This time we left southern France to more familiar grounds in Budapest Hungary.
Some people may think we are crazy to move yet again, but we find Budapest full of possibilities.
The reason we moved is easy, we wanted to bring our English homestay program from southern France to Budapest Hungary.
The concept is easy enough. We provide English language holidays to English Other Language students between 10-20 years of age. During their 1-3 week stay with us, we provide lessons, meals, and activities. It is a great experience for everyone involved, sharing what we love most about Hungary and teaching English. And it just happens to work!
The idea is to be immersed 24/7 into your host family, during which time only English is spoken. They become part of the family environment and together they go bike riding, swimming, hiking, exploring, escape rooms in English, laser tag, really anything as long as it is in English.
The children get hands on learning opportunities along with concrete lessons catered to them. The then have a great bunch of memories to take home, all in their English language.
The groups of students are between 2-4 depending on demand and availability. We are hoping to expand next year to include another two families which means we are already completely full!
Some might ask, usually Hungarians, why are you coming this way from Canada and France when everyone else is wanting to move away.
Hungary is so beautiful, full of customs and traditions, great accessible universities for the children, housing is still affordable… the question is why would anyone want to leave?
I understand the American dream, but I am not sure it still exists. Living in North America is not all it is cracked up to be. You have to work very hard to buy a house, your wages from one job does not cover the bills for a family of four. Life is a constant marathon between work, extracurricular activities for the children, and more work. There we live to work, not work to live.
Here in Hungary, no matter how little you have, it is enough. There are many things to do for free, free concerts and festivals, picnics along the Danube to have, and parks to explore. It doesn’t have to be an expensive outing, just being together and enjoying the scenery is often enough.
Southern France was also an experience, but me and the language have not become friends. I find it very hard to communicate in French, even after years of trying. I was never quite comfortable enough to make France a real life, with close friends, and things to try to achieve. Don’t get me wrong, I love the friends we made, and the opportunities that opened up for us while we were there, but I would have always been on the outskirts of the French society, even though we were welcomed in many ways and accepted for being different. We had established ourselves in the business community, we grew in many different directions, but after five years, it was time to go home. Small town living was good for the children when they were small, but it was time to move to a bigger pond.
Hungary in many ways is already our home, although I have never lived here before. I have been visiting since I was a child, already understand and speak the language, and have certain places I enjoy visiting throughout the country.
I also believe that teaching English can open a lot of door in Hungary that don’t open for for people that don’t speak other languages. The three language I do communicate in has been the biggest asset of my life so far, and I believe that passing that skill down to my own children, but also to others, is why I am here.