English Teacher Interview: Megan of This Hippie Voyage

Megan wanted to make a difference in the world after graduation and decided that teaching English was the answer! Read about her experience living and working in Hungary. 

1. Where are you from?

I am from America. I moved around a lot growing up but spent most of my life in Chicago, went to high school in Texas, and went to college at the University of Kansas!

2. What made you decide to teach abroad?

After college I was desperate to travel the world but I also wanted to have a job where I felt like I could make a difference, teaching English abroad seemed like the perfect fit!

3. Which program hired you?

I knew that I wanted assistance in the process of teaching English abroad and moving to a new country, so I looked for programs that could help me. I came across the Central European Teaching Program (www.cetp.info) and it was a perfect fit!

4. What country did you choose to work in?

I chose to work in Hungary because I was already looking to teach somewhere in central Europe when I came across the Central European Teaching Program, I felt like Hungary would be a great place for me!

5. Is teaching abroad your first experience in Hungary?

Yes! I had been to Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, England, and Greece before teaching abroad, but not Hungary!

6. What grades do you teach?

I teach 7th through 12th grade.

7. Had you worked with children in education before teaching abroad?

I had an internship in college with an arts education organization where I got to work with children in an arts education setting, but not ESL.

8. What surprises you most about the education system in Hungary?

What surprises me the most about the education system in Hungary is that the students have a “class” that they stay with until high school graduation. Similar to our primary education system, where we have one class/classroom with one teacher, it is similar for them but in high school as well. They have their own classroom (about 20-30 students) and the teachers come to them. Teachers do not have their own rooms. The students are always with the same students, they don’t have individual timetables, only a class timetable. I think it is beneficial because there are less “cliques” developed, the students learn to appreciate each other since they will be with the same group until they graduate.

9. What are your favorite/least favorite parts of the job?

My favorite part about my job in that I am supposed to focus on conversational English. While I also do listening activities, reading, writing, and grammar, my main role as a native speaker is to get the students to practice using the vocabulary and grammar they have already learned in their other classes. The most productive classes are when we can have really great class discussions, and the students can share with me their personal ideas.

My least favorite part about the job is that due to the language barrier, there can often be some miscommunication in administration.

10. What is your favorite word or phrase your students use?

My students say “hello” when they are leaving the classroom as well as entering because you can in Hungarian. It always makes me giggle when they walk out and tell me, “hello!”.

11. What is your favorite part of living in Hungary?

Hungary is a beautiful country and there are so many great places to visit! Although I have lived here for almost one year, I still have not seen all of the places in Hungary on my list. The towns, villages, and cities are all very unique and the culture is fascinating, living in Hungary has been a wonderful experience so far!

12. What advice would you give a prospective teacher abroad?

Teaching abroad is an incredible experience! I have not met anyone who has regretted teaching English abroad. It can be scary, but it is totally worth it!

Thank you, Megan! 

Check out Megan’s blog, This Hippie Voyage for more of her adventures!

If you are a volunteer, language assistant, or English teacher abroad and would like to participate in an interview, let me know via the contact tab!

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