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TEFL Training In Costa Rica | Updated: 01/05/2023

Where Are They Now? -Catherine

Written by International TEFL Academy Costa Rica

Have you wondered how teaching English abroad will affect your life and your career?  Our grad Catherine took our 4-week, onsite TEFL course in November 2016 and is now back in the States after living and teaching in Costa Rica.  See how the course and her time abroad has changed her life!


Where are you living and working now?  I currently live in Cinnaminson, NJ and I teach Spanish at Harry S. Truman High School in Levittown, PA.

When were you in Costa Rica?  
I was in Costa Rica from November of 2016 to May of 2017.

What is your favorite memory of your time in Costa Rica? There are so many to choose from! I would say my favorite thing to look back on are all the people I met along the way and the many memories shared. I never thought I would feel such a sense of community moving to a foreign place without knowing anyone. I had always imagined teaching and traveling, but it ended up being so much more. The holidays shared together, the birthdays celebrated, the weekly soccer games, the roommate movie nights, and the constant flow of welcoming new teachers and saying goodbye to those that are moving on.

What did you learn while you were living in Costa Rica? My time in Costa Rica really taught me how to take the good with the bad and remain positive throughout it all. Moving to another country was so rewarding, but also scary. Finding a job(s) and a place to live while in the TEFL course was a lot of unexpected pressure; trying to budget so that I could afford my rent, groceries, and commute was something I had never done before. But without a doubt everything always worked out. I learned to let go of the negative feelings when something didn't go as I had planned and look forward to the new opportunities that would be coming my way.

3 Important ESL Classroom Techniques

How did your time in Costa Rica affect your current job, life, etc.? It affects my life on a daily basis. As a foreign language teacher, I have taken so much of what I learned while taking the TEFL course, teaching my classes, and observing other teachers and modified it for my Spanish classroom. What is considered "new-paradigm" for language teaching in the US are the skills and methods already being used to teach ESL around the world, so it helped me immensely in the interview process when finding a job after I returned. My experience in Costa Rica was invaluable. 

What would you recommend for others considering taking the TESOL course and living in Costa Rica to teach ESL?  Do it. Say yes to the risk, and continue to say yes when you get there. Live with a host family during the course. Take the Business English job you never thought you wanted. Get on the bus that you are convinced goes back to Heredia (and then promptly get off when you realize it's actually going to San Jose!). Hike the volcano you always stare at during your daily commute. Buy your groceries at the market whether you speak Spanish or not. Date a Costa Rican. Go to the beach on a Wednesday just because you can. And never take any of those moments for granted, because one day you'll be telling your students stories of your time spent in Costa Rica and inevitably answering their biggest question...why would you leave?!

When are YOU going to join our alumni family by taking one of our 4-week, onsite TEFL courses in Costa Rica?  Contact us today!

TESOL Group Photos

Where Are They Now? Part 1-Maggie

Where Are They Now? Part 2-Mike

Where Are They Now? -Jayme

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