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Questions about teaching in CR

 
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travellust



Joined: 25 Nov 2010
Posts: 4
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:45 pm    Post subject: Questions about teaching in CR Reply with quote

I am very interested in teaching English in CR starting this summer. I've decided that because I have no previous teaching experience, I'd for sure like to do a TEFL certification. I've narrowed it down to two choices:

Costa Rica TEFL (www.costaricatefl.com) in Samsara
CFTD - Center for Teacher Development (www.teachenglishcostarica.com) in San Jose

I know that location-wise, I would rather not do my training OR teach in San Jose. I would much prefer not to live in such a big city and everything I've read says that you should do your training where you want to end up working. So I would make the easy decision to go with the Samsara Costa Rica TEFL since I've heard some really good things about it, but I'm worried about not being able to have assistance getting a work visa or a temporary resident (6mo) visa and CFTD website says that they're the only TESOL school that helps teacher secure work visas.

I'm curious if any of you have completed either one of these programs or if you can help shed some light on the two issues of (1) location and (2) visa's. I've read a lot about teachers who can only get 90 day tourist visas and then have to border jump every 3mo to remain legal. I'd like to avoid that if at all possible? But I suppose it's not the end of the world?

LAST question is related to what kind of documents are required for different kinds of visas? I was originally interested in teaching in Asia, but it seems that with a marijuana charge on my record, that won't be possible. I was 17 and was charged but never convicted (got an SIS), but lawyer says drug charges can't be expunged, so it will show up on a criminal background check. Is it required for a work visa in CR to submit a criminal background check? A simple Google search on the matter hasn't seemed to turn up much info.

Any feedback you all have would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks!
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elliott22212



Joined: 06 Jan 2011
Posts: 11

PostPosted: Sat Jan 15, 2011 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I taught in CR and honestly, I've never heard of anyone who doesn't have to make a border run (unless they have some kind of serious connections). I for one REALLY enjoyed making a border run. Bocas del Toro in Panama and Granada in Nicaragua are two of the most beautiful places I've been in my life. They're well worth the trip. Don't worry about the visas, just do it!
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ElJuero



Joined: 24 Jan 2009
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elliott22212 wrote:
I taught in CR and honestly, I've never heard of anyone who doesn't have to make a border run (unless they have some kind of serious connections). I for one REALLY enjoyed making a border run. Bocas del Toro in Panama and Granada in Nicaragua are two of the most beautiful places I've been in my life. They're well worth the trip. Don't worry about the visas, just do it!


I'm not sure how many times you did the border run to Nicaragua (I'm not familiar with Panama trip) but after doing that a couple of times the "charm" of it may wear off. I've had to walk 2-3 miles to immigration with luggage when drug searches get backed up. If you land at the border at the wrong time (or a bored bus driver changes the schedule) you can end up in a room over night that NYC crack addicts would pass on. It can also be quite dangerous, again at the wrong time of day etc.. Don't get me wrong, I love Granada but the border run can make you feel more like you're on the set of 'Survivor' than just taking care of a Visa stamp. The chicken bus makes for a great story but after several hours your spinal column may never forgive you.
I believe there's an express bus from San Jose to Granada. Much easier though you'll start figuring this into the costs of being in CR.
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dhsampso



Joined: 17 Jun 2009
Posts: 44
Location: Virginia

PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ditto on the border-run to Nicaragua. I took the local bus to the border at Penas Blancas and then a taxi from the border to San Juan del Sur. Great time, but definitely had to throw a little money around to get through Immigration in Nicaragua and get back to Costa Rica. The local bus is cheap while the direct bus via Tica Bus or Nica bus is pricier but nicer. Being crammed onto the local bus is definitely not comfy and it's a long ride.

Travellust, concerning visas, good luck. Either you're going to need to get a job to sponsor you or apply directly. I forget the process, so do some research on the Costa Rican government web site. It's not easy. Most people who are working in CR for the short run just do the border runs and almost all Language Insititutes allot time for border runs since they are necessary to renew your tourist visa. I know you can, for a fee, renew your visa at one of the government offices. It takes some time, but it will keep you from having to do a border run.
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