Volunteer to Teach English in Costa Rica
Embrace the Pura Vida and Contribute a Valuable Skill
As a volunteer teacher in Costa Rica you’ll have the chance to support local schools, community centers, after school programs or other institutions. Projects support youth of all ages, with a few adult learning environments. You can expect to teach English in one-on-one or group settings for 3-4 hours per day, with the possibility of some independent planning work needed off-site. You’ll have an orientation and ESL crash course to prepare for success. Stay with a friendly local host who will provide a delicious breakfast and dinner each day, attend optional Spanish classes, and explore the region in your spare time.
In an effort to increase opportunities for teaching abroad we're hosting information about Maximo Nivel in Costa Rica. When signing up you will register directly with their team.
Start any weekend throughout the year
Sign up at least one month before your desired travel date
One week or more
Programs start at $665
Opportunity to Learn
Learn about Costa Rica through your hands-on volunteer placement
Opportunity to Contribute
Help locals build confidence in English conversation through teaching or tutoring
Global & Local Communities
Meet international volunteers and work alongside local populations
Beach or City Location
Live in the city of San José or by the beach in Manuel Antonio
Welcoming Hosts & Great Meals
Accommodation with breakfast and dinner is included
Enroll through Maximo Nivel’s booking system and someone from their team will reach out.
Discuss your program preferences with your Maximo Nivel coordinator, finalize and pay for your program.
Book your flight, provide your itinerary details to your coordinator, and travel to Costa Rica!
Arrival & Orientation
If volunteering to teach English in San José, a program representative will meet you at the airport (SJO) on Sunday and will transport you to your host family’s home. If volunteering in Manuel Antonio, you can arrive a day early and spend a night with a host family in San José before heading out to Manuel Antonio by bus (included). Your hosts will make sure you know how to get to the office Monday morning for a brief orientation session and ESL crash course. On your first day of teaching, a staff member will show you the ropes!
Teaching in groups or tutoring 1:1 can take place at community centers, after school programs, churches, and other sites. You’ll receive your teaching assignment upon arrival to ensure that you are placed at a location with a need for support at that exact time. Your responsibilities may include preparing lessons in advance, teaching English through games and activities, and/or providing support on-site for other teachers and students. If your teaching assignment takes place at a school, you will likely be assisting a, non-native English speaking teacher.
We suggest staying at least three weeks if possible; this would be a better experience for you and your students. If you have any concerns, your coordinator will be there to help.
While teaching in Costa Rica, you’ll stay with a local family with the option to share a room with other students or volunteers, or have a private room. For private rooms, please note the host family may still be hosting other participants in other rooms, with a shared bathroom arrangement. Please discuss your preferences with your coordinator after completing the initial sign-up process. Your host will provide breakfast and dinner each day.
Note: You may opt to stay in a hostel or hotel or arrange your own accommodation in case host family living isn’t for you. You’ll be able to set this up with your coordinator after completing the initial enrollment. Pricing varies.
Optional Language Classes & Support Center
The Maximo Nivel support office is also their language school, where you can optionally add Spanish classes. If you’re primarily interested in Spanish learning you can opt for the Learn Spanish program instead. Classes can be in small groups or private sessions for one hour or more per day. Also at the language school you’ll be able to consult with bilingual support staff who can answer questions about your teaching assignment or host family arrangement, getting around town, and other logistics.
Weekends, Free Time, & Departure
For most teaching assignments, weekends are free to explore Costa Rica or arrange excursions. Outside of your 3-4 hours teaching (and commute) you are also free to take a class or explore. At least once per week, the program has an activity (salsa dancing, cooking class, etc.) to bring participants together. Your program will end the morning of your final Saturday; if you need to arrange an extra night or two, this can be added at an additional cost.