Since joining the EU in 2004, Hungary has had a growing demand for TEFL teachers, and as English is now part of the school curriculum, there are opportunities to teach students of all ages across the country. Students hoping to attend college or university must have a decent English ability, and so it's possible to find jobs tutoring teens to perfect their ability, or even roles at the numerous bilingual schools which operate at both elementary and secondary school levels. Bilingual schools (
) are legally required to hire a native English speaker.
Despite the emphasis on excellence in the education system, teachers are poorly paid in Hungary. While a TEFL teacher will likely be paid more than their Hungarian co-workers, it can be a struggle to live on one full-time wage alone. As rent is particularly high in big cities, some schools offer free or subsidised accommodation for teaching staff, which are often a bit old-fashioned but comfortable enough. Taxes are also high and include a lot of tricky paperwork, so make sure you find out whether the quoted salary is gross or net. Some schools offer insurance, so its worth checking if this or any other perks are included. Many teachers in full-time positions can supplement their income by getting part-time positions at private language schools, providing lessons to kids and teens whose parents want them to get ahead, or in the lucrative Business English market. There are several organisations that promote profiles of teachers, or help to link teachers with prospective students, for those who want to get freelance work away from a private language school.
The experience of teaching Hungarians can be up and down depending on where you are. In rural locations, English levels will be poorer but you might encounter more enthusiastic learners, particularly teenagers who are keen to improve their future job prospects. In a city, where the cost of living is high and it can be tricky to improve on their future outlook, teens might be more demotivated and challenging to teach.