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What is the Central European Teaching Program (CETP) for Teaching English in Hungary?
Written by: Leah Kralovetz
Last Updated: July 19, 2021
Interested in teaching English in the heart of Europe?
The Central European Teaching Program (CETP) began as Teach Hungary in 1991. In the following years it would expand to more formerly socialist countries in Central Europe, then returned to placing teachers exclusively in Hungary. 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 & 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. Here are some top tips to know.
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 history, culture, and opportunity. 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. In order to fill placements overlooked by other applicants, CETP will sometimes offer large discounts in 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.
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 traveling abroad at all. CETP is able to 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 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.
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. There are many aspects that 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.
CETP also provides flexibility in the following areas….
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.
While the standard program length is 10 months, there are 6 month positions available that run from January to June.
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.
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 are able to accept private tutoring positions on the side.
Applicants interested in the program should meet the following criteria:
- Native English speaker from U.S., Canada, the U.K., or an EU country
- TEFL/TESOL Certification with a minimum of 20 hours of classroom teaching experience
- Doctor’s letter stating the teacher is in good health (required to process work visa in Hungary)
- Background check
- Notarized copy of university diploma
Leah never boarded an airplane until she turned 20, but since then she has lived, traveled, studied and/or taught in more than 20 countries, including Thailand, South Korea, and Germany. Next on her list is Mongolia, but in the meantime, Leah loves sharing her passion for world travel with ITA students and alumni.
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