Work and Travel in Hungary
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN HUNGARY FOR TRAVELLERS
More and more expatriates are starting to overlook typical global destinations, and instead, focusing their attention on locations across Eastern and Central Europe. Hungary is primed to be one of these such locations.
Since Hungary forms part of the European Union and lies within the Schengen Area, the benefits of working and living in Hungary can be abundant. Beautiful nature, affordable standard of living, and an undiscovered quality make Hungary an attractive locale for working travellers.
Coming to Hungary is not without its challenges, of course. Read through our travel guide to find out what you should know before considering heading to Hungary as a working traveller.
1. TEFL in Hungary
With good demand for English lessons for students at all levels and of all ages, Hungary offers a wide range of opportunities to qualified TEFL teachers. While most jobs require some experience as well as a degree, there are a few roles for those native speakers who are at the beginning of their teaching journey.
2. Natural horsemanship opportunities
Horses are still a pretty integral farm of farming and even transport in rural Hungary, so if you are highly skilled with horse riding or care, you’ll easily find work. You may be working on a farm, community organisation setting, or a horse rescue shelter.
3. Alternative building projects
Many Hungarians are getting back to nature by implementing traditional building techniques while restoring and creating new structures. If you’ve worked with straw bale, thatch, or adobe before, reach out to hosts who need help and guidance in these areas.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR HUNGARY
Since Hungary is a member of the Schengen Agreement, if you have a visa valid for entry to any of the other Schengen members, it's also valid in Hungary. Citizens of all European countries, as well as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and the USA, do not require visas for visits of up to 90 days. For working visas and long-term visas, check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN HUNGARY
Spring in Hungary means the return of outdoor festivals. Major art festivals take place in the capital of Budapest. This is the place to head with your work and travel expertise in large event work - lighting engineers, catering, DJ-ing, etc.
Snag opportunities on farms in spring, and you may find yourself with work (likely on a volunteer level in exchange for room and board) through the end of the summer.
Spring will be the high season for backpackers travelling through Central and Eastern Europe, so head to the cities or prime tourist stops in the countryside (such as Lake Balaton), and you can find work as a receptionist, night manager, cleaner, or walking tour organiser. You will likely meet an exciting mix of people and this is useful for building connections in the hostel industry.
Some people may be surprised to learn that Hungary is a wine-producing country, so there are various ways for a working traveller to get involved in the industry in the autumn. You can pick grapes from a vineyard and work to process the fruit into wine. Otherwise, those with sommelier or tour guide experience may lead wine tours and tasting workshops for visiting tourists.
Winter gets very cold in Hungary, so be prepared before considering any outdoor work. Small ski resorts do exist, some work and travel opportunities will be available there for instructors, equipment technicians, cleaners, or those working in retail shops.
Christmas markets are quite a popular sight in the holiday season in Hungary. You may find opportunities running a stand selling souvenirs or local delicacies. Just make sure you’ve dressed adequately for the temperatures!
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN HUNGARY
We’ve discussed all the positives of working and travelling in Hungary, but challenges do exist. Wages are typically pretty low, and the unemployment rate among residents is high. Some people may be upset at the prospect of foreigners coming to the country and taking work.
Because of this, positions teaching English and working with disadvantaged youth are the least harmful.
Also, the cost of living isn’t extortionate, but rent can be quite high, and if accommodation isn’t included with a job, it can be tricky to make ends meet. Make sure you act like a Hungarian and keep your living expenses low.
So, consider your options. Maybe you'll find that working and travelling in Hungary is just the right fit for you!
- Edited on Jun 14 2021 by Lily