Do your research before you come here! (Anywhere in Costa Rica)
remuneración: Dubious at best. Costa Rica is awesome. Most ESL institutes? Not so much... tipo de empleo: opción del empleado
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Here´s the thing....a lot of ESL companies down here try to rip off foreigners. You guys don´t know the laws, so they try to get away with murder (pretty much). You really really must have the following in mind:
1. You MUST have a work visa BEFORE you come to work in Costa Rica. It is illegal to be doing border runs, and if you´re caught you run the risk of deportation. Is it worth it? I don´t think so!
2. Any company owes you the following:
* from personal experience, I´d say you should get a minimum salary of 350,000-400,000 per month. BTW that is NOT much, right now it´s around $600-700 a month with exchange rates. Costa Rica is a SUPER expensive country. There´s no way to save money and all you earn will likely go towards rent and necessities. Most Costa Ricans DO earn around that amount of money.
* they should either aid you with the visa or pay for it, do NOT fall for any border-run accepting companies
* you should have insurance via the visa
* you should receive an aguinaldo in December even though you´re a foreigner...Google it if you´ve never heard of an aguinaldo before
3. Know that you DO have rights as a worker and if you believe you may be able to act against a company via the Ministerio de Trabajo if they have violated the law. Do NOT be afraid to try to raise a legal case against a company if they´re in the wrong.
4. Other advice:
* I´d run away screaming if I found out that a company is family-run. What experience I´ve had with that is trouble, trouble, and more trouble.
* Ask to talk to a current or past teacher for references.
* Check out prospective employers on Glassdoor. If you see any lemons, do NOT WORK THERE! There´s always a disgruntled employee, no matter how good a place is, but if you consistently see complaints, run away fast!
* If you start working somewhere and feel used, go somewhere else. Schools are notorious for just wanting to make an extra buck.
* If you´d like a list of schools to avoid, please feel free to email this publication. I´m familiar with a number of ESL schools in Costa Rica (NOT all of them, there are way too many!) and am more than happy to give a rundown of what I know. PLEASE let me know what email to write to, in your response to this post. The CL email isn´t letting me respond to the emails I´ve gotten to date.
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