Teach English in Hungary

Details

Demand

very High

Busiest

Sep-Jun

Currency

Ft

Hungarian Forints (HUF)

Contract

3-12 months

Normally

Taxes

High

Summary
Demand for teachers is very high here, but it's becoming a popular destination for newly-qualified teachers
Main TEFL regions
Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged, Szolnok and other smaller towns around the country.
Types of teaching
Summer schools / language camps: General English
Private language schools: General English In-company: General English, Business English, English for Specific Purposes (ESP)
State primary & secondary schools: General English, English for Younger Learners
Accommodation
This depends on which sector you work in. State schools will usually provide an apartment with other teachers, but private schools leave you to fend for yourself.
Apartments are expensive in Budapest, so don’t expect to pay less than 80,000Ft (US$550) per month. If you’re willing to share, it’ll cost half this amount and accommodation is much cheaper outside of the capital. Alberlet is a good place to start your search.
Flight reimbursement
You’re more likely to meet Attila the Hun than find an employer who’ll pay for your flight!
Salary
The average hourly wage is 2000Ft in private schools, which translates to about 200,000Ft (US$1,500) per month if you get enough hours. In state schools, the salary is around 100,000Ft (US$700) per month – it doesn’t sound like much, but the free accommodation makes a big difference.
Private tuition can make you up to Ft3000 per hour, and students are easy to find. Pay is commensurate with a teacher's qualifications and experience.
Taxes
Taxes are relatively high in Hungary: if you earn 100,000Ft, you’ll pay about 18% tax; on a salary of 200,000Ft, it’ll be 23%.
Cost of living
The cost of living here is in line with the rest of Eastern Europe. Monthly groceries will cost 20,000Ft (US$150) if you stick to local markets, a monthly bus pass is 7,500Ft and a beer is about 200Ft (just over a dollar).
Potential to save money
Although the cost of living is cheap, the low salaries make it difficult to save: come here for the culture and teaching experience, not to plan for your retirement!
How much TEFL training is recommended?
It will be difficult to find a job without a TEFL qualification, especially in highly-competitive Budapest. An i-to-i course would also improve your skills and confidence in the classroom.
Common teaching conditions
This varies hugely depending on the sector you work in and which school you work for. Although the pay is low in state schools, you’re more likely to have field trips and other bonuses. In the private sector, there are plenty of good employers, but many unscrupulous ones, too. You may need to work for several private schools and do individual tuition to get enough hours.
The students tend to be hard-working and enthusiastic, but they’re used to more traditional teaching styles so you’ll initially get some strange looks if you try any off-the-wall teaching techniques.

Be aware…

Learning the language is notoriously difficult, but will make life much easier if you plan to to live and teach outside of Budapest.