we connect you via email, phone and Skype with your new host family. You’ll have all the details you want before you ever leave home. GeoVisions spends a great deal of time on match-making. There needs to be a “connection” between you and your host family.
After you arrive if you begin having issues with your host family, we have a way to start the process to fix things or, change your placement, if necessary. This is extremely rare, but we’ve done this long enough to know things can come up on all sides.
Can I be placed with someone? I’d like to travel with a friend.
On this program we do have host families who are happy to host you and your friend. If we don’t have such a host family at the time you apply, we will certainly have other host families in the same vicinity and so you can see each other and teach together each day. Give us a call and ask.
May 22 (6 week course), August 7th (8 week course), and October 16 (4-6 week course).
15 hours/week (10 with the host family and 5 with the conversation groups). 4-6 days/week (most likely Tuesday through Saturday with Sun/Mon off). Exact days/time to be set up with host family and conversation group leaders.
INCLUDED. Orientation will be provided in San Ramon which includes a city tour.
Basic Spanish is required. Spanish language classes can be set up once in Costa Rica. You will pay any fees for classes directly to the language school in Costa Rica.
Optional Spanish courses are available at an additional expense. But don’t forget, this is an immersion program. You’re going to learn a lot of Spanish living with your host family.
21+. (Mature adults are very welcome to participate.)
San Ramon, Costa Rica is located about 45 miles from the country’s capital city of San José and a 40 minute drive from San Jose’s main airport. The population of San Ramon is around 11,000 without taking into account the many adjoining neighborhoods and towns.
Not included, but generally a visa is not required in advance. You will enter Costa Rica as a tourist, which is valid up to 90 days.
Your continued good health and safety during your time abroad is of critical importance to GeoVisions, and to the success of the program.
With the new healthcare and insurance laws in the United States, GeoVisions cannot legally provide travel, health and accident insurance on our group plan for any participant who resides outside the US. If that is you, we hope you will still participate with us. We struggle to understand these insurance laws in our country every day.
For US Citizens, GeoVisions has arranged accident and health insurance services through STA Travel. You will be sent details of the plan appropriate to you before departure. Please read the information about the plan carefully.
If you reside outside the US, please find out if your current health insurance plan covers you when you travel. If it does not, you will need to purchase an insurance plan separately. Then, simply send us a scan or photo of your insurance card. It’s that simple. And for the record, we don’t understand or agree with these laws either. We will provide you a list of organizations in your country to obtain low-cost travel and accident insurance.
GeoVisions takes your health very seriously. We have specially trained staff on duty 24 hours a day, 7-days a week to assist you wherever you are.
You can stay with a local host family (included in the program fee). If you prefer to stay in a hostel, arrangements can be made with an additional cost (shared and single rooms are usually available).($300/month for a shared room at the hostel.)
Three meals each day are included when you are at the host family. When you are out on your own or traveling, you will need to provide your own meals. If you choose to stay at the hostel, meals are not provided.