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Costa Rica with Kids

 
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roamingteacher



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Mon Apr 28, 2014 5:59 am    Post subject: Costa Rica with Kids Reply with quote

Hi there,

I'm qualified to work in EFL or international schools, but can anyone tell me about lifestyle with kids? I'll have 3 plus an EFL-qualified partner with international school experience. Whether we end up working for language schools or otherwise, what's CR like with children?

Is it easy enough to get help in the home and is travel around the region affordable? We aren't worried about saving but would like to earn enough to support ourselves while there.

Also, what are schooling options? Are local schools fine in terms of standards and do they accept non-nationals? (This is assuming we didn't get work in an international school.) Found this (http://www.internations.org/costa-rica-expats/guide/living-in-costa-rica-15466/education-in-costa-rica-2) thread about local education and it sounds good!

Any insights and info much appreciated.

Thanks.
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PuraVidaPolitecnico



Joined: 02 Jun 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Costa Rica with Kids Reply with quote

Hello!

I´m not an expert on this topic, but I've lived in Costa Rica for three years now and my daughter is almost 2 years old (she was born here). I think the private schools offer a better quality education, but if you only plan to be here for a short time, the public schools will probably be fine. Of course, this depends on how old your kids are, too.

My daughter goes to a private preschool that many of my friends and neighbors here (Ticos) consider to be very good. She has "classes" in the mornings (art, learning to read in Spanish, song time, etc.) and in the afternoons the school is basically a daycare. We pay her tuition per month and it is very reasonable, especially compared to what we were paying for a regular babysitter.

We are able to take short trips with her, but not as much as I would like to. My salary isn't high enough and I don't have enough vacation days to travel too extensively.

I hope this is at least a little bit helpful!
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roamingteacher



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks PVP!
Am I right in thinking that you are the only income for the family?
Also, would your location (away from the capital) be why you find it so affordable, or do you think salaries all over would offer a relative lifestyle?
Is it OK being away from the capital in terms of amenities, social life etc? (As much social life as you can have with a 2-year-old!)
Any other tips about life there? I really, really appreciate your response.
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PuraVidaPolitecnico



Joined: 02 Jun 2014
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I am the only one working right now. It's a long story and if you are interested, I can PM you about it. Smile

The majority of TEFL jobs are in the Central Valley, which is where I live. Depending on the time of day and traffic, San José is about 45 minutes away. If you like living in big cities, SJ might be the place for you. Personally, I like being close to the city, but not in it every day.

I live in the canton of Heredia and downtown Heredia offers quite a bit in terms of a social life (from what I remember in my "pre-baby" days!). As far as amenities, we are pretty comfortable. Again, this all depends on the type of lifestyle you want/are used to and what is important for you.

Before moving to CR, I had a very different image of what it would be like living here. But, honestly, it's not sooo different from where I lived in the Midwest. For me, the benefits of living here include the following: no snow, friendly people, and beaches, volcanoes, etc. that can be visited on a daytrip. The downsides: traffic, the rainy season limits my mobility in the afternoons and makes mold grow on the stuff in my closet, and the culture is very different from what I'm used to. That being said, I've been here for 3 years and plan to be here for at least 3 more. The pros outweigh the cons for me. Smile
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roamingteacher



Joined: 16 Apr 2009
Posts: 106

PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2014 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks PVP. All good to know. We would be coming from Malaysia so I'm sure the culture shock would hit us harder, but we'd brace ourselves.

Is the air quality there good? It's a big factor for us and we've had to strike off many places already because of it - I ask because you mention bad traffic. We experience that in Malaysia, but the air quality is surprisingly good, except when the Indonesians start their slashing and burning.

Also, how's your Spanish? Plenty of opportunity to practice and learn?

Please do PM if there are other factors that might affect our decision to choose Costa Rica as a place to live, that you'd rather not put on a public forum.

Advice much appreciated.
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