Posted 03/04/2019

Costa Rica teaching Q&A with Kendra

Costa Rica teaching Q&A with Kendra

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF

What is your citizenship? USA

What city and state are you from? Lincoln, Nebraska

How old are you? 22

What is your education level and background? I graduated from the University of Nebraska in 2018 with a double major in Spanish and International Studies

Have you traveled abroad in the past? I have spent quite a bit of time abroad, both for school and just traveling. 

If you have traveled abroad in the past, where have you been? I have been all over Europe, Central America and South America.

If you have studied abroad in the past, where did you study? studied abroad for one semester in Seville, Spain and one semester in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad? Having a background in international studies I wanted to be able to have a job where I was traveling often and had opportunities to do so. I had met quite a few TEFL teachers who teach all over the world and so I started doing some research on how possible it really was to teach abroad. 

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad? My first concern was how to pay for everything. I had just graduated from university, so I didn’t have a lot of savings. Naturally, I was nervous that I once I arrived here I wouldn’t have enough money to live on. Another pretty big concern I had was that I didn’t have any background or education in teaching. I didn’t know if I would be able a successful teacher without a degree.

What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad? I think most of my family expected it. I loved both of my study abroad experiences so much that it made sense for me to spend some time living abroad when I graduated from university. Both my friends and family are happy that I moved to such a great place for them to come visit and vacation!


TEFL CLASS INFORMATION

Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy? I decided to get TEFL certified with ITA for a few reasons. First and foremost, I can use the certification anywhere I go in the world. This really opens a lot of doors and allows you to become part of an enormous ITA community anywhere you want to go. Second, ITA offers the highest level of TEFL certification, so no matter where you go, you have proper training and experience.

Which TEFL certification course did you take? I took the course in Barva, Costa Rica in September 2018! 

How did you like the course? I loved my course in Barva! We had fantastic instructors who really made sure we were prepared for teaching in the real world. By the end of the course, I was very confident in my ability to teach and manage a classroom. Practicum teaching was an awesome experience and really helped me understand and use different methods of teaching. I’m so happy that I decided to take an in-person course. 

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position? I use my TEFL training every day in my current position! I use different teaching methods that we learned to accommodate my different class level and types, and I often use activities that we used during my TEFL training in my current classes. 

 

TEACHING ABROAD IN COSTA RICA

Which city did you decide to teach English in and why? I teach in Heredia and I live in Barva. 

How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay? I have been in Costa Rica for six months and I will stay for at least one more year.

What school, company, or program are you working for? Intercultura 

Do you have a work visa?  My work visa is processing!  

Tell us about your English teaching job. I teach at a language school called Intercultura. I absolutely love my job, my coworkers, and my students. I teach various levels from introduction (beginner) classes to upper intermediate classes. I work around 25 hours a week which is considered full time here in Costa Rica.  I mostly work with adults who are coming to class either before or after work. Because of this, I am usually teaching in the morning or at night and most of my day is free. This is a great chance to get out into the city or go home and relax.  Working with adults is really rewarding for me. They are always focused and really driven and work hard to learn. 

How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates? I met my landlord via other teachers. I asked if he had any open rooms, and luckily he had a room in a house! I live with another teacher who teaches at Intercultura as well. We live in Barva which is a smaller town on the outside of Heredia. We have a big kitchen, living room, bathroom, washer and dryer in house, and a really nice patio overlooking the central valley.  Theo commute to work is a five-minute walk to the bus stop and then a ten-minute bus ride into town. There are many supermarkets and stores close by for grocery shopping and everyday needs!  

 

COSTA RICA

What are your monthly expenses? Between groceries and rent, I would say around $500 a month. That’s not including a lot of eating out or alcohol. I spent about 50 cents a day on my commute to work.

In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably? I think this completely depends on the person and their lifestyle. If you’re okay with eating simple meals, don’t drink every night, and don’t need the newest and best things, living abroad will be easier and less expensive. If you can do that, I would say you can live here for under 1,000 USD a month. 

 

ADVICE FOR PROSPECTIVE TEACHERS IN COSTA RICA

What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad? No matter where you go in the world, the most important factor is having an open mind. It’s so important to be open to new ideas and ways of life. You can’t expect that where you’re going in a totally new country is going to be anything like living at home in your comfort zone. It’s also important to recognize that just because something is different than how you know it to be, doesn’t mean it’s wrong or bad. There’s a lot of value in putting yourself out there and being exposed to so many different cultures and peoples and growing from it. 

 

Would you recommend teaching in your country?  I would absolutely recommend Costa Rica to anyone if they asked. I have had the best experience so far and I have already learned so much. If you’re looking for a mountainous, beach-filled, relaxed way of life, come join us!

Pura Vida.

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