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Got Job Offer in Budapest - Need Advice!

Hi All,

I sent my resume to CONVERZUM-Tudomany Nyelviskola in Budapest to teach English, and received a letter back that they will be happy to offer me a position if I will get a teacher's certification. 

They referred me to a school, that on completion also offers jobs, in fact, they guarantee it...
This was very good news, as I was worried about my budget of approximately HUF 370,000 per month for living expenses.  From what I gather online, the monthly salary for language teachers for a 25-30 hour work week is about HUF 260,000 per month. 

Even though I will have to pay U.S. taxes, with deductions, I would have over HUG 600,000 per month to live on with a nice job.  Minus, of course some Hungarian taxes, on the 260,000...  (there is a treaty between U.S. and Hungary that you only pay taxes in one country, so I still have to figure that out)

Please tell me that the salary is a realistic number!!!  PLEASE!  It would make my day...  Hell; it would make my life! 

Is this too good to be true; is there some hidden caveat that disqualifies me - e.g.: my age?   

Thanks,
Livia

Panni36 :

Hi All,

I sent my resume to CONVERZUM-Tudomany Nyelviskola in Budapest to teach English, and received a letter back that they will be happy to offer me a position if I will get a teacher's certification. 

They referred me to a school, that on completion also offers jobs, in fact, they guarantee it...
This was very good news, as I was worried about my budget of approximately HUF 370,000 per month for living expenses.  From what I gather online, the monthly salary for language teachers for a 25-30 hour work week is about HUF 260,000 per month. 

Even though I will have to pay U.S. taxes, with deductions, I would have over HUG 600,000 per month to live on with a nice job.  Minus, of course some Hungarian taxes, on the 260,000...  (there is a treaty between U.S. and Hungary that you only pay taxes in one country, so I still have to figure that out)

Please tell me that the salary is a realistic number!!!  PLEASE!  It would make my day...  Hell; it would make my life! 
...

Considering newly qualified teachers make about 100K HUF a month. Someone we know works 6h a day, 5 days a week in a relatively low level admin position and gets 125K HUF a month.  These are gross figures.  , Your language school offer would be good but maybe there's a catch to it.  I would ask for more info.

BTW, you can get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate easily online.  Google it!

I also do not want to burst your bubble but my SIL here in Budapest teaches chemistry at one of the universities in the city.
Haven't spoken to her for a few years but last we heard she was cleaning houses on Saturdays to make a bit of extra cash.
Is that TESL certificate enough to qualify as a teaching certificate here in Hungary?
My son was looking into something like this for Japan but they also wanted a college degree besides the TESL.

Panni36 :

From what I gather online, the monthly salary for language teachers for a 25-30 hour work week is about HUF 260,000 per month.

Did CONVERZUM-Tudomany Nyelviskola offer this salary and time? If not, did they give you a salary quote?

Also, if you are only checking other options on-line then, yes, there are indeed "some" companies that offer English classes that might provide that salary. But those are usually for adult education, often for companies, sometimes means you might have to travel and go on site (maybe anywhere in Hungary -- you may need a car), and your schedule may be quite random each week. Not saying any of the above "will happen", rather that you need to get more details to know. But if any are true, then I do wonder if those limited hours are realistic. Especially since your hours may than vary a lot each week -- and since you would be on contract with a fixed salary you would need to read the contract very carefully to know the actual terms (travel or not) and your total work time (make sure it is not unlimited as you would get no overtime pay on a fixed salary contract). You have to be careful here. If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn't.


Panni36 :

Minus, of course some Hungarian taxes, on the 260,000..

Your HU tax on income is normally about 35%**. That would leave you with 170,000 a month. About 640 USD.

** But you need to talk to an accountant -- I honestly do not know if you still have to pay into the Hungarian retirement system if you are over retirement age or not.

fluffy2560 :

you can get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate easily online.

Unless one already has a legitimate teaching degree, I consider such merely "diploma" mills. Not worth the paper they are not written on. Completely ignores the fact that education and teaching is actually a professional level learned skill, not simply something people should do when they can't do anything else.

But.... Such "certificates" are often accepted here. And the entire TEFL "industry" is based on such in some places**. But.... it may also in part explains why it is not uncommon to find signs in English here that have spelling and grammatical errors.

** But.... It is Hungary. So if that is the local "system", and if that is the only way one can make a living, I guess one can freely choose to follow the system.

Panni36 :

They referred me to a school, that on completion also offers jobs, in fact, they guarantee it...

AAaand let me guess: you don't have to pay anything up front to that school, because Conversum will deduct it from your salary. I'm sure this is how they meant, otherwise it'd feel scam-ish.  :whistle:

That's sad but true, it could be a scam to have you pay to get a job.
Wages overall are low in Hungary and finding a nice little easy part-time job that pays the bills is not exactly easy to find here.
My old school friend in the US has a grandson one of three who is Autistic. He is 16 or 17 now.
He with his many, many issues found a part-time US job that pays $10.50 a hour in N. Ca.
It's hard for some people here with a degree to make that much working full time.
I honestly think your SS will be enough to get by on here and even be able to save a tiny bit every month.
Who knows, you may even find a HU husband here and then you will both be set.
There are many older single men here from what I know, the odds are good to find one although the goods may be odd.
Sorry, had to use that line, a women from Alaska told me that and I always found it funny, truth is always funny.

Marilyn Tassy :

....There are many older single men here from what I know, the odds are good to find one although the goods may be odd.
Sorry, had to use that line, a women from Alaska told me that and I always found it funny, truth is always funny.

I've been watching a TV show called Edge of Alaska.  And yes, there are plenty of single men in Alaska as most of them seem to be on the verge of insanity.  I think actually if I was a single guy I'd like to live in Alaska some of the year.  Outdoor life I like.  The guns and bears I think I could miss.

Thank you all for the responses!  They are all good points. 

I sent out my resume (full of heavy experiences in finance, business, marketing, securities law, and commercial real estate finance and development) . I owned my own company and managed a budget of over $50,000,000 per year for six-plus years working through Deutsche Bank with European investors.  I was also a writer for the online magazine for the local CBS NEWS TV station, and wrote copy for two TV commercials and set-up corporate websites, and did marketing campaigns for commercial investments.  Back in the day, I used to have a pretty high income, but all was lost in a very large real estate deal in the 2008 crash - my ex-husband invested all of our monies... 

The school I applied to, http://www.tudomanynyelviskola.hu/,  teaches English to people who want to learn for business purposes among other things, so I am sure that I got a positive response on my application because I am able to teach "business/legal English".  A salary was not offered; rather they expressed that they would be very much inclined to hire me, after I get certified.  They also expressed that they can offer me a non-teaching job if I don't have a certification.

They recommended http://www.via-lingua.hu/ to get the certification.

The upfront fee for the 120-hour course is $150 and the rest will be deducted from my monthly earnings once a job is secured. 

I searched online for information on language teaching jobs, and pay.  I consistently found that teaching English to adults is very much in demand in Hungary, and that the average pay is about USD 1,000 per month for 25/30-hour work week. 

I don't have anything more specific, so I came here to ask for more input... 

I appreciate all your contributions!

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

you can get a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certificate easily online.

Unless one already has a legitimate teaching degree, I consider such merely "diploma" mills. Not worth the paper they are not written on. Completely ignores the fact that education and teaching is actually a professional level learned skill, not simply something people should do when they can't do anything else.

But.... Such "certificates" are often accepted here. And the entire TEFL "industry" is based on such in some places**. But.... it may also in part explains why it is not uncommon to find signs in English here that have spelling and grammatical errors.

** But.... It is Hungary. So if that is the local "system", and if that is the only way one can make a living, I guess one can freely choose to follow the system.

Oh, absolutely. 

If it's a European TEFL from an accredited EU provider, then the fact that it was issued by say - The British Council - would make it perhaps more legit I would guess. Maybe therefore it could pass muster with the language school and the authorities.  Several of my relatives contacts have this TEFL qualification and degrees in subjects other than education.  They managed to get by with teaching English in several countries - Thailand, Japan, Korea and Austria etc.

Question:
I have an MA in TESOL from a 'real' university and am state certified as a TESOL/ESL (for secondary school) teacher as well. Could I get a 'real' teaching job in Hungary. I have 20+ years of teaching experience at secondary and college levels. I don't really expect to work in Hungary, I am a citizen, but after reading these posts I wonder if it might be fun to do .

Chikagoan :

Question:
I have an MA in TESOL from a 'real' university and am state certified as a TESOL/ESL (for secondary school) teacher as well. Could I get a 'real' teaching job in Hungary. I have 20+ years of teaching experience at secondary and college levels. I don't really expect to work in Hungary, I am a citizen, but after reading these posts I wonder if it might be fun to do .

Probably but you may have trouble getting your (I'm assuming) non-EU qualifications recognised here as having some equivalence.  Private school probably won't care so much.

Quite a few years ago I applied for a couple of jobs in the USA and Australia and they didn't want recognise my degrees as they weren't awarded in country.  Seemed pretty ridiculous to me at the time.

One of my co-workers husband was a cancer specialist at a hospital here in Hungary.  They decided to try their luck in the USA. Despite this guy being a very senior top notch medic, he had to complete his residency again.  Rumour was it was to prove a high level of competence for insurance purposes. But then medicine is a bit special as it's a regulated professon.

Thanks for the input. My credentials usually are recognized abroad, I did study in Hungary a little too, during two Summers at the Nyari Egyetem in Debrecen. I also taught in South Korea. Usually the US does not recognize foreign credentials but not necessarily vice versa. In any case I don't really want to work in Hungary. Pay is low to my understanding and conditions not necessarily pleasant. Better to spend conservatively and have coffee on the veranda.
But part time work might be desirable from a social perspective.

Chikagoan :

Thanks for the input. My credentials usually are recognized abroad, I did study in Hungary a little too, during two Summers at the Nyari Egyetem in Debrecen. I also taught in South Korea. Usually the US does not recognize foreign credentials but not necessarily vice versa. In any case I don't really want to work in Hungary. Pay is low to my understanding and conditions not necessarily pleasant. Better to spend conservatively and have coffee on the veranda.
But part time work might be desirable from a social perspective.

Sure, good idea.  You can only try.  There are plenty of foreign language private schools that might need you here and there.  State system is something else - but very  poorly paid anyway. Hardly worth the effort of travelling to the job if you have alternate income which allows you to take it or leave it.

jesus what kind of advice they giving to you of course their offer is realistic.

Hello Panni

Your US pension alone should keep you comfortably here in HU - anything you earn on top would be a bonus !!

Hungary has many charms that will mean you either love it (like me!!) or hate it - many appear to hate it, but stay here & moan about it !!!
I know, right??!!

Good luck with your choice

Toby

Angolhapsi :

.....Hungary has many charms that will mean you either love it (like me!!) or hate it - many appear to hate it, but stay here & moan about it !!! ...

I think the moaning is like complaining about the weather in the UK.  More mouth and no trousers.

fluffy2560 :

I think the moaning is like complaining about the weather in the UK.  More mouth and no trousers.

I may love a place. But no place is perfect.

But this forum I think is a place for someone to learn all the realities of a place, good and bad, so they can make informed decisions. And if I tell someone to be aware of XYZ or avoid ABC, some other people use that to to make gross and simplistic extrapolations, and then assume and self report I (or others) are bitter persons.  :rolleyes:

Meh. Whatever.  :)

klsallee :
fluffy2560 :

I think the moaning is like complaining about the weather in the UK.  More mouth and no trousers.

I may love a place. But no place is perfect.

But this forum I think is a place for someone to learn all the realities of a place, good and bad, so they can make informed decisions. And if I tell someone to be aware of XYZ or avoid ABC, some other people use that to to make gross and simplistic extrapolations, and then assume and self report I (or others) are bitter persons.  :rolleyes:

Meh. Whatever.  :)

I'm bitter.  I'm also twisted. Very twisted or not twisted enough.

I cite the following first pass evidence that came to mind - that we don't have proper flying cars, we are not able to travel to other planets yet and that Elvis is dead (really?).

fluffy2560 :

I'm bitter.  I'm also twisted. Very twisted or not twisted enough.

Shout. Then you can get some of that good ol' rock-n-roll. :)

fluffy2560 :

I cite the following first pass evidence that came to mind - that we don't have proper flying cars, we are not able to travel to other planets yet and that Elvis is dead (really?).

From my reading of Galaxy magazine, we also don't have life or colonies on Mars or Venus like expected. Nor one world government, or the bio/economy crash of the planet due to overpopulation, yeast only for food, faster than light travel, et al. Personally, I would prefer us having faster than light travel and colonies on Mars where I could have a Martian beer with a Martian at the local pub, over flying cars. I am not bitter. Just disappointed.  ;)

klsallee :

....Personally, I would prefer us having faster than light travel and colonies on Mars where I could have a Martian beer with a Martian at the local pub, over flying cars. I am not bitter. Just disappointed.  ;)

Wandering off topic so transferred to Absolutely Anything Else

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