International Development and Teaching Internship

founded in 1998
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Coordinator | Bella
Coordinator | Bella
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Improve your English teaching skills and develop soft skills like teamwork and leadership.
Explore Manuel Antonio National Park and surf, swim, or relax on the many beaches.
Earn your TEFL Certificate.
Learn Spanish.
ive with people from all around the world and form life-long friendships.
Become TEFL certified, gain work experience, learn Spanish, and explore Costa Rica in your free time. This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+
Kickstart your career teaching English abroad, on this internship in Costa Rica. During your first three months earn your TEFL certificate, gain real experience in the classroom, and complete your online courses to boost your CV. During the last three months, contribute to the running of our sustainable development and service learning projects in Quepos as a GVI staff member. 

To be more specific, as an intern you will have more responsibilities and gain leadership, logistical, admin and communication skills. You will help to plan and run out-of-school activities for children in a type of community center. Our emphasis is on providing a safe space to the children from the community. The children attend our classes voluntarily either before or after school, and learn in a fun way about crafts and the environment. You may also be involved in helping with wider community activities like development of gardens or helping with community events. 

You will have more responsibilities and help with logistics on base during your placement, this means office work and training new volunteers, among other activities. You will need to take Spanish lessons as part of the program unless you are fairly fluent in Spanish. 

In general, this internship you have the opportunity to master not only technical skills like Spanish competency and teaching English to foreign language students but also transferable skills like group and project management as well as cross cultural communication. 

Increasing Employability: Pre Departure Program Training:

Our programs are not only life-changing experiences but are also designed to help participants increase their employability. We have developed a curriculum to be completed prior to arrival in the country in order to ensure that more time is dedicated to program work once you commence your volunteer program. 

Eight weeks prior to your start date, you will complete the following online courses in preparation for your in-country program:




LEADERSHIP COURSE (10 - 15 hours)

CAREERS COURSE (10 - 15 hours)

In order to obtain a certificate for the Community Development, Leadership and Careers courses which are endorsed by the University of Richmond and UNC Charlotte, you will need to complete quizzes & assignments and will be given 4 weeks post program to submit your work. 

Health & Hygiene:

The work we contribute to across the globe remains important and new measures allow our participants to continue to join our programs and continue impacting positively on their world and the communities we work with. Changes to our existing protocols have been made by our health and hygiene team to strengthen our health and hygiene protocols and ensure that international standard safeguards are in place to protect our participants, staff and host communities. Please inquire for more information on the protocols. 

Typical day

Example of a typical Monday:

Morning: Planning or training at the base
Early afternoon: Lunch and house meeting at the base
Afternoon: Interacting with the children
Late afternoon: Spanish Class
Early evening: Cooking and other chores
Evening: Dinner

Example of a typical volunteer day:
Morning: Childcare, community work, English teaching
Early afternoon: Lunch and house meeting
Afternoon: Childcare, community work, English teaching
Late afternoon: Free time followed by Spanish class or Adult English lessons
Early evening: Cooking and other chores
Evening: Dinner

Free-time activities

You will be based in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area located on the central Pacific coast of Costa Rica and working in the region. Travelling around the local area is easy and can be done on the frequent public buses or by taxi. Quepos is small enough to walk most anywhere, and Manuel Antonio is less than a 10 minute bus ride. Street addresses are not really used in Costa Rica - landmarks are used instead.

In your down time you will be free to travel in the local area. Playa Hermosa and Jaco are one hour by bus and Playa Dominical is less than 40 minutes away. There will be plenty of time to try out surfing, kayaking, snorkelling, or hiking in the area. Zip lining, horseback riding, ATV and catamaran tours are also options for your free time. 

If you would like to travel to the other side of the Country or visit the beautiful North of Southern parts, we recommend you to take a few days before or after the program as you may not have enough time to do so just during the weekends. 
Water Sports


In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level) or Spanish (basic level)
Criminal Background Check
Education Requirements
at High School level
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

What's Included

Services by GVI


  • 170 hour TEFL Course
  • 24-hour emergency phone
  • 24-hour in-country support
  • Access to Alumni Services and Discounts
  • Airport pick-up (unless otherwise stated)
  • All necessary project equipment and materials
  • All necessary project training by experienced staff provided online 8 weeks prior to arrival
    • LEADERSHIP COURSE (10 - 15 hours)
    • CAREERS COURSE (10 - 15 hours)
  • Certification and summary of training and experience received
  • Confidential professional reference
  • Final assessment prior to placement (for qualifying candidates)
  • Final evaluation from your mentor
  • Location orientation
  • Long term experienced staff
  • Meals while on project (except on work placements for long term internships)
  • Safe and basic accommodations (usually shared)
  • Teaching and class management techniques
  • Teamwork and leadership experience
  • Weekly assessments with a GVI staff mentor
  • Weekly evaulation with your mentor
  • Welcome meeting
  • Work placement (if successful during the first 12 weeks of the internship)


  • Additional drinks and gratuities
  • Extra local excursions
  • Flights
  • Food during the placement portion of your internship
  • International and domestic airport taxes
  • Medical and travel insurance
  • Personal items and toiletries
  • Police or background check
  • Spanish lessons
  • Visa costs (where necessary)

Airport Pickup at Juan Santamaria International Airport
Most volunteers arrange international flights to arrive at Juan Santamaria International Airport in San Jose (IATA code: SJO) at least one day before the project starts.

Airport pick-ups can be arranged from 06:00 PM - 09:30 PM the day before your project start date, please request this from the GVI office. 

If you are arriving earlier than the allocated pick up window, you are welcome to wait for our staff to arrive at the airport or you can arrange your own transport to Casa Colon. Official airport taxis are orange, and cost approx US$30 to the hostel. Alternatively, you can arrange an airport pick up with Casa Colon for about $25 or you can get a bus from outside the airport (approx. US$1, every 20-30mins).
Accommodation is in a group house with toilet facilities, running water (please note: no hot water on base), and basic amenities.
There is a shared kitchen and living area where volunteers can plan lessons and enjoy free time.
Rooms are shared with other volunteers and are mixed-sex.
Dorm Room
Food & Beverages
Food will be cooked in traditional local style (lots of rice and beans) and vegetarians can be accommodated. Everyone makes their own breakfast with the products in the house provided by GVI and will be mainly porridge, bread or cereal with fresh fruit and coffee or tea. During project days, we eat lunch on project, which is usually rice and beans accompanied by salad or potatoes, plantain, or yucca, etc. Dinner will be cooked by the group, with rotating cooking responsibilities. A typicall evening meal may include beans, rice, pasta, fresh fruit, and vegetables.Out of environmental considerations, we provide meat or chicken twice a week. There are many cafes and restaurants in the local area and you are free to go out for dinner at your own expense. 
Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose. We assist you to find cheap flights to Costa Rica.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Costa Rica provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Costa Rica you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Costa Rica.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

Due to the current situation you have the flexibility of changing the destination and start dates for this program at no extra cost. 

  • 09 Jan 2021
  • 06 Feb 2021
  • 06 Mar 2021
  • 03 Apr 2021
  • 01 May 2021
  • 29 May 2021
  • 26 Jun 2021
  • 24 Jul 2021
  • 21 Aug 2021
  • 18 Sep 2021
  • 08 Jan 2022
  • 05 Feb 2022
  • 05 Mar 2022
  • 02 Apr 2022
  • 30 Apr 2022
  • 28 May 2022
  • 25 Jun 2022
  • 23 Jul 2022
  • 20 Aug 2022
  • 17 Sep 2022
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
24 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
24 weeks (min. stay)
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$553 /week

The organization charges its fees in EUR. The price table in USD is subject to currency fluctuation. GVI will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with GVI during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

Extra security layer by Volunteer World
Volunteer World is the world's leading comparison platform for international volunteer opportunities. We guide you through a safe and easy application process - including all necessary payments. Planning your next meaningful trip with Volunteer World gives you free access to our:
Quality Assurance
High ethical standards & transparent social impact
Flex Option
Change your reservation at no extra costs
Refund Guarantee
We refund your fees if GVI cancels your trip
Support & Mediation
We cover your back no matter what happens
Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by GVI.

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International Development and Teaching Internship

Become TEFL certified, gain work experience, learn Spanish, and explore Costa Rica in your free time.


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