Hungary & Romania
Applications for LE Hungary & Romania PY23 Now Open!
June 15th - August 6th
welcome to the combined hungary & romania program!
Traditionally, LE Hungary and LE Romania have been run as separate programs, but in PY23 we are joining the two to create a combined program! Volunteers now have the unique opportunity to spend their summer teaching in the beautiful countries of Hungary and Romania, spending three weeks teaching in each country. The LE Hungary & Romania program will be our longest program of the 2023 Program Year, so we seek applicants who are prepared to commit to living abroad and teaching for an extended period of time.
The program structure of LE Hungary & Romania is a little different from the other programs, though it still follows the traditional pattern.
Orientation: Volunteers will arrive four days before teaching begins for orientation in Budapest. This is a great opportunity for you to get to know the other volunteers, the program director, get acclimated to the new environment, and be introduced to Eastern European culture. During this time, topics discussed during the months leading up to programming will be reviewed to ensure that all volunteers will succeed in the classroom. There will also be time to explore one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The Chain Bridge, Danube River, Margitsziget, ruin bars, castles and thermal baths are just some of the many sites one can experience in Budapest! On the Saturday following orientation, volunteers will travel to their first host family in Zala County, Hungary.
Once volunteers meet their host families, they will go over information about their school schedules and the process of getting to school. They will not have many expenses during their stay in their host community (other than buying souvenirs for loved ones back home and gifts for students and host families) since transportation, food and housing are all provided by the host family. Once the first teaching session has concluded after three weeks, volunteers will gather again in the city of Budapest before departing for Romania.
Mid-point Break: After meeting in Budapest, Hungary, volunteers will enter Romania as a group. Mid-point Break will be spent in Arad, the third largest city in Western Romania. Here, volunteers will be able to discuss and reflect on their experiences during their first 3 weeks of teaching, while preparing for their next 3 weeks!
Mid-point Break will also allow some time to wind down and enjoy some of the many museums, sights, and restaurants Arad has to offer.
Closing Ceremony: After their second placement, volunteers will travel back to Budapest, Hungary for a Closing Ceremony. Here, volunteers will be able to spend some more time with their peers, experience anything in Budapest they may have missed, and relax before continuing on their journey home.
- Location: In Hungary, volunteers will teach primarily in the county of Zala, located in the eastern region of Hungary. In Romania, volunteers will teach in one of the four to five counties LE works with every year, primarily in the Transylvania region of Romania.
- Language Requirement: None
- Setting: Primarily rural
- Duration: 8.5 weeks
- Volunteers: 4-6
- Living Conditions: Modern amenities with some limited access to WiFi
The Ideal Volunteer:
Eastern European host families are extremely warm, welcoming, hospitable, accommodating, and will be eager to show you their local sites, scenery, and surroundings. Families typically have children, and at least one English-speaking member. You will likely spend much of your free time attending various family-oriented events and gatherings, and can also walk through the region’s iconic sunflower fields, go hiking with your host siblings, visit the ocea (pool), play soccer, go out for ice cream, experience a village festival with traditional Hungarian dancing, and spend many long nights having laughter-filled conversation!
You will likely be placed in a small village, although some volunteers are placed in larger urban settings. Everything will be within walking distance (including the schools), although some families may provide bicycles for added convenience. However, if placed in an urban setting, transportation to schools may take a bit longer (up to one hour maximum), and involve using the city’s transit system. While you may not be far from your fellow volunteers and transportation between all villages is easily accessible, you’ll probably be too preoccupied with the activities in your own village and host family to visit one another.
Houses contain moderate amenities, such as running water, plumbing, electricity, and accessible internet. Families also usually have televisions, cellphones, and cars, but likely will not have air-conditioning. Due to its continental climate, Hungarian & Romanian summers do get quite hot and humid, but most houses are built to accommodate this.
Volunteers teaching assignment locations range from schools to community centers to religious camps. While many places provide teaching supplies such as paper, pencils, and potentially even projectors, it is highly recommended that volunteers bring supplies with them based on what their lesson plans require. Supplies such as a beach ball, stickers, and American candy have proved handy in the past! Student ages usually range from 5-18 years old but volunteers in the past have taught classes of adults looking to learn or improve their English.
The range of English spoken by students varies from none to fluent so expect to teach more than one class formed based on language proficiency, although it is entirely up to the teacher’s discretion on how to divide the students up. Volunteers will teach a minimum of 2 hours per day, 5 days a week. But this can range to a maximum of 8 hours per day depending on where the volunteer is teaching!
Often, teachers themselves have difficulties teaching grammar so focusing more on conversational English is beneficial, especially since it is a skill that cannot be learned in a textbook. Volunteers should not forget that students are on summer break; having fun with lessons plan and going beyond the classroom makes learning more fun for the students and the volunteer!
Each volunteer will be required spend additional time with their students outside of the classroom (community permitting) engaging with them in extracurricular activities. The Service Project is intended to help further our mission of cultural exchange and can be achieved through activities such as meeting with students at a local restaurant once a week to practice English, playing soccer after class, hosting an English movie night, or even organizing a scavenger hunt in English at the local park!
While LE Hungary & Romania does not require any language proficiency besides English, it is important to note that during their stay in Romania, volunteers will be exposed to Hungarian as well as Romanian during their teaching experience.
Some Awesome things about hungary & Romania!
- The Romanian language is 1,700 years old.
- The Parliament Palace in Bucharest is the second largest building in the world, behind only the Pentagon.
- The archetypal vampire Count Dracula, created by Bram Stoker, was inspired by the Romanian prince Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler because he was fond of impaling his enemies and setting them along the roads.
- Romania is home to Europe's largest salt mines.
- Hungarian people are extremely hospitable and kind to the teachers that they host. Get ready to eat three course meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
- Hungary has the biggest lake in Europe, Lake Balaton!
- The Hungarian language is considered one of the hardest languages to learn!
meet your program director, Ryen DeToro!
Ryen DeToro is a recent graduate of Purdue University with a degree in Film and Video Studies, as well as minors in English and History. Ryen served as a volunteer in Croatia during PY22 and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her students, fellow volunteers, and Croatian culture. She is excited to have a similar experience and work more with the community as the Hungary/Romania Program Director for PY23.
Interested applicants can contact Ryen at email@example.com.