Working Holiday Visa

Beaches, Volcanoes, Rivers & Exotic Fauna...

Teaching in paradise!

Costa Rica has emerged as one of the most popular destinations to teach in the Americas. It is a country with amazing natural beauty and cultural richness and one of the safest environments for foreigners!

Are you looking to have a great cultural experience, earn a sustainable income, practice your Spanish, and contribute to people improving their knowledge and life opportunities? Then this is your chance!


Your dream of going to Costa Rica is finally taking shape and has become a concrete plan. Now you probably have a ton of questions and luckily GO International has all the answers and more.

Working holiday in Costca Rica

What is a “Work and Travel”?

A Working Holiday Visa provides you with the opportunity to legally live and work in a foreign country. This means, that you will be able to take any job – depending on your work experience, professional and language skills, of course! Earn the money to pay for your living costs and travel adventures. Work and Travel is the most affordable program without having to rely on your savings or trust fund.

What are the advantages of GO International’s Teach in Costa Rica Program?

Costa Rican culture has a vibrant merge of indigenous heritage and Spanish colonial influence, which makes it an exciting choice as a Working Holiday destination, but also more challenging than the average English-speaking work abroad country. Thankfully, GO International and its Costa Rican partner will be by your side all the way to create a rewarding and fun experience!

GO International Travel Expert will discuss your program options for Costa Rica and support you pre-departure, while you are in Costa Rica and after your return to Canada.

You will receive assistance in applying for your Working Holiday visa by checking that your application is correct and complete.

Upon arrival in Costa Rica, you will join an exciting cultural orientation week in San Ramon, which includes highlights such as a lectures on Costa Rican culture and history, a trip to a coffee plantation, volunteering at a Wildlife Rescue Centre, cooking classes and MUCH MORE!

120 Hour in-Class TEFL / TESOL Course to provide you with significant instruction on the theories, strategies and techniques of teaching English as a second/foreign language.

Teaching placement with a baseline salary of at least $700 USD.

You have the option to get FREE teaching placements in any of our partners’ destinations – for the rest of your life!

Local Support from our partners in Costa Rica to stop by for advice or simply a chat.

Local Support from our partners in Costa Rica to stop by for advice or simply a chat

The Details

Have you ever dreamed about working in paradise surrounded by white beaches and exotic animals? Then this is your chance! Teach in Costa Rica is an immersive cultural program that will offer you the amazing opportunity to explore the rich Costa Rican culture and hospitality while earning money and valuable teaching experience.

Orientation Week:

An amazing, interactive, orientation on Costa Rican culture and language
  • An amazing, interactive, orientation on Costa Rican culture and language
  • Opportunity to bond with other teachers-in-training and staff members
  • Exciting and informative cultural excursions such as visiting a coffee plantation and local Costa Rican history museum, and learning about traditional sugarcane processing
  • Market visit and cooking class
  • Volunteering at a local wildlife rescue center
  • Experience a trip to a waterfall and/or hot-springs
  • Additional Spanish language lessons


Central Valley region of Costa Rica
  • During your orientation week and TESL Course you will stay in beautiful San Ramon in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica.
  • San Ramon is a medium-sized town surrounded by lush green forest with a bustling city centre and ancient churches.
  • Shared accommodation with an en-suite bathroom and fans.
  • You will have access to common areas for study and relaxation, as well as a kitchen.
  • After the TESOL Course, our partners in Costa Rica will provide assistance with finding long-term  housing, and schools will often assist as well.

TESL Course:

Teacher is Costa Rica
  • Internationally accredited, 120-hour TESOL course to teach in nearly every Western, native-English speaking country, as well as across Europe, Asia, South America, and beyond.
  • 16 hours of observed teaching practice, followed by individual instructor feedback to help teachers improve.
  • The course will cover the history and theory of teaching English as a foreign/second language, and will focus on significant practical training, including extensive lesson planning, presentations, and feedback from peers and instructors. You will also be offered advice and guidance for effective classroom management and tons of helpful tips, tricks and examples of how to teach English to every age group.
  • The course includes a teacher practicum in a local language school to prepare for your teaching placement.

Teaching Placement:

work abroad Costa Rica
  • No Spanish language skills are needed (schools prefer the method of full English language immersion).
  • The two types of placements in Costa Rica are Local Academies and Online Placements.
  • The placement coordinator will help identify whether online teaching or local academies would be a better fit. Please be flexible!
  • You will be working with small groups of students (typically young professionals or young adults).
  • Work will typically be 20 – 30 hours per week and might increase over time.
  • On average academy teachers will earn around $700 USD per month (enough to cover living expenses). You can supplement your income with online classes if needed.
  • Peak hiring is in December and June but you can start year-round.
  • Many language schools are across the country but the greatest concentration of language schools are in the central valley.

Important: You are required to take the TESL-course if you don’t hold a Bachelor degree of any program.

  • Teaching Placement only (Degree holders): $1,299 CAD
  • TESOL Course + Teaching Placement (Degree Holders): $2,299 CAD
  • TESOL Course + Teaching Placement (Non-Degree Holders): $2,499 CAD

Step-by-step guide on how to apply for your Working Holiday visa

Personal support by our GO International travel experts prior to your departure

Detailed pre-arrival preparation (including packing list, tips and tricks and arrival coordination)

Airport pick-up (Sunday before start date)

Comprehensive job placement service and documentation guidance

Extensive training before placement (including interview and demo lessons prep)

Teaching placement for 6-12 months (contract will be vetted)

One-week cultural orientation in San Ramon

Shared accommodation in San Ramon for 1 month during the orientation week and TESOL course

T-Shirt from our partner in Costa Rica

Ongoing support throughout your stay in Costa Rica

Life-long FREE teaching placements in any of our partners’ destinations (degree holders only)

What’s not included:

Airfare and transport within Costa Rica

Visa Fees

Accommodation once placed

Personal Expenses

Travel Health Insurance (mandatory)


  • You must be eligible for the Working-Holiday Visa for Canadian Citizens
  • You must hold a TESL/TEFL certificate (120 hours) or be willing to book our Teach in Costa Rica + TESOL program.
  • You must hold a 4-year Bachelor degree or pay the $250 CAD extra charge
  • You must be between the ages of 22-35 years (18-21 years only by request)
  • You must be a native English speaker with no strong accent.
  • You must be willing to commit for 6-12 months
  • You must provide a clear background check during your application
  • You must purchase a travel health insurance for the full duration of your stay in Costa Rica
  • You must be of good health and disclose any mental or physical health conditions during your application
  • You must cover any tattoos and remove any facial piercings (apart from standard ear piercings) during teaching


  • You must be a Canadian citizen with a valid CANADIAN PASSPORT (valid for at a minimum six months past the end date of the visit)
  • You must be between the ages of 18 and 35 years
  • You must be in good health
  • You must have a clear Police Record
  • You must provide proof of financial resources (at least $2,500 CAD)
  • You must not be accompanied by any dependants
  • You must purchase a travel health insurance for the full duration of your stay in Costa Rica
  • You have not held a Working Holiday Visa for Costa Rica before.

Note: You need a job offer to apply for the Working Holiday visa. But you can enter Costa Rica as a tourist and stay there for 90 days until you have been placed in a teaching position by our partner. You then need to apply for a temporary residence permit, which costs $200 USD.
Through the Working Holiday Visa, you are allowed to stay in Costa Rica for up to 12 months.


Discover gorgeous places in Costa Rica while joining GO International!

The Fortuna Waterfall – La Fortuna

The Fortuna waterfall is located in a biological reserve within a tropical wet rainforest and towering over 230 feet high. It is one of the most famous waterfalls in Costa Rica and a must-see attraction during your stay in Costa Rica. The hike is well worth the effort.

National Theater of Costa Rica – San José

The building is considered the finest historic building in the capital of Costa Rica, and it is known for its fantastic interior which includes lavish furnishings. It opened to the public on 21 October 1897 with a performance of Goethe’s Faust.

Manuel Antonio National Park – Quepos, Puntarenas

With a land area of 1,983 ha, it might be the smallest National Park in Costa Rica. However, it is well-known for its beautiful beaches and hiking trails. The park welcomes as many as 150,000 visitors annually.

Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges – Alajuela, La Fortuna

Hanging bridges are a highlight of any trip to Costa Rica. From the amazing canopy views to the wildlife on the trail, this activity is one to experience. The Hanging Bridges guided tour is a perfect opportunity to connect with nature.

Arenal Volcano – Alajuela, La Fortuna

Without a doubt, the most popular and recognized of Costa Rica’s volcanoes that will take your breath away. The Arenal Volcano will be in the background as you make your way through forests and old lava fields.

It is not required to speak Spanish but can be beneficial to applications. Some schools favor applicants that have some Spanish language ability so it is beneficial to start learning as early as possible! It’s also part of living abroad to learn the language.

You should be fully open regarding location preferences if you are pursuing an in-person position. The majority of in-person positions in Costa Rica are in San Jose or other parts of the central valley, away from the coast. If you would like the opportunity to travel and live by the coast, then you can work for an online school and be location independent!

The most common demographic of English language learners in Costa Rica is adult learners.

Professionals: There are many professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s that are looking to learn English to benefit them in their jobs. These may be people in corporate positions, or in technical fields such as engineers or medical professionals.  They are often learning English to gain an extra skill to help them progress in their careers.

Young adults: There are often learners that have left high school, but haven’t gone on to university. They are people that are looking for a skill that will help them gain employment in key sectors such as tourism.

Young learners: Participants working at local academies will rarely work with young learners. However, some of the online schools have young learner positions and qualified teachers may be able to find work in international or bilingual schools (no guarantees but the team will try) where they will focus on working with young people.

Teachers will typically work 20 – 30 hours per week. Hours will be mixed throughout the day. Most teachers working at academies will start off with part time hours before moving up to full time hours.

For the first month until classes have built up teachers will need to supplement with online classes or savings. Pay is hourly, usually from $7 to $9 dollars per hour. On average academy teachers will earn around $700 USD per month. This is enough to break even and cover living expenses. More experienced teachers might eventually earn up to $1,200 USD per month.

Between $2,000-3,500 CAD (PLUS your flight and travel insurance costs). You need to have sufficient funds to pay for the program fees and other associated costs of the program as well as to cover the cost of personal living expenses including entertainment. The teachers’ hours will build up over time so extra savings may be needed in the first month after the course.

Our partner in Costa Rica will aim to place you together, but you need be flexible when it comes to the placement. If two in-person placements close to each other aren’t available then the team would endeavor to place either both or one person in an online role where they can work remotely and choose where to live so they can stay together even if their friend/partner has a fixed location at a local academy.

Tattoos: Tattoos must be covered at all times and not seen at school.
Piercings: Standard ear piercings for females are ok but all facial piercings must be removed for teaching.
Dress: Teachers are asked to dress fairly smartly for teaching.

The accommodation and classroom for the course is in San Ramon. Accommodation is shared occupancy with an en-suite bathroom and fans. Air con is not needed in San Ramon as the temperature is no more than 78 degrees all year around with a nice breeze. Amazing weather! There are also some common areas for study and relaxation as well as a kitchen.

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An amazing, interactive, orientation on Costa Rican culture and language
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Local Support from our partners in Costa Rica