You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers!
Here you will find answers to the mostly frequently asked questions!
- Why do I have to pay to join CETP?
- When is the application deadline?
- What are my chances of being accepted?
- Can I go if I have student loans?
- Can I contact past CETP participants?
- Am I eligible?
- Do I have to be a US citizen?
- Is there an age requirement?
- Do I need a Bachelor’s degree in English or Education?
- I don’t have much teaching experience. Should I still apply?
- How can I get more teaching experience?
- Can I do a TEFL certification course in my host country?
- Is this a real job?
- How many hours a week will I work?
- Will I be paid? How much?
- Is health insurance included?
- Can I teach any subjects besides English?
- Can I go anywhere in Hungary?
- Is it safe?
- Can I go with my friend, partner, spouse, or child?
- What sort of housing is provided?
- What if I don’t speak the local language?
Q. Why do I have to pay to join CETP?
Your fees help pay for providing teacher orientation, country-wide meetings, in-country support, resolving Hungarian government requirements, publishing a monthly newsletter for our teachers, and, of course, maintaining the U.S. and Hungarian offices and staff necessary to keep CETP able to serve the teachers and schools. All of our operating expenses are met by the program fees and is cycled back into the program to keep it running and improving. CETP does not receive funding from host schools or any government or organization. Without the program fees that teachers pay, CETP couldn’t provide the services it does to our teachers, Hungarian schools and their students. CETP is the most affordable international teaching program around, and we welcome you to compare our costs with other organizations that offer a similar amount of support to their client teachers.
Q. When is the application deadline?
Although we encourage teachers to send in their applications just as soon as they become interested, we accept applications until such time as all of our schools have been provided teachers. Of course, late applicants will have little or no choice of location, but if you decide at the last moment that teaching overseas is your dream come true, we may very well be able to find you a spot! Also, sometimes a teacher must leave due to unforeseen circumstances, so please, feel free to contact us regarding openings at just about any time of year.
Q. What are my chances of being accepted?
If employment conditions continue at public schools as they have for the past decade, applicants who are strong enough candidates to be accepted into CETP are almost certain of being offered a CETP teaching position. We are continually adding new member schools, and in only one year in more than 15 years of operation have we had more qualified applicants than available vacancies.
Q. Can I go if I have student loans?
Yes, we will be happy to write you a letter stating your mission to teach in Hungary is at a very reduced salary. This is almost always enough to get your loan payments deferred until you return to the States.
Q. Can I contact past CETP participants?
Yes, absolutely! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to put you in contact with both past and current teachers.
Q. Am I eligible?
If you are a native speaker of English who has or is willing to get some teaching experience before going over to Europe, we can probably find a teaching placement for you.
The basic requirements are:
- You must be a native speaker of English from the U.S., Canada, the U.K. or one of the other countries of the European Union.
- You must have a bachelor’s degree, or be scheduled to receive your Bachelor’s degree before you begin teaching through CETP. We do sometimes have primary schools in small communities who will happily take a teacher without a 4-year degree if this person has a TEFL certificate and at least 20 hours of classroom experience.
- You must be in good health.
- You must complete a TESL course or an education course before departure for Europe. Although nothing can take the place of attendance at an actual TEFL school, most of our applicants take the online course offered through www.i-to-i.com. The program provides basic TEFL information while also satisfying Hungary’s educational requirements.
- You must get at least 20 hours of classroom teaching experience, volunteer or paid, before departure.
- You must be willing to make a commitment of one semester, though most applicants stay for a full year.
- You must exhibit flexibility, patience, sensitivity to cultural differences, and maturity.
Q. Do I have to be a US citizen?
Although most of our applicants are from the U.S., we are always pleased to place teachers from other countries as well. Due to Hungarian governmental recommendations, we can only place teachers who are citizens of the United States, Canada, the U.K., and other EU countries—providing that applicants are native English speakers. Nationality requirements can change from one year to the next, so please email us if you have questions.
Q. Is there an age requirement?
Teachers must usually be at least 21 years old. We place teachers from 21 to 70+. While there is no age limit, please note that CETP’s host countries require that our teachers be in good health and verify this with a letter from their doctor.
Q. Do I need a Bachelor’s degree in English or Education?
No. Any B.A. or B.S. degree will do, and as mentioned above, on occasion we consider applicants without a 4-year degree. We accept all majors, and in fact non-English majors may find themselves at an advantage, as many schools need teachers of history, social sciences, economics, and other subjects.
Q. I don’t have much teaching experience. Should I still apply?
Yes! Slightly over half of our applicants do not have any teaching experience before applying to CETP. As long as you are committed to getting as much teaching experience as possible before your job in Europe begins, you can apply without having any teaching experience.
Q. How can I get more teaching experience?
You have two basic options for getting more teaching experience:
1. Pursue volunteer teaching opportunities in your community. Public high schools, local community colleges, and universities, as well as literacy programs, refugee centers, and libraries will all be happy to offer you volunteer work as an ESL teacher.
2. Enroll in a one-month intensive TEFL certification course. These courses can be costly, but the reputable ones are well worth the money.
Need to get your 20 hours of TESL experience? Try ProLiteracy, the world’s oldest and largest literacy organization, which provides volunteer tutors with the professional training and materials they need to teach basic literacy or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). Training takes about 10 hours and tutors typically meet with their students for one and a half to two hours per week. Check out their website to find the literacy council nearest you.
Additional literacy organizations offering volunteer opportunities for prospective CETP teachers are listed at LiteracyConnections.com.
*A word about volunteer teaching:
Remember that while tutoring and one-on-one types of teaching are perfectly valid and worthwhile experiences, the type of teaching experience you would need to look for is that which gives you time spent in front of a group of non-native speakers, delivering a lesson that you have written, if possible. Often times our teachers observe an ESL class a few times, then take over the class gradually.
Q. Can I do a TEFL certification course in my host country?
Yes. For interested teachers, we offer summer one-month certificate programs through our partners in Hungary. Doing your certification course in your host country the summer before you begin teaching gives you a chance to acclimate to the culture and begin to learn the language, as well as learning about typical challenges for learners of English, before you begin your CETP teaching contract in the fall.
Call our office to request an application for TEFL certification programs in your host country.
Q. Is this a real job?
Yes, this is a real job, and CETP teachers are full teachers, not assistants, or volunteers. Our teachers are paid employees of the host country government and are therefore subject to the same rules, regulations, and benefits as their local colleagues. CETP teachers receive a salary that is the same as that of host country teachers. Full health insurance is provided, as are paid holidays.
Q. How many hours a week will I work?
The typical timetable is approximately 22-26 hours per week of teaching time, usually 4-5 hours per day, Monday through Friday. This does not include tasks such as planning lessons, marking essays, writing and marking exams, etc., which may add another 10 hours per week to your schedule.
Q. Will I be paid? How much?
You will be a full employee of the host school, and will receive a salary according to the same scale by which your colleagues are compensated. You are paid in local currency with a purchasing power similar to the salary of a first-year public school teacher in the US, i.e., lower middle class, depending on debts and local cost of living expenses. The school’s pay scale is set by the national Ministry of Education, not by CETP. Our teachers in Hungary currently earn the equivalent of around $500 per month. Since you will also be receiving free housing and utilities, this salary is plenty for living and traveling within the region. Many teachers also give private lessons, which increases your rainy day fund.
Q. Is health insurance included?
You are covered under the national health insurance plan that all public school teachers in your host country have. The benefits you receive (doctor’s visits at no cost, and prescriptions filled for a nominal fee) are identical to those that your colleagues at school receive. Several CETP teachers over the years have been hospitalized in local hospitals and have had minor surgery locally, and all have reported that the facilities and level of care were at least adequate. The one thing that won’t be covered through your insurance is medical evacuation and repatriation, which we require that you purchase.
Q. Can I teach any subjects besides English?
Yes! Most of our teachers teach conversational English, but a significant minority teach classes such as History, Literature, Drama, Creative Writing, French, German, Spanish, Social Studies, American Culture, British Culture, and various electives. All classes except French, German, and Spanish are taught in English. If you would like to teach something other than Conversational English, our schools welcome your proposals for electives to be taught in English.
Q. Can I go anywhere in Hungary?
We have about 100 partner schools in Hungary, though not in every major city, and there can be a lot of competition for certain placements. Your ability to attract a job offer from our schools depends in part on your enrollment packet, a copy of which will be forwarded to suitable schools. The CETP staff will do our best to help you get a placement in the location or region you want most, but applicants may need to be flexible.
Q. Is it safe?
Yes. The crime rates in Hungary is far below what you see in most American cities, and the government are politically stable.
Q. Can I go with my friend, partner, spouse, or child?
Yes to all of these! We can place friends applying together, spouses / partners, and even families with children. If you are applying with another person, we advise you to apply well before the final deadline.
Q. What sort of housing is provided?
All applicants will have their own private apartments, usually within a convenient walk or commute to the school. Many of the apartments are located in housing blocks built during the Communist regime. Though they look dreary and monolithic from the outside, most are surprisingly spacious and comfortable once inside. A few apartments are attached to the school and a few others, particularly in Budapest, are located in teaching hostels. In this situation CETP teachers have their very own spacious apartment but must obey the rules of the hostel, to include checking in guests and paying a minimal fee for their overnight stay.
Q. What if I don’t speak the local language?
There is no foreign language requirement, though you are strongly encouraged to begin studying the language upon acceptance to the program. During orientation, you will receive survival language skills. In addition, any amount of time you put into studying the language before you go will be rewarded many times over once you’re there.