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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Minimum GPA (Undergraduate): 2.0 Language of Instruction: English
Eligible Population: 02 Sophomore, 03 Junior, 04 Senior, Graduate 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
Minimum GPA (Graduate): 3.0 Open to non-Mason Students: true
Click here for a definition of this term Course Equivalency Database: View Approved Courses 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 Description:

Teaching Internships and TEFL/TESOL Certification

Costa Rica, Winter

Costa Rica Internships

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 15th 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 (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.
Graduate: Graduate credit may be available for this internship study abroad program. Contact for more information.

Program Cost

Winter 2022: $3,590


  • 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 Thai 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

Students on MasonGEO programs must pay the advertised program cost in order to participate. This cost will be made in three payments (Deposit + First Payment + Final Payment). Students using financial aid can provide additional paperwork in lieu of deposit and final balance payments.

Application Deposit: A non-refundable program deposit $200 must be received by the application deadline. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee.

First Payment: A non-refundable payment of $1000 must be received by October 20th. This fee is paid online through the MasonAbroad application system and is included in the program fee. Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

In the event that a student’s financial aid or VA Benefits is estimated to cover the entire costs of the study abroad program, the entire charge will be posted to their student account, since that is where the aid will be applied. In this case students do not pay their first payment through MasonAbroad. However students must submit their “Intent to Use Financial Aid” form by the first deposit deadline.

Final Payment: The final balance payment is due Dec. 1. This is the difference of your Program Cost minus the $1200 you've already paid (Deposit + First Payment). Students who are using financial aid may have this payment deadline extended. See "Financial Aid" information below.

Financial Aid and VA Benefits: Students who intend to use financial aid or their VA benefits to fund their program fees (partially or in full) must have the "Intent to Use Financial Aid" or "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form" completed and on file with the Global Education Office by the First Payment deadline. The "Intent to Use Financial Aid" form is available in the MasonAbroad application system once you have started your application for this program. If you are using VA Benefits please contact your program officer to request the "Intent to Use VA Benefits Form."

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 Opens:

June 1


Application Deadline:

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.
Applications are reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis. You will receive an application update within two weeks after completion. 

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.

Intent to Use Financial Aid Form: For Mason students only. If you use financial aid, this form must be completed by your financial aid counselor and submitted by the 1st payment deadline.

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 Administrator

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

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Winter Break 2022 10/10/2021 ** Rolling Admission 12/27/2021 01/16/2022

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.