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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 12/10/2022

5 Tips for Successfully Teaching English Abroad

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

In order to start your time abroad on the right foot, follow these five tips!  

1 - Take care of things back home before leaving

You never know when you will need to go back and don't want to burn all of your bridges, so respectfully leave your jobs.  Don't leave your roommates high and dry.  Do your best to let people know you are leaving, and make sure you take care of any pending loans or any other business like your cell phone account.  Also, make sure you let all of your debit and credit card companies know you will be living outside of the country and will still need access to your accounts.  Don't forget to ask about international fees for using your card!

2 - Research the country you are moving to

It's important to educate yourself on the cultural etiquette like greetings, appropriate clothing, hierarchies and even the currency of the culture you will be moving to.   Your expectations will be a bit clearer and you will feel more comfortable. You should also learn about the geographical layout of the of the country:  where do the tourists go?  where are the teaching jobs?  etc.  Research the economical situation of the country as well as education and current politics. 

Tico Culture

3 - Learn the local language

Although speaking the local language is not necessary for being an excellent English teacher, we do encourage you to make an effort to learn some phrases before moving to your new home. Knowing some common phrases to be polite and to help you get around will make you feel more comfortable during your stay. Check out free apps like Duolingo or websites like www.studyspanish.com to learn some Spanish before you come to Costa Rica, and check out our Spanish courses with Costa Rican teachers when you get here! 

4 - Make friends with locals  

Even though it's great having friends that are also teachers and foreigners like you, it's important that you build genuine friendships with locals as well.  There's no better way to understand a culture than to connect to its people.  You can practice the language, visit places only the locals go to and learn about traditions.  Check out our tips on making friends with locals

5 - Be flexible

You are living in a culture with different beliefs and ways of doing things, and you need to always keep that in mind.  Be open to new things and new ideas.  You are not there to change their culture or complain about the way they do things.  Actually, they are allowing you to take part in their lives and experience something new.  Furthermore, many of you will be starting a new career.  If you are coming from the corporate world  or fresh from college, the teaching life will be a new experience for you.  So take advantage of your TEFL course to learn as much as you can about teaching in order to enjoy your new career to the fullest.

Culture Shock

Moving abroad and starting a new career can be daunting, however, follow these tips to do it as successfully as possible!  What's the first step to starting your time teaching English abroad?  Save your seat in one of our 4-week onsite TEFL courses in Costa Rica!  

Costa Rican Cultural Etiquette

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