Alumni Spotlight: Roy Wood


Roy is 28, was born in Norway, grew up in the U.K., and currently lives in Budapest. He studied Art & Design at BA (Hons) & MA level - he never gets bored of traveling, drawing, or cycling.

Why did you choose this program?

Honestly, I was looking for something that would give me some flexibility to teach without feeling pressured. It also seemed like a very good option given the fact that I was new to the city, Budapest, and the environment. I had nothing to loose, and this seemed like a good opportunity to meet some students and build a basis for a stable income.

What did your program provider (or university) assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

They assisted me with the introduction of students, pre-assessing their needs and requirements via a questionnaire filled in by the student. This was all done by e-mail, at which point they would introduce me, and say that I would be in touch. Not only did this offer reassurance to the student, but allowed me to build a rapport very quickly when we were in contact. From this I organized the lesson times, and receipt of payment.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you've ever done a CELTA, it's nothing like that. Also be yourself, that's the most important thing.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

It really depends on how much you want to do. I was lucky in the sense that being introduced to the students I was, they have all continued to have lessons with me. An average week can be busy, but you never have to do more work than you want. It's important to remember that the students are flexible, but that means you have to be too. Sometimes there are some early mornings and late nights.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was that I had never lived in a foreign capital city before. I wondered if it would be too manic, but Budapest isn't like that. It's a beautiful place, and walking around it put my mind at ease very quickly.

Can you earn a living wage here?

You can, but you have to work for it, obviously. The wages are relatively low in Hungary so be prepared for that. But, the cost of living is definitely lower.

Paying tax can be a tough thing to sort out. One option is a KATA, which is basically when you are self-employed but pay a monthly flat rate (50,000Ft). This is usually a preferred option, as to employ someone in a company is very expensive for the employer.

Seriously, seek the help of a Hungarian person if you want help with this.