www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica
Posted 10/04/2016 in Alumni Q&A

Costa Rica Teaching Q&A With Johanna

Costa Rica Teaching Q&A With Johanna


What is your citizenship? New Zealander


What city and state are you from? Wellington, New Zealand 


How old are you? 21


What is your education level andbackground? High school, worked inretail and automotive after high school


Have you traveled abroad in thepast? Many times:  USA, Mexico, Cuba, England, Scotland, Wales,Greece, Italy, Vietnam, Australia, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Nicaragua, Samoa


What sparked your interest ingoing to teach English abroad? ImprovingSpanish fluency, ease of travel and the opportunity to better someone else’slife


What were some of your concernsbefore teaching abroad? That finding ajob would be difficult, although receiving three job offers within three daysof course ending proved otherwise


What did your friends and familythink about you moving and teaching abroad?That it was dangerous, and I was brave/crazy for doing so. Also that it’s afantastic opportunity, they were generally really supportive (with theexception of the cousin that bet $100 I wouldn’t last, she has since admittedshe was wrong)



Why did you decide to get TEFLcertified and choose International TEFL Academy? Market research of easiest way to get certified


Which TEFL certification coursedid you take? Barva, Heredia in May 2016


How did you like the course? Loved it! Literally changed my life.


How has your TEFL training helpedyou in your current teaching position? Iwouldn’t have the job without it, for one. Besides that though, I don’t think Iwould feel prepared to teach, or capable of teaching without all the help,resources and training from Melanie and Luke.



Which city did you decide to teachEnglish in and why? Heredia, Costa Rica- I spent a month getting trained here and didn’t want to leave afterward.


How long have you been in thiscountry and how long do you plan to stay?6 months so far, but I may potentially stay forever.


What school, company, or programare you working for? Intercultura andPro Language


Do you have a work visa?   Yes, but before I got it I had to takeweekends off for border runs which can be time consuming and expensive, albeita lot of fun and good excuse to travel.


Tell us about your Englishteaching job. I love it! I teach a fullrange of ages (10-50) and I teach a range of abilities too. It’s awesome towatch students progress and know that you helped them achieve that progression.It’s also a lot of fun, I’ve met heaps of cool people and feel fulfilled in mywork. It can be challenging some days but it’s super rewarding.


How did you find somewhere to liveand what is it like? Do you have roommates?

Acolleague was moving out of a flat so I took her spot, super easy to find. 2roommates, other teachers- a Brit and a Palauan.



Please explain the culturalaspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expatcommunity, dating scene, and travel opportunities in your country: Dating opportunities are extensive - localmen are fascinated by foreign women. I don’t particularly like this myself, sohaven’t really dated as yet but I’m not ruling it out either. A lot more peoplespeak English in CR than I had expected, so my Spanish is progressing a littleslower than I might have liked but as the locals say: poco a poco. Travelopportunities are incredible also - locally there are mountains, waterfalls andso many hikes, and if you jump on a bus it’s only about 2 hours to the nearestbeach. Buses are super affordable and super reliable, as are trains. Atnighttime, especially when I’m alone, I prefer to use Uber but this is just apersonal preference for reasons of security and laziness. Lots of socialactivities are available with Ticos or other expats. My workmates take beachtrips or go on hikes together all the time, and they play football sometimeswith some students and local friends after work, plus my work has an awesomesocial atmosphere with pub quizzes, open mic nights and heaps more. Food isgreat, the local food is good and cheap, and almost everything from home isavailable but you totally pay a premium for imported food so keep that in mind!I still eat at least one jar of imported peanut butter per fortnight..


What are your monthly expenses? Pretty much exactly what I earn.


How would you describe your standardof living? Super comfortable. I go outmost weekends, I can afford to eat out often, drink a fair amount of wine andget new tattoos, so I’m definitely not struggling.


In your opinion, how much doessomeone need to earn in order to live comfortably? $800 - $1000 depending on the person, I earn more but I go out a lotand get lots of Ubers and buy expensive wine.



What advice would you give someoneplanning or considering teaching abroad?Bring some savings if you’re looking to travel a lot, and also as a cushion sothat you aren’t stressed about finding a job super quick.


Would you recommend teaching in CostaRica? I definitely would, it’s anawesome experience.

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