How do I get a job teaching English in Hungary?

Hungary has seen a rapid increase in demand for ESL teachers in recent years as more and more local people see English language proficiency as a way to step up the job ladder. With a great location in the heart of Europe, a low cost of living, and a laid-back approach to life, Hungary also has much to offer TESOL qualified teachers.

What are the requirements for teaching English in Hungary?

Due to a very high demand, it is possible to get a teaching position in Hungary without any qualifications or previous classroom experience. However, the more you have to offer, the better your chances of securing the highest paying positions. A TESOL certificate is certainly a real advantage as most good employers expect it, particularly a course that also included teaching practice. Native English speakers are also sought after, although non-native speakers with a degree and/or previous classroom experience should also have little trouble finding a suitable position. Applicants on the CETP program (see below), have to be a native English speaker with a degree.

Who are the main employers of English teachers in Hungary?

There are several different types of employer in Hungary, including public primary and secondary schools, private language schools, universities, and individual businesses. Private tutoring, either full or part time, is also a popular option. Many teachers choose to spend a few hours a week with private students as a way of topping up their overall income.

The Central European Teaching Program (CETP) is a very popular way of getting a teaching job without the hassle of applying and interviewing for multiple jobs. The aim of the program is to place teachers in public schools where they work alongside the existing staff, mainly in a conversational English role. Unlike most similar programs, the CETP charges a placement fee, although teachers do get paid a salary equivalent to their local colleagues. The contract also includes free housing for the duration of your stay. The main appeal of the program for many is that it is all arranged before you leave your home country. As a respected educational program, it also provides a great deal of valuable experience that will look good when applying for future jobs.

What are the visa requirements for teaching English in Hungary?

Although teachers with an EU passport can live and work in Hungary without a visa, your employer will still need to organize a labor permit on your behalf. Teachers from all other countries require a work permit and a residence permit. This was once a very haphazard process, but it has recently been streamlined and should be relatively straightforward as your employer should take care of the paperwork for you. Participants on the CETP program need to provide a notarized copy of their degree, a health certificate stating you have no communicable diseases, and a negative TB test result.

What is the best way to apply for English teaching jobs in Hungary?

Most people who want to teach ESL in Hungary will need to interview in person on the school premises, so it is important that you arrive in the country during the main hiring period which is in the weeks leading up to the start of the school year at the beginning of September. A smaller number of positions are also typically available at the start of January. If you join the CETP program, everything will be organised in advance from within your home country. Most contracts run until the end of the school year in June.

Where are the best places to find English teaching Jobs in Hungary?

Budapest is where most jobs are located as it is by far the biggest city in the country. Salaries are also higher in the city than any other region. Thanks to its excellent transport links, Budapest is a great base for exploring the rest of the country and further afield during your stay in Hungary. Placements on the CETP program are mostly focused on smaller cities outside of the capital. The cultural capital of Debrecen and the historic city of Miskolc are two other popular destinations with foreign teachers.