I arrived to Budapest a month ago, confident that I’ll get a teaching gig very quick: after all I’ve now got experience, it’s a big city so there must always be people looking to learn English and I’m flexible enough to take any kind of teaching assignment. A month later I know better.
Don’t try to find a job in the summer
It’s not gonna work. People go on holiday, other people are too warm to work, decisions are postponed, the waiting time will drive you mad.
Don’t expect a job in the classic sense
Hungary has very high taxes on salaries and companies would rather not take that on themselves. The preferred method is to get teachers with their own little ltd or at least as freelancers. I’m not keen on these complications because I know from experience how much work book keeping is when you take on the responsibility for your own taxes.
No Skype interviews
When I applied to other countries to teach English, they were all happy to do the interviews via skype. (There were a couple exception but negligible.) Before I came to Budapest, I sent applications and asked for a skype interview as per the procedure I had gotten used to. I was quickly advised from 2-3 schools that it doesn’t work that way: they only do face-to-face interviews with teachers.
Where to find English teaching jobs?
There are a number of great sites to help find English teaching jobs from all over the world. Interestingly enough, I’ve only found one Hungarian job on them in the past 2 months. Language schools advertise on their own websites or on Hungarian job search pages such as profession.hu. Does it mean they don’t want native speakers only bilinguals? I can’t be sure but I would guess so. Browsing the teachers listed on the schools’ websites, there weren’t many native speakers listed. It’s another interesting contrast to Spain where most language schools would employ native speakers.
Private tutoring is harder than it sounds
I used to have private students about 8-9 years ago in Budapest and in my memory it was quick and easy to find them. Not sure if it’s my memory making the changes or has it just become more difficult in the meantime but there are no easy ways to connect with students unless you pay for one of those sites that promise you to deliver students. Last year in Madrid, it was so easy: I put up a free advert on website specifically for private tutoring and I had students real quick. In Budapest, I haven’t found a similar option.
If you’re from abroad
Since my family lives here, I’m lucky because I can do this job search rent-free. But if you’re from abroad trying to find a job here, I’d very much advise against the summer period. (It’s also scorching hot here during the summer.)
Hope for the best
I’ve had exactly 3 interviews from all the applications I’ve sent and I’ve had exactly 0 answers so far. “No decision yet, please bear with us” is the standard answer so I still hope I can work here in one form or the other. We’ll see for sure! In the meantime I’m enjoying the beauty of the city that can be just as quirky as classy.