Hungary is a country steeped in tradition. From its folk culture to its palatial thermal pools, there’s plenty to discover.
Budapest boasts a fun nightlife and plenty of architectural landmarks, while the refreshing waters of Lake Balaton (the largest lake in Europe) provide a change of scenery, just a 90-minute drive away. Warm up during the cold winters with meaty stews paired with delicious Hungarian wines.
The capital is made up of two cities separated by the River Danube – wander around by foot and soak up the intriguing architecture. And when the wandering tires you out, relax at the thermal baths, where the water is warm year-round.
At Lake Balaton, you can swim in the clear water and relax on the beaches, some of which have artificial sand. Sailing, fishing and water sports are other options – if you love life on the open waves, Lake Balaton is the next best thing in Hungary.
There’s a considerable demand for TEFL teachers, so Hungary might be the ideal place to progress your teaching career.
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£470-£950 per month
Bachelor’s degree usually required
Cost of living
TEFL certificate needed
120 hours +
Main job types
Private language schools & private tutoring
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Good news – there’s a high demand for English teachers in Hungary. It’s essential for students to have a good level of English in order to succeed at university and many people aim to improve their job prospects in the international market. You’ll find lots of language schools across the country, however, the majority are in the country’s capital, Budapest. If you’ve got the right to work in the country, the relevant qualifications and experience as well as a passion for teaching, finding a contract should be a piece of cake.
In return for your hard work, spend time relaxing in thermal spas and spend your wages in ruin bars – eclectic, hidden bars which are part of an underground scene. Artsy, trendy and very weird, these bars are a must-see in Budapest. Soak up the local beers with hearty soups, delicious bread and quintessentially Hungarian goulash.
Start your job search in Budapest, where there are plenty of positions in language schools at the start of the academic year in September and October. For a different experience, move outside of the capital where there are fewer schools but your money will go further as the cost of living decreases. The other large cities of Debrecen, Szeged and Miskolc all have several language schools.
This depends on the location and the school you work in. Expect a minimum of $600-800 per month based on 20 hours per week. And expect up to $1,200 if you have experience, CELTA/Trinity TESOL qualifications and work in a larger school in the capital.
Supplement your income by tutoring private students – you can charge up to $15 per hour. In some cases, teachers work only with private students as there is plenty of demand.
In comparison to other European countries, life in Hungary is cheap. One of your biggest outgoings, apart from rent, might be paying heating costs throughout the winter months, which can often be way below zero degrees for an extended period of time. Wrap up warm to keep costs down!.
Outside of Budapest, prices will be much lower. As an example, a one-bedroom apartment in Budapest city centre is around $530 per month and outside the city centre is around $390. In Hungary’s second city, Debrecen, a city centre apartment will cost you $320 but outside the city will be $232 per month. You might want to move outside Budapest to live and travel to the capital for weekend breaks – the train between Budapest and Debrecen only takes two hours.
In Budapest, eating and drinking is fairly inexpensive. A meal at a local restaurant will cost you around $6 and add a beer or a coffee for around $1.60. You can expect to buy a one-way bus or tram ticket for $1.25, visit the cinema for around $6 and get a monthly gym membership for $30-40.
The majority of teaching positions are in private language schools, with 100s of schools in Budapest alone. There are smaller language schools in towns and cities across the country. In these schools, you’ll be teaching a range of ages and levels. Lessons usually take place in the evenings (usually from 3-9pm) although you might be asked to teach corporate lessons in business across the city during the day.
To teach in most language schools, employers expect a bachelor’s degree and TEFL certificate as a minimum – some larger schools will also request a CELTA/Trinity TESOL. Smaller schools in more rural areas might not require any official qualifications if you have a native-level of English and a passion for teaching.
Teachers from within the EU won’t need to apply for a visa to work in Hungary. If you’re from outside the EU, you’ll need a work visa and permit – usually, this will be organised by your employer. This can take around a month to organise.
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