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

Do I need to get shots or vaccinations before I teach English in Costa Rica?

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

As you get ready for your move to Costa Rica, it's a great idea to make sure you are prepared in all areas, including your health care.   Check out our tips on health insurance, and make sure you have the recommended shots and vaccinations. 

Routine Vaccines and recommendations

Long story short, there is not much to be concerned with when moving to Costa Rica.  Of course we recommend following the CDC's (Center for Disease Control and Prevention)  recommendation of being up-to-date on routine vaccines like MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio and your yearly flu shot.  Before I moved to Costa Rica, I also took my doctor's recommendation to get the Hepatitis A series as this can be contracted through food and water.  You will see the CDC also recommends the Typhoid vaccine, but I never got this nor do I know other English teachers that have concerned themselves with this one. 

Malaria concerns?

The risk of malaria is low in Costa Rica, so again, most people coming here to teach are not concerned with this.  If you are pregnant or have other health conditions that may put you at risk, you will want to ask your doctor about taking precautions with medication.  Based on your other plans for your time in Costa Rica, you may also want to consider the Hepatitis B and rabies vaccines.  For instance, the rabies vaccine is recommend for those who plan on working with or around animals, and we have a number of grads that spend their free time here volunteering at animal shelters and reserves.

Yellow Fever

Finally, if you plan to do a lot of traveling in and around South and Central America, we recommend getting your Yellow Fever vaccine before leaving your home country.  There is no risk of Yellow Fever in Costa Rica, however, the government requires proof of the vaccination if you are arriving from a country with risk of Yellow Fever.  We have heard a number of stories from TEFL students and English teachers that ran into this issue.  

Some teachers went to Argentina on a "border run" over a long break but were not allowed to fly back to Costa Rica before getting their vaccine in Argentina.  They had to wait another week or so!  Another couple had planned to go to Colombia on a "border run" and were asked for their vaccination proof before flying out of Costa Rica because they had a roundtrip ticket.  Since they did not have the vaccines, they would not have been allowed to fly back to Costa Rica, so they had to change their plans.  Finally, one student, who was supposed to take our 4-week TEFL course, was flying in to Costa Rica from South America and was not allowed to because he didn't have his vaccine! 

Like always, do your research and come prepared!  You're going to love Costa Rica, and we would hate for you to miss out on any of the fun!  Not yet registered to take our 4-week TEFL training in Costa Rica?  Contact us today to save your seat! 

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