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  • Locations: San Ramon, Costa Rica
  • Program Terms: Winter Break
  • Budget Sheets: Winter Break
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.0 Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0
Language of Instruction: English Number of Credits Offered: 3
Eligible Population: 01 Freshman, 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate, Non-Degree Seeking Type of Program: Internship
Click here for a definition of this term Area of Study: Accounting, Applied Science, Linguistics, Management, Marketing, Minor in Business, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Laboratory Science, Middle East Studies, Mild Disabilities, Multimedia, Arabic, Music and Well-Being, Music, Native American and Indigenous Studies, Neuroscience, Nonprofit Studies, Nursing, Nutrition, Ocean and Estuarine Science, Paleontology, Philosophy and Law, Art and Visual Technology, Philosophy, Physics, Political Philosophy, Professional Writing, Psychology, Public Health, Public Policy and Management, Recreation Management, Rehabilitation Science, Religious Studies, Art History, Russian, Russian and Eurasian Studies, Senior Housing Administration, Severe Disabilities, Social Justice, Social Work, Sociology, Software Engineering, Spanish, Sport and American Culture, Arts and Social Change, Sport and Computer Game Design, Sport Communication, Sport Management, Statistics, Sustainability Studies, Sustainable Enterprise, Systems Engineering, Teaching English as a Second Language, Theater, Tourism, Arts Management, Urban and Suburban Studies, Visual Impairment and Blindness, Web Design, Women and Gender Studies, Geography and Geoinformation Science, Honors, Government and International Policy, Global and Community Health, Korean, Business, Asia-Pacific and Northeast Asian Studies, Climate Dynamics, Assistive Technology, Astronomy, Athletic Training, African and African American Studies, Atmospheric Science, Audio Production, Aviation Flight Training and Management, Bioengineering, Bioinformatics, Biology, Business Analytics, Chemistry, Childhood Studies, Chinese, Aging Studies, Civil and Infrastructure Engineering, Classical Studies, Coaching, Communication, Community Health, Computational and Data Sciences, Computer Engineering, Computer Game Design, Computer Science, Conflict Analysis and Resolution, American Government, Consciousness and Transformation, Conservation Biology, Conservation, Creative Writing, Criminology Law and Society, Cyber Security Engineering, Dance, Data Analysis, Earth Science, Economic Systems Design, Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, Economics, Education Studies, Electrical Engineering, English, Entrepreneurship, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Policy, Environmental Science, Ethnomusicology, Film and Video Studies, Anthropology, Finance, Folklore and Mythology, Foreign Languages, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Science, French, Geographic Information Systems, Geography, Geology, German, Applied Behavior Analysis, Global Affairs, Global Systems, Graphic Design, Health Administration, Health and Social Policy, Health Communication, Health Information Technology, Health Promotion, Health Psychology, History, Applied Computer Science, Human Development and Family Science, Immigration Studies, Industrial/Organizational Psychology, Information Systems and Operations Management, Information Technology, Integrative Studies, International Security, International/Comparative Studies, Islamic Studies, Applied Information Technology, Italian Studies, Japanese Studies, Jazz Studies, Journalism, Judaic Studies, Kinesiology, Latin American Studies, Latin, Leadership, Legal Studies Click here for a definition of this term Study Abroad Host: Global Education Office
Open to non-Mason Students: true Career Fields: Arts/Museums/Galleries, Communications, Creative Arts & Design, Education Administration/Business, Hospitality Management/Travel Industry, International Relations, NGO/Nonprofit, Photography, Social Services, Teaching
Program eligible for VA Benefits: No
Program Description:

Teaching Internships and TEFL/TESOL Certification

Costa Rica, Winter

Costa Rica Internships

Note: This program is open to both Mason and non-Mason students, including current students and recent graduates. For the most up to date COVID study abroad policies, click here.

Read about our Summer 2022 Mason Global Internship students by clicking through the tabs here.

Teaching Internships and TEFL/TESOL Certification in Costa Rica: 

Dive into the rich and diverse culture and beauty of Costa Rica while gaining teaching skills and earning your TESOL/TEFL certification! Mason's Global Education Office partners with TravelBud to place students in a three-week Winter Break teaching program in San Ramon, Costa Rica. Teaching experience is not required, as students will receive training prior to and during the program, and learn creative problem-solving skills relevant to any future career field.

Students will complete a 160-hour of mixed online and in-person, internationally accredited TESOL/TEFL Course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language/Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), have in-class workshops in Costa Rica, teach in local schools, and participate in several English camps for youth. When arriving in Costa Rica, students will have a 5-day cultural orientation that includes language lessons, visits to local museums, a wildlife rescue center, a coffee plantation, a sugar cane workshop, and a trip to a farmer's market and Costa Rican cooking class. Following this, students will take part in a week of TESOL/TEFL workshops and presentations before beginning their teaching at the English camps.

A key advantage of taking part in this program is the blend of training and practical experience participants will receive. The program prepares students thoroughly for teaching English abroad, and gives them first-hand experience in and out of the classroom. Students will be encouraged to create a fun and engaging learning environment that will help bring the language to life.


Students complete the asynchronous 120 hour internationally accredited TEFL/TESOL certification course between November 3rd and their travel date. Completion of the online portion of this course prior to arriving in Costa Rica is a requirement of the program. The remaining 40 hours of the course will take place in Costa Rica.


San Ramon is an hour away from the capital, San Jose, and provides the perfect balance of enjoying a beautiful town, surrounded by nature, whilst being a short distance away from everything the capital has to offer. San Ramon is a traditional Costa Rican town, nestled within a dramatic mountain landscapes and surrounded by coffee plantations.
It is a small town with a surprisingly significant history. Known as the town of "presidents and poets," many famous figures in Costa Rica’s history have lived in the town at some point in their lives! The town is a safe place to be with a very low crime rate and a real community feel. It is the perfect place to practice your Spanish and get to know local residents. While the orientation and TESOL/TEFL workshops take place in San Ramon, the English camps students teach in may be located in other cities/towns.

Global Partner

TravelBud and its in-country partner specialize in TESOL/TEFL certification training and high quality teaching experiences in Costa Rica and several other countries abroad. TravelBud's in-country partner organizations were founded by a George Mason alumnus.
Their team has all taught abroad before and have carefully developed the best teaching programs possible which provide the perfect balance of cross-cultural immersion, international work experience, and personal and professional growth. Their programs are unique in that it includes a full week of in-depth cultural orientation, TESOL/TEFL training tailored to the teaching destination, and teaching placements at carefully vetted school partners, with dedicated 24/7 support provided throughout. 
With programs available in Costa Rica, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Myanmar, and Japan, the TravelBud team are all connected by a passion for the life-changing experience that their teaching programs abroad provide, and are dedicated to offering the best culturally awakening experiences possible to students and graduates around the world.


Country Resources


3 credits



This program is open to all undergraduate students who have 45 undergraduate credits completed by the start date of the program.  There is no Spanish language requirement. Students who are fluent in English but it is not their first language are encouraged to apply.

Students from all universities are eligible to participate. Graduate students should contact the to inquire about graduate GPA and credit requirements before enrolling in the program.

Course Options:

  • Integrative Studies (INTS) 399: Study Abroad (3 credits)  
  • Students can petition their departments to earn different credits. However, this is approved by their academic department and there may be eligibility requirements for that specific credit.
  • You can look up potential alternative credits and their requirements in the Mason Course Catalog. There will be a questionnaire in the application process where students can indicate the credit they would like to receive and the form required for approval.

Program Cost

Winter 2023: $3160


  • Tuition (3 credits)
  • Shared housing
  • 160 hours of TEFL/TESOL instruction and a certification (online and in person)
  • In-depth orientation
  • Cultural excursions
  • Internship placement teaching in English camps
  • Airport pickup and drop off
  • Transfer to San Ramon for TESOL course and to/from teaching placements
  • Welcome Dinner
  • T-shirt
  • Fluent English on-site support
  • Visa and pre-departure guidance and support
  • 24/7 in-country support
  • International Emergency Medical Insurance
  • Costa Rican SIM card for phone (excluding Blackberry services)

​Not included:
  • Airfare
    • Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Global Education Office.
  • Most meals
  • Visas: An entry visa is not required for US citizens, but visa requirements may vary for non-US citizens. Learn more about visa requirements here.
  • Added International Insurance required by the Costa Rican government during COVID ($35)
  • International airfare: Participants must arrange their own airfare, once instructed to do so by the Mason Global Education Office.
  • Personal expenses
  • Accommodation deposit ($100, returned if there are no damages to the room)
  • Daily living expenses and transportation

Program Payments

The full program fee is charged to your Mason Student Account. Students pay the Global Education Office (GEO) Program Fee as advertised in two payments (Application Deposit + Final Payment).
Application Deposit: A $200 non-refundable Application Deposit must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.
Final Payment: The final balance payment is made through the Mason Bill + Payment system. Payment is due according to the Mason Payment Schedule.  The amount due is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $200 Application Deposit you will have already paid.
• You can make your final payment in the Mason Bill + Payment system even if you do not see the GEO program charge on your Student Account.
• George Mason University applies payments to outstanding charges first. If you have an outstanding balance from a previous semester, your payments will first go to paying that charge. You will still be responsible for the GEO charge.
Financial Aid:
In most cases, financial aid (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans) can be used to finance study abroad. It is the student’s responsibility to check with the Office of Financial Aid to review their financial aid package. The Office of Financial Aid is the only office that can determine your aid eligibility.
Meeting with your financial aid officer prior to applying to study abroad will help you understand if, how much, and when your aid can be used to study abroad.
Confirmation of your financial aid award may not be available until registration and billing for the term in question is final. If aid eligibility changes, or the amount of aid disbursed is lower than anticipated, students are responsible for all remaining account balances or risk late fees, holds on their accounts, and program dismissal.
To assist students in the processing of their financial aid, GEO will communicate with the Office of Financial Aid those students who plan to utilize financial aid for their specific study abroad program through their application with GEO.  Please note there is no guarantee to students that their aid can be utilized for their specific study abroad program.

If you plan to use federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans to finance your study abroad, you must:
• Mark “Yes” to “Do you plan to use Financial Aid to finance your program (federal, state, institutional financial aid, scholarships, grants or loans)?” in your profile in
After acceptance:
•Complete the Financial Aid questionnaire item in your application.
• Schedule an appointment with your financial aid officer.
* Students must be enrolled at least half-time for federal loans and the majority of grant funds. Please refer to the Financial Aid website for a definition of half-time for undergraduate and graduate students.
VA Benefits: This program is ineligible for VA Benefits.

Withdrawal and Refund Policy: All participants are bound by the Mason GEO Withdrawal and Refund Policy.

Payment Instructions

For more information on payments, financial aid, and information for non-Mason students:

Directions for Budget Sheet 

Budget Item: Budget items are costs associated with your program that you need to include in your budgeting as you make plans to participate in this program. These budget items fall into two categories, Billable and Non-Billable. 
Billable Subtotal:  Items in the Billable category are listed together and their total cost is listed at the end of that section as the Billable subtotal. Billable Budget Items are costs which you will receive a bill for from George Mason. These costs are fixed (not estimated) and paid through either MasonAbroad or your Mason student account. 
Non-Billable Subtotal: Like the billable category, items in the Non-billable category are listed together and their total cost is listed at the end of that section as the Non-billable subtotal. Items in the Non-billable category are necessary costs that are associated with the program, such as airfare to get you to your location, on location housing and food costs, etc. These costs are estimates. We include estimates so that you can quickly assess a typical total cost for a program, however these are costs that the student is responsible for.    


GEO offers a number of need- and merit-based scholarships. All Mason students are welcome to apply:

Application Deadline:

Oct 10
Please note that this program does not have rolling admission. You will hear back about your application status on or shortly after Oct. 10.

Eligibility and Timeline:

This program is open to all undergraduate students with who have already completed a semester (at Mason or NoVA) by the application deadline and to graduate students. There is no language requirement and students who are fluent in English but not native speakers are also encouraged to apply. Students should also meet the following requirements:

  • Meet the GPA requirement
  • Are able to complete an intensive teaching program which includes standing in front of a classroom for the duration of an hour-long period and facilitating physical classroom activities
  • Are able to adapt to new and challenging circumstances
  • Can pass a background check.

Application Requirements:*

Program Deposit: $200 for all applicants.

Mandatory Meeting: With Experiential Programs Administrator

Course Selection Questionnaire: You will choose the course(s) you would like to be receive credit for on this program. Check the "Academics" tab to see what courses are offered on this program. If you need help selecting your course, check with your academic advisor.Passport Status Questionnaire: You do not need a passport to complete this questionnaire or the application. However, if you do not have a valid passport, you should begin applying for one now. The Global Education Office offers Passport Grants to help.

Personal Statement: Your personal statement is a letter given to a potential internship host along with your resume. A personal statement is your chance to describe and give examples of the skills you possess and to give a potential internship host a better idea your goals and interests. As you are writing your statement, think of your audience - your potential employer abroad who will place you in teaching roles.  

Resume/CV: Your resume (Curriculum Vitae or CV) is given to a potential internship host along with your personal statement. 

Signature Documents: Read and electronically "sign" the documents regarding the acknowledgement of risk, the pre-departure orientation, and your financial responsibility.

Additional requirements for non-Mason applicants:

Official transcript: To be mailed or emailed to the Global Education Office at George Mason University.

Non-degree Contract Course/Admission Form: Please complete the form and upload it into the questionnaire.

* Additional application requirements may apply to individual programs. Once you open your application, you will see all application requirements.

Application instructions:

Links and Resources

Travel Links
Department of State 

Mason Links
Mason University Career Services Resources (find out how Mason Career Services may help you prepare for your internship, or how to prepare for an interview)
Mason Career and Internship Guide
Mason University Career Services Resume and Cover Letter Review Services

Questions? Contact:

GEO Experiential Programs Manager

Name Kelly McNulty (she, her)
Phone 703-993-4798
Meeting Schedule a meeting here.

Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.

This program is currently not accepting applications.