Practical onboarding information
- The Bilingual.hu Program provides housing to its staff. Most employee housing is shared; In the case of couples (when both persons are employed by Bilingual), either a studio or a one-bedroom layout will be provided.
- The Bilingual Program covers the cost of the apartment (up to a monthly amount specified during the intervew process. This housing allowance figure is set annually to allow for full coverage of the above costs of living within an acceptable range.
- For company apartments, our HR Department will assist with repairs and any other required communication with the landlord.
- Of course, employees may make separate arrangements for housing, and must do so if they come with their families or pets. In such cases the company will not be able to conduct the apartment search; however, we can help to inspect the eventual lease provided by the landlord (which may be in Hungarian only), and we will endeavor to refer teachers to local real estate agents who can aid in the process (please be aware that estate agents may charge fees). Housing allowance compensation figures are affected in cases where employees choose to arrange their own housing.
- The exact compensation figures for new staff members will be given as part of the interview process. Please ask any and all questions you may have about this matter during your interviews to help ensure that all money matters are fully clarified.
- Compensation is paid monthly (as per Hungarian practice) and consists of the housing allowance and your salary (the latter transferred via direct deposit to your local bank account, which we help newcomers open as part of orientation). Overall compensation also includes a monthly all-Budapest public transport pass and a tax-free meals allowance which can be used at a wide range of eateries with a bank card.
Orientation and Training
- The Bilingual Program believes strongly in the necessity and value of training and self-reflection at all stages of one’s career. In keeping with that belief, all incoming staff members participate in program orientation and training in August prior to the start of school in early September.
- Orientation begins with an emphasis on getting settled in, so we visit Immigration, help newcomers open local bank accounts and focus on other practical matters such as any remaining paperwork as well as internet access and mobile phone set-up.
- We then begin workshops and training sessions that focus on helping newcomers learn how the Bilingual Program works. We look at everything from the history of the program to cultural adjustment in Hungary. We also include a wide range of workshops on classroom practice: we look at teaching videos, digital tools and learning platforms, Cambridge exams and teaching literature, to name a few.
- Finally, we join forces with Cumbria CLIL trainers to provide hands-on workshops focusing on Content and Language Intergrated Learning (CLIL) and on the overall concept of the Active Classroom, of which CLIL and the communicative method prevalent in EFL are an integral part.
- The month of August ends with other bespoke workshops as well as lesson planning with our co-teachers. While it’s a busy month, our hope is that it prepares all of us to start the year with a full tool-kit, ready to meet the kids, teach and have fun in the classroom!
Immigration and paperwork
- Employees from abroad need the following documents to be able to live and work in Hungary: residence permit, address card, health insurance card (TAJ card) and tax card.
- New staff members are taken to Immigration by us during the first few days of the orientation to apply for their residence permit and address card. We provide most of the necessary items that need to be handed in (regarding employment and housing), our teachers only need to provide passport photos, photocopy of their passport and a bank transaction history for the previous 3 months. This visit is necessary because Immigration needs to take a photo and a fingerprint, but any missing items can be submitted later electronically. When the residence permit and the address card are ready, Immigration mails it to the address given on the application form. It usually takes 2-3 months for these two documents to arrive.
- The residence permit is usually valid until the end of the employment contract so in case someone wants to stay with us for another (or more) school year, the same process has to be repeated in spring (again, with our support).
- We usually apply for and pick up the two other cards (health insurance card and tax card) with an authorization from teachers, so you won’t need to go to those offices.
- Receiving the tax number is easy: it is issued on the spot so you will have a tax number a couple of days after the start of your employment contract and the card itself is mailed a few weeks later.
- Receiving the health insurance card (TAJ card) takes a little longer because you need to have the residence permit and address card for the application, but once you have those, the health insurance card is ready in 1-2 weeks. However, for this reason it is highly advised to have a basic travelers’ health insurance until about the end of October.
- In case of citizens of the EU, the same documents are needed but the process is much quicker.
- Citizens from South Africa need either a tourist visa to enter Hungary or the application for the residence permit and address card needs to be submitted in South Africa. Although teachers need to go to the Hungarian Embassy without us, we still provide the necessary documents and also available by phone, email and Skype to assist the process.