ITA Costa Rica

Where Are They Now? Part 2-Mike

Where Are They Now? Part 2-Mike

Have you wondered how teaching English abroad will affect your life and your career?  Our grad Mike took our 4-week, onsite TEFL course in April 2014 and is now back in the States after living and teaching in Costa Rica.  See how the course and his time abroad has changed his life!


Where are you living and working now?

I’m living in a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland, called Ellicott City. I teach ESOL at a community college and a small private university, and also have four students I tutor privately. This year, I started a master’s program in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

When were you in Costa Rica?

I was in Costa Rica for two years, from June 2014 to June 2016. I only planned to spend a year there, but I enjoyed it so much, I stayed for two.

How many Alumni does ITA Costa Rica have?

What is your favorite memory of your time in Costa Rica?

While I was in Costa Rica, I had some amazing experiences. I traveled all over the country, as well as to Panama and Nicaragua. I ate some really great food. I explored a rainforest and caves. But the thing I’ll always remember the most was relationships. The people I met at my school – the teachers, the administration, and the students – became my family.

What did you learn while you were living in Costa Rica?

Above all else, I learned how to handle responsibility. The first semester teaching English was very challenging for me because I didn’t make the effort to get organized. Over the course of the semester, I learned what to do and how to do it. At the end of my second semester, I received a Teacher of the Semester Award. It was a very proud moment for me.

How did your time in Costa Rica affect your current job, life, etc.?

My time in Costa Rica completely changed my life. I originally went to Costa Rica to improve my Spanish. Not only did my Spanish improve enormously, I also discovered that I loved teaching. The school where I taught had a great professional development program and provided a lot of ideas for activities I could do in the classroom. Teaching ESOL is now my career choice.

Job Guidance

What would you recommend for others considering taking the TEFL course and living in Costa Rica to teach ESL?

In early 2014, I did a CELTA program in Washington, DC. I completed the program, but I still felt like I wasn’t prepared to teach. International TEFL Academy/Costa Rica TESOL was the best thing that could have happened to me. At ITA/Costa Rica TESOL, I learned about grammar, I was taught activities to do with students, and I was given the contact information for 30 highly-recommended schools. After the program, I returned to the U.S., applied to the schools, had an interview over Skype, and in 3 weeks, I was back in Costa Rica teaching. One thing I would definitely recommend is, if you have the opportunity, take Spanish classes – not necessarily to become fluent, but to get into the mindset of a language learner.

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