Szia! This is how the warm-hearted people of Hungary would greet you. These hand-shakers live in a the heart of Europe, enjoying a large network of natural mineral springs, unique lively culture, and gorgeous well-preserved nature. Although the country keeps a low tourist profile due not having many mountains or any sea beaches, Hungary and its capital city, Budapest, have a story to tell. What better opportunity to hear it than teaching in Hungary?
Budapest is also known as the Pearl of the Danube and it absolutely deserves this title. The city is split in two by the broad Danube river and the two parts have their distinct character. The Margaret Bridge is a great starting point if you haven’t decided which part of the city to explore first.
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To the West of the Danube, lies Buda. The government has ruled an act to protect the forests of the Buda hills. They provide excellent ground for outdoor activities during the long summer in Hungary. Hiking and biking can be as little as 20 minutes away from the city’s center.
The Buda side is home to the glorious Royal Castle that has been included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. If the outside of the castle is not convincing enough, wait until you get in. The interior will get rid of any doubt left.
The historic castle district is the oldest part of the city and it has breath-taking views of the whole of Budapest. Besides the unforgettable panorama, you get the Matthias Church, medieval houses, and good restaurants. The district also hosts the majority of festivals in Budapest including the Budapest Wine Festival in September.
If want to live in a residential setting during your teaching months you should look for houses on the Buda side of the city with districts 1, 2 and 2A being particularly attractive due to the nearby American School. Keep in mind that these districts are a bit far from the city center.
The East bank, or the Pest side, is characterized by top-notch European city living. Cozy and diverse cafés provide excellent nooks for rest or making new friends. If you are into sports, give Dürer Kert a go, it won’t disappoint. This bar is part of the Budapest specialty called Ruin Pubs and it makes for a great night out.
Particularly evident in this part of the city is Budapest’s beautiful architecture with Art Nouveau and Secessionism as the dominating styles. Neo-gothic buildings, such as the massive Hungarian Parliament Building, find home in the East part of the city, as well. Pest also houses numerous museums and art galleries that will keep every culture enthusiast busy all year long.
If you are looking for a place to live in the center city where you will be close to embassies and business, then districts 5, 6, and 7 are where you should look. This part of the city has many international schools that are constantly on the lookout for native speakers and will provide good employment conditions.
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Teaching in Budapest
The whole country currently has a very high demand for native English speakers who teach. Locals are very interested in the language and this is quite evident if you look on the “angol” shelves in bookstores.
TEFL certificate holders will quickly get snatched by colleges, universities, primary or secondary schools, or private schools. However such schools do not advertise openly for teachers, so getting some help from LanguageCorps will save you a lot of time and many headaches.
The students in Budapest tend to be hard-working and enthusiastic. They are used to traditional teaching styles, but are open-minded and if you are patient and consistent, students will appreciate more outside the box and innovative teaching techniques.
Teaching programs run throughout the entire year with a couple of long breaks in the summer and winter. Due to the high demand, applying for your program of choice should be done at least two months before it starts. Head over to LanguageCorps to learn about program start dates in Hungary.