Happy children with their teacher at one of Projects Abroad's volunteer teaching placements in Costa Rica

Volunteer Teaching English in Costa Rica

Improve the English language skills of primary school students and inspire local teachers with new teaching techniques

At a glance

  • Lend a hand to local teachers during their classes and support students who are struggling to keep up
  • Build the children’s confidence in conversational English by talking with them regularly
  • Share new ideas and techniques with the teachers to help refresh the classroom

Start Dates: 


See Dates

Minimum Duration: 

Two Weeks


18 or over

Is teaching in Costa Rica right for me?

If you’re pursuing a career in teaching or just love working with children, then our Teaching Project is for you. You’ll gain practical teaching work experience in Costa Rica and learn from qualified teachers. This is a great addition to your CV and will be a fascinating topic to talk about in future job interviews.

We’ll teach you everything you need to know to participate in this project. Your supervisor will talk you through everything. They will introduce you to our extensive list of teaching resources and invite you to regular workshops with other volunteers. You can discuss lesson planning suggestions and teaching advice.

If you're interested in teaching other subjects, contact our Project Experts. They'll advise you on what subjects you can teach in Costa Rica, and whether you can teach those subjects part-time or full-time.

This project runs all year round so you can choose when you’d like to join. Remember, the longer you stay, the bigger your impact will be.

A volunteer gaining her teaching work experience in Costa Rica plays outside with her students

What will I do on my Teaching Project in Costa Rica?

As a Teaching volunteer, you’ll work alongside local teachers at a primary school in Heredia. You’ll get involved in the following activities:

  • Improve the English language skills of your students through fun and educational lessons
  • Run extracurricular activities such as music and sports
  • Improve the teaching techniques of local teachers to ensure more efficient learning

Improve English levels of young students

As a Teaching volunteer, you’ll work predominantly as a teaching assistant to the local teacher. In smaller groups, you’ll help each child learn English grammar rules, develop their vocabulary, and improve their conversational skills. You’ll also assist the teacher with marking and lesson planning.

If you stay for four weeks or longer, you’ll be given more responsibility. You may even be able to run your own classes by the end of your project.

Run extracurricular activities

If you are eager to do more, you can get involved in after-school murals. You can also organise lessons that focus on sport and music.

You may even be able to set up extra English lessons or a club if the school allows it. You can speak to your supervisors about the ideas you have.

Share teaching techniques from your home country with the local teachers

Many teachers continue to teach using the same methods in which they themselves were taught as students, focusing on simple memorisation.

You can share your experiences of different teaching methods from back home during discussion sessions. Together, you can share tips and ideas on activities that can make learning fun.

You’ll encourage the local teachers to introduce different techniques which will make lessons more fun for their students.

Where will I be teaching in Costa Rica?


You’ll live in the quaint, laidback city of Heredia. Known as the “City of Flowers”, it comes as no surprise that Heredia is filled with beautiful gardens and luscious flora in between the colonial architecture that lines the streets.

Mixed with the floral scents is the compelling aroma of their famously farmed coffee. You shouldn’t leave without tasting a cup!

You’ll work in a local primary school. The schools are often understaffed so the teachers will always welcome an extra hand during their classes. Your fresh ideas will be greatly appreciated in making the lessons more fun for the children.

Airport pickup, flights and visas costa rica

When volunteering in Costa Rica, you will be met at the airport by a Projects Abroad staff member. You can find more detailed information on flights, arrival airports, orientation, and visas, on our Costa Rica Arrival Procedures page.

What will a typical day be like on the Teaching Project in Costa Rica?

You’ll start your day with a light breakfast and a freshly brewed cup of Costa Rican coffee with your host family before heading off to work. Depending on how far you are from your placement, you’ll either catch a public bus or get some fresh air with a walk. Your supervisor will show you the way on your first day to ensure you are prepared.

Depending on the school you’re at, a typical day may start at 7 or 8.30 am and end around mid-afternoon, Monday to Friday. These hours might extend to 5.30 pm if you choose to take part in extracurricular activities.

Each day, you’ll follow the schedule of the local teacher and assist during classroom activities. You’ll provide additional support to the children who are struggling and ensure they understand what is happening during the lessons. During break times and after classes, you can sit down with the teacher and share different teaching techniques. Alternatively, you can work together on future lesson plans.

At the end of the day, you are free to relax and explore the rest of Heredia. You might choose to visit the famous colonial-style church in the town square or sample the local cuisine. Over the weekends, be sure to organise a ziplining expedition or a hike up one of their famous volcanoes.

A volunteer reads a book to a young girl at a volunteer teaching placement in Costa Rica

What are the aims and impact of this project?

The aim of this project is to develop the English conversational skills of young students in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a predominantly Spanish-speaking country but English is the language of business. With the flourishing tourism industry, having strong English-speaking skills has become increasingly important. This can lead to better job opportunities.

Another reason for this project is to improve the teaching techniques of local teachers. Insufficient teacher training means that they stick to the same method of teaching year in and year out: memorisation.

This is an ineffective way of teaching and can become tedious for young students. By introducing new techniques, you’ll be able to improve the standards of teaching in local schools.

In Costa Rica, we have identified three long-term goals that you’ll work towards:

  • Improve English
  • Improve teaching techniques
  • Encourage learning through creativity

If working with children and implementing new ways of teaching is something that interests you, then sign up for our Teaching Project in Costa Rica!

A volunteer teaching in Costa Rica helped her students prepare for their spelling bee

Management plans

We set out the aims and objectives of our projects in documents called Management Plans. We use them to properly plan the work you’ll do. They also help us measure and evaluate our achievements and impact each year.

Ultimately, our Management Plans help us make our projects better. This in turn means you get to be part of something that makes a real impact where it’s needed. Read more about our Management Plans.

Measuring our impact

Our projects work towards clear long-term goals, with specific annual objectives. Every volunteer and intern we send to these projects helps us work towards these goals, no matter how long they spend on our projects.

Every year we take a step back and look at how much progress we've made towards these goals. We put together a Global Impact Report, which documents our achievements. Find out more about the impact our global community of volunteers, interns and staff make, and read the latest report.

Food and accommodation

You'll stay with a host family in Heredia. They will welcome you into their home, eager to share their customs and have you teach them about your own culture. We believe that this is the best way to immerse yourself in the culture of Costa Rica and have a truly unique experience.

We will always try to let you live alongside at least one other Projects Abroad volunteer or intern at the same host family. Your room will be modest, but comfortable, clean, and safe. 

Your programme fee includes three meals a day.

Find out more about our accommodation.

Leisure activities and free time

With more than 25% of its land protected in national parks, Costa Rica is a nature lover’s paradise. It has everything from volcanoes to tropical rainforests, and magnificent waterfalls to beautiful sandy beaches. This tiny country is also renowned for its biodiversity and boasts an array of wildlife.

Our projects are based in Heredia, a laid-back city just 11km north of the capital, San José. Known as the City of Flowers, you'll be surrounded by idyllic gardens.

You're never far from the coast in Costa Rica. Spoilt for choice by the number of pristine beaches, you'll have plenty of opportunities for water-based activities like surfing, swimming, or scuba diving.

There will likely be other volunteers in Costa Rica with you. So you can choose to explore on your own or as a group.

Safety and staff support

Your safety and security is our prime concern. We have many procedures and systems to ensure you have the support you need to enjoy your trip with peace of mind. Our Projects Abroad staff are available 24 hours a day to help, and will be on hand to make sure you settle in well at your accommodation and placement. If you encounter any problems, they will be available to help at any time.

Find out more about safety and backup.

This placement is fully researched, safety audited, and risk assessed in accordance with the British Standard BS8848 for the Adventure Travel Sector.

Meet the team in Costa Rica

When you apply you only pay 1195 AED, which comes off the total price. Flexible payment options and fundraising advice available.

Looking to do more than one project? Call us on 01273 007 230 to see if we can offer a discount.

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