Travel & Teach - Hungary


Global English students are working all over the world with their accredited TESOL certificates. Find out how TESOL training from Global English has made a difference to their lives:

Lorraine Wickham

I visited various schools as part of a study visit and was offered the job at a private business school. For anyone considering the possibility, most Hungarian schools are very poorly resourced. Teachers are very poorly paid, approximately 10% of our salary (UK state school). I was offered a flat, although I am still trying to persuade my hosts that gas checks and health insurance are not luxury items but legal requirements over here. So far, it looks like a bleak prospect, but the educational standards are high, students are strongly motivated and the challenge to learn some Hungarian is tough enough to be forgiven if the phrasebook terms are all that is ever learnt. To be honest, they agreed to release me early at the end of May to allow for further job hunting next year and valuable examination work.

It’s not an option for the faint-hearted, but as my host Head of Department says,
“We will appreciate you” and that is something which goes a long way after teaching in an English system for 20 years.

Michael Newton

For the last five weeks I have been in a state Gimnasium (grammar-school ) in N.E Hungary, teaching (for the most part) English conversation to more than 2OO students aged up to 19 but including some very lively 12-13year olds. (16 contact lessons a week, with groups of 15-2O). The course with Global English has proved invaluable in stimulating the imagination and providing a solid basis in the understanding of English grammar to draw on!

Conditions here are very good, though Hungarian is providing a huge barrier, and I do have the back-ups of fluent French and German. Teachers here have all just enjoyed a 5O% pay-rise and in addition I receive a very pleasant flat with all expenses met; subsidized school-lunches and half-price rail-travel. I have something like 4OO pounds sterling a month to live on and save for fares home and holidays, though prices are generally much lower here than in the U.K. I may renew my contract next year.

Mary Rose

Mary Rose is the director of the Central European Teaching Program, an organization that places teachers in approximately 80 schools throughout Hungary. She says:

In 2002, at age 58, I went to teach through CETP and eventually ended up taking over the program ….and I decided to actively recruit teachers who already had a lot of living under their belts.

Hungary doesn’t have equal opportunity employment laws. Directors can flatly state, therefore, that they want someone fresh out of college, that they would never consider a male teacher, or that an applicant of Indian heritage may not be readily-accepted in their region of the country.

Still, the majority of schools take older teachers, some with initial reservations that either dissipate or grow depending on the teacher. One caveat: good hearing is essential to being an ESL teacher.

Currently 10 teachers of retirement age are teaching through CETP in Hungary. So please don’t let your age deter you from following your desire to teach abroad. Although you may not be accepted at every school, just the right director will say yes to you and your dreams.

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