Tips for teaching abroad

Grads Corner
26 February 2017 | Grads Corner | Guest Author

Once I graduated from university and after working hard in my final year, I thought the time was right to take a break and look for a different experience, rather than just applying for graduate schemes and starting a career straight out of university, as most graduates tend to do. My girlfriend had just qualified as a teacher and was feeling equally as keen to escape, so we decided to research the possibility of teaching English in a foreign country!

We did a lot of research on different qualifications and routes into teaching abroad, as well as looking into many different countries to teach in. Eventually we settled on Costa Rica, due to the tropical weather, beautiful landscape, and good opportunities for teaching. Also, what sealed the deal was that we found an excellent 1 month TEFL course in Playa Samara, a beautiful little beach town on the Pacific Coast, where we split our time between the beach and the classroom.

Although not cheap at £999.00, it was excellently organised, set us up perfectly for teaching and gave us great assistance in finding work. After a few different interviews and travelling to several different towns in the San Jose area, we both secured jobs at The Swan English Learning, a British language school in Cuidad Colon, which is a small but lively town about 30 minutes outside San Jose city. This was a great result for us, as it took us less than 2 weeks to secure jobs after our course finished. Furthermore, the school is really nice, the students are great, the work is fun and laid back, and we have a great blend of corporate, business and private classes.

So we have been teaching here now for almost 5 months and are both loving the experience! Teaching abroad is a great opportunity to make new friends, experience a different culture, learn new skills, travel, and of course relax!

Personally, I think I have developed a lot from the experience so far. This includes presentation skills, organisation, and most significantly for me; confidence.

Standing up in front of a class may seem daunting to many, and it certainly did to me before I came and started teaching, but now I feel far more confident speaking in front of a group and being the centre of attention.


After graduating from the University of Birmingham in 2013, James Ross and his girlfriend decided to head to sunny Costa Rica for a year to teach English as a foreign language. They completed a 1 month TEFL qualification before taking a teaching position at a British language school in Cuidad Colon, San Jose, where they have been working for almost 5 months.

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