Expats in Hungary
A lot of expatriates have chosen to stay in Hungary, primarily to teach English. Though other opportunities can be created, it is certainly not as easy to start a business or even teach as it can be in the Czech Republic, for example. Hungarians are protective of their economy.
While it’s true that they want to raise their quality of life up to a level that would put them more in line with the countries of the EEC, they want to do it themselves.
For those expats who do stay in Hungary, there are probably more hoops to jump through both before you go and once you get there. If you want to teach English, then you should have some kind of qualification. And if you want to pursue other opportunities, then you have to do a good job of convincing the authorities that you’re uniquely suited to your profession.
This is not to say that you will encounter insurmountable obstacles in Hungary, just don’t expect things to be a breeze. And you should know that some of these obstacles are not necessarily unique to Hungary, or to any particular country. One city or town might welcome your planned endeavors more than another. Some areas are more in need of English teachers than others. And what it really amounts to is that your determination will pay off if you let it. For example, if you want to grow a business in Hungary, you may be required to find a Hungarian partner. If you are really determined, you should start networking to find someone who shares common interests.
And maybe that requires that you learn to speak some Hungarian. In this case, you will definitely have your work cut out for you.
All of that aside, if you want to feel a little closer to Western culture than you might in any of the Slavic countries, Hungary is probably your best bet. Budapest looks and feels more like a sophisticated Western city than does Prague or even Warsaw. Prague feels very magical and yet very foreign, while Warsaw will remind you more of Russia than of the West. And the Hungarian people possess more sophistication and international awareness than do people from the other countries, particularly in and around Budapest and the northwestern portion of the country.