How do I know if I'm qualified?
Costa Rica, unlike many countries, does not require native English-speaking teachers to be certified in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). In general, those interested in teaching in Costa Rica need only have a Bachelor's degree, in any subject, from a four-year college.
The one exception to this is if you are planning on searching for and landing a job while still in your home country. If the employer in Costa Rica cant afford meeting and interviewing you, the majority of local educational establishments require English teachers to have certifications. In such a case you need to completer a certification program. Most colleges offer TEFL certification courses that last about a month.
The skills you learn from TEFL certification, regardless of whether or not they help you land a job, will be invaluable in a classroom setting, particularly if you've never taught before. If it’s possible for you, try to get the TEFL certificate just before you begin the job search.
Type of School
Considering voyage to the Costa Rica you should also pay particular attention to the number of factors: the type of educational establishment that will employ you, the length of your contract, housing and place of living. Most paid teaching jobs in Costa Rica are located in the Central Valley. San Jose, the capital city, has many schools, but it is noisy, polluted, and can be a little dangerous until you know your way around the city. Heredia, Alajuela, and Cartago are small towns where the majority of schools are situated. These areas are considered more preferable for foreign teachers, but it all depends on where you feel most comfortable and what is most important to you.
During your stay in the country you may be working for 2 or even 3 different organizations.
Pro-English in San Jose is a nice school for newcomers, and there you will be able travel around the city and give private English classes to businessmen. Such a job may be quite lucrative to you, but it can be stressful to travel downtown all day, and the noise and car exhaust could soon drive anyone crazy.
You can also consider working for Intercultura in Heredia. The school is well run, and has a supportive community of teachers to rely upon. Free Spanish classes are also offered for all teachers.
In sum, Costa Rica is a great place to teach. The students here are as all other people friendly and cheerful. Weekends it is easy to jump on a bus, and lay out on a tropical beach with warm water, while drinking the cold, cheap beer. In Costa Rica people are not as in Western Europe, here all say: " the life is good”!