English language schools in Hungary usually require applicants to hold a TEFL certificate such as the IWeb TEFL Certificate and have at least one year’s teaching experience. However less qualified native English speakers can still find work, albeit for a lower pay.
As a member of the European Union it can be difficult for non-British/Irish teachers to find work teaching here. See Teaching in the EU for more on this.
Hungary is one of those countries where being already on the spot pays off when it comes to finding employment. Teaching opportunities are not usually advertised online and finding work from abroad is not so easy.
Having said that, some language schools have their own website and can be contacted online.
Walking in on a school on spec is often the best way to find work, though. The phone directory is a good source of school addresses and so is the classifieds section in the local papers although you will need a basic knowledge of Hungarian (or a Hungarian friend) to check these out.
Budapest has the highest concentration of private language schools in the country but the smaller cities and mid-size towns also have schools and are worth checking out also if you prefer quieter towns.
The best time to look for work is in early to mid-September, this is when the schools open up again after the summer break. Job openings can also be found after Christmas, this is when some contract teachers decide to leave and the school is left with an unexpected vacancy.
At the interview a fairly formal approach is advisable. A willingness to better your teaching skills or to adjust to the teaching methods of that particular school along with some knowledge of Hungarian will go a long way towards securing that job! Most schools will want to see you in action before offering you a teaching contract, and will often ask you to undergo a trial teaching session, usually between 1 to 2hrs.
Pay & Conditions
Hourly pay varies which is often quite good by local standards. It is common for teachers to work in more than one school at a time and also give private lessons to make up for a full-time schedule. Teachers working 20 hours per week on average make around HUF 150,000 which is enough to live on comfortably.
Most teaching contracts require only that you give one month notice before leaving. Some well established schools will help you get your work permit, others will consider only applicants who hold a local freelance license. Of course, there are also teachers who work without all the legal papers required.
As for accommodation, not all schools offer assistance with this, so you might have to go through an estate agent or rely on Classified Ads. Overall the type of accommodation you will find is of good standard.