International Moving to Hungary | I Love International Moving

Moving to Hungary – Things Every American Should Know

Posted Country Guides / August 19, 2013
Blake Shaw

Bostonian and residential moving and packing expert. Blake Shaw enjoys bar-hopping, music, and writing insightful content.

Moving to Hungary means you get to live in one of the oldest countries in Europe, founded over a millennium ago. Whether you’re relocating because of employment, love, or a change of scenery, the affordability and accessibility of this Eastern European country won’t let you regret your decision. As an American, there are a few things you should know to make this relocation as smooth as possible. We’ve made a list to help you speed up the process.

Get Your Documents in Order

When getting ready for relocation across the globe, think about documents needed to travel abroad. Passport is necessary, and if you are staying for more than 90 days, you need to get an appropriate visa, too. To learn about any additional paperwork, contact the embassy of Hungary, and get all the necessary information first-hand.

Are you reluctant to give up your American phone number? Getting some of the packages that have low rates for international calls might help you save up. However, you can skip that and get a local prepaid number.

Obtain a Work Permit

If you want to work legally in Hungary, don’t forget to gather all the correct papers and permits. Highly-skilled American expats will need to get the EU Blue Card, which allows you to work in the country for two years. All the information about it can be found on the Office of Immigration and Nationaliy website.

If You Are Going to Drive, You Should Obtain a License

The country’s major cities have an efficient public transportation system that includes trains, trams, buses, and the metro. So no matter where you live, you can get by without a fuss.

However, if you want to ship your car and drive it around the country or to the neighboring states such as Serbia, Slovenia, Austria or Croatia, you will need to obtain a driver’s license. To get it, you need your passport, certificate from a doctor, and residence permit.

Check out What Kind of Jobs You Can Get as an Expat

Let’s talk about money and job opportunities. This is an export-oriented economy that is based on food processing, IT, pharmaceuticals, electrical goods, and tourism. If you are a highly qualified worker looking for a job in one of these fields, you are in luck.

With the unemployment rate at its all-time low of 6.7%, this is a hot spot for expats looking for a perfect country to settle down in. Even before you relocate, start networking and looking for work.

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Start the Job Hunting on Time

Networking is an excellent way to get to know the job market of the country you are relocating to. Go online, check LinkedIn groups, and learn about the biggest employers and job openings they have. Making connections with locals might lend you a job faster than you think. International companies, more often than not, have online groups where you can follow updates on open positions.

Hungary is home to Mol Plc, a multinational gas company that is always looking for new skilled workers. The same can be said for enterprises like Audi, General Electrics, Mercedes-Benz, Bosch, and Samsung. Many of those companies are located in Budapest, but other cities have some excellent opportunities as well.

Finding Housing Should Be Your Priority

Depending on the place you pick to call home, the offer and the average cost of housing will vary. Compared to Western European countries, rent and all other aspects of the cost of living are relatively cheap.

If you relocate to a rural area of the country, you will find spacier and more comfortable buildings, while the flats in cities are becoming modern and trendier. According to the site Portfolio, the square footage of the average flat has grown, and buildings are getting rapidly modernized.

This is a large country by European standards (it’s roughly the size of Indiana), so even before you schedule international moving services, choose the right place to relocate to. Let’s take a look at our suggestions.

Settling Down in Budapest Is the Most Popular Choice for Expats Moving to Hungary

If you don’t know where to go, think about settling down in the biggest city and the capital – Budapest. Moving to Budapest is the obvious choice for expats, and there are many good reasons for that. It is one of the top 100 performing cities in the world, with a strong and robust economy focused on financial and tech sectors. Besides, it has a vibrant entertainment and nightlife scene, as well as a rich history with lots of attractions. Finding a home here and making a decent living will be easy; this is what makes it one of the best cities to live in Europe.

Bask in the Sun in Szeged

The City of Sunshine in the south of the country lives up to its name, with numerous sunny days. If you are relocating with your family, this is the place to be, because it is home to excellent educational institutions. The University of Szeged is one of the most prestigious schools in the country.

Eger Is for All Small-Town Lovers

This spot is famous for thermal baths, castles, baroque buildings, and red wine. If you are seeking a place with a rural vibe to it, this city east of Budapest is for you. In Eger, you can find employment in the growing wine industry and tourism.

Sopron Is for Those Who Love Outdoor Activities

The town is located near the Austrian border, right off Lake Neusiedl. Sopron has a lovely location, and its vicinity to Austria makes it an attractive place for expats to settle down in. You get to live in a mixed community and feel like you belong.

You Should Learn the Language When Moving to Hungary

When you are moving across the world, you should look into the languages that are spoken in your future destination. Moving to this European country will present you with the opportunity to learn Hungarian, a specific language belonging to the Finno-Ugric family. Enroll in some classes, and try to listen to some music, talk to people, and watch movies. Consulting a guide to learning a language abroad is always a good way to begin.

Master Some Useful Expressions Even Before You Relocate

Yes, Hungarian is a difficult language to learn, but if you want to break the language barrier, start small. Learn how to pronounce some useful phrases like good morning (Jó reggelt), cheers (Egészségedre), or thank you (Köszönöm).

Hungarians Are Very Proud of Their Cuisine

Don’t leave your pots and pans in the storage, because living in Hungary might inspire you to become the next Gordon Ramsay. Hungarians are very proud of their food, and you will be able to witness it first hand. With paprika as the main ingredient in most dishes, this mostly spicy cuisine is not for sensitive stomachs, but adventurous ones.

Knowing How to Celebrate Christmas Is a Part of the Culture

To be accepted as one of their own, you will have to learn about some traditions that are very popular and deeply rooted among Hungarian people. Start with the Christmas celebration. On Christmas eve, after dinner, people leave wrapped gifts under the tree and go to church. The whole celebration is very traditional, and even if you are not a spiritual person, you will get to enjoy the brightly decorated streets and Christmas cheer. Many places are festively decorated, not only Budapest.

Living in the Land of Magyars

You unpacked, put everything where it belongs, and now it is time to embrace life in a place you chose to call your next home. Go outside, meet people, try food and drinks, get to know the culture. Living abroad means grasping everything that the new environment can give you. It is a long and fun process, and it will be worth it. After a while, you will stop feeling like an expat and start feeling like a true local (or Magyar, as Hungarians call themselves).

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