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What is the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) for Teaching in Hungary?

Learn about the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) including its origins, benefits, and the opportunities it brings for those wishing to teach English in Hungary.

Ever wondered how you could teach English in Hungary? Luckily, Hungary has a government-led program that makes the process of teaching English in this country very simple. Follow along as we dive into Hungary's Central European Teaching Program, and how it could be your ticket to teaching in this amazing country.

Central European Teaching Program Explained

What is the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) for Teaching English in Hungary?

Beginning as Teach Hungary in 1991, the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) is an initiative by the Hungarian government to recruit international instructors to teach English in Hungary, foster cultural exchange, and enhance global perspectives within the country's public and parochial school system.

After its initial founding, the program would expand to more formerly socialist countries in Central Europe, then return to placing teachers exclusively in Hungary, which is the main objective today. Teachers pay a placement fee for this program, but there are some great benefits provided to teachers who teach English in Hungary through CETP, including a good salary, accommodations, and paid vacation. This program offers a good deal of flexibility and can be a great option for those interested in teaching English in Central Europe. Read below for some top tips to know.

Go Further: Central European Teaching Program 

What are the Advantages of the Central European Teaching Program?

How Much Can You Make Through the CETP Program?

Set by the National Ministry of Education, teachers in the CETP program will receive a monthly stipend equivalent to $500 USD. With free housing, insurance, and utilities included in the program, this salary is more than enough to save and travel, though your money may go farther in rural locations. 

Read More: How Much Can You Make as an English Teacher in Hungary? 

The Top Benefits of the CETP Program

The top benefits of doing the Central European Teaching Program are:

  • A chance to teach off the beaten path
  • The ability to bring a partner or family
  • Access to benefits that are not available in most European Countries

Read below to get a deeper insight into the best benefits of this program.

1. CETP Provides a Chance to Teach English Somewhere Off the Beaten Path and Pay Less to Do So

Every year, thousands of English teachers head to schools around Europe looking for positions – many of them set on teaching in Spain or Italy. However, there are a lot of overlooked countries with fascinating histories, cultures, and opportunities. The Central European Teaching Program places teachers in parochial and public school positions throughout Hungary.

In recent years there have been more and more positions opening through CETP in rural locations that get overlooked by teachers set on teaching in larger cities like Budapest. If an applicant is willing to work in a smaller city with a higher demand for native English-speaking teachers, it can pay off. To fill placements overlooked by other applicants, CETP will sometimes offer large discounts on the program fee to teachers who will accept placements in smaller cities. Not only do these teachers save money and get a unique placement, they get to live in a community that greatly appreciates the skills they bring.

"In CETP there are both rural and urban placements. I was in a rural placement. Public transportation is well-connected and I was able to travel many places throughout the country. I think this allows you to get a different perspective than if you were in Budapest, because in Budapest there is a big expat culture---maybe you don't get to learn as much about the country, as if you were living in New York and comparing it to the rest of the United States."

- ITA grad Kristen Herbert, Central European Teaching Program



2. Opportunities to Bring a Plus One, or Two, or Three

The logistics that go into planning and prepping to move abroad can be overwhelming for just one person. When there are more people to consider, it can quickly become increasingly complicated and occasionally prohibitive to travel abroad at all. CETP can place spouses, partners, friends, and families with dependents together.

Many programs for English teachers are unable to accommodate requests such as these, so keep this program in mind if you’re planning to move abroad with more than just your luggage. In some situations CETP allows applicants to bring their animal with them if the pet has its necessary travel documents. For those who would like to be placed with a plus one, it is recommended that the applicant applies as early as possible.

Teach English in Hungary CETP


3. Access Benefits and Opportunities, Not All English Teachers Can Find in Europe

There is a program fee for CETP participants, but do some more digging before writing this opportunity off due to the program fee alone. Many aspects sweeten the deal for teachers who participate in this program:

  • Teachers are paid the same salary as Hungarian coworkers
  • Participants receive national health insurance
  • You will be provided with a private, furnished apartment with utilities included
  • Additionally, program participants are not required to pay Hungarian income tax, meaning they get to take home several hundreds of dollars more in pay each year
  • You will get picked up at the airport, they work as full teachers (not assistants), receive paid holidays, and have both pre-departure and in-country support
  • Holidays are paid
  • For teachers with student loans, CETP can provide a letter to assist with loan deferment. All teachers are provided with a work visa that allows them to legally live and work in Hungary and travel around Europe.

What are the Requirements for the Central European Teaching Program (CETP)?

Applicants interested in the CETP program should meet the following criteria:

  • Be a Native English speaker from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., or an EU country
  • Possess a TEFL/TESOL Certification with a minimum of 20 hours of classroom teaching experience
  • Have a Doctor’s letter stating the teacher is in good health (required to process work visa in Hungary)
  • Present a certified background check
  • Share a notarized copy of your university diploma

Additional Central European Teaching Program Information

Application Deadline

CETP does not have a ‘deadline’ for applications.  Teachers generally arrive in Hungary in late August for orientation and teach from September through mid-June. However, interested applicants can send CETP an email to see what positions are currently available, so it is possible to find a placement once the school year has begun.

Program Length

While the standard program length is 10 months, there are 6-month positions available that run from January to June.

Teach English in Hungary CETP


A bachelor’s degree is generally required, which means that participants are usually at least 21 years old. However, CETP places teachers who are anywhere from 21 to more than 70 years old making this a great option for older teachers.

College Major

CETP participants don’t need to have a degree in Education or English. Another interesting possibility with CETP is the potential to teach other subjects – if you have a degree in drama, you might get to use it! The schools CETP works with accept proposals from teachers on possible course electives that could be taught in English. Teachers can also participate in school sports and clubs.

Tutoring on the Side

Teachers interested in making some extra money to supplement their salary can accept private tutoring positions on the side.  

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