Hankering to experience a fascinating culture and historic place with beautiful architecture, friendly people, hearty cuisine and even heartier liquor? Satisfy your cravings by teaching English in Hungary.
Perfectly positioned in a region of Central Europe just begging to be explored, Hungary is home to numerous spas and wineries, castles and ancient ruins. The capital city of Budapest is a top European tourist destination—famous for its Parliament building, geothermal springs, and Millennium Underground Railway.
Opportunities to teach English in Hungary are on the rise, as the demand for English literacy grows with the local economy. Positions are available in various institutions and cities throughout country. The chance to teach abroad in Hungary is tantalizing, as there are many diverse destinations to feast upon.
CULTURAL TIPS AND TABOOS FOR HUNGARY
Hungarians are very hospitable people, especially in rural areas. Family is extremely important in Hungarian culture, and is the center of Hungary’s social structure. It is not uncommon for several generations to live together.
Tip: Most people take off their shoes when entering a home, and then change into a pair of house slippers. Be mindful of this when visiting someone’s dwelling, and be sure to have an extra set or two of sandals for guests at your own place.
Taboo: Older generations of Hungarians may take offense to clinking glasses or bottles together when drinking. It stems from an unfortunate event in Hungary’s history. Younger Hungarians do not necessarily adhere to this custom.
Tip: Hungarians often drink a shot or two of homemade fruit brandy with a big meal, and are very proud of their locally produced brandies known as pálinka. It would not be unusual for a host to offer you some upon arrival at their home.
Taboo: Bringing a bottle of imported wine to a dinner party would not be the best option, as Hungarians take pride in their wines as well. Though various types of foreign liquors are an appropriate gesture of gratitude.
Earn a little respect by attempting to learn at least some of the unique Hungarian language. The first syllable of every word is almost always stressed. Words are usually characterized by vowel length. The meanings of words change when the duration of vowels and consonants are altered, which can easily lead to misunderstandings. Emphasize syllables where bolded and underlined below:
Hello (formal): ser-voos
Hello (informal): see-å
Nice to meet you: ør-ven-dek
Thank you: kø-sø-nøm
You're welcome: see-ve-shen
Excuse me (attention): el-ney-zeysht
Excuse me (pardon): bo-cha-nå-tot key-rek
I'm sorry: bo-cha-nåt
HOW TO GET A TEACHING JOB IN HUNGARY
Full-time teaching openings in Hungary are usually at universities or primary and secondary schools. Part-time work is more commonly available at private language academies.
General requirements/qualifications to teach English in Hungary:
- Must be a native English-speaker
- Should hold a university or college degree
- Most reputable schools require a TESOL/TEFL certificate
Advice about teaching English in Hungary:
- Look for teaching jobs early in the spring for fall positions, and late-summer for January postings
- In-person interviews are preferred
Specifics for teaching abroad in Hungary:
- Full-time teachers generally work 20 to 25 hours per week
The International TEFL Academy offers TEFL/TESOL certification on top of promoting a variety of teaching vacancies throughout Hungary. Certificates can be achieved via online courses or through hands on training.
Be aware of fees attached to placement agencies such as the Central European Teaching Program (CETP). But, by going through an organization to get a teaching job in Hungary, you instantly gain a community of in-country support, in addition to perks like orientation and training.
WHERE TEACHERS ARE PLACED IN HUNGARY
The most popular city to teach in is Budapest. Although the pay is higher, the cost of living is as well. If you are looking for a more rustic Hungarian adventure, the CETP focuses on placing teachers in schools within smaller cities around the country.
SALARY, COST OF LIVING, AND MONEY ADVICE
Salaries for teaching in Central Europe tend to be lower than in other regions of the world. It is recommended to have some money saved before teaching English in Hungary. The average monthly income might not be enough to cover extra travel in addition to living expenses, but should allow for a somewhat modest, comfortable lifestyle. Private tutoring is an option, and would be a great way to fund weekend getaways.
Average monthly salary: 200,000 HUF (about $800 USD)
Average monthly living expenses: $750 USD
Airfare is not usually included or reimbursed by schools in Hungary. However, many employers do provide assistance with accommodation. Housing arrangements for teachers vary. Some teachers live on school premises, others stay at hostels, in houses, or are given money to help cover apartment rental. It largely depends on a school’s economic situation.
VISA REQUIREMENTS TO TEACH IN HUNGARY
Citizens of the EU do not need a visa to work in Hungary, but must obtain a work permit. Almost all other foreigners need a work visa and a residence permit. Most schools help with getting the appropriate work permits and visas needed to live and work in Hungary. Placement agencies also assist with the process.
WHY YOU SHOULD TEACH ENGLISH IN HUNGARY
For a country comparatively small in size and population, Hungary is considered to be one of the most popular travel destinations. It serves an enjoyable banquet of thriving culture and assorted sites. From authentic villages to massive grasslands, and thermal bodies of water to a capital city voted one of the most beautiful in the world. English teachers in Hungary not only delight in the nation’s tastiness, but also gorge on being centrally located in Europe—with easy access to many other countries just waiting to be savored.