1. In Brief
Nestling between its tropical Caribbean and Pacific coasts, Costa Rica is one of the most breath-taking countries in the world. Travel to this tropical paradise and take part in an exciting teaching project that will fully integrate you into the local community and leave you forever in love with the people, landscapes, beaches, rainforests, volcanoes and wildlife that this magical destination has to offer.
Teaching English in local schools will give you a real insight into Costa Rican culture, and in your weekends off you can enjoy trips around the local countryside offering you in a world of adventure sports, tremendous landscapes of natural beauty, great food, lively music and laid-back people.
Discover a land of intense beauty and colourful culture
Earn your TEFL certificate for free if you complete 20 teaching hours
Help improve the lives of local children and communities
Help to teach English
Get involved in extracurricular activities
Support community development activities
Airport pick-up and transfer to Frontier house
Frontier volunteer house or upgrade to a local hostel
Before you go
Travel & medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas and equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier t-shirt
Free Frontier TEFL Certification if you complete necessary teaching hours
TEFL Training and BTEC available
Food two meals a day five days a week
Internal ground transfers to Frontier house
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24 hour international HQ back-up
A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.
2. The project
WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
You will be working in a local school offering support to children learning English and supporting them with other aspects of their lives and education. Frontier volunteers work with a local school in Puerto Jimenez which is always in need of assistance from volunteers. This project has recently taken off and the school staff are extremely keen to develop their English teaching curriculum to increase the positive impact of language education on the community of the region.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
Your work schedule will be challenging, varied and sometimes unpredictable but always enjoyable, as you embark on your placement within this local school. There are a range of classroom activities taking place and you will finalise your schedule on arrival based upon local needs and duration of your stay. Whatever your schedule you will engage fully with local children, using your creativity and initiative to assist in the activities of the project
You will benefit in terms of your personal and professional experience and will be encouraged to formulate ideas and develop your teaching skills and techniques. Working with the local teachers you will be working one on one or with small groups, focusing on those children who are behind in their education. You may be asked to help with a variety of essential subjects such as basic maths, English, reading, and you may also be asked to plan your own lessons for your small group. Your level of involvement will obviously depend on the length of your stay as well as your existing skills and qualifications.
There are also extracurricular activities with the volunteers running an after school activities program everyday. This can be playing football, dodgeball, hide and seek and any other games you can come up with. Just use your initiative and get the kids involved! Whatever you decide, you are sure to gain huge satisfaction from inspiring these enthusiastic children, whilst enhancing your own skills and experience significantly.
As well as taking part in teaching and running after-school activities, depending on the length of your visit , you may also have the opportunity to assist in the day-to-day running of classroom activities, help in the school office or get involved in activities in the wider community. The school is always in need of extra funds so any ideas you have for fundraising projects will be greatly appreciated. There are also evening adult English classes given to the local community members that you can get involved in.
This project runs five days a week so you will have weekends off to explore further afield or to relax and enjoy the social life in the clubs, bars and restaurants of Puerto Jimenez.
3. What to expect
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?
You will be greeted at the local Airport in Puerto Jiminez by a Frontier staff member and walk 15 minutes to the Frontier house. Please arrange to arrive on Sunday afternoon.
There are two airlines which fly to Puerto Jimenez, Sansa and Natureair or if you're up for it there is also a bus service from San Jose to Puerto Jimenez. Your Project Coordinator can give you further information about this bus journey. You may have to organise your own transport back to the airport after you have completed your project depending on your project end date, which is very straight forward and the Project Coordinator can help you with this.
WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?
You will be staying in the Frontier house in Puerto Jimenez close to your school. Your accommodation will be in a shared room and will be basic but clean, tidy and comfortable. If you prefer you can upgrade to local hostel accommodation for an additional fee of $50 per week.
WHAT WILL I BE EATING?
Costa Rican food is simple but delicious, with a focus on rice, beans and good quality fruit and vegetables. You will be provided with a food budget for the school week leaving your weekends free for you to enjoy reasonably priced meals in local bars and restaurants around town or trying out street stalls. You can get creative learning how to make gallo pinto, the staple food of the nation, which is fried rice and black beans or other favourites such as crispy tortillas stuffed with delicious cheeses, vegetables and every now and then some diced meat.
On account of the lush nature of Costa Rica's natural habitats, the range of fresh fruit and vegetables is vast and abundant, so make sure you sample some of the fresh market produce. Another thing to try is some Costa Rican coffee, famous the world over and representing the country's biggest export, its fragrant aroma synonymous with the lush plantations found in Central America. And don't forget the rum!
Costa Rica provides everything you could ever desire for an action-packed and eye-opening gap year or eco break. You may wish to explore some of the activities and unforgettable sights that are on offer here whether it is in your spare time, or even in a few extra days spent in this spectacular country at the beginning or end of the project. There are so many possibilities to explore – here are just a few suggestions! Close by, why not try kayaking, horseback riding, biking or hiking through the jungle. There are stunning beaches to explore whether it is just to relax and soak up the sun or to surf some of the best breaks in Costa Rica. Alternatively you may want to visit the Frontier Costa Rica Osa Peninsula camp ($10 food and accommodation per day, transport not included).]
Further afield you can hike through the famous Corcovado National Park, visit a wildlife sanctuary nestled in the beautiful surroundings of Piedras Blancas National Park or explore the wondrous mountains and volcanoes this country has to offer. Costa Rica really does have something for everyone – you will never be short of ways to enjoy your spare time!
* Please note that you will need to cover your own costs for extra activities.
Learn more about one of the most biologically intense places on earth as you explore solitary beaches, beautiful rivers, mountains, waterfalls, farms and amazing diversity of wildlife on a guided kayak tour. You will have the unique opportunity to explore the mangroves from the water, and then paddle towards the sea where you may encounter dolphins, sea turtles, fish and ocean birds. You can kayak individually, in a group or with a guide who will teach you more about the incredible mangrove and coastal environment of Costa Rica.
A guided day trip costs $94GBP / $60USD and includes kit hire inc. buoyancy aid, dry bags, kayak and paddle. Kayaks are collected from the beach near Puerto Jiminez and the cost of the bus to the beach is approximately $21GBP / $32USD return. You can sign up for this experience prior to your deployment, or in country.
Visit this remote wildlife sanctuary which is providing wildlife rescue and rehabilitation for orphaned, injured and displaced animals indigenous to south Costa Rica. The sanctuary promote conservation through education and community involvement and work promote the maintenance of natural biodiversity. The sanctuary run a public education programme and you have the opportunity to visit the organisation for a day to exsee the animals, meet and chat with staff and walk around 700 acres of local forest land.
Entry to the wildlife sanctuary costs $25USD / $32GBP, and transport to the sanctuary is via boat only. The boat journey must be organised directly with the wildlife sanctuary and can cost up to $90USD / $147GBP for daily boat hire. You can sign up for this experience prior to your deployment, or in country.
Banks / ATMs; Banco Nacional and Banco de Costa Rica
Bar / cafe
Hotels and hostels
Traditional markets and cafes
Western style restaurants
7. Dates and Costs
Work starts every Monday so please arrange to meet in Puerto Jimenez on Sunday afternoon
2016 School Holidays:
30th March - 5th April
6th July - 19th July
19th October - 25th October
21st December to February 2017
During school holidays a modified program will run with one to one coaching, educational workshops and extracurricular activities. Please be aware that these dates may be subject to change at short notice.
You can join this project for a minimum of 1 week
Before you go
Pre-departure support & documentation
Travel and medical advice & documentation
Advice on visas and equipment
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier T-shirt
Free Frontier TEFL certification if you complete 20 plus teaching hours
TEFL training and BTEC available
Food 5 days a week 2 meals a day
Airport pick-up (if arriving on Sunday afternoon)
Ground transfers to the Frontier house takes 20 minutes
Local orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup
San Jose Juan Santamaria Apt (SJO), Puerto Jimenez (PJM)
WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
Flights are not included in our trip costs. However, we have partnered with an experienced and professional team of travel experts to help our volunteers find the best flight deals for their trips with us. This travel specialist operates in the tailor-made, long haul multi-stop travel market, arranging complex airfares and transfers for independent travellers. They provide expertise, security and a vast product range along with a Travel Butler service which is a single point of contact and support whilst you are overseas.
We recommend that you obtain a quote using the following contact details rather than book online, as our partner will offer you the most competitive fares. To receive your quote or to seek any advice for your flights, please contact our dedicated team of travel experts on 0800 082 9994 (or +44 800 082 9994 outside the UK) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For fast, efficient and up-to-date visa advice please contact our recommended visa consultancy partner:
Depending on your destination country and your country of origin, you might require a visa. Please see the appropriate country consular website for details or contact our affiliate visa consultancy service. Please note that your visa will usually start on the date that you enter the destination country regardless of when it was issued. Please check with the relevant embassy or high commission. If you are purchasing your visa or paying entry/exit fees in-country you will probably need to pay in US Dollars. If you have any questions please consult the relevant embassy or high commission. Please check the visa information regularly, as changes often happen without warning.
You'll need to buy appropriate travel insurance covering your participation on the
project. You won't be able to go without the right travel insurance so double check
to avoid disappointment. Please make sure that you're covered for the whole duration
of your trip – from the day you leave the UK to the day you return. It's also best
to get your travel insurance at the same time as paying the deposit for your project.
Depending on your policy, this will cover you for any unexpected cancellations.
Your insurance should include the following:
- Medical cover, including medical emergencies and medical evacuations (up to USD$3,000,000 / GBP£2,000,000);
- Personal liability (up to USD$1,500,000 / GBP£1,000,000);
- Cancellation and curtailment of your trip (up to the value of your project contribution).
If you are going to be scuba diving you should get coverage for scuba diving up
to 30m, including hyperbaric therapy treatment (unlimited). You should consider
obtaining insurance to cover you for any additional activities which you plan to
do during, before, or after your Frontier project. We recommend that you obtain
cover for your baggage and personal effects.
8. How to apply
To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.
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