www.costaricatesol.com - ITA Costa Rica
Posted 09/11/2017

Costa Rica Teaching Q&A With Ryan

Costa Rica Teaching Q&A With Ryan


What is your citizenship? USA

What city and state are you from? Tampa, Florida

How old are you? 27

What is your education level and background? Bachelor Degree & Started Masters in Clinical Nutrition

What sparked your interest in going to teach English abroad? Discontent with a 9-5 job, need for fresh scenery, the opportunity to learn from a new culture.

What were some of your concerns before teaching abroad?  Language barrier, being accepted in a foreign country, safety.

What did your friends and family think about you moving and teaching abroad?

“Oh, Ryannnn.” 


Why did you decide to get TEFL certified and choose International TEFL Academy? I did a lot of diligent research and this is the most accredited program worldwide. 

Which TEFL certification course did you take? Barva, Heredia (ITA International Costa Rica) in April of 2017

How did you like the course? Amazing.

How has your TEFL training helped you in your current teaching position? Tremendously.  I came to the course with no grammar knowledge whatsoever and I left feeling confident teaching and knew grammar material.



Which city did you decide to teach English in and why? Heredia/San Jose, more job opportunities.

How long have you been in this country and how long do you plan to stay? Five months, one year minimum but maybe a lifetime. 

What school, company, or program are you working for? Wizard Instituto de Idiomas

Do you have a work visa?  No, I do not have a work visa.  I need to leave the country every 90 days to renew my passport/tourist visa.

Tell us about your English teaching job.  I love it.  I teach business professionals from Intel, Citi Bank, Sisco Foods, HP, Walmart, etc. 

How did you find somewhere to live and what is it like? Do you have roommates?  I posted all over every social media forum in Costa Rica until someone contacted me.  This was the most difficult part of my transition.  Yes, I live with two other teachers. 



Please explain the cultural aspects, public transportation, nightlife, social activities, food, expat community, dating scene, and travel opportunities in your country:  The people of Costa Rica (Ticos) are extremely friendly.  Just like any other country, there are areas to avoid but overall it is a very safe, friendly, and peaceful country.  Transportation is decent.  I take buses everywhere which are less than a dollar one-way; Uber is great in the country as well.  Costa Rica is like a more beautiful and somewhat less-developed USA.  It has all the modern amenities you want with just a little more difficulty to procure.  Nightlife, tons of traveling opportunities, music, dating (Tinder/Bumble/bars); honestly, it is a very easy transition from the USA if you’re a patient, grateful person.  

What are your monthly expenses?

$237 Housing

$40 Transportation (Buses)

$120 Food (I go to the local market on Saturdays and get all of my food; high-quality, local, fresh food which is unbelievably cheap.)

$20 Phone

$40 Uber

$9.99 Spotify

$20 Books (Kindle because English books are hard to come by)

$25 teacher supplies (max, sometimes no expenses for a month)


I shoot to spend under $600/Month and this is achievable in salary each month if you work 25 hours+.


How would you describe your standard of living?  Love it.  Fresh food, fresh air, happy people, paradise.

In your opinion, how much does someone need to earn in order to live comfortably?

$600 without drinking every weekend

$750 if you donate your money to alcohol/cigs


What advice would you give someone planning or considering teaching abroad?  Save an additional $1000 for start-up costs.  Yes, you read that right, $1000 to be safe.  Can you get by with $600? Maybe, but maybe not.  Costa Rica is expensive and it takes some time to start making surplus income.


Would you recommend teaching in your country?  100%.  If you are Pura Vida, you will be welcomed with open arms.

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