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Coming to CR in April...Questions?!?

 
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cnegrini



Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:39 am    Post subject: Coming to CR in April...Questions?!? Reply with quote

I have been wanting to get some experience teaching and perfect my Spanish, so teaching in Costa Rica (or any other Spanish speaking country) sounded like a good idea. I have my TEFL certification as well as a BA in International business and Spanish. I'm looking to get my masters in Education....Anywho, I have a few questions and need some help!!
1. I'm thinking I would like to be located in Heredia. Looked up the schools in the area and have read the previous posts...any other input would be great (suggestions on schools/areas).
2. I'm trying to figure out what to do with my health insurance, cancel or keep it? I've heard there is health insurance you can buy down there, INS, good price and actually good. Any info??
3. Living...I would like to live with a family at first. Is this a pretty safe thing to do in CR? And what about the apartment situation?
4. I have a friend who told me to get my phone unlocked before I go and then get a sim card there and use pay as you go phone cards. Is this legit?
I think that's it for now.... Thank you in advance for any help or info!!
Crissy
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elliott22212



Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Heredia is a good town to live. It's near some of the multinational complexes, where you'll have a lot of classes if you teach business English. However, it's not a central location, so your jobs would be limited to those in Heredia.

Try these three contacts. For the sake of privacy, I'm not gonna put their emails or phone numbers up, but do a little research and I'm sure you can get ahold of them:

George Theiss/ Hobert Holloway at Engish2go

Dawn Needham at ProLanguage

Deb Chiampou at IESA

All three of these organizations are solid and legit, just don't eff them over be straight with them and they'll treat you well.

2. Buy emergency international health insurance. My guess is your US one will not get accepted at most places there and its probably really expensive too.

3. If you're living in Heredia especially, there are tons of homestay opportunities, although if you go through a 3rd party you'll probably end up paying too much. Try staying at a hostel in Heredia for the first week or so, go to the National University there and look for flyers advertising homestay rooms for rent.

4. I'd say definitely get your phone unlocked (or just get one down there) but unless things have changed in the last 6 months, getting a simcard is difficult. However, some of these schools will hook you up with one so they can get ahold of you easier (granted you pay the phone bill, that is).

Working in CR is a great time, but bring a little bit of a financial cushion, as the jobs don't pay that well and the country is more expensive than most people would think.
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elliott22212



Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 8:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. Heredia is a good town to live. It's near some of the multinational complexes, where you'll have a lot of classes if you teach business English. However, it's not a central location, so your jobs would be limited to those in Heredia.

Try these three contacts. For the sake of privacy, I'm not gonna put their emails or phone numbers up, but do a little research and I'm sure you can get ahold of them:

George Theiss/ Hobert Holloway at Engish2go

Dawn Needham at ProLanguage

Deb Chiampou at IESA

All three of these organizations are solid and legit, just don't eff them over be straight with them and they'll treat you well.

2. Buy emergency international health insurance. My guess is your US one will not get accepted at most places there and its probably really expensive too.

3. If you're living in Heredia especially, there are tons of homestay opportunities, although if you go through a 3rd party you'll probably end up paying too much. Try staying at a hostel in Heredia for the first week or so, go to the National University there and look for flyers advertising homestay rooms for rent.

4. I'd say definitely get your phone unlocked (or just get one down there) but unless things have changed in the last 6 months, getting a simcard is difficult. However, some of these schools will hook you up with one so they can get ahold of you easier (granted you pay the phone bill, that is).

Working in CR is a great time, but bring a little bit of a financial cushion, as the jobs don't pay that well and the
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cnegrini



Joined: 29 Jan 2011
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Elliott22212,

Thank you for all the info!! Very helpful!

When you say centrally located do you mean San Jose? I've heard bad things about living in SJ...unsafe, dirty, etc... So I figured living outside the city would be best but if it's not, let me know.

Also, the contacts you listed I have already contacted and let them know I'm coming. But it's good to know that they are legit and good to work for! Definitley helps!!!

Lastly, if you have any suggestions for a clean and safe hostel that would be great!!

Thanks again for you info and help!!!
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Jen.Johnson



Joined: 01 Mar 2011
Posts: 6
Location: Costa Rica

PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2011 5:40 pm    Post subject: Teaching in CR Reply with quote

Hey cnegrini,

I'm currently working at a conservation center in Costa Rica (as a volunteer - but with free home-stay and meals etc.) and I love it down here. I would say don't limit yourself to one area while looking for a job because you never know where you'll end up and you don't want to neglect certain opportunities just because they aren't in the province you want.

That being said, I work in Heredia (the province), in the Sarapiqui area and I love it.

I based myself out of San Jose while I was looking for a job - I stayed at Hostel Pangea which is clean, centrally located and has free wifi and access to free computers/internet. It costs $13 a night for the dorms and while they aren't exactly the most comfortable beds they are clean and the staff is friendly, (don't book buses through them though as hostels charge ridiculous prices to take you places when you could take a $4 public bus).

Anyway, I found sending my resume and following up once I got down here was the easiest. I made myself available for Skype interviews, and even traveled to Liberia for an interview (unfortunately in the end they didn't have enough classes to warrant hiring another full time teacher).

Bring enough money to last a couple of months while you're looking for work, just in case. April is a hard time because the school year starts in Feb so most positions are filled but you could definitely get lucky and find something.

As for health insurance make sure you have some, you might even want travel insurance for stolen items etc. I went through World Nomads and it cost me $400 for 6 months coverage. Not too shabby.

I didn't particularly like San Jose and wouldn't really want to work/live there but it wasn't too bad to spend a week or two while looking for work because of it's central location and how easy it is to travel from there.

Anyway, if you want any more info or have questions about living here I can try to help you out as best I can!

Jen
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