Central European Teaching Program in Hungary
84% Rating
(27 Reviews)

Central European Teaching Program in Hungary

The Central European Teaching Program represents a significant presence in Hungary. CETP has been placing conversational English teachers in Central and European Europe since 1990. Our volunteers are responsible for enhancing student's oral fluency through conversation practice, classroom drills, games, audio-visual instruction and listening comprehension, as well as through working closely with native teachers to emphasize important grammar concepts. High school teachers may be asked to help prepare students for stringent national language exams as well.

Europe » Hungary
6-12 Months
Salary / Benefits
All CETP teachers receive the same pay as the native teachers in their schools. With the current rate of exchange, this averages to USD 500 per month. All pay is in Hungarian forint. Each school set up a bank account for the CETP teacher from which he or she can make cash withdrawals (checking accounts are still a foreign concept in Hungary.
Other Locations
Budapest, Pecs, Debrecen, Szeged, Tata, Rural Areas

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

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Program Reviews (27)

57 years old
Pennsylvania State University

Deception and lack of support


I was placed in a school in Oroshaza, a relatively small town that elected a mayor from The Jobbik party, aka, dubbed the voice of the neo-nazis. Other teachers who were informed of the situation notified me. They were given this info by the director in HU. I was not. I sent 5 e-mails to this person requesting an urgent transfer and expressing my concern and factual info re my safety, and at the time, endangerment; no response.

Response from Central European Teaching Program

I am Mary Rose, the American director of CETP. We have had no problems with neo-nazis in Oroshaza or any other communities in Hungary. Our Hungarian director, Hajni Vancsik, went personally to visit Sandra on more than one occasion to try to get to the bottom of her fear.

We never ignore complaints or concerns, and although not always able to fix things beyond our control, we do our very best. Hajni is a wonderful, caring woman who is always there for our teachers in a pinch, be it small--sleeping past one's stop on a train and talking to a conductor who speaks no English, or large--a serious illness that requires a hospital stay.

24 years old
Pápa Hungary
Rhodes College



Teaching in Hungary has some significant difficulties. Hungary is not an extremely wealthy country and there is not a lot of resources or technology available to us a teachers. Some classes I have no textbook and no form of technology at all and I am forced to create and execute effective lessons. Despite this I do really enjoy my teaching jobs and I really enjoy interacting with all of the students. I live in a smaller town so during the week here it can get very boring. I teach in the morning and then in the afternoon there is not really much to do. After finishing planning the lessons I really struggle to find things to pass the time.

32 years old
Pàpa, Hungary

not a great organization


I'm a pretty easy going person, so when at first things weren't shaping up as the program directors told me they would I didn't really complain. We were told it may take a little while to receive our paychecks. I went to Hungary in August and was told that certainly by October I'd be paid. October comes and goes. So does November and December. Finally, in January I got paid, hooray! Some teachers were eligible for advanced pay, but for some reason not all teachers are.
I was lucky in that my apartment has everything I need- but other teachers were not so lucky. Some were living in student dorms and sharing bathrooms and kitchens. I didn't feel like I had much to complain about, because I had a relatively nice place and, thankfully, enough money in savings to eek out over those months until payday. This meant, though, that I could do almost no traveling and stayed in my town a lot.
It wasn't until I wanted to stay on another year (because while I do not like CETP, I really really like my school and my students- they're the best part of the job) that I became really frustrated with the program. I will admit, I missed the deadline due to personal issues, but deadlines have been pretty much a joke in this program. I filled out my application in February to go to Hungary in August and there were people who decided to go a WEEK before orientation who were given placements that I know other people wanted. "No, sorry- you can't go to Budapest it's all full" but for people who decided at the extreme last second, suddenly there's more than enough Budapest placements to go around. And not even at the full price. It seems like to get ahead in this program, you have to hardball them. You don't want to pay the whole fee? Don't. Not everyone does. You want to go to Budapest? Tell them you will not even consider going to Hungary unless you're in Budapest. They will tell you that there are no spots available, but it's not true.
So, I wanted to be placed here in my town again. It seemed reasonable that the new person could be given a different assignment since I already live here, the school wouldn't have to go through all the hooplah of setting up new bank accounts, visas, etc. etc. But for some reason, this is just not possible. I was willing to pay the re-placement fee (yeah, you have to pay again) but there seems to be no flexibility at all. You would think that after as patient and understanding as I've been with them, they could show me the same regard. I've found my own way to continue living in this town, so I'm staying but it's without CETP.
They get you here, they place you, and then you're kind of on your own because they already have your money. I got one or two calls to see how things were going, and I'm lucky that things were ok- but after that there was no follow through. I know others who were in horrible placement situations, and I'm sure CETP is still going to place teachers in those towns. Because once they have your money, they don't really care about your Hungarian experience.
I would certainly find a different way to get to Hungary- others have had good experiences, but I'm sure they would probably say that Hungary itself is the good experience.

57 years old
Portland, OR

Not just for 20 somethings.


My husband and I were placed by CETP at a lovely school in a suburb of Budapest. We are in our 50's and so our experience was different than younger people. The school and the CETP staff were very supportive of us as far as teaching materials and survival in a foreign country. I would highly recommend the experience to anyone with a sense of adventure regardless of their age group.

32 years old
Kecskemét, Hungary
University of Sussex

My CETP experience


Teaching in Hungary has been a wonderful experience for me. I didn't have experience teaching English before, but now I love it. At first I found it daunting to face a room of kids, some of whom could barely understand me, but I have grown to love the challenge as well as the incredible reward that comes with success in the language learning classroom. I am certain I have become a better teacher, not simply in language instruction, but classroom management, creative thinking, and problem solving.

The country itself has many interesting and beautiful traditions, folk music & dance, and history. Traveling can be an adventure since some places are harder to get to than others, but the network of other CETP teachers is a great pool of potential travel buddies, hosts, and trip advisers.

Orientation is one of the most valuable things CETP provides because it connects you with the other teachers throughout the country. When facing the inevitable "culture shock" moments, it's reassuring to connect with others who understand firsthand.

English speakers are easier to find in the larger cities than in the smaller towns and villages, but I have enjoyed tackling the difficult language and making local friends in the process.

I recommend this program to people who are independent, enjoy a challenge, and are open to new experiences.

32 years old
Kecskemét, Hungary
University of Washington- Seattle

Adventure Awaits


Due to its history Hungary is an interested mix of eastern and western Europe. Hungary's society is deeply rooted in its history and traditions.

My daily routine includes teaching anywhere from 4-6 lessons and being on hand to the faculty to help focus lessons and address weak points in the students' performances. This also entails being on hand as a direct source of the English lesson for the teachers to reference.

I love teaching the children and being a resource for my colleagues.

32 years old
Budapest, Hungary
Jarvis Christian College

CETP puts you in the heart of Eastern Europe


It's a bit daunting, making a move to a new place to do something that you may have little, or in my case, no experience doing! I'd taken my TESOL course, and had done my practice teaching with ESL students, but I was still nervous. However, it's kind of like riding a bike -- except your teaching English!

For me, CETP has been a great experience. While the fee isn't exactly cheap, the fact that housing is included, as well as health insurance, helps offset the cost (at least, it did for me in my rationalizing). The program director here in Hungary has been there for me whenever I had an issue, whether it's being sick or dealing with some paperwork (although calling is definitely more reliable than trying to get a hold of her via email). Also, the bureaucracy of Hungary can be very agonizing at times, but at least when it comes to initial paperwork, CETP and my school have been able to take care of it all so any issues were resolved.

As for teaching itself, I've had such an amazing time at my school that I still haven't left! Teaching at a primary school was frightening to think about, because these kids probably will have little or no English experience whatsoever, so how will I teach them a language when I can't communicate with them in Hungarian? And yet, somehow it works. It's a very rewarding job because at the end of the lesson, getting to hear them use new words that they didn't know 45 minutes before is awesome. One of my biggest problems, even now, is some behavior issues -- mostly talking, and talking in Hungarian more than I'd like. Granted, I work with younger kids, so it can be hard when they can't say complex sentences, but it is still frustrating.

For the most part, my school is pretty equipped with all the materials I need, but I can't say the same for every school. I've heard of other schools not being able to afford books, etc., but it just depends. Even so, I think most teachers here have found a way around any issues and still teach great lessons.

Typically, you'll have a pair teacher or teachers that you work with, and they can help you with lessons or ideas as needed, too. It's been very warm and welcoming at my school, which makes for a much more pleasant teaching experience!

I definitely lucked out with being in Budapest to teach, but I've heard plenty of people have excellent experiences in other cities around Hungary. It's not a big country, so traveling around is also very easy (and not too time consuming!). The food is great, the culture is vibrant, and there's always a festival going on...somewhere! I will warn that it's a very meat and potatoes kind of place, but I know several vegetarians that survive the food here, even at restaurants. Hungarian food is delicious, flavorful...but sometimes a little fatty. Still, I never tire of going out for Hungarian food!

If you're up for an adventure, and have an interest -- especially traveling around Eastern Europe, because it's so easy to get around (and affordable) -- working with CETP, in my opinion, is a good way to do it. The salary you make is enough to enjoy life and travel -- but by no means is it anywhere near what you'd be making in China or Korea, for example. If you're okay with that, then it shouldn't be a problem! There are also plenty of opportunities to find private students to supplement your paycheck!

About The Provider


CETP exists to benefit young people in the formerly socialist countries of Central Europe by providing public schools in the region with native-speaking English teachers.