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Volunteering Abroad

English Volunteers for Change
Geographical Area:Costa Rica <evolc@aliarse.org>

Volunteers will arrive in Costa Rica's capital, San José, where they will stay and attend a 3-5 day orientation on Costa Rican culture and English Language Teaching. On the last day volunteers will be picked up and sent to their respective teaching communities where they will stay with a Costa Rican host family. Lodging and 3 meals a day are provided for the entire time the volunteer is here, as well as field trips and cultural activities. All of our volunteers are only required to work Monday-Thursday, providing 3 day weekends to travel and explore Costa Rica. Additionally, we allow 10 hours/week for students to provide private paid classes in offer to supplement their income while volunteering.

We have 6 program options-

1) Public School Assistance: 6 months-1 year, Central Valley

This option is excellent for those who prefer to gain experience working with children. In order to participate in this program, it is mandatory that volunteers have a university degree in education, and a TEFL certificate is preferred. The Costa Rican public school year begins in February and ends in December, with a two-week vacation in July. Volunteers can choose between working in the school for 1 semester or the entire school year. Qualified volunteers will work with the English professor(s) at the school, where he or she will take over and conduct the English classes. This will also serve as a training for the professor, as he or she will be observing the volunteer and learning new techniques to continue in the classroom in the future.

2) Local Development: 6 months-1 year, Nationwide

Commonly referred to as our "traditional program," volunteers can choose from communities from all over the country, whether they choose to live on the warm beach or in the lush mountainous regions. Volunteers will work with the local Chamber of Tourism, where they will give free English classes to members of the community in order to support a sustainable tourism industry. Students include airport employees, tour guides, taxi drivers, masseuses, etc.

3) Assistant Teacher with INA, National Learning Institute: 3 months, Nationwide

This is an excellent option for those who do not want to stay longer than 3 months and to gain firsthand experience before applying for paid teaching positions; whether the volunteer wants to stay in Costa Rica for an extended period of time following the volunteer work, travel to other parts of the world to teach ESL, or gain professional and international experience before applying to jobs in his or her home county. With INA, volunteers will work side by side with certified INA English Professors teaching to adult community members (15+ years old) in areas surrounding the Central Valley. These English classes are provided primarily in urban areas and directed towards populations who suffer from social economic limitations and cannot pay to take regular English classes. The schedule of the volunteers will entirely depend on the schedule of the lead professor, but will likely be full time hours with weekends free to travel.

4) Corporate Responsibility: 6 months-1 year, Central Valley

EVOLC and our partner ALIARSE have recently teamed up in order to promote corporate responsibility within larger scale Costa Rican corporations. EVOLC recruits and prepares volunteers to teach business-centered English classes to employees ranging from office personnel, factory workers, executives, etc. Our corporate English classes use different materials focusing on both work and life, along with supplemental materials targeting specific areas such as English for accounting, mechanics, human resources, or whatever language skills the position requires.

5) University Practicum: 4-12 weeks, Central Valley

This program option is specifically for university students studying ELL or a related career with a practicum teaching requirement to fulfill the requisites to earn the degree. We work directly with the university and adapt our program to fit the academic requirements of the university. Students receive university credit hours dependant on the amount of hours taught here in Costa Rica. Classes will range from 4-8 weeks depending on the requirements of the university and number of teaching hours per day. Classes will be conducted at Costa Rican Public Schools or INA, depending on what age group the student is studying to teach.

6) Community Service: 4-12 weeks, Central Valley

Our Community Service program is a great option for those looking to travel, contribute to a good cause, and who are unable to commit to more than 3 months of teaching English abroad. Here, volunteers will work side by side with other volunteers providing English classes (i) to elementary and high-school students, primarily from technical high schools and (ii) to adult community members in urban areas of the country. These English classes are provided primarily in urban areas and directed towards populations who suffer from social economic limitations and cannot pay to take regular English classes.

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