If you are thinking about changing countries maybe Hungary could be your next place. Let me tell you my experience so you can make your decision.

Hungary is a tiny country in Central Europe. With a population of more or less 10 million people and it’s biggest city being Budapest Wiki (pronounced “-pesht”) with 2 million inhabitants. The currency is the Hungarian forint and the language is one of the hardest to learn!

The fact that Hungarian is so hard to learn doesn’t facilitate integration with the locals. The locals generally do not speak any second language so if you don’t speak Hungarian you will have a hard time finding a job that requires communication with the native speakers.

Some hostels need personal speaking other languages due to the rise in tourism.

Fortunately, Hungary is in the European Union and it is a really cheap country. These characteristics make it a perfect destination for multinationals. You will be able to find a job in a multinational company but you will have to speak English fluently and at least another language. I was the only person in my office with only two languages! Everyone else spoke several so it is getting competitive. Multinationals will pay you more than other roles/jobs in a small company.

My company issued me with my tax card. You can use that card to go to the doctor as it is the proof that you are contributing and paying taxes. Or at least that’s what I did because I was unable to get hold of the health card.

You are supposed to get as well a residence permit and an address card (your address is not included in the residence card which I think is baloney). Registering with your embassy is advisable but not mandatory.

Paperwork in Hungary is literally a nightmare. There is no information in English and the amount of documents and time required to request the permit is insane. I remember going to the immigration office with an appointment at 9 am and having to leave at 2 pm without seeing anyone because I had to go to work. People request two or three days off work just to do paperwork! You can also hire some private company to sort all those annoying papers for you.

You pay a really high amount of taxes in Hungary. There is a 16% flat income tax but also social security and pension contributions so expect to lose at least 33% of you salary every month.

You will be expected to negotiate your salary so ask around if you know anyone in the position or a similar one so they can help you determine a fair salary. I signed a paper forbidding me to reveal my salary to my coworkers. Everyone got a different check depending on their negotiating skills. It is advisable to give a range instead of just a number, for example say between 300 and 350,000 ft.

There are also perks of living in Hungary. The cost of living is really low! My rent was really low and I was living in the center in a big apartment. The rent included all expenses and the landlady dealt with the bills, which is a relief!. Food, drinks and groceries are also really cheap. The price of a pint of beer was roughly one euro.

The city of Budapest is gorgeous and it certainly deserves some time to explore. Some of the towns of the outskirts are really nice as well.

Are you thinking about going to Hungary to work?

Are you working in Hungary and think I’m missing out big points?